The number of mistakes that can be made in marketing (especially online marketing) is endless. This blog post will focus on some of the biggest marketing mistakes that you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Some of these mistakes can be applied to any kind of online marketing; others relate to common and specific methods (like email marketing), and so they deserve mention on this list.
Just knowing about all of these mistakes should put you in a great position as an online marketer. Here are the top 6 online marketing mistakes recommended by Salt Rank that you can’t afford to make.
1. Not Having a USP
A USP is a unique selling proposition. This is what sets you apart from your competition. Ideally, it should be just one statement, and in that statement, you explain the benefits of your product for your target audience.
The key is that these benefits should be unique to your product only, thus giving you the edge over your competition. Here are some questions to ask to help create your USP:
- Can your product solve a problem that no other competitor has solved yet?
- Does your product offer superior quality at an unbeatable price?
- Does your product or service offer customers a specific lifestyle?
- Does your product incorporate materials and resources in a better way? For example, is your product more eco-friendly than the competition?
The competition is fierce online. Your target audience is being bombarded with several different marketing messages, and without a USP, your message is likely to be lost.
USP is critical in every aspect of your marketing. Before implementing any kind of new online marketing strategy, you should think about how your USP can fit into it. That way, prospects will know why they need your product so that they will become customers.
2. Using Black Hat Tactics
This kind of clickbait is all too common: “Rank in the top 10 of Google, guaranteed!” Even though this is an obvious scam to anyone who has a clue about SEO, marketers, and business owners who desperately want to get traffic to their website might be willing to take them up on this offer. And after all, who doesn’t love a quick fix?
However, be wary. While our web design services company is reputable, many other companies aren’t, and will promise instant results.
The companies that aren’t outright lying about achieving instant results (and many of them do) might be able to do it for you using “black hat” techniques. Black hat strategies are implemented to “trick” a search engine into giving your website a rank that it doesn’t deserve for specific keywords.
By taking them up on this offer, you might experience a short burst of new traffic, but you’ll be playing a dangerous game. Google invests a ton of money for catching cheaters, and the penalties for cheating are not small either. If you get penalized by Google (or worse – outright banned), you’ll find that this is extremely hard to fix and will also permanently damage your website’s reputation and marketing efforts.
Have we convinced you yet? Avoid black hat SEO at all costs and stick to “white hat” SEO strategies to help your website rank higher. Doing it the right way will take more time and cost more money, but it’s a safe bet for long term success.
3. Ignoring the 80/20 Rule
You’ve almost certainly heard of this rule before. 80% of your success comes from 20% of your efforts. But have you ever thought about how that principle can apply to your marketing efforts?
In the context of marketing, this rule means that 80% of your success will be the result of providing value to your target audience, and 20% of it will be the result of your promotional materials. This balance will ensure that your customers are engaged and ready to buy when the time comes.
If you flip that balance around, though, you’ll repel potential customers instead of attracting them. Remember, forming long term relationships with customers is critical in online marketing.
4. Trying to Market to Everyone
This is perhaps the biggest rookie marketing mistake, but this mistake goes even further.
Too many companies mistakenly focus too much on the total number of visitors instead of analyzing the types of visitors they’re attracting. Consequently, these companies double down on their efforts to attract more visitors and end up wasting money because not enough of these visitors convert into customers.
Instead, you should focus on marketing to a niche. That way, you can attract the right kind of visitors. You’ll know who the right kinds of visitors are once you create your company’s Buyer Personas. These personas should be based on your most high-value customers.
5. Focusing Your Email Marketing on Promotional Efforts
Once upon a time, email marketing was only used for promotion and advertising. However, any professional email marketer these days realizes that engaging with and building trust with prospects is essential for getting customers, as well as retaining previous customers.
Not following this advice can severely harm your online business. Not only will you turn off your subscribers and potential customers (remember the 80/20 rule), but you can also get spam complaints.
6. Neglecting Repeat Customers
Neglecting existing customers in the pursuit of new ones is a common marketing error. However, it’s not one that you should make. Consider the fact that it’s 5 times more expensive to market to new customers than it is to existing ones, on average.
Why is it easier to market for existing customers? Because your marketing funnel for existing buyers will be smaller than for newer buyers since they’ve already bought from you before.
Try to split your marketing efforts 50/50 into retaining repeat customers as you do for acquiring new ones.
No matter how well you plan things out, marketing mistakes will still happen. If you experience sub-optimal results from your marketing, don’t dismiss them outright – instead, reflect on what could have gone wrong. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. If you’re struggling with marketing, try to understand the needs of your customers better. You might see things start to turn around!