Connect with us

Online Marketing

How to Fix 3 Common Online Marketing Mistakes

“We tried blogging,” my friend Pete said to me recently. “It didn’t work.”

Ann Handley

Published

on

Online-Mistakes-Common Online Marketing Mistakes

Pete, who owns a seafood shop not far from the small town where I live, was referring to the WordPress blog he and his partners had started to provide information about specials and promotions. But, according to Pete, nobody visits the blog or comments on their posts. It drives no measurable awareness, traffic or sales.

Can you relate? Do you get zero online traffic? Or maybe you have different marketing challenges: Perhaps you have traffic but aren’t converting those leads into paying customers. And when it comes to social media, maybe you feel like there’s no point, because it seems as if you’re broadcasting into a black hole.

Take a deep breath: You’re not alone. Here are three common mistakes marketers make – and how to fix them.

Mistake No. 1: Expecting a blog to effortlessly generate traffic and awareness.

It’s true, blogs can and should do this (as well as help with search rankings). But it doesn’t happen magically; it takes more than a template, some filler text and a sprinkle of pixie dust. For a relevant, sustainable blog, your posts should address who you are and who your audience is, and they should effectively communicate these things in specific ways.

First: What are you all about? What makes you special? What’s the real value of what you offer? Your value as a business lies not in what you sell but in the bigger picture of what you are able to do for others. An artisan of hand-carved bookmarks sells, well, bookmarks. But what he really sells is the pleasure of the page – the joy of reading and discovery.

Second: Who do you want to reach? Have you created an ideal buyer in your mind’s eye and communicated this throughout your organisation? (Marketers call this “developing buyer personas.”) Do you understand your buyers’ needs and wants?

Are you creating interesting, relevant, useful content for them – teaching them things, solving their problems – rather than just talking about yourself? Keep in mind that blogging isn’t a one-and-done exercise; it’s an ongoing commitment, so invest the time to let it take root and grow.

Third: Consider how you are getting your message across. Is your blog full of big chunks of unwieldy text? Or are you writing snappy pieces with images, videos and audio to tell your story with personality, empathy and utility?

Do you see your blog as merely a task? Or do you see it for what it is: an inherently rich opportunity to connect with customers in exciting and unprecedented ways? (Hint: It should be the latter.)

Real-world application: Instead of talking up specials and promotions, my friend Pete might want to use his blog to share seasonal recipes, cookbook reviews or behind-the-scenes views of the docks where he gets his fish.

He could share his thoughts on the benefits of buying local or his perspective on sustainable fishing. He could organise a book signing and a tasting that involves a favourite cookbook author and post photos of the event online.

Any of these ideas would tell a broader story that customers can find value in – a story of community, sustainability and responsibility. He wouldn’t be talking up his brand so much as sharing what his brand stands for – and giving customers a compelling reason to patronise his shop. Local Cape Cod oysters? Get in ma belly!

Related: 5 Need-to-Know Social Media Rules

Mistake No. 2: Thinking social media is a black hole.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn can suck up a lot of time for little return. The efforts of many businesses fall scattershot, wasted and unmeasurable.

Your social media efforts should be intelligent and strategic, not haphazard.

First: Identify specific goals. Do you want to grow brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website and generate sales? Grow your e-mail list?

Next: Identify which channels will make the best use of your time based on where your customers are, as well as your own inclinations. (How do you know where your customers are? Ask them!)

Focus on connecting with certain groups of people based on their stated interests and social activity. Identify influencers within your industry and communicate with them. Use social channels to listen and engage, rather than broadcast.

(Pro tip: That listening thing is a vastly underrated use of social media for customer intelligence. Social networks are great places to mine for information about what people care about and what truly gets them excited and talking.)

Measure your efforts according to your stated goals. Pay attention to what’s working and adapt accordingly. How do you know what’s working? At a minimum, monitor your web traffic and Google Analytics.

Additionally, use automation tools that can manage how you are engaging with customers across various channels, and track their behaviour to understand the likelihood of a purchase.

Real-world application: For Pete, certain social channels might make more sense for his business than others. Perhaps he could shoot an early-morning video at the docks and post it to Facebook as a means of talking about where our food comes from.

