Do you ever wonder why some companies never seem to have any success with marketing?
The most common reason is because their campaigns are being sabotaged from the inside - the way a businesses approaches their marketing strategy will ultimately dictate it's eventual success or failure.
In this post, we'll look at some of the key errors and missteps to avoid when building your online marketing strategy to ensure you're not putting holes in your boat before leaving the shore, and how to use such learnings to improve your overall success.
1. You Don't Know Your Target Audience
This is the first sin that you can commit, and one which can definitely derail your entire online marketing campaign before it even gets started.
The success or failure of your campaign is determined by whether you know who your target audience is and what they're looking for from your business. It's that simple.
You need to create an ideal customer profile so you're well aware of your target audience before you get started. Try to make that profile as specific as possible, segment the different elements of your audience, then work to address the pain points your products/services can solve for each.
2. You're Looking at the Wrong Metrics
Marketing campaigns are fluid and need to be constantly updated based on the figures you're getting back. But if you're looking at the wrong metrics you're going to make the wrong decisions.
Each campaign will have it's own objectives ans success metrics, and it's important to establish these ahead of time to ensure you stay on target. For example, if you're looking to increases sales, click-through rates and conversions will obviously form your key success metrics, if you're looking to boost brand loyalty, engagement and sentiment metrics may be more relevant. If you're looking to boost brand awareness, audience growth and engagement figures will likely be a better fit.
It's important to define your aims and focus on the right metrics for each campaign.
3. You're Not Funding Your Campaign
There are some free options available for online marketing, but most social media platforms are increasingly moving towards a world of paid advertising. Companies have to be willing to "pay to play" if they want to be successful - if you're not giving your campaign adequate funding, it's like an army marching off to war without enough food.
Ensure you're allocating enough of your budget to your marketing efforts in order to enable you to maximize your success. How much should you spend? That depends on your return - if you're making $10 in profit for every sale and your ad campaign is costing you $2 per conversion, that's a pretty solid margin. The results will obviously vary, and be specific to your business, but understanding your cost versus return is a crucial aspect.
4. You Don't Have the Right People
Marketers know that they're only as good as their previous results. Just because you were successful once doesn't mean that you are going to be successful again.
Never put someone on your marketing team unless they can back up their boasting with actual numbers.
Hiring someone based on reputation or connections is an easy way to sabotage your marketing campaign before it even gets started.
5. You are Not Reflecting on Previous Performance
In the beginning, most businesses are going to have inferior marketing campaigns. They're still learning about their target audience and chances are they're still experimenting with all the different tools and options available. Successful companies take the time to reflect on the results of each campaign then refine and revise accordingly.
You need to take a look back at your previous performance so you know where you went wrong and where you can improve, it's the only way you're going to grow as a business.
Take some time at the end of every campaign to reflect on it's results, then hold a meeting with all the decision makers in your marketing department. Have an open and honest discussion about what you should do next time.
A level of experimentation is required, particularly in the ever-changing social media landscape, but experimentation without learning is pointless.
Conclusion - It's All About Foresight and Thinking
The way to make a marketing campaign workout how you planned it is to take the time to establish a clear plan before you execute. Make sure you know your target audience and that you're basing your decisions on your previous results. Rinse and repeat and your marketing performance should steadily improve over time.