Guest blogger: Todd Jamieson is the President at EnvisionUP and has extensive experience in Internet Marketing, Web Development and Local SEO. To learn more about Todd, visit his company's website at EnvisionUP.com.
As business owners and marketers, we're looking for the edge. The magic solution that will take us to the next level so we can become a great success story like Walmart or Facebook. In real life, there is no such thing - there is no silver bullet. Just hard work.
However, that doesn't mean you can't learn from other businesspeople who have made mistakes along the way...
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Your Audience
A lack of focus and strategy is extremely common among all sizes of companies. They are so anxious to get started, they only look at the end result - more leads or more sales - but don't take the time to really understand who those leads and customers are as people.
Before you start anything, know to whom you are marketing. As simple as this seems, many marketers have not taken this step. The wants and needs of the prospective clients of a plumber vs. of an interior decorator vs. of a managed IT services provider are radically different. These target customers differ in the sites they visit, the social media platform they use, and so on. Know your audience, and take action with them in mind.
Mistake #2: Making Content Marketing Too Hard
Content marketing is one of the fastest-growing techniques used by professional marketers. According to a recent survey by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and in 2013 it saw a growth of over 70% in demand, as reported by Moz.com.
For content marketing to be a sustainable strategy, you need to be comfortable with reusing content. For example, if you did an hour-long webinar, you could repurpose that valuable information into several new pieces of content: a webinar video, the webinar transcript, multiple blog posts, audio podcasts, and more.
If you're worried that a prospect might come across your content across all mediums and be overwhelmed, don't stress. This generally doesn't happen, even if your potential customer is in hardcore research mode.
Mistake #3: Overspending on PPC
PPC (pay per click) advertising is a great way to instantly market your services or products. Google has made the process easy for anyone to quickly set up and use PPC marketing. As a result, Google has become very rich - mostly due to poorly constructed PPC campaigns!
Many people don't realize that there is both an art and a science to running effective PPC campaigns. Google has an algorithm called a "quality score" that is used on the account level, the campaign level, the ad level, and the keyword level.
The better your quality score, the cheaper your PPC rate becomes!
Mistake #4: Not Having a Landing Page
Imagine you've searched for information about a particular service. You finally see an ad that indicates a solution to your problems. When you click on the ad, you are directed to a webpage that has information about their recent webinars. How long would you take trying to find the information you want? Probably not very long.
Each campaign should link to an appropriate landing page that is designed to capture a lead.
Mistake #5: Not Marketing to Already-Interested Prospects
Sometimes the timing isn't right. Re-marketing is a very powerful PPC technique used in Google and Facebook to re-target ads to prospects who didn't convert the first time. It allows you to make sure you're just one click away when they're ready to buy that product or service.
Mistake #6: Doing Marketing Automation All Wrong
Marketing automation tools have come a long way. Huge advancements in user interfaces have made them much easier to use. Drag-and-drop interfaces make it look like child's play. According to Chief Marketing Technologist, as of 2014 there are 947 different marketing technologies available to marketers - compared to only 350 in 2012!
Mistake #7: Setting it and Forgetting It
A common mistake is having a set-it-and-forget-it attitude, where you expect the marketing tools and systems to run themselves. Not a great idea, when you consider that Eloqua completed a study where they noticed that those who used their marketing tools for over one hour a day got almost double the conversion rate versus only occasional users.
Getting leads online requires defined systems and processes, just like the real world. But this doesn't need to be rocket science or terribly hard work. Avoid the above mistakes, and you'll be a step ahead of your competitors.