When it comes to running a business, many parts of the process seem to be black and white while others are much harder to measure. One component that has historically fallen into the latter category is marketing. Because of the lack of analytics in the early days of marketing, analyzing the tangible impact of a company’s branding efforts has been an elusive task.
Yet, with technological advances in recent years, the ability to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns has never been easier. Despite this, companies continue to approach marketing with the outdated mindset of the past, leaving money on the table in the process. Couple this with the fact that global media spend is projected to surpass $2.1 trillion dollars in 2019, up from $1.6 trillion in 2014, and there are plenty of reasons to address these issues.
Let’s look at seven common marketing mistakes that are costing businesses millions, and how to correct them.
1. Focusing only on macro influencers
If you have been paying attention to the marketing landscape over the past few years, it’s clear that social media-based influencer marketing is on a meteoric rise. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by eMarketer, 84% of marketers claimed they would run at least one influencer marketing program in the coming year. As with most novel concepts in business, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and mistake large numbers for real results, and influencer marketing is no different.
When it comes to partnering with influencers, your brand doesn’t need to throw its budget at the Kardashians or other macro-influencers with millions of followers. On average these famous influencers are much more expensive and yield lower engagement rates relative to more niche influencers.
Instead, it’s wise to spend your budget on a variety of influencers, as your brand may resonate more with micro-influencers on YouTube and Twitter than it does with macro-influencers on Instagram or Pinterest. Experimentation and measurement is key.
2. Failing to keep up with technology
As a business owner, keeping up with technology can be yet another tedious chore to check off your list. However, in today’s competitive marketplace, staying current with trends is absolutely essential to not only staying ahead of your competition, but also simply surviving.
Nearly every day there is another innovation, whether it be a Chrome extension, mobile app or new analytics platform, that can help catapult your marketing to the next level . In order to discover them, you just have to be attentive. A great way to keep up with technology in the marketing world is to follow tech thought leaders on social media and subscribe to the newsletters of publications such as Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Today and other trusted companies..
3. Not optimizing for mobile
From 2011 to 2017, the total percentage of Americans who own a smartphone increased from 35% to 77%, according to Pew Research Center. The rise of mobile in both browsing and buying goods online helps explain why Google is now giving SEO priority to websites optimized for mobile experiences.
With search engines and everyday consumers alike now craving stellar user experiences on their mobile devices, brands that act on this marketing trend will inevitably gain momentum over their competitors, and those that do not will fall behind.
4. Lack of reliable tracking
A 2014 study from Experian discovered the average company loses a whopping 12% of its annual revenue by relying on inaccurate or misconstrued data. No matter how much money your business is reeling in per year, 12% is significant.
“Generally, companies lose money on consumer data when it’s not aggregated properly. When the information is too disparate and unintegrated, it becomes very difficult to identify any meaningful opportunity to act upon it,” explains Richard Van Staten, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Quantam Solutions, a business and information technology solutions provider.
While it can be easy to turn a blind eye to items on your checklist like upgrading your information systems, your company will ultimately sink or swim based on the reliability of its data.
It’s critical to have reliable, up-to-date data and tech systems in place. Whether you choose Hubspot, Google Analytics or another service, it’s important to remember to measure every action you possibly can. From checking the Insights tab on Facebook to seeing who makes up your core audience, keeping an eye on your analytics at all times will ensure you’re making the most informed decisions you can.
5. Content isn’t visually appealing
Did you know the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than plain text? Additionally, approximately 90% of all of the information transmitted into and through the brain is visual. It’s no wonder that video is projected to make up 80% of all online marketing content by 2019.
If your business wants to maintain relevance, it’s essential to remain cognizant of these trends when crafting your content strategy. Make sure your content is visual, including graphics, images and videos.
While plain text is still extremely powerful, particularly when it comes to long-form content, video helps make a lasting impact on your viewers.
6. Not creating evergreen content
The fast pace of the digital world has given many entrepreneurs the false impression that creating timely content, is more important than being thorough and providing value. The more helpful your content is, the more likely visitors are to spend time reading, commenting and sharing it. Additionally, if your content is evergreen , meaning that it has the potential to stay relevant for a very long time , it has a longer shelf life and greater opportunity to drive leads and sales for your business.
“[Trending articles will] only drive traffic for a few days, and then you’re back to the cycle of trying to find more viral topics. Instead, evergreen content is the way to go. In fact, it has driven the majority of my traffic,” shares digital marketing expert Neil Patel.
With over 3.5 billion Google searches and 2 million blog posts being published every single day, taking precautions to make sure your content stays pertinent for as long as possible is key.
7. Only focusing on customer acquisition
According to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of successfully selling to a new customer falls somewhere between 5–20% while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%. This leads to an excessive amount of budget being spent trying to reach new customers and less budget on making sure your current customers are satisfied and keep coming back.
“There’s often more money to be made in expanding offerings to your existing customer base than there is in new business developments,” says Van Staten. Spending majority of your budget on customer acquisition versus customer retention is yet another costly mistake many entrepreneurs make.
While acquiring new customers is, of course, paramount to business growth, it’s also important to nurture existing customers who helped get your business to where it is today.