Don’t Do That: 5 Ways You’re Failing At Marketing
If you’ve just started a business, or your business is small, you may worry that you don’t have the time, money, or resources to invest in marketing. Perhaps you haven’t thought about a marketing plan or goals because you don’t fully understand what it can do for your business. Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated, full-time, or cost a fortune, it mostly just requires you to be consistent and diligent.
Gone are the days of looking up a business in the Yellow Pages or physically walking the neighborhood to find out what restaurants or stores are around. This age of technology has spoiled us with the luxury of instant gratification thanks to websites, social media, and a plethora of apps. In order for your business to thrive and stay competitive, you need to put it in the spotlight of a competitive market. Marketing doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds, even if you’re new to it. This list of marketing mistakes to avoid will be your guide, so you can confidently put your business out there and get the attention you want.
Mistake #1: Not Making A Plan
If you’re one of those people who hasn’t invested in marketing because you’re afraid of wasting time or money, this tip is for you! A marketing strategy will help you track your progress, pinpoint what’s working and what’s not, and help you reach goals with a thorough roadmap of what you need to do next and how to do it. Not having a marketing plan in place means you won’t have deadlines or goals to hold you accountable. If you don’t have anything to help you stay motivated and on track, it’s easy to fall off the wagon and stop your efforts altogether as you become busier or overwhelmed. Posting to social media or sending regular E-newsletters will be more effective if you keep a diligent schedule your customers can look forward to.
Mistake #2: Not Having A Branding Guide
Your brand guide ensures all of your marketing materials, from social media posts to newsletters to mailers to business cards, all look and sound the same. It’s important to have a consistent and united look through colors, logos, fonts, and keywords. Using different colors or fonts every time you send out a flyer or make an Instagram post is confusing and makes it harder for your followers to recognize you. For example, Coca-Cola uses the same red and same font on all of its marketing materials, commercials, and merchandise. This helps consumers recognize the brand they trust to deliver a great quality product. Even if Coca-Cola is written in another language or the logo is put on another item other than a soda can, you know exactly what it is from the colors and fonts. This creates a brand foundation that customers can identify even if some elements change.
Mistake #3: Not Knowing What Makes Your Business Different
In order to market your business effectively and attract your ideal customer, you need to identify what sets you apart from your competition. If your business were exactly like every other one, you probably wouldn’t start it in the first place. You know you have something special that sets you and your product or service apart. Figure out what your unique selling proposition (USP) is and add that into your branding guide. Make a point of showcasing that feature as a compelling selling point. For example, there are a lot of companies that sell yoga pants, but yoga pants with pockets are less common. That would be a great selling point for an athleticwear company to showcase in their marketing materials and on social media posts.
Mistake #4: Not Targeting Your Demographic
Of course, you want to sell your product or service to anyone and everyone, but trying to target multiple demographics is simply a waste of time and money. Even if you sell something that appeals to a large audience, you’ll have better conversion by targeting a smaller group of people who best fit your ideal customer. That group can inform your marketing strategy from the bottom up. By honing in on your target demographic, you can reach them on the platforms they use the most, in ways that are most likely to resonate with them and maximize your marketing efficiency. In doing this, you’re also creating a community that will seek out engagement with your brand more. You won’t just be reaching out, your audience will find you and help others to find you.
Mistake #5: Not Using Social Media
Social media is the most affordable and effective marketing technique for businesses. First, you need to get on the platform your ideal demographic primarily uses. You can put your business on more than one social media site or app, but it can get overwhelming. Sticking to one or two to start is the best practice because it’s easier to maintain. You also don’t want to waste time creating content for a platform where you’re not going to see any engagement. Social media is important because it’s a free way to gain customer insight, build a rapport with your clients, and market your product or service, but it also gives you a chance to create more personal connections with your followers. Online tools are great for tracking your progress, expanding your outreach, keeping an eye on your competitors, and staying competitive!
You don’t have to have a marketing department or dump buckets of cash into your marketing materials or strategy for it to be successful. Start with a thorough marketing strategy to plan your content, track your progress, and hold yourself accountable. Sticking to a diligent marketing strategy shows your customers that you’re involved and engaged to offer them something no other business can.
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