Are you lurking in the shadows?
Do you feel like your business is lurking in the shadows, unseen by potential clients or customers?
How's your marketing strategy looking? Does it sell for you? Does it actually SELL you?
Here are some common marketing strategy mistakes you might be making - and how to fix them.
1) Lack of research and preparation
Lack of proper customer/client research is a biggie amongst the usual marketing strategy mistakes lots of small businesses make. Because we're wearing aaaaall the hats, aren't we?
But if you don't do the research properly, you may end up trying to target any clients you can get. Not a great idea - it can potentially waste your time and resources.
Take the time to really research your ideal client or customer so you know what influences her buying decisions.
While doing ideal client research can be initially a time-consuming pain in the arse, it can save you time and effort in the long run.
Doing market research, competitor research, researching what you're offering, getting the copy nailed, doing the brand and/or product photography shoots ... It's a lot to get through, but if you don't get these fundamentals right, you could waste so much more time in getting things wrong first then having to correct later.
Things you need to include in research and prep:
- Legal documents: Legal documents can help you save money and reassure your clients or customers that you are a professional who's treating them properly. For example, when shooting business headshots so people could see who you are as a team, you need a photography contract to ensure you're getting a fair return on your investment and that the images your photographer supplies reflect your business goals as planned.
- Market research: One of the reasons marketing strategies fail is that some business
owners don't understand how the public will respond to ideas. This research enables you
to predict how what you're selling will perform before you plough time and money into a launch or campaign.
- Strategy: Another reason why marketing plans fail is that the strategy doesn't revolve
around the business goals. The strategy must provide a clear direction or mission for
your whole business to operate.
- Campaign: While strategy is a long-term plan, a campaign can be a one-off initiative for
you to focus on a particular idea or result. For instance, you can do a new season sale
or limited edition product launch.
- Tactics: These are the tools you need to use to enact your marketing strategies. Which
leads us to the next point ...
2) Unwillingness to invest and adapt
We all know how easy it is to stay in your comfort zone. There may be cases where an certain way of doing things might have been working well for your business for years, and that's good!
However, as technology and trends evolve, so should our ability to capitalise on changes. In some cases, the problem also comes from a reluctance to try something new or outsource to people who understand a particular part of your marketing better than you do.
For example, I haven't a clue how to use Pinterest and don't have time to learn it, BUT, as I understand it's a great search engine, I get Steph at www.freshpin.co.uk to look after my Pinterest account, leaving me to get on with things I CAN do well.
To make sure your business doesn't get left behind, here are some ways you can improve your
marketing efforts, increase brand visibility, and maximise your chances of increased revenue:
- Manage your social media accounts well: aside from catchy captions and posts, you
need to have a constant stream of visuals and high-quality photographs to capture prospective clients' interest. Plus engaging with them through comments and direct messages increases your necessary "know, like, trust" factor for them.
- Build a good website: this serves as a pretty reflection depiction of your business. It can be
a one-stop shop for potential clients to see your services through powerful imagery and
- Combine marketing platforms: while they may have varying effects, using one or
more platforms enables you to reach more people. You might prefer putting the work into social media but what if your ideal client actually prefers Google?
- Learn SEO: Optimiding your website improves your visibility for organic searches. In effect, you can improve the quality of traffic on your website and make your business more discoverable and seen.
- Email your list: Some businesses make the mistake of ignoring leads and establishing relationships through email marketing. This type of marketing is a more personalised way of reaching your customers at the most convenient time for them and is generally regarded as having a greater ROI than any other form of content production.
3) Having too broad a target market
The world has all sorts of weird and wonderful people in it, so your business shouldn't appeal to
everyone. Part of your research and marketing strategy is to have an ideal client whom you're trying to attract and whom you'd love to work with.
This allows you to reach specific audiences based on demographics, locations, behaviors, and interests.
With such valuable information, you get an idea of what age group, gender, and geographical
areas are most likely to search for your kind of business and interact with your brand.
“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”
– Meredith Hill
4) Wasting time in producing useless and unhelpful content
Another mistake you might be making in your marketing strategy is practising the old spray-and-
pray approach, where you send out generic, untargeted content because it's easier and faster.
About 93% of marketers say interactive content is effective in educating potential buyers. When
you let people interact with your content, you give them the power to make decisions relevant to
them. As a result, you collect information about them each time they comment or click on
This is also why it's crucial that you focus on a specific audience, so it will be easier for you to
"get in the head" of your ideal clients and leads. Relate to the things they're struggling with and then give useful content.
5) Just selling and not advising, helping, and inspiring
Sure, your end goal is to sell and earn. However, people will appreciate it more if you're giving them valuable information instead of constantly shoving a hard sell their faces. Include infographics, how-to guides, or simple checklists they can use alongside your product or service.
Be a Subject Matter Expert.
If you want people to read, share, link, and use your content, you must establish yourself as a subject matter expert. Know about the issues and topics related to your business to bring depth and authenticity to your content. Be a Problem Solver.
It's not enough that you point out problems; it's important that you show how your product or
business can solve dilemmas. You can explain the consequences of a problem, then go on to be helpful and explain how to eliminate the problem.
What can you improve?
Whenever you see mistakes in your marketing performance, make some changes or try something new.
Make sure you to spend a good bit of time researching, invest in the right tools, and create relevant content, so that you can reach your ideal clients better.
More people will see your business then, and the people with the widest circles are the most in demand.