Marketing can be fast paced and demanding. There’s always another job to do, always another goal to reach to keep the flow of leads and customers coming in. It can be tempting to fall into bad habits and old routines so you can cut a few corners and save time… but if you’re not careful, those bad habits will start impacting on your campaigns, costing you customers and hurting your business. In today’s article, I look at five common bad habits that marketers can fall into, and how to avoid them.
1. Talking about yourself
If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you might have noticed that this is something that I’ve talked about until I sound like a stuck record… and I’m going to say it again here. Your customers don’t care about your company. Talking about how good your company is, what awards you’ve won and what great things you’ve accomplished doesn’t mean a thing to your customer. What they want from you is to know how you can help them.
Sometimes, that will mean talking about your company; things like the years you’ve been in business or the number of customers you’ve served can help to build trust. But mostly, you want to talk about how you can help the customer and what your services can do to solve their problems. Approach the content you create and the campaigns you build from the perspective of the customer’s needs and you will see more responses and better overall results.
2. Relying on “hacks”, not content
If you search online, you’ll easily be able to find scores of articles that say they can increase your inbound leads with just a few simple “hacks”, quick fixes built around playing to Google’s search engine and pushing your site to the top of their search results. And for a while, things like that might pay off and give you the results you want. In the long term, however, relying on tricks like that is building on a shaky foundation. Google hates being tricked. They want their users to find your site because it’s genuinely relevant to them, not because you’ve gamed Google’s system. They constantly update their search algorithms to reduce this kind of manipulation, and that could easily lead to your site’s position falling dramatically in the listings.
The best way to avoid this is to build up your position on Google by doing the things that Google likes; proving relevant content on a regular schedule that will appeal to your customers. That takes longer than using SEO hacks, but it leads to much more reliable results.
3. Emailing non-subscribers
There’s no quicker way to alienate a potential customer than by sending them email they don’t want. Avoiding this means carefully building up and carefully maintaining your email lists. Don’t add a subscriber that doesn’t know what they’re signing up for. Don’t keep a subscriber on a list when they’ve asked to be removed. Don’t email someone who hasn’t agreed to be a part of your subscriber list. Unsolicited emails annoy your customers – and in some cases, following the introduction of GDPR, they’re illegal.
That sounds like a lot of negativity, but there’s an upside. Knowing the audience that you are building each email for and the reasons they have subscribed means that you can tailor your emails specifically to that audience and their needs, creating content and offers that will have greater impact and appeal.
4. Not testing
Running campaigns and creating content based only on your assumptions about your audience will only succeed through luck. You can carefully research your audience, build up a clear picture of who you’re marketing to and craft a campaign based on what you know, but unless you test its results once it’s out in the wild, you’re still only seeing half the picture.
No matter how much you know about your customers, you can never completely predict what will appeal to them and what will have the best results. A/B testing tools are built into most campaign managers, and you should take advantage of them. Even for platforms that don’t have specific testing tools, you should do your best to create different versions of campaigns and content, testing your headlines, your content, your imager, your offers… Test everything, see what works best for your audience, then create new material and test it again.
5. Sticking in a rut
This is one of the most insidious bad habits to fall into. If something is working, then it’s easy to feel like you shouldn’t rock the boat – marketing costs money, and you want to know that you’re getting the best results for your outlay. But over time, what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow… and if you don’t investigate new methods and new platforms, then you might be missing out on opportunities that could lead to great results.
Taking the opportunity to try new tools, learn how to use new systems and diversify the material you are creating will help to keep things fresh and your audience engaged. Keep an eye on the trends in the industry and aware of new opportunities, and take the chance to build on your skills.
If you’re looking to grow your business, John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help you take your marketing further. To find out more, visit jrdm.com.au and book an appointment today.