There are so many articles out there on how to market properly in order to get more likes, improve visibility, and ultimately increase your level of success. The information available is so vast that it can be mind-boggling. However, no matter how many great ideas you may have read up on, what are the specifics about what not to do?
As a well-meaning marketer, for each brilliant idea you have there are twice as many mistakes to make. Here are 11 marketing mistakes to avoid at all costs when putting together and executing your marketing strategy.
1. Not having a clear vision
Before you begin, you need to have a vision. Just as architects draw up blueprints before constructing a building, you need to have a concrete idea of what you’re aiming for. “I want to create my own lucrative business” is a decent start, but before you launch into marketing, there are many factors to define.
Who are you? What industry do you belong to? Are you selling a product, and if so, what will it be? Why are you creating this company? Is there a need for what you have to offer?
These are just a handful of questions to help you get to the core of your vision.
2. Failing to create a plan
Once you know who you are as a professional or a company, and your vision is comprehensible, it is time to create a plan. If you don’t have a goal in mind, you are heading nowhere.
Think about where you want to be in a year, in five years, and indefinitely. Just as you’ve done with your curriculum in college, figure out what steps you need to make in order to achieve your goals. Determine your marketing strategy and be sure to come back and revise it as you go, according to what has worked and what hasn’t.
3. Not knowing who your consumers are
There is one thing worse than not knowing what your brand is about — not knowing what your demographic is. How are you supposed to market to anyone if you don’t know who they are? Would you sell baby food to CEOs in the tech industry? Keep your consumers in mind at all times when marketing, and be sure to keep track of your analytics to see whose attention you are capturing.
4. Ignoring your consumers’ needsSmart marketers never stop trying to understand exactly what their customers need. Click To Tweet
You know who your customers are, so why would you ignore their needs? Don’t try to force an idea or product on someone when it’s useless to them. There’s no easier way to annoy and turn away potential clients than by targeting the wrong interests.
If you’re not sure what your consumers want, do your research. If you’re still in doubt, listen to what their complaints are. Ask them to share their opinions in your website’s comments section, or create a poll. And then — most importantly — give them what they’re asking for.
5. Not being aware of your uniqueness
At any given moment, several million people are selling billions of products, with new inventions coming about every day. Just because you’ve got a product to market does not make you unique.
So, what does?
Be vitally aware of what sets you apart from the masses when you do your marketing. Hone in on your strengths and idiosyncrasies, and use them to your advantage. Embrace your uniqueness and put it on the bullhorn, making people remember you not only for what you sell, but how you sell it.
6. Straying from producing evergreen content
What’s the difference between 8-tracks and Shakespeare? Well, there are many, but the most important is staying power. Even if what you’re selling addresses the signs of the times, you still want content that has a shelf life of more than a few weeks. Ideally, you’ll create something that can be used a year, or even five years, down the road.
This not only means that you can reuse and repurpose this subject matter, it also shows that you’re in this for the long haul, not just until Black Friday is over.
7. Being too shy to self-promote
Humility is an excellent quality to have, but not necessarily in the marketing world. Of course, you shouldn’t overly self-promote, but still take the time to invest in yourself. Share what you’re doing with others not only in your targeted demographic but also within your circle of friends and family. Ask them to share what you’re doing with others — either by word of mouth or the internet.
You’d be surprised at who the people you know are connected with.
8. Avoiding social media
Just because you don’t like Facebook or don’t quite understand how Twitter works doesn’t mean that you can write off social media that easily. If you want to be successful in this day and age, you also need to be aware that not many people do their shopping (or even get the news, for that matter), in the pages of the newspaper.
If social media doesn’t come to you easily, hire someone to show you the ropes, or do a Google search for “social media for beginners.”
9. Separating yourself from your industry
Even though your startup is unique in its own way, you still belong to a larger industry. Don’t ignore this fact, and especially don’t snub other people doing work very similar to yours. Instead, embrace the art of networking, and form alliances. Making lasting relationships within your industry can be a very powerful marketing tool.
10. Thinking customer service is a thing of the past
Sure, marketing is not what it used to be.
It is much faster paced and virtually driven. Nonetheless, customer service is something that far too many companies overlook. Consumers are still human beings that want to feel valued and appreciated. So once you have marketed effectively and converted browsers into buyers, say thank you. Write back to their emails, and respond to their Facebook messages.
After all, you want a lasting group of loyal clients, not just a handful of one-time purchasers.
11. Not obtaining referrals
After all is said and done, people are still more likely to trust what another consumer has said than what you promise.
This is why reviews on Amazon and other websites are so perused. Obviously a company is going to say that its service or product is the best out there, but what do others honestly have to say about it? Ask your clientele for feedback that you can use on your website. This not only serves as a testimonial to others, it also lets you know how you can improve.
Overall, marketing is a complex process that, for many, takes series after series of trial and error. However, with this list of 11 mistakes to avoid, you can save yourself a lot of time (and money), hopefully getting yourself closer to success with much less frustration.
What are some marketing mistakes you have made that you wish you would have known upfront? Share your experience in the comment section below!