Avoid these biggest marketing mistakes businesses make

Richard Kacerek
06 October 2021

Richard uses 15+ years of web development and SEO skills paired with building successful businesses to create your new online presence that sells your product, not just looks good.


Avoid the biggest marketing mistakes businesses make

A successful marketing strategy starts with a website, and it has to be a good one. But you would be surprised by how many businesses make these mistakes. Entirely avoidable mistakes.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of problems and how to fix them.

1. Basic website with lousy design

It’s time you take a look at your website as a potential customer. What do you see? Even if you like your website, you are most likely wrong.

Your website is not for you. It’s for your visitors that might become customers. Your website is not a show off to the world; it’s a valuable digital business asset that has to deliver profits.

The absolute number one problem is poor website design. Your customers will judge your business on what they see - and the first point of contact is the website. Does it look shabby, out of date and hastily put together? Or does it represent your company as the trusted professionals in the field?

Yes, website design has a direct impact on your customer trust. It is a measurable impact. Once your customers trust what they see, they are curious to learn more about your company. They might read a review from a past customer, check out your social media, or continue reading your website.

Think about your own shopping habits and how do you choose your cleaning company or a plumber? You take a look at the website, read some reviews, ask friends for recommendations? It’s all about trust, and a website is your first chance to gain customer trust. Please don’t waste it.

2. Your content is all about you

If a bad design is number one, then website text must be the second biggest problem. We see this almost everywhere. Each SME business is writing about themselves, how professional they are and how many years they have been in the business. These things are too vague and applicable to any business. Self-proclaimed professionalism means nothing if facts do not back it up.

Imagine your hot water boiler broke and you need a new one. You do a quick search on Google and find two companies:

Company A: keeps writing about their history. How they have been in business since 1950, and their ethos is quality and customers. Oh, and that they are the cheapest.

Company B: has a big heading on their website: “We can get your new boiler installed in 24 hours. Book your technician here now”.

Company A: does not understand its customers. A traditional company with a history of excellent customer service is a fantastic value. But that website marketing message does not help solve a problem.

Company B: offers an immediate solution to a problem, but you might notice a lack of guarantee. There are creative ways your company can provide more value. Company B understands its customer’s issues.

Good content for your website is the hardest thing to create. We offer marketing packages that include copywriting. Based on understanding your customers, their problems and your service as the best solution around. We call this a benefit-driven copy.

You need a website copy that sells.

3. Lack of service or product clarity

Are you an expert in everything, and everyone is your best customer? Well, that’s going to be an issue. You can’t focus on solving your customer problem if you have no clear definition of a good customer. By understanding your customers, you can then craft your product or service. And only then you can create a marketing message and strategy around that.

Without focus, you could end up standing in the middle of the crowd, amongst the other businesses shouting the same generic message. We are the cheapest, quickest, best or professional. Your marketing will be complex and inefficient.

You will need to define your ideal customer to craft resonating marketing. Such as a catchy tag line, the biggest problem your business solves and the few sentences pitch. You might think it’s not necessary to create an elevator pitch since you are already a company. But practising a clear explanation of how you help your customers will reflect on the confidence of your staff.

Of course, you can have many different clients, but sales staff needs to know precisely the right product for each one. Clarity is reflected as confidence and trust from the eyes of your customers. Turn your employees into your brand advocates.

Know the right product for the right customer.

4. Not understanding your customers

Well, of course, you need to understand the problems of your customers. How does your solution offer the best value? That’s why you see the product take off in already crowded markets - because they are ultra-focused on a section of people with a specific problem.

For example, if you run a computer repair shop like Computer Genie, you can listen to your customers and find out what is important. It’s probably going to be a speed and availability. If all the competition closes at 5 PM and the customer says I need to pick up the repaired laptop after I leave at work at 5 PM. You can’t be closed!

You can be open at times that matter to your customers and win over the competition by opening late pickups and drop-offs. You will build up your customer base and deeper understanding of their problems. So that you can develop or tweak existing services to help them more than your competition.

Please do a thorough customer research. It’s invaluable. Targeting everyone you can think of is a marketing disaster.

5. Failing to use the power of social media

Not taking social media seriously is the fifth biggest mistake SMEs make, and almost 90% of them struggle with it. You might be thinking that social media is not even applicable to your business. Oh yes, it is!

You don’t have to be using social media, but your customers do. And don’t tell me your customers are not on social media.

  • Facebook – 1.59 billion
  • Instagram – 400 million
  • Twitter – 320 million
  • Snapchat – 200 million
  • LinkedIn – 100 million

Thinking that you have to do all social media all the time would be overwhelming and unnecessary. When you start, try first looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Give it some time to test each one and determine which one works the best for your business.

Linked in will probably work the best for a small copywriting agency and Facebook or Instagram for a Yoga mat manufacturer. Run a few tests first and then decide which platform to focus on. Engage with your followers, inform or delight them, answer their questions and always focus on the value your company creates.

I’m not going to lie. Marketing on social media for businesses is not easy. Commit good resources once you are through the initial test and have decided on the platform to focus on. It can become a very lucrative marketing channel for your marketing strategy.

6. Not tracking results

You might have a Google analytics account that you never look at, and all it does is count the number of visitors. That’s not tracking. By visitor tracking, I mean a way of knowing which marketing efforts are working and which are not. If you run a monthly offer, you need to know which products and services work for your business and are most profitable.

Without tracking your visitors, you won’t know the conversion rate of a marketing campaign. Making it a very inefficient and expensive exercise. Many great tools allow you to track your social media efforts and calculate success rates of pieces of content for you.

Start simple by defining a few vital business metrics. For example, you can track the success rate of each of your email shots. You can track how customers react to certain social media content. What matters to them, and which service or product is the easiest to market or has the most significant impact on your business bottom line.

Don’t just track the number of visitors on your website. Track precisely what matters to your business and your customers.

7. Having no marketing strategy

Let’s throw some money at Google Ads, hire an external SEO company, and that’s it? That’s hope, not a strategy.

A planned and thought out marketing strategy follows a route full of milestones toward a goal. Whether building a successful email marketing list or a lead generating PDF funnel, you need to decide what is most likely to work. A good marketing strategy is often combined with customer research. Uncovering details you did not know about your customers.

Don’t fall into thinking you need to do what everyone else is doing or that you need to follow the latest trend.

There is no quick shortcut. Much hard work needs to be done to test what works for your business and build a plan that everyone in your company follows. The initial research part is to find out your ideal client, what matters to them, the problems they have, and the solution you offer. Then it’s time to create valuable content to get out there.

Let’s get a proven and tested marketing plan in place.

Conclusion

These biggest marketing mistakes are easy to avoid and will save you thousands in marketing costs. I did make those mistakes myself too. Producing good content (for example, content that helps answer your readers’ questions) is the hardest thing to do. Content production is a difficult job, but it does not need to be - focus on your customers and how you are helping them.



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