It’s easy to get sidetracked when it comes to online marketing. There are so many distractions. But the truth is, online marketing is super effective if you know what you’re doing, do it consistently, and then measure the results.
To make sure your marketing is as good as it can be, here are some common marketing mistakes that you’ll want to avoid.
Not Building a Consistent Brand across All Channels
When you build a business it’s vital that you take the time to build a brand that speaks to who you are as a business, who your ideal client is, and what it is that you can do for them. This will be displayed in your words, colors, products, services and even actions across all marketing channels. Marketing used in channels such as social media marketing, your website, and even offline marketing should all quickly be recognizable.
Not Watching Your Competitors Closely
No matter how small of a business you may have, researching your competition can be very informative and lucrative. You can find out how your competition services your audience, what people like about them and don’t like about them, and how they deliver their products and services – including what type of quality they produce. All of this information can be used to help you become better.
Focusing on the Wrong Goals or Not Knowing Your Goals
When starting any marketing campaign it’s imperative to understand what your goals are. Not only that – you must be specific about your goals. If they’re not measurable or even attainable in the first place, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Spell out every result you hope to obtain from every action.
Using Free Websites and Email Addresses
If you want to be taken seriously as a business owner in online marketing, you really do need to purchase hosting, and you need to self-host your website – including setting up @yourbusiness email addresses. You can still use free email addresses to sign up for mailing lists, and even use them in marketing. But, when it comes to communication between you and your customers, you should have a professional email address that people are positive come from your business.
Not Creating Sales Pages That Convert
So many people have wonderful products and services, but they forget or think they can skip the process of setting up a sales page. Sales pages help target the right information to the right audience member to let them know about the benefits of your products and services to them. Explain that you know their pain points, and you know how to fix them. You have to let them know how you’ll solve their problems.
Registering Your Domain for Only a Year
When you choose a domain name for your business, the longer you register it for, the more legitimate your business will appear to be to search engines. When you do it only a year at a time, it can create a problem of trust. Plus, you get a discount for doing it longer anyway. This is because, people are going to be more trusting of domains that are registered for longer periods of time.
Avoiding List Building
So many people will loudly proclaim that email marketing is dead and not as important to online marketing as it used to be. But nothing could be further from the truth. Email marketing is essential to the success of any online marketing endeavor that you embark on. Build a list for each new product, and a build a general list for your business too. For help on list building check out my 30-Day email challenge.
Not Measuring Performance
No matter how great your plans are, if you don’t know whether what you’re doing is working or not, you’re just shooting in the dark. Shine a light on every action you take to be sure that you get an agreeable return on investment. Use the tools that are inherent in each channel such as Facebook analytics, Google Analytics and so forth, to help you determine if the actions you’re taking are getting the results you desire.
Common online marketing mistakes can cost you not just a few dollars here and there, but they can cost you your entire business.
Building an email list is crucial to the survival and advancement of your business. It doesn’t matter if you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business; email marketing is an exceedingly effective form of marketing and should never be overlooked. It is, in fact, one of the most effective forms of marketing that has ever existed. Here are fourteen ways to build your email list.
1. Create Value-Filled Content – While they won’t see the content until they subscribe and open the email, the content needs to be very well written, engaging, and relevant to the audience. You want them to love it so much that they keep opening and that they share your emails with their friends.
2. Make Emails Sharable with Social Icons – It’s easy to add social icons to your email messages now, so be sure to do that. Add that to your email at the bottom, but also add a CTA asking your readers to share the email.
3. Create Segmented Email Lists – The more focused each email list is, the more relevant the messages can be for the subscribers. By segmenting your lists when people make a purchase or click through to answer a CTA, you can make each email much more customized.
4. Create a Lead Magnet – Some sort of incentive is very helpful for getting people to want to give up their email address. However, you should be very careful to make the incentive specific to your target market, to avoid visitors who just want the freebie and have no intention of ever buying anything.
