As a digital strategist and marketing consultant, I see a lot of my clients making the same mistakes.
They come to me complaining of low or non-existent engagement rates, crazy hours spent on various social media platforms, money pushed into various SEO specialists, Facebook ads and content creators – and crickets.
- Low sign-ups.
- Low metrics.
- Low traffic.
- And worst of all, low sales.
Here are some of the most common pitfalls I’ve seen businesses do with their online marketing, and what to do instead.
Pick the right platform
What social media platforms have you chosen for your marketing – and more importantly, why?
What were the strategic reasons behind this decision?
- Many companies and business owners go with what’s the current trend.
- Our competitors are on Facebook? We’ll be on Facebook! Everyone I know is on Twitter? I must be on Twitter! Slack is the new ‘thing’? We’ll be on Slack!
No. That’s the route to wasting time and a TONNE of resources.
What to do instead:
Start at the beginning before jumping in. The platform(s) you choose need to be for a reason; generally, this is a platform that your Ideal Client uses regularly and you will be able to connect with them there.
One of the cornerstones of effective online marketing is being very clear on who you’re trying to attract. Try answering these questions:
- Who are my Ideal Clients? (what kind of demographics and psycho-graphics do they have?)
- Where are they online? (which platforms?)
- What kind of mediums do they use to process content (articles, videos, audio, eBooks, etc.)?
Only then can you decide on the content and social media platforms to focus on.
Focus on the benefits, not the features
So your eBook has 100 pages. Your course is 60 hours.
Why should your customers care about that?
They mostly don’t, unfortunately. Sorry to break that to you. It’s not pleasant to hear, but very, very necessary.
What to do instead:
What your customers care about is how it benefits them. Extend your copy, messaging and description to also include what’s in it for your customers. What kind of direct benefits will they have?
- An easy trick to use – especially for longer copy like sales pages – is to simple add “so that” after the feature description.
- Your eBook is 100 pages so that your customers get a full, thorough understanding of all the necessary concepts.
- Your course is 60 hours so that all important topics can be covered in enough detail.
- Look into your offerings and ask each time “why should my customer care about this?”
Create customer-focused marketing
Scroll through your business Twitter feed or Facebook page. How much value have you been giving, and how much of the content is promotion, linking straight back to your products, services and posts? Yes, even discounts and offers fall under promotion.
Surprisingly, the approach of “buy my stuff” rarely works. People simply don’t care all that much, especially at the rate everyone is being bombarded with advertising online.
What to do instead:
Building on my previous point of “why should they care”, make it about that. Provide content and information that directly benefits your clients, solves an immediate problem, and builds their trust towards you.
- Content marketing, content marketing, content marketing.
The philosophy of content marketing is creating content (blog posts, articles, eBooks, videos, etc.) that is valuable and relevant to your customers, in order to inspire them towards a certain action.
Usually, this is to educate them on why they need your product. It’s also brilliant for building trust and relationships in the sleazy tangle that is the world of Internet Marketing.
Create and provide content that your customers will value. Use it as a platform for creating trust, solving problems and establishing yourself as a strong, reliable voice in your niche.
Get the basics right first. Makes sure you and your team are clear on who you’re targeting, choose your social media platforms with intention, and focus on the results that will help your business the most. Establish the cornerstones of your digital strategy and only then funnel it down into your tactics.