Marketing is important, as it’s what attracts new customers to your business. However, sometimes your promotion efforts may have the reserve effects. Instead of advertising your business, you may actually be steering customers away from it.
In any case, it’s best to be aware of an error before you make it, so you know exactly what not to do. Or if you’re already unintentionally making mistakes, now is the time to correct them.
Here are 10 major marketing mistakes to avoid:
1. Using Stock Photos for Your Testimonials
Free stock photos are really popular nowadays - who doesn’t use Unsplash? With that in mind, it’s much easier to recognize photos downloaded from the site. Think about it: How many times have you seen the same photo reused again and again on social media, or even seen it on a company’s website?
The same applies to using stock images in your testimonials. Stock photography is usually very easy to notice. When potential customers are browsing your website and find out that the photos of people who wrote reviews for your business don’t even exist, they might get suspicious. If the photo of the person isn’t real, they might doubt whether the review is even genuine in the first place. This could lead them to question your products or service, and your business overall.
Studies have shown that uploading stock photos can lower conversion rates. People want to see actual people who’ve in fact tried, tested, and used your product, and were so satisfied with the results that they themselves decided to write a review.
It’s best to refrain from using stock images in your case studies, to avoid creating the feeling of mistrust and dishonesty with users browsing your website. Inserting images of authentic and legitimate happy customers will generate even more customers.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Of course, SEO is essential. Without it, your website is almost invisible to Google, meaning people searching for the keywords related to your business won’t be able to find you.
But what happens if you do the opposite? Placing as many keywords as you can across all your website content may sound like a good idea. However, contrary to what many believe, keyword stuffing is a big NO. Unfortunately, it will result in the exact opposite. Google algorithms will immediately take note and penalize you for it. It could also remove your website from the search engine, so take note!
When implementing SEO, be sure to do it in a natural way. Don’t take shortcuts in hope that your website will be ranked higher, as it will be positioned lower instead. For a more detailed guide on how to execute SEO successfully, check out Nanos' SEO for beginner’s guide.
3. Having the Wrong Link to Your Ad
Whatever you’re advertising online needs to be redirected to the webpage where customers can make a direct purchase. Imagine you’re retargeting a user who previously browsed one of your products. They’re scrolling through their newsfeed on Instagram and Facebook and see an ad for the exact item they looked at before and click on it. It doesn’t lead them back to that specific merchandise, but rather, the main landing page or a completely different section. Now, they’ll need to spend time finding that exact product, or they will simply leave and not purchase anything.
Imagine how frustrated that leaves the user? When retargeting, make sure it’s always the right link. The same applies to any ad in general. Advertising a specific product but redirecting it to your main landing page is a common marketing mistake. So make sure you always double-check your URLs when placing online advertisements.
4. Having a Confusing Website
Once you’ve successfully attracted users to your website, whether it be through organic or digital marketing, customers need to be able to browse your products and purchase them easily.
Having a user-friendly website which is also optimized for mobile phones will be a win-win. Make it clear, easy to read, and accessible to anyone. Have a logical structure, include images (not outdated ones), and an easy- to- use menu to navigate around the website. Don’t forget to add CTAs (call to action buttons) too.
In case customers are not ready to make a direct purchase yet, provide information such as where you are located (maybe they want to visit your physical store) and how to contact you (they may need to get in touch with some questions or inquiries). You can even include a live chatbot to respond instantly.
What’s the point of advertising online and driving traffic to your website if as soon as users land on it, they can’t buy anything because it’s too difficult to navigate around or your website is outdated? Avoid driving potential customers away from your business by keeping your website simple.
5. Trying to Market to Everyone
As the saying goes, “Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.” If you already know who your customers are, be precise with who exactly you want to promote your business to.
For example, if you are placing online advertisements, avoid going after users between the ages of 13-18. This will unnecessarily waste your marketing budget, unless your product is specifically designed for them. Be selective with your target audience, and only market to those who you know would benefit from your business.
