You know you need to market online. However, just because you market online, doesn’t mean you’re successful at it. Why do some businesses fail at online marketing? What can you do to make sure you don’t become one of those how not to stories? In this article, we’ll talk about some ways you can fail to market online.
Simply put, businesses fail at online marketing for a variety of reasons. Many business owners don’t know the right online marketing strategies to employ, other business owners have the right strategies but they poorly execute the strategies. Whatever the reason, here are six things that can get you in trouble when you market online.
- You let SEO overshadow your content. SEO is important. We don’t deny that. However, you should not let SEO make your content weak. Good content is important. SEO friendly content should still be high quality. You want to provide your readers with relevant web content that matches the expectations of your target market. It must be well written and make sense. Don’t make your content search engine friendly and consumer unfriendly. Make sure your website is interesting so users will come back regularly, easy to navigate, and useful so it gives people something back for spending their time on your site.
- You try to master all social channels. This can be a common mistake especially considering there are so many social networks out there. Each one caters to a different type of social need. You may feel that you have to put effort in each and every social network on the planet. Unfortunately, this can leave you spread too thin. Spreading yourself too thin will mean you do a mediocre job of it. Instead, focus on 2-3 channels and do a stellar job of promoting your brand on those channels. Make sure those channels are most relevant to your target market. You should also consider the function of each network when making your choice. For example, small retailers might want to use Twitter for customer service, Facebook for promotions and Pinterest for visual engagement.
- Your website doesn’t meet user expectations. You know that the ultimate goal of marketing online is to drive traffic to your website and to boost conversions, aka sales. If the user interface of your website isn’t well put together, this is not going to happen. You might generate the traffic from your online marketing efforts, but they probably won’t stay on your website or buy from you. So, you must focus on design and user experience. Invest some time and effort in testing on how users interact with your website. Finally, you might need to assess your product offerings and range. This could be the ultimate problem.
- Your engagement efforts lack consistency. Consistency is key when you market online. You need to establish regularity in your marketing efforts. If you fail to do this, this will turn potential customers away and fail to engage them over a longer period of time. The point of online marketing is to engage people regularly. You should avoid a strategy where you have a period of high activity, followed by nothing. If you can’t be consistent with your online marketing strategy, you will lose people’s attention and business. You should not lose your enthusiasm even if your fan base is not growing as fast as you’d like it to. You can test out different types of content at different times of the day or week and see what hits and when. You will eventually see patterns and then you can market online accordingly. Online marketing can be a goldmine. You just have to be a patient with it – and definitely consistent.
- Learn the difference between marketing and spam. Email marketing can really help with customer retention. However, you don’t want to overindulge in it. People will get sick of hearing from you. It’s better to make targeted emails a few times a month than to update folks weekly or daily on your goings on. You should not purchase lists. It’s better to let your email lists grow organically. You want your email contacts to have signed up to join your list. Maybe some of those emails could be shortened and put up on your social media accounts or lengthened into a blog post? Don’t make your communications all about you. Try to make it worth people’s while to sign up for your newsletter. Inform them, educate them and entertain them.
- Your budget doesn’t add up to your ideas. You may have huge ideas but a tiny budget. You need to be realistic about your budget and what you can achieve within that budget. If you have faith in your success, you may want to expand that budget, but be clear that you are taking a risk. Growth requires expenditure especially if you’re just starting to market online and are building brand awareness. Investment also includes time so even if you depend on word of mouth or buzz marketing, you will have to put the time and effort in.
Online marketing success does not happen overnight. It requires patience and skill. Businesses often fail to market online when they’re not patient enough of have unrealistic expectations. You should build a solid marketing strategy. You can start slow, but you must remain consistent to see results.