What’s worse than trying and failing? Not trying at all. We’re continually amazed at business owners and managers who view online marketing as an unknown abyss never to be crossed or even attempted. Or worse, they take a stab at these digital marketing tools, give up and make a snap judgment that “it’s just not worth it.” We understand the hesitation. To be sure, digital marketing is a marathon that takes time and effort—far more than it appears on the surface. You just write a few sentences, add them to your blog and post them to Facebook and Twitter right? Or you take a few photos and upload them on Instagram and Pinterest?
If you’re reading this, chances are you know that’s not true, and how easy it is to slip into common online marketing mistakes. We’ve written about some of these mistakes in two separate past blog posts and how you can learn from them (Part I & Part II)—mistakes that everyone makes, from the smallest shops to the largest brands:
- Not focusing on your local customers online. The world-wide web is a big, big world. It’s easy to feel lost among all the sites, and for your customers to feel that way as well. Who can they turn to when they have a problem? How can they find a local business they can trust? That’s where search engine optimization can give you that local connection, even among the billions of websites online. Search engine optimization is an affordable digital marketing technology that can propel your website to the top of local search engine results, if you contact a digital manufacturing firm with proven results. What does that mean? It means when local customers search for your services and products on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, they find your website, and all your great content, at the top of the listings.
- Abandoning your social media sites. Social media has many advantages: a free connection to your customers (and potential customers), unsolicited testimonials, ability to provide excellent customer service, and a chance to sell your business and products. That’s why it’s a head scratcher when a business jumps on social media and then abandons ship. Or worse, when someone from the business starts a social media profile, adds a few posts on an inconsistent basis and then abandons it. If you decide on a social media site that fits your business, go ‘all in’—either allocate time to post regular and relevant posts, or hire a firm that can.
- Using the ‘if we build it, they will come’ philosophy. Don’t just set up a Facebook or Pinterest page without spreading the word about your social media presence. Use these tips to make sure the world knows your company is social (and responsive to their feedback!), and that you’re ready to start giving out information and insider tips on your new page or profile.
- Not following through on content marketing. Don’t let down your potential customers by giving them this content marketing trap: finding an article with a title that makes them think they’ve found the latest and greatest information they’re looking for, only to find that the article is full of outdated information and that the blog hasn’t been touched for years. It doesn’t reflect well on your company or build trust with your potential customers. If you find you can’t keep up with posting content on a regular basis, contact experts that can.
- Not integrating your marketing efforts. Don’t treat your print, media, content marketing and social media marketing like it’s a stand-alone feature. One hand should know what the other is doing for optimal marketing results. Create a promotion plan, and use a consistent voice. Your customers associate everything they see and hear about your company with your brand; it’s up to you to make sure all the dots connect. If you don’t have time to connect the dots, outsource. There’s no shame or blame in putting your marketing efforts in the expert’s hands. At the end of the day, you’ll find that working with an online marketing firm can make the marathon easier—and help you avoid all those common online marketing mistakes.