Habits are hard to break - especially the bad ones. In marketing, bad habits manifest in a number of different ways, but five of them, in particular, can cost hours of productivity, not to mention lost opportunities, if they become part of the pattern of a marketer’s daily routine.
Audit your marketing team’s practices against this list of bad habits. If you’re doing any of them, replace them with more effective, efficient practices, and start strong in the New Year.
1. Getting bogged down by the data
Google Analytics has become an invaluable tool for marketers to track how their campaigns perform, as well as to see how much traffic their website receives. However, organizing and analyzing data becomes a problem when using every website’s native analytic tools, as the information may not always align. Data from Google Analytics, scheduling tools, and all of the social media channels may differ depending on when the data is collected.
Trying to use multiple tools can lead to inconsistency and misrepresented data. In 2019, ensure that the marketing team doesn't fall into this trap - it's important to focus on a few analytics tools to maintain consistency.
Figure out which KPIs are most helpful in tracking performance and forget about the rest.
2. Having too many or too few CTAs
Effective content should be clear in its message and include clear calls-to-action (CTAs). Not having a CTA will likely result in a user losing interest and clicking off of the page, while alternatively, having too many CTAs can lead to confusion and end with the same results. This can have a negative effect on bounce rate and the average time people spend on your site, both of which are essential to Google rankings.
By adding clear CTAs to your content, marketers can guide how users interact with their website, leading to longer engagement and higher rates of conversion. In 2019, marketers should make sure to include clearly defined CTAs - ideally one per page.
3. Posting erratically on social media
An erratic social media strategy is a big no-no, and a bad habit that marketers need to leave in 2018. Having a consistent social media strategy and planned content, will help marketers avoid scattered posting.
For smaller brands without a strong following, posting should likely be limited to once or twice a day across all social media platforms. Too many updates over a short period of time, without user engagement, can have a negative effect on reach and visibility. Consistently posting 1-2 times a day, with the aim of educating and entertaining, rather than selling, will help grow an interested audience organically. Taking on the mindset of “quality over quantity” on social media can help achieve higher growth and increased engagement.
Using scheduling tools to organize and plan social media content is another option marketers can, and should, incorporate to break out of the pitfall of a messy social media strategy in the upcoming year.
4. Mass emailing random people
There's no place for mass emailing non-subscribers in 2019.
This is the online equivalent of junk mail, and it can have a detrimental effect on branding. Successful marketing should be concentrated around creating a dialogue between a company and its customers. Bombarding uninterested customers with outbound marketing techniques is outdated and ineffective. And since the EU’s GDPR laws came into effect May 2018, it's also illegal.
Email campaigns should solely focus on an address book of contacts that have clearly subscribed. A well-put-together newsletter that's sent out at the same time and day to an already intrigued customer base will garner more engagement and interaction. Furthermore, effective content marketing which offers consumers something in return for signing up will see an increased amount of subscribers.
In 2019, marketers should avoid sending mass emails to a general audience, and focus on sending intriguing emails, with clear CTAs to encourage conversion from already interested consumers.
5. Not adding to the marketing toolbox
Marketers can get into a loop and end up using the same tools over and over again. As marketing is ever-changing, updating your marketing “toolbox” is necessary to stay competitive - otherwise, you run the risk of leaving your current audience disinterested, missing out on new customers, and ultimately, resulting in stagnation.
Maintaining brand identity is important, but so is avoiding repetition. Unique and fresh approaches can keep a trusted brand interesting. For example, blog posts that would have formerly been made up of text and pictures could be supplemented with embedded video or infographics.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to learn new skills and to test new tools so that the entire marketing team stays ahead of the curve. Start by banishing these common bad habits now and ensure the team has the right tools and practices in place to achieve your 2019 goals.