He could even start an #uglyfish contest through Instagram and Pinterest; with his analytics and other intelligence, he might find that his Pinterest “Ugly but tasty fish” board is generating high traffic to his website. Hooray – monkfish for all!

Related: Branson on Being Social Media Savvy

Mistake No. 3: You’ve got plenty of traffic, but no customers.

Your target audience knows and loves you. People are connecting with your message. So why aren’t they buying?

The key is to create a path to conversion for people who are already on your site. Make sure each page is optimised for getting visitors more deeply involved with your content or your business by embedding relevant (and focused!) calls to action.

Don’t leave visitors hanging after a post, article or page – make it clear what you want them to do next.

Real-world application: If Pete really wants to build a database of customers, each page of his blog or site should include a call to action, such as a newsletter sign-up or an opportunity to download an e-book of recipes.

He should embed those calls in three distinct locations: immediately under the header, after a post and on the sidebar. And each should link to a specific landing page that makes it crystal clear what the value is for the customer.

Fiery fish tacos with crunchy corn salsa to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Sign me up!

Ann Handley is a veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Ann is co-author of the best-selling Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (Wiley); the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs; a columnist for Entrepreneur magazine; a keynote speaker, mom, and writer.

Online Marketing

Here Is Why Your Facebook Ad Campaigns Aren’t Producing Results

Below are 5 expert tips to help you create Facebook ads campaigns that will convert more visitors into customers.

Jandre de Beer

Published

on

facebook-ad-campaigns

With over a billion daily active users scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis, Facebook presents a massive opportunity that can help grow any business. Business owners underestimate the amount of attention Facebook yields.

Twenty years ago, if you wanted to tell customers about your products you had to rent a newspaper ad, or pay for a billboard next to the road. Not only was this way of advertising expensive, but it was also a hassle. Contracts needed to be drawn up, quotes needed to be passed around, and it could take weeks to kick-start a campaign.

Today, with the push of a button, Facebook can help you show your product and service in to millions of users through something called Facebook Ad Manager. All it takes is a few clicks, and a couple of bucks of course.

However, getting your ads onto people’s news feeds is the easy part. The harder part and the part you’re most likely after, especially if you are a small to medium sized business owner, is how to make your ads convert into qualified leads or potential customers!

Related: 7 Ways That Facebook Ads Can Rock Your Business

In my experience, a lot business owners doubt the power of social media, and the main reason for this is because they’ve experimented with it themselves and no “luck”.

My question to the business owner in return is usually, who’s going to utilise a hammer and a nail the best, me or a professional carpenter? I might be able to start the process, but only a professional is going to be able to create a modern kitchen cabinet.

In the same way, just because you’ve boosted a post on Facebook that didn’t produce any results doesn’t meant the platform is the issue.

If you want to market your product, service or offer effectively, ads need to be tailored to the market, and the business in a way that makes the offer irresistible.

A great way to do this is by narrowing your target audience and placing the right message in front of the right people at the right time.

Below I’ve outlined 5 expert tips to help you create Facebook ads campaigns that will convert more visitors into customers.

You Don’t Have Any Social Proof

As simple as a social proof might seem, it’s a very effective tool when it comes to building trust in potential clients. People are already scared of getting scammed, that is why you need to help them overcome the hurdle by ensuring them that your offer or company is real.

A social proof is a figure that indicates the number of people using a product or service.

For instance, a company’s social proof might be something like this “join over one thousand satisfied customers”. This shows that there are over a thousand people who are happily using the product.

With such a large happy customer base using the product, potential customers will be more willing to trust your brand. After all, over a thousand people are satisfied, so why shouldn’t they be too?

There is No Incentive

How do you draw a user’s attention to your ads amidst the loads of competitors present in the news feed?

Customers are wiser than ever and won’t be sweet talked into buying a product any more. Nowadays, nothing draws people’s attention more than a good incentive.

In order to grab a user’s attention and to convert someone into a customer; offering an irresistible incentive is your best bet.

