If you are in business and have not yet tapped the potential of digital or online marketing to help boost your business, then you could have been living under a rock. In this digital age, everyone is all eyes on the internet that a lot of companies have extended marketing from physical to digital. Why not? The web can open up a lot of opportunities even to small scale businesses without too much marketing budget.
But before we jump into the bandwagon aimlessly, here are a few tips for us to not engage in digital marketing in vain. For sure there are a lot of blogs that we have read on how to maximize the internet or how to do effective online marketing, but here are straight tips on what NOT to do to avoid causing negative impact to our businesses. Here are online marketing pitfalls that we should be avoiding.
1. Starting with lack of preparation and knowledge
When we decide to go online with our marketing, we must be armed with all the knowledge about the digital world, our own products or brand, and the market we are reaching to. These three items are the essential fundamentals that will comprise an effective online marketing strategy.
We need to understand the digital world and how it operates. If we don’t, we will easily lose in the digital battle for the lack of a good strategy that will best work for our kind of business. So before we set foot on digital marketing, let us first thoroughly study how it works, the benefits that our business will get, and the next steps we need to take.
We need to understand our brands, too, to be able to position it the best way. There is no standard template in marketing a brand. Every marketing strategy will be poised differently to deliver the unique message of the brand. To come up with an effective online marketing strategy, it is best to understand our brands to communicate them best especially in a media as tricky as the internet.
Lastly, we need to understand our target market so we are able to communicate through their language. Even if it’s all online, digital marketing should be created distinctly to capture the target audience.
Therefore, the lack of knowledge of the three things above will cause any digital marketing launch to fail whether immediately or eventually since the plan is not founded on a true understanding of the media, the brand, and the target market which are basic requirements to any marketing strategy whether online or physical.
2. Thinking that marketing is an expense rather than an investment.
There are lot of things that we can do to market online. We can hire experts to help us with solid content marketing and SEO strategy, we can do promotions, we can pay influencers, we can have paid advertisements. Whether we are a big conglomerate or just a start-up business, we have to understand that it takes money to make money. Thus, we would really need to invest and allocate budget for marketing to reach our audiences, and to encourage them to try, switch, or use our brands. It is wrong to think that we can skimp on marketing just because almost everyone is online. We have to remember that if we don’t try to make it big in the internet, we can easily be missed and ignored in a big ocean of other better and bigger players.
The tip though is to be smart and selective in choosing who to partner with. There are quality and reliable companies who will help us with our content and online marketing needs without spending too much.
3. Not having a clean and relevant content.
Once we are on online marketing, we might as well do it right. Having a solid and valuable content is very essential. It can make or break any business, big or small. So when we publish contents, it is important that, as owners and managers, we read through them or hire experts that can really guarantee that they are clean, meaning free from spelling and grammar errors, and relevant, that they really speak of what we want to communicate to our audience.
When it comes to promotions, we must be careful to not over-promote or else our audience will see us to be too biased. They would rather want to read about how their needs and wants are addressed, in general or with relation to our brand. When we are not too promotion-focused, we would sound more reputable as a company and as a brand.
4. Not following-through on satisfied customers or loyal patrons.
Most of the time, we have the tendency to open-fire. We would like to hit on anyone who is online, sending emails to whoever, or starting forums that are geared to attract anyone. But what we often miss is to follow-through or utilize satisfied customers. These are those who left great reviews or good comments, and those who have really made actual purchases of our brands. We can always go back to them and leave a reply on their comments and reviews or send them personalized mails and brochures. The personal touch that we intentionally apply on these few can send ripples of positive effect when they leave more and more positive commentaries and tell others about us.
5. Missing on delivering what the brand promises.
Marketing is full of promises. Yes, when we do marketing, it is but right to position our companies or our brands the best way we can. We should always be inclined to convincing our audience to notice us, to choose us, to prefer us. That is what marketing is all about in the first place. But it is equally important to satisfy the needs of our market from the first moment of truth until the time we deliver the promise. Meaning, we must not be over-promising that which we cannot deliver. The moment we fail to provide that which we have proudly promoted, no amount of marketing can ever bring a dissatisfied customer back. Therefore, it is a must that our online marketing is truthful up to the point of actual product consumption or service completion.
These are just five simple and basic things but could potentially cause great damage to our businesses if not avoided. So if you are not yet on online marketing, perhaps now is the time for you to join but watch out for those pitfalls. For those who have been marketing digitally, well, it’s not too late to reflect on your practices and see if there are things above that you have been doing. It is never too late to change and never too late to fully reach our businesses’ potential through online marketing.
This article has been written by Kevin Clyde Sumalinog a Digital Marketer at Proweaver, a web development company specializing in Custom Web Design which helps sole proprietors and small companies increase their sales and grow their business. He is responsible for Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing. You can also find him on Twitter: @proweaver
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