Broad targeting will result in draining your budget unnecessarily. While traffic is good, it needs to be relevant. It’s all about quality, not quantity!
6. Not Analyzing Your Results
If you don’t evaluate your results, you’ll never know what’s working well and how you can enhance your overall promotional efforts. It’s important to analyze your success (or failures) to see where there is a constant need for improvement. For organic marketing, track your performance to see which platforms are the most successful.
For example, when posting on social media, create UTMs so you can easily identify where most of your traffic is coming from. For web traffic, use Google Analytics to see what type of users are going on your landing page. Are they new visitors or reoccurring? How high is the bounce rate? If you’ve just created a new landing page, compare the traffic results by time with the previous landing page e.g. (July 2019 vs July 2020.)
For your SEO strategy, analyze which keywords are working best and which aren’t by keeping track of the search volume and results over time. Check Google Search Console to see what users were searching for in order to land on your web pages, through clicks and impressions.
When it comes to digital marketing, always analyze your CTR and impressions. How many people did your ads reach and how many clicked on them? Once you’ve got your results, ask yourself: why did this ad get over 2000 clicks on Facebook, but only 130 on Instagram? Or why was the content from one ad more successful than another? From there, you can draw out optimizations for your next campaigns.
7. Not Testing Marketing Strategies
Not testing out different strategies is another major marketing mistake, as you’ll never know if there is something better you can achieve.
It’s always a good idea to test your marketing efforts with A/B testing. For emails, run an A/B test on your subject line, or even the layout or color schemes to see which have a higher open rate. For CTAs in general, consider making changes according to font and the sizes.
Adapt your target audience from time to time for some campaigns. Maybe the reason why you’re not reaching as many customers is because your data is incorrect.
For example, if you’ve only ever advertised on Facebook and not achieving as many clicks, consider promoting on Instagram, or if your location is limited to Texas, USA, expand it to Dallas. The same applies to language. If most of your campaigns were only ever executed in English, Spanish might be a great addition.
Treat marketing as an experiment. Keep testing until you find the perfect solution and what will result in a higher success rate.
8. Not Nurturing Leads
As soon as users have downloaded an eBook or white paper, signed up to your newsletter, did a free trial, or left their contact information, you need to nurture them. Never let them forget about you and your business!
Through marketing emails, keep them in the loop with anything related to your business. Inform them of new products, features or when a new launch is coming. Help them solve a specific pain point or challenge or provide them tips. Research shows that “How to..” subject lines have some of the best results.
Another key marketing mistake is not recapturing repeat customers. If they were happy with their purchase in the past, they are more likely to buy again in the future. But in order for that to happen, you need to nurture them as much as you would a new user who just discovered your business. After all, happy customers are returning customers!
Customer Support plays a key role in nurturing leads. Your customers need to be looked after to avoid any frustrations which could result in them not purchasing again, or worse, leaving a negative review.
Leaving your leads without any form of communication risks missing out on potential sales opportunities. So remember to greet each lead with open arms and nurture them.
9. Weak Selling Point
Having a poor sales pitch won’t do you any favors. You need to stand out from the crowd. When creating your sales pitch, ask yourself the following five questions:
Having a great unique selling proposition is what will make customers need your product and want to buy from you and not elsewhere.
10. No Marketing Plan in Place
Some companies underestimate the time, effort and financial resources needed for growth. Our CEO, Sasha Schriber, advises new businesses to come up with a 3-year marketing plan, and then to divide that number by 36 months to figure out how much they ought to spend monthly. Although this seems very obvious, sadly, it isn’t the case for many new business owners who, at times, spend enormous amounts of their budgets unnecessarily or can’t keep track of their spending.
Always have a marketing plan in place, and if you don’t have one implemented already, it’s never too late to create one from scratch! Monitor and oversee all your expenses, and figure out how much spending should go where to grow your business.