There's a whole bunch of creative content being made by brands and agencies right now, and more is on the way.
According to the B2B Content Marketing 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers are using content marketing as part of their strategy for ultimately attracting and retaining customers.
The majority of the content being created by these marketers will undoubtedly end up as part of a marketing campaign or two (or 10). And as the amount of creative content continues to rise - and the number, and variety, of marketing campaigns also increases - so does the opportunity for mistakes.
Given this, you need to be extra careful. Here are 12 common marketing campaign mistakes to avoid which will help you refine and improve your strategy in 2019.
1. Trying to Please Everyone
As much as we hear over and over that you can’t please all the people all of the time, it’s human nature to try to do just that. The key to finding success, however, lies in accepting that there’s truth in these words - no matter how hard you try, your product/service/brand won’t be the right fit for everyone.
As such, rather than creating a campaign that seeks to appeal to everyone, figure out your target audience and work on pleasing them.
2. Failing to Connect with Your Audience
Step one of a successful marketing campaign may be targeting the right audience, but then it’s time to connect with them. Marketing is not just the logical presentation of data - you can explain all you want about how good your product is, or why people should like your brand, but that logic is unlikely to drive action. Instead, you need to create marketing campaigns which, ideally, connect with your audience on an emotional level.
You can use logic to sell, but you need emotion to hook people - emotions are far more likely to trigger action than logic.
3. Relying Too Heavily on Marketing Data
Data is an important part of the marketing puzzle, and thanks to technology, we have more data than ever right at our fingertips.
Using such insights is smart, and necessary in understanding your audience and tracking the success of your campaigns. In other words, you need data, but rely too heavily on data, and you may set yourself up for failure.
Data may not take into account key metrics, or it could be biased towards one data group. Data has its limitations, not to mention it’s inaccuracies, so don’t base your entire campaign on the raw numbers alone.
4. Failing to Diversify your Marketing Approach
There are many avenues of marketing, but if you put all of your eggs in one basket (say creating a campaign that is entirely digital), you’re limiting your reach with your target audience.
Although digital may be king (for some), print and advertisements still hold their own. Plan and budget for a diverse marketing campaign, relative to your audience, and distribute across multiple channels where it makes sense.
5. Failing to Live up to Expectations
All brands make claims about the features, benefits, and values of their company, products, and services. However, if you over-promise or over-sell yourself, and then fail to deliver, there are few things that can ruin your relationship with your customers faster.
Be honest and transparent, and always live up to your word as a company. This is especially true in the connected age.
6. Copying the Competition
Marketing is a competitive field, and if you see the competition doing something right, it can be tempting to copy them or try and one-up them. Unfortunately, not only will this fail to set you apart in a competitive field, but it may even reinforce exactly what the competition is doing right.
Instead of trying to copy the competition, or even do better than them, just try to stand out. What makes your business unique? What do you want to showcase about your brand or approach, the core passion that fuels your company?
Focusing on your core offering and capacity can be a better long-term strategic play.
7. Ignoring the Competition
Another equally erroneous approach to dealing with the competition is ignoring them altogether. Like it or not, the competition is there, and it’s a good idea to know what they’re doing, and even how well they’re doing it.
This is not so that you can try to do the same thing, mind you, but it may well be so that you can make sure that you’re not doing the same thing. To be successful, you must understand the playing field innately.
8. Limiting the Marketing Campaign Budget
Finances are a crucial part of business success, and delivering on a small budget may earn you some kudos. But if your budget isn’t enough to adequately market your product/brand/service, then those kudos will be short-lived.
Be realistic about the amount of money you’ll need to launch a successful campaign. If things go as planned, that money spent will translate into much more coming in. Know what you’re going to spend, and how you’ll recoup your costs.
9. Ignoring Your Website
In this day and age, a website is a must for any business, so make sure yours is getting the attention it deserves.
A digital campaign should not be so focused on your social media presence that your company fails to maintain an up-to-date website that's both easy to navigate and fast to use. Most of your marketing traffic will lead to your website, so make sure your customers have a positive experience once they get there.
10. Failing to Track Your Marketing Campaign
Once your marketing campaign launches, you might feel a sense of relief and completion. But remember, your work isn’t done yet.
Almost every campaign needs tweaking along the way, and the best way to know what adjustments are necessary is by tracking the campaign. Figure out what’s working, and what’s not, and act accordingly. A campaign without pre- and post-launch analysis is like throwing darts at a board while blindfolded – you may hit the target, but only out of luck.
11. Giving Up on Your Marketing Campaign Too Early
Another common marketing mistake is giving up on a campaign too early. We’re a society that craves instant gratification, so if we don’t see the results we want, as fast as we’d like, we tend to throw in the towel.
Understand that a marketing campaign is not likely to drive immediate action - give your campaign some time to garner its success. Pull a marketing campaign too quickly and all of your hard work might be for naught. Let your campaign breathe and plant roots.
12. Failing to Use a Review and Approval Process
Let’s end this dozen of marketing campaign mistakes with one that many marketing teams overlook - implementing a review and approval process.
The review and approval process should be regarded as business-critical, and must be optimized to bring the highest level of value for you, your clients and organization. It's part of the project management process that requires more strategic follow through than simply checking off a box on the project timeline - failure to properly review and approve content marketing materials could result in embarrassing errors, costly fines, product recalls and even lawsuits.
Marketers can avoid many of these marketing campaign mistakes with some careful planning and time management. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of content creation and project deadlines cause you to rush a marketing campaign - the last thing you need to deal with is a marketing campaign that fails.