As the internet becomes the primary source of communication between consumers and businesses, whether it be for social conversation, information provision or sales of products and services, being able to market your business successfully on the web is crucial.
This is particularly true of small businesses or start-ups, who might be utilising trial and error techniques and facing difficulty hitting the spot in their early stages. Regardless, if you’re wondering why your online marketing efforts are failing, keep reading.
1. You Let SEO Overshadow Quality Content
Although SEO is good, honest marketing requiring a fair bit of technical flair, your main objective should be to provide relevant web content that matches the expectations of your target market. Don’t forgo your creativity entirely for the sake of your obsession with keywords.
As your website could be the first or final point of contact for your customers, make sure it is:
Interesting, to make users come back for more
Easy to navigate, to avoid user frustration
Useful, to give users something back for their time
2. You Try To Be A Jack Of All Social Channels
This is a common mistake, given the proliferation of social channels and platforms, each catering to a different type of social need. Although it is tempting to want to maintain a presence across all social media, this is not always the best policy unless you have the time and human resources to ensure a strong and captivating presence.
Spreading yourself too thin will just mean that you do a mediocre job of building a presence on those channels rather than focusing on one or two channels and really leveraging them effectively.
Narrow your focus on 2-3 channels that are most relevant to your target market
Consider the functional aspects of social networks – for example, if you are a small fashion retailer, use Twitter for customer service, Facebook for promotions, and Pinterest for visual engagement
3. Your Website Doesn’t Meet User Expectations
The ultimate goal of online marketing is to drive traffic to your website and to boost conversions (eg, sales). If your website isn’t up to scratch, while you may be able to generate that hoped-for traffic, there’s a chance it’s going to bounce, wasting your marketing efforts.
Focus on design and user experience
Invest in testing how users interact with your website
If in spite of your efforts your marketing just isn’t being effective you may need to reassess your product offering and range, as this may well be where the real problem lies.
4. Your Engagement Efforts Lack Consistency
Many businesses fail to establish regularity in their marketing efforts, which can put consumers off and fail to engage them over a longer period of time.
Avoid a strategy where you have a sudden burst of activity followed by a period of muteness. For example, new users or fans will probably choose not to follow your Twitter account if they note you haven’t tweeted over the last two months.
Don’t lose enthusiasm if your fan-base isn’t growing as quickly as you would like. Test out different types of content at different times to discern the where, what and when of the engagement strategy best suited to your target market.
The internet is littered with abandoned social media accounts created by businesses whose enthusiasm waned before any real following could be built or leveraged.
5. Learn The Difference Between Marketing & Spam
Email marketing is a particularly useful retention strategy, but overindulging in it can take a bad hit on your contact list.
Don’t purchase lists. It is general marketing etiquette to ensure your contacts have voluntarily signed up to receive emails from you.
Don’t email too frequently. Once a week is about the most frequent you should go, and that too if your emails/newsletters contain new, compelling content.
Don’t make your communications all about you – instead make your newsletter actually worth signing up for by trying to help, inform or entertain your readers.
6. Your Marketing Teams Do Not Collaborate
Online marketing demands that there is constant interaction between different teams and departments, such as SEO, PR and Marketing. For example, social media creates new opportunities and implications for both SEO and PR, so these different elements should be managed in tandem.
Create a culture of collaboration and consultation between your different marketing teams. This includes any outsourced staff.
Devise an all-rounded brand plan and communicate this to all teams involved in order to ensure everyone is on the same page and working with mutually beneficial strategies.
7. Your Budget Doesn’t Add Up To Your Ideas
If your ideas are huge but you’re unwilling or unable to invest in developing them to fruition, you won’t get far. It is best to stay realistic about what your budget can achieve, or alternatively expand your budget if you have faith in the success of your ideas.
Reinvest your profits if you wish to continue growing. Growth demands expenditure, especially in the early days when you face a lack of brand awareness.
Investment also includes time, so even if you are depending on buzz marketing or a word-of-mouth campaign, you need to put a lot in to get a fair share out.
There could be several other reasons why your online marketing is failing and you should carry out a micro-assessment of the areas discussed to be in a better position to understand where the shortcomings lie. Getting your marketing right is a journey of learning, so try to fix the little things and note what’s going right before scrapping your current strategy and going for a complete revamp.