These days, business moves at the speed of sound. Statistically, however, the businesses that fail each year far exceed the ones that launch – a sobering metric for any entrepreneur, no matter what industry or niche they are in. Of the ones that survive their first year, half will fail in their first five years. Many more will fade away over time.
When you’re just starting a venture, optimism is on high. The initial excitement may make it seem like you’re invincible, but you can’t build a lasting legacy on enthusiasm alone.
Marketing may be the one thing that can carry you through the good times and the bad, but there are several commonly made marketing mistakes that can lead to a premature demise.
Forewarned is forearmed: marketing mistakes to avoid
Let’s look at the top five marketing mistakes that even the smartest entrepreneurs make:
1. Ignoring your existing customers
You can’t just assume that your existing customers are going to stick with you no matter what. There is a lot of competition out there, and unless you’re related to them, or truly doing something nobody else is doing, they will tend to go where they find the most value. The truth is, you have a far better chance of selling to an existing customer than you do to a new one, so you should put an effort into making sure the ones you have are and will remain happy with your service. Loyal customers will also deliver value back to your brand through referrals. It’s a win-win.
2. Not knowing your target audience
If you don’t know who you’re selling to, how can you market it to them? If you’re not targeting your online advertising, you may not be reaching people who care about what you have to offer. Define your audience and craft your brand message around their values. Developing customer profiles is a good way to predict what your ideal (and not so ideal) customer is or isn’t.
3. Thinking your blog doesn’t matter
We know you’re busy. After all, you just launched your company and everything is a whirlwind. Blogging, however, is one of the best ways to attract and engage an audience. It positions you as an expert in your field, and it gives you valuable assets in the form of shareable content that can drive your social media presence and drive traffic back to your website. If you are truly too busy to write your blog yourself, ask one of your associates, or hire a freelance copywriter to do it for you.
4. Thinking your email strategy doesn’t matter
If you’re a millennial, you might think that nobody reads email anymore, but the reality is that email is still the best way to get your voice in front of your audience. When they receive it, it’s probably the only time you will have their absolute, undivided attention. Start to capture emails through strategies such as giving away valuable information or digital assets in exchange for their email, and then tailor your future messaging based on their actions. Studies show that targeted emails yield a more than 200% higher conversion rate than non-targeted emails. Use an email marketing software that allows you to segment and tailor your email messages, making them more personal to the recipient and ultimately winning their business.
5. Going with untested ideas
Testing your marketing strategies ranks pretty high on the importance scale. If you are unsure, or if you just go with what’s working for the next guy, you could land yourself in the middle of nowhere and be out a pile of money in the process. Tracking your efforts through analytics is important: your social platforms provide you with all the tools you need to determine your ROI. Google Analytics will tell you what is going on (or not going on) with your website. Use these free tools to discover where you’re winning and where you’re selling yourself short. Knowing where your customers are coming from will also help you to hone your brand message to razor sharpness. Use every feature at your disposal to know more.
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