By granting incentives, in the form of coupons, discounts, freebies, user’s attention will not only be drawn to your ads, but it will also cause excitement, and most likely, sales.

Related: 6 Facebook Marketing Tips To Help Grow Your Small Businesses

There is No Time Stamp

Adding a time stamp offer to your offer will help create urgency when it comes to getting the customer to seal the deal. If there was no end date, the customer has all the time in the world to think about whether this offer is really the best offer at hand.

People are always afraid of missing out on a great deal and studies have shown that customers are just more inclined to take action the moment they are aware that a deal might expire. The emotion of loss is a powerful psychological marketing tool.

You Are Not Testing

Facebook offers numerous ad placement options and below are just some of the ones you can look into:

  1. Desktop newsfeed
  2. Mobile newsfeed
  3. Right hand column on desktop
  4. Instagram newsfeed
  5. Instagram stories
  6. Facebook Messenger home screen etc.

Knowing this, how do you determine the best position to place your ads for maximum conversions?

To do this, you can go with the A/B testing tool which rotates your ads between the different positions while providing real-time stats about the performance of your ads. By finding the best can help you lower cost per engagement while increasing the number of conversions.

You Are Not Consistent with Your Message and Offering

Customer expectations are high when it comes to promotions and offers. It’s essential to not leave them disappointed. How many times have you clicked on an offer and then realised it’s only when you spend an X amount or only at a certain store.

To further boost your conversions, ensure that your message is crystal clear and that there is no room for customer disappointment.

You Are Not Targeting the Right Audience

Be honest, as a business owner, have you ever boosted a post from your page hoping it might translates to sales?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with boosting a post, however, if you want to ensure you get the best bang for buck, and if your main goal is to ensure you are targeting the right people at the right time, then your focus is going to be in Facebook Ad Manager.

This is where you can access your Facebook Pixel’s data and either retarget specific customers or target ones that showed interest but never converted.

Example, you can create a Facebook newsfeed ad and only target people who clicked on the services page but never took the plunge. There’s a reason they didn’t submit their details? What could it be? You might never know, but at least now you have a second chance to help them convert.

Continue Reading

Online Marketing

Custom Content Via E-commerce Heralds The Future Of Marketing

Informative, catchy content is key to ecommerce engagement. It is an affordable marketing strategy with high impact on ROI.

Published

on

content-marketing

Content does not demand huge resources; a blog can be launched fairly quickly. However, consumer attention spans are pulled in many directions, so they demand the best on offer.

Peer pressure

With two hours per day spent by the average person on social media, it makes sense to harness the potential of these platforms for product inspiration and building hype and desirability of your brand. Studies have shown that most consumers value posts written by other consumers above scripted advertising. Advertising does still have a role to play, but the approach needs to be fresh in enhancing customer experiences alongside customers’ peer reviews to build relationships.

Millennials are so aware of an oversaturated market place that they are difficult to sell to. Images and messages are easily crafted and edited into being what they are not.

Likewise, influencer support can be faked or bought. Supposed sponsorship can be off-putting when relied on in excess to lend gravitas to a post. While influencer endorsement is rife, it must be approached with discernment. Fake engagements are equally rife. From buying followers to staging fake boosting of your friends’ posts, fraud is everywhere, but ultimately cannot sustain.

Related: 3 Ways To Build Your Brand Identity Using Content Marketing

Value +

What does sustain is authenticity, and this is what Millennials are searching for. Brands are wise to allow consumers inside the real stories that make their brand what it is.

Consumers value brands that stand for more. Ethics, social welfare, and edu-commerce. Content that encourages development, both personal and communal is a draw card. Enlightening consumers as to how to get the most out of your products means you are concerned about maximizing value. In the age of ecommerce, transparency and authenticity, brands need to be clear on their vision and mission. In this way, a brand can consistently stay true to its values, and build relationships and trust with the consumer. Next level transparency means revealing all aspects of what makes your product what it is; taking pride in manufacturing, reviews, and individual relevance.

Omni-potent

Shopping via the ecommerce is undeniably where it’s at for a myriad of reasons. Ease of price and product comparison, convenience, Generation X time constraints and techