In a way, marketing today’s more difficult than it’s ever been.
The birth of the social network has brought about a fundamental shift in consumer behavior and expectations, making many traditional marketing strategies obsolete.
Because of this, we’re seeing a rash of marketing campaigns that are completely misaligned with the audience.
It isn’t just marketers that are suffering, of course.
Many businesses today simply don’t fully understand their audience. They’re ill-informed about the channels through which they can connect with users, and in many cases lack the necessary knowledge to market themselves effectively.
End result? A tepid marketing drive and a whole lot of wasted capital. The good news is that this situation is easily avoided, so long as you know what you’re doing.
The first step in that, of course, is knowing where you might go wrong.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the marketing blunders in the enterprise world – and how you can avoid making them yourself.
Carpet Bombing Social Media (Or Ignoring It Altogether)
It’s important to have a presence on social media – you won’t hear anyone tell you any different. What you shouldn’t do, however, is try to establish yourself on every single social network you can get your hands on. You’re going to spread yourself too thin, and your efforts on each network will feel shallow and hollow as a result.
Not only that, your target audience is probably only on one or two of those networks, anyway.
Of course, going to the opposite end of the spectrum – and ignoring social media entirely – is just as bad. Like it or not, social networks are one of the primary avenues through which we communicate in the Western world. If you cut them out of your marketing strategy, you risk alienating a large portion of your user base – to say nothing of the fact that you’re going to miss out on the traffic you’ll get if something goes viral.
Speaking of which…
Trying To Manufacture The “Viral” Effect
A piece of content that goes viral spreads like wildfire over the ‘net. It’s shared by hundreds, thousands, or perhaps even millions of people, leading to a massive spike in traffic – and probably in customers, as well. It’s really no surprise that so many businesses have tried to capture the essence of what makes a marketing campaign go viral.
Unfortunately, if you try to manufacture viral content, there’s a very good chance it’s going to end up falling short of everyone’s expectations – including your own. Real viral content isn’t manufactured, and people can usually tell the difference between something that legitimately went viral and something that was made to be viral.
Believing That Content Alone Will Draw An Audience
It’s been said on more than one occasion that content is king. If you create a website that gives visitors something of real value, then everything else will fall into place. That’s…not exactly true, though.
While it’s a given that you need to focus on creating great content, you aren’t going to draw in an audience from that alone (unless you get super lucky). Simply put, you need to market. If you don’t, people aren’t likely going to discover you.
Making The User Jump Through Hoops
There are three things that make me turn around and leave a website as quickly as I loaded in:
- Being blocked out by needless paywalls
- Having to deal with obnoxious subscription forms or surveys that ask for way too much information
- Being forced to share something on social media
Your customers expect your website to be streamlined, accessible, and easy to use.
Unless you’re a massive, well-established organization and can get away with it, always remember that you are here to serve the user -not the other way around. Don’t make your visitors jump through hoops just to gain access to the content you’ve hosted online. It’ll end badly for you.
Going In Blind
Repeat after me: “I will not market simply for the sake of marketing.”
Trust me – if you don’t know what you’re doing where marketing’s concerned, and you don’t have the time to learn, it’s better not to attempt it at all. Hire someone, ask a friend, or do a bit of research, because that shameless, self-promoting, link-heavy profile isn’t going to have anyone following you anytime soon.
Image credit: David Pacey