5. Create a Sign-Up on Facebook – Facebook is a great place to add an email sign-up form. You can create a CTA on Facebook easily, and people who will follow you on Facebook will likely want the information you have in your emails.
6. Host a Contest – Contests can be a great way to get more people to sign up for your email list, especially if you run an affiliate contest on a product or service that you’re offering. In addition, you can give people a chance to win one of your books or products if they sign up, share, follow, and like.
7. Create YouTube Videos – YouTube videos are a great way to attract more visitors. They have a lot of built-in viewers who search for things, so create short videos directed toward your audience.
8. Conduct Interviews – Find people who need to interview experts in your niche and pitch yourself as a guest. Most of the time when you are a guest you’re expected to bring with you an offer to their audience. This offer can require an email address to receive it.
9. Host a Webinar – Webinars are on fire right now, and a great way to build an email list fast. Everyone who wants to attend the webinar has to sign up for your email list. People see personal webinars as valuable and are more willing to give up their email address for them.
10. Find Joint Venture Partners – Partner up with others to do a multi-person webinar, or host another type of event such as an in-person event. When each of you promote to your own lists, it helps build all your lists.
11. Publish a Book – A physical book or an eBook published via Kindle is a great way to get your name out there as an expert. The book can mention your email list and website too. You can even provide a special landing page for book buyers.
12. Speak Offline – Host or become a speaker at offline events. This works especially well if you do have a physical book to show to people. If you have a good talk, you can get people clamoring to sign up for your list.
13. Paid Promotions – Try using paid promotions on Facebook to collect email addresses, by giving away something free or requiring an email to watch all of a video.
Using these methods will build your email list. You should do all of these methods (although not all at one time) over the course of your business to help build your email list. Keep building the list – never stop. Because the larger your email list, and the more targeted it is, the more successful you’ll be.
What happens if a customer’s experience with your company isn’t aligned with your stated core values? It usually results in the customer heading somewhere else.
Let’s say that a customer buys from a company’s whose stated core value is to put the customer first always. There’s a problem with the product the customer bought but it doesn’t quite qualify for a refund under the warrantee. Despite the fact that the customer isn’t getting the value they expected from the product, the company does whatever it can to deny the refund. Clearly, the company doesn’t put the customer first in a case such as this.
Every business should make sure its values and experience match. If there’s a disconnect between your stated core values and the service you actually deliver, it’s likely to cost you a great deal in customer trust.
If you fall short of customer expectations, you don’t create a good customer experience. The ideal customer experience sets customer expectations and then exceeds them. Your values, your mission, and everything else you say about your company should be exceeded by the actual value you deliver. When you do this, you impress your customers and this has major psychological benefits.
How Does Your Customer Experience Measure up?
The only way to figure out whether your customer experience is aligned with your core values is to view the situation from your customer’s point of view.
Take each touch point you have with your customers and ask yourself, “Does this measure up to my company’s core values?” Touch points include any kind of direct communication you have with your customer, such as social media updates, email messages, store visits, and follow-up care. There are also indirect touch points, which include what your customers hear from others about you.
Start by identifying all of these touch points. Then, go through each one and run it through your core values.
Let’s take the example of Starbucks. Starbucks’ core values are its five principles: “be welcoming, genuine, knowledgeable, considerate, and involved.” In order to present a consistent customer experience that aligns with these values, Starbucks needs to ensure that every interaction with customers presents the company and all of its people as welcoming, genuine, knowledgeable, considerate and involved.
Beyond Customer Service
Every aspect of how your business is run is manifested in the customer experience. The way you deal with customers should be aligned with your core values, but so should every other aspect of your company, from the internal processes you use in creating or delivering your products, to the way you communicate with your employees.
When everything is aligned, it creates a strong corporate culture that embodies these values, and customers can see this. It can be a long and involved process, but it’s essential that you deliver on these values.