For many businesses navigating the fast-paced world of marketing can be an uphill struggle where mistakes result in loss of revenue or reputation. But with plenty of guidance from those in the know, even marketing novices can turn their fortunes around. Check out some of these common pitfalls that can be avoided altogether with careful planning.
Winging it without a plan
One of the most common failings is companies just ‘doing’ marketing as and when they have time or think it’s needed without a plan. To get results not only do you need a clear marketing programme but it needs to be built around your business goals. Always be able to answer why you are undertaking activity.
A formulated plan is a fundamental step to success, allowing you to position your offering and deliver it in a way that will be most effective to your target audience – demonstrating that you understand their pain points and know how to solve them. Marketing can be a complex process with a never-ending churn of new technology and approaches but it’s especially challenging for smaller companies who don’t necessarily have the budget for an in-house marketing specialist. Reach out for the right support for your business and you’ll soon be sprinting out of the starting blocks.
Not knowing your audiences
The quickest way to undo any plan you’ve spent time on is with bland content that you think says everything yet resonates with noone. Take time not only to understand the sectors you want to be known in but who within the companies will be making the decisions on whether or not to work with you. What are their job titles? What are their pressures? How can you make life easier for them? Tailor your content to speak directly to them.
Being stuck in a reactive rut
Every small business should consider and plan for both reactive and proactive PR and marketing. A proactive approach will focus on inbound activity – combining tactics such as social media, email campaigns, blogs, website optimisation and media relations will actively promote your brand to your target audience. But sometimes companies can find themselves stuck in reactive mode – taking an ad-hoc approach and only pushing content out as and when it falls in their lap or they decide they need a ‘new biz blitz’.
Being successful means taking a proactive approach to campaigns rather than reacting to what is in front of you. To do this effectively start looking ahead, define your objectives and challenges, identify your audience then plan how you’re going to reach them.
Only posting once
It takes time and effort to write a blog, host a webinar, create a video or even draft social posts so you want to get as much use out of that valuable content as you can. Blogs can be broken down into shorter social posts or made into an infographic or video. Webinars can be turned into articles and reports with key sections being used as stand-alone posts. Wherever possible repurpose content time and again.
Don’t just post the same content and the same posts across all of your social media channels at the same time. Dig into the channels to understand who is following you on each platform and when the days and times they are most active and tailor your activity accordingly.
Doing DIY marketing
There have never been so many opportunities, choices and challenges in business. Time and budgets are tight and you need to focus on growing and improving your business. The marketing function is one area that is often passed over to an existing member of the team. But before you do this, ask yourself if that person has the experience and skills to create and deliver an engaging mix of content to your target audience. Like other areas of your business – IT, finance or human resources – it pays to use specialists if you want that part of your business to be on target.
Hiding your true colours
In every industry, businesses face fierce competition so it pays to reveal personality to customers through your marketing activity. Small businesses particularly need a USP and yet many still see standing out from the crowd as a risk they’re not prepared to take. Playing it safe and never putting your head above the parapet means you will likely never dominate your market – while other businesses take the bolder route and reap the benefits. Your target customers face endless distractions – between social media, smartphones and constant breaking news – it’s down to you to do things differently by going against the grain to grab attention.
For more advice and guidance on how to kickstart your marketing strategy, get in touch with Korero PR today.