By Trevor Shorte
When we engage with a new client, we meet with them to go over their business and discuss the areas that we are going to help them with. We have a process that we go through where we ask very pointed questions regarding every aspect of their business. As we go through this process, there are some recurring themes that tend to come up. Here are 3 common marketing mistakes that so many businesses make and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Thinking that marketing is a waste of time because you don’t see any results
This is a feeling that many of the business owners we speak to express. They have either posted a few times on a couple of social media platforms or built a website that doesn’t convert.
How to address it? Getting results from your marketing efforts really boils down to one simple question. What do you want to happen with your marketing? Is your goal to increase sales or generate awareness? Now, logic would dictate that if you can generate awareness, increased sales should follow. But it’s actually not quite that cut and dry. If your marketing messaging is all about trying to get people to buy, before you have educated them as to who you are, why you exist, and why they should buy from you, the likelihood of that happening is much lower. Think of it this way, if you met someone on the street for the first time and they are up in your face trying to get you to buy something from them right there on the spot, what would be your first reaction? If you’re not careful, your marketing efforts can have a similar effect on people.
Mistake #2: Not knowing what to do so you do nothing
This is one that we see regularly as well. Most people know that they have to do some kind of marketing for their business but can’t seem to figure out where to start.
How to address it? We are firm believers in the concept of creating a strategy before you start trying to promote your business. The simplest way to do this is to think about the following steps:
- Determine your why: Ask yourself, why did you create your business in the first place? Write down all of the reasons why and then what kind of people buy your product or service. This is the foundation of what we call your value proposition which forms the basis of your marketing efforts.
- What’s the Message: All of the people who have bought your product or service did so for a reason. Now is the time to ask them. Pay close attention to what they say, and the words that they are using to describe your company. This is going to be the basis of your marketing messaging. In order to attract new customers, talking about why your customers are buying from you will entice similar customers to look at your product offering.
- Define your ideal customer: The information that you derive from those first two steps will allow you to build a profile of your ideal customer. This is a representation of the person who will buy your product or service and once you have created this, you now have a target to aim your marketing efforts at. Where do these people hang out? Where do they go to find information? What social media platforms do they use?
When you have gathered all of this information, you can now start to formulate your strategy. If you have a value proposition that defines what value your business provides to its customers, you can start to create messaging and content that speaks to your potential customers. And now that you have an ideal customer profile, you can create tactics that will put your marketing message in front of them. The goal is to figure out how to get your marketing content in front of those who can interact with it, learn about your business, and buy your product or service. For example, if your ideal customers spend their time on Facebook, creating content and posting on Instagram isn’t going to do you any good since they will never see it. People can’t buy your stuff if they don’t know you exist.
Mistake #3: Ignoring your competitors
Most business owners know that it’s important to understand who your competitors are and what they do. What you also have to take into account is what they are doing with their marketing strategy.
How to address it? An easy way to do that is just follow them on social media or sign up for their newsletter. Look closely at what they are doing. Is it successful? Do they get engagement from their community? If so, what are they doing to get that? Is this something that you could emulate for your own purposes? There is nothing wrong with using the same methods to target your ideal customers with your marketing content. If they are using a popular hashtag on social media that seems to resonate with their audience, there is no law that says you can’t use that same hashtag. As long as you don’t actually steal their content, it’s fair game.
When it comes to marketing your business, the concept is actually pretty simple. Present your product or service to your ideal customer and show them that you can meet their needs. That’s pretty much about it. The trick is just figuring out how to do that in the most effective way while avoiding marketing mistakes.
At SongBird, we are experts in helping businesses do just that so if you would like to chat further about how we can help you avoid common marketing mistakes and build a successful strategy, let’s chat. Book a consultation