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.

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