11 online marketing mistakes you can’t afford to make

Keeping track of the stats of your website is a key activity that needs to be done routinely.

By Henry Brown

Marketing is vital for every single small business out there. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service is if no one actually knows that it and your business exist. Unfortunately, as crucial as marketing is, it isn’t the easiest thing to handle. In fact, almost all entrepreneurs make a few mistakes along the way, especially with online marketing. Thankfully, many startups can survive one or two of these mistakes, but some can’t, so it’s crucial that you avoid making them however you can. To help you with this, here is a list of 11 common online marketing mistakes that you can’t afford to make.

-1 Hiring marketing staff too early

Online marketing is a big job, so you’re going to need some help along the way. That being said, you should be incredibly careful about hiring an in-house marketing team too early on in your business. Recruiting and retaining great staff is a costly endeavor and is one that you simply might not be able to budget for right now. Instead, you should look into outsourcing to freelancers and marketing agencies. This is a much more cost-efficient option and ensures that the work you receive is of the highest possible quality.

-2 Forgetting about a plan

Marketing, especially online marketing, is not something you can jump into without a plan. You can do it in theory, and may even have some success, but, more often than not, you’re guaranteed to fail, which, of course, would be a huge waste of time and money. It’s crucial that you research your target audience and competitors, set some measurable and achievable goals, and come up with a plan to meet them. Unless you do this, you’ll have no way of knowing whether or not the marketing strategies you’re investing in are of any use or not.

[amazon_link asins=’0814437311′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3dfc045f-7f8e-11e8-8257-eda130e15453′]-3 Trying to be your competitors

When you’re planning your marketing strategy, researching your competitors is incredibly important. After all, you can learn a lot from their successes and failures. However, that doesn’t mean that you should try to copy or mimic their marketing exactly. Potential customers will get bored by the repetitiveness and may even notice that you’ve been copying someone else’s ideas. Because of this, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to connect with new customers. It’s important that you learn from other companies, but make sure you develop your own voice.

-4 Not setting a realistic budget

Despite what many entrepreneurs initially believe, online marketing is not free. Of course, you can create social media pages for free and may even be able to build a website for free, but if you want your strategy to see some real results, then you’re going to have to start spending some money. Because of this, it’s crucial that you spend some time setting a budget that will cover around a year’s worth of marketing expenses. Granted, this won’t be the most thrilling task on the planet, but it will ensure that you don’t run out of cash.

-5 Targeting the wrong people

You might have the best marketing campaign known to man, but if you’re speaking to the wrong types of people then you won’t see the results you were hoping for. Because of this, it’s essential that you get to know your audience and find out exactly what appeals to and resonates with them. Then, with this information, you can launch ads and campaigns that will actually interest your target market. Avoid trying to target everyone, as this simply won’t work, and instead stick to the people that you actually see buying your product or service.

[amazon_link asins=’1599186217′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’46510aed-7f8e-11e8-88ac-0766ddb30245′]-6. Not having a professional website

In the technological time we live in, having a website is absolutely crucial, even for brick and mortar businesses. This is because, when consumers are looking to buy something, generally the first thing they do is look it up on a search engine. If you don’t have a website online, these consumers won’t find you, which means you’ll lose a potential customer to one of your competitors. However, simply having a website up and running isn’t enough; You need to ensure that it looks great, loads quickly, and is easy to navigate.

-7. Thinking SEO is dead

Contrary to popular belief, search engine optimization (SEO) is far from dead. In fact, if you want your website to be found online, it’s practically vital. Because of this, it’s important that you do what you can to boost your SEO. This means you should create a sitemap for your website, start posting original and well-written blog content, and include plenty of keywords and links to other sites. You should also ensure your website loads quickly, is optimized for smaller devices, like smartphones, and has social sharing buttons on every page.

-8 Using your blog ineffectively

Every business, big or small, should have a blog on their website that they regularly update with unique and interesting content. However, there is much more that you can do to drive traffic to your site. Guest posting on someone else’s website, for example, can bring a lot of new readers to yours, especially if their blog is particularly popular. You can also leave useful comments on news articles and other blog posts, with a link to a post of your own. It’s also important that you’re engaging with your own audience in the comments and try to build a loyal community.

-9 Focusing too much on desktop

Although the internet used to be something you could only access from a huge desktop, this is no longer the case. These days, devices as small as watches are being used to get online, so it’s absolutely crucial that you’re as mobile as you possibly can be. A big part of this is ensuring that your site is optimized for and can be accessed by smaller devices, like smartphones and tablets. You may also want to consider creating your own app so your company is always on potential customers’ phones, and therefore their minds.

[amazon_link asins=’B01FBEENDY’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’53ac144e-7f8e-11e8-b8d7-7dd7c0630db3′]-10 Assuming emails are old news

Email marketing may be a more traditional strategy, especially when compared with social media marketing, but it’s just as relevant and effective today as it always has been. Email marketing allows you to reach out to a high number of customers at once, both cheaply and incredibly easily. This makes it a much better choice for business owners on a tight budget. However, if you want this strategy to be a success, then you need to ensure that all of your emails are well written and that you do what you can to build your email subscriber list.

-11 Failing to review effectively

If you want to grow your small business and increase sales, then knowing the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns is incredibly important. In fact, it might even be more important than planning your campaigns in the first place. Because of this, it’s vital that you regularly evaluate your pay-per-click ads, measure sales volume, and review your analytics. This way, you can learn and understand what works and what doesn’t, which means you will be able to make any necessary changes. This will avoid you wasting money on marketing that isn’t effective.

Online marketing can be a challenging, expensive, and incredibly time-consuming task. Because of this, mistakes are always going to be made along the way. However, it’s important that you do whatever you can to avoid mistakes where possible and save yourself time and money.

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Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

 

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