No matter what sector you're in, marketing can make or break your business. That's why brands spend so much time and effort on developing an effective a marketing plan - but if you think the success of your marketing depends only on smart planning and doing the right things, let me tell you it isn't.
To succeed in marketing, you need to have in-depth knowledge of what to do, as well as what not to do. This is especially true for small businesses, as you're already stretched thin and as have a very limited margin for error.
Here are five of the most common marketing mistakes, which every small business marketer needs to avoid to ensure optimal efficiency with their efforts.
1. Retargeting Everyone
The number one mistake most e-commerce marketers make is retargeting every bounced visitor.
No matter how good your product is, not every visitor comes to your site with an intention to shop. A study conducted by the Baymard Institute found that 58.6% of US online shoppers have abandoned a cart simply because they were not ready to buy, with most of these window-shoppers clicking away even before they've initiated the checkout flow.
If you're including these people in your retargeting effort - most of whom have shown no real interest in buying your products - you're wasting your resources.
It's like knocking on the door of an empty house - no matter how hard you yell, nobody is going to open it. Don't make this mistake.
Here's what to do instead - segment your bounced visitors into different groups by how many pages they've viewed, how much time they've spent, whether they've visited a particular product category etc. and retarget accordingly.
Don't waste your retargeting budget on visitors who've bounced from your home page within few seconds without even checking a single category page.
Targeting every visitor won't necessarily increase your revenue - but it will increase your costs.
2. Failing to Invest in Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to market your business in the modern marketplace, yet nearly two in three small businesses (68%) still aren't taking social media marketing seriously. Why? Unsurprisingly, small businesses don't have time and resources to invest in social media marketing. So how do you tackle this problem?
There's a wide range of posts on how to improve your social media strategy (many on this site), but here are the core fundamentals you need to establish for an effective social media marketing strategy:
- Identify your audience
- Start small; focus on one platform at a time
- Select key success metrics
- Analyze your metrics
- Create a social media marketing plan and use it
According to Facebook ads expert Mari Smith:
"The secret to social media success is to think and act like a member first, and a marketer second."
3. Focusing on One-Sided Content Creation
Content marketing is set to become a $50 billion industry by 2019, according to PQ Media's Global Forecast. Virtually every marketer is spending more and more on content - but spending a major chunk of your marketing budget on content creation won't necessarily give you the most bang for your buck.
Instead, brands like Diamond Candles are getting better returns by leveraging their user-generated content.
"Oh my god! I don't know about you but this will probably be my favorite candle ever! It smells amazing and I haven't even started burning it or gotten my ring out yet!!! Very true to scent! Yum!!" - @ANESTHETICEUPHORIA #diamondcandles #ringcandle
A post shared by Diamond Candles (@diamondcandles) on May 15, 2017 at 7:57am PDT
If you want to get better results from content marketing this year, be sure to utilize your user-generated content.
4. Blowing Your Whole Marketing Budget on Acquisition
No matter how much effort you're putting in bringing people to your site, most will come and go in an instant, and you won't be able to convert them even if your site is well optimized.
Having said that, I'm not suggesting marketers should stop spending on the acquisition, but they should spend a significant portion of their marketing budget on stoking up their repurchase rates too. Why? The cost of acquiring new customers is dramatically high in comparison to retaining old customers. It costs 6-7x more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Also, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 - 70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%.
The path to profitable growth is to focus on acquisition and retention at the same time.
5. Not Utilizing the Data
Here's one mistake I see a lot: ignoring data. Though every online business is collecting the data these days, when it comes to utilizing that insight, very few are doing it, and even fewer are doing it well.
Remember, it's not how much data you're collecting, it's what you're doing with it that matters.
Utilize the insights you have to hone in on the most effective, important elements, relative to your business goals.
Main image via Wikimedia Commons