Marketing is crucial for every business, but it’s not easy.
An effective campaign demands care, attention, and solid research. Sounds daunting? You’re not alone. For every new or small business, the prospect of building your brand enough to compete with larger companies is enough to intimidate even the fiercest, most determined team.
In your desperation to get out there, you may well make a common marketing mistake that sets you back. Here are five you absolutely have to avoid …
Your unique selling proposition is vital. Without this, you’re no different to your competitors … so why should anyone break away from them to buy your products?
Knowing your USP will help you craft your entire marketing campaign and target the right demographic. For example, it’s no good just selling yourself as another site selling custom-print T-shirts based around pop-culture icons. There are already multiple high-quality brands on today’s market doing the same.
Instead, you have to think about how you can innovate.
For example, can you allow people to upload their own designs to your site, and print them on any item of clothing or accessory in unparalleled quality? Can you make them reversible, giving two prints and colours for the price of one?
Think about why you’re different – and run with it!
Some brands, mostly those with global reach, can be everywhere at once. They maintain actve social-media profiles, appear at every trade show, provide 24-hour customer service … they have the resources to stay engaged with consumers at all times, on all channels.
You probably don’t have this – yet. Be sure to pace yourself: if you can’t devote the time you should to Twitter, say, stick to Facebook instead (or vice versa, depending on which proves more popular with your target demographic).
As a small or new business, focus on one main social channel, and cover additional marketing where you can really concentrate on it. While it may sound great on your direct emails to promise 24/7 live chat and phone-support, don’t promise these if you simply don’t have the resources for it – you’ll only infuriate and alienate customers.
Businesses should never let their content become outdated or stale. If anyone comes to your blog, homepage, or social channels to find inaccurate information or long-passed dates, they’ll question why you’re not staying on top of this information – and, in turn, how dedicated you are to customers if you can’t put the effort into your own affairs.
Be current, be on-trend, be present. It’s that simple.
How are your competitors promoting their businesses? Where are they advertising online and off? How active are they on social media, and what type of content do they share?
You have to stay on top of your competition’s tactics. Without simply ripping them off, identify those elements you can take inspiration from, or spot areas they may have overlooked.
If they tried a technique that failed, explore why – and if there’s any room for you to do it better. Likewise, learn from their successes, and consider what you can take for your own ideas.
You have to pace yourself with your marketing budget. You don’t want to invest everything in what appears to be a sure-fire marketing hit, only to lose it all without gaining the conversions you imagined.
Study the current marketing trends, study your competitors’ activities, and read what the experts have to say. Track your data. Really try to understand what the most lucrative marketing-techniques are, and prepare potential alternatives just in case one route fails. You always want to have a backup plan!
Marketing is always evolving in the world of business, and trends come and go. This is why it’s so important to stay abreat of changes, and keep an eye on the future – if you can identify effective tactics before your competition, you may end up ahead of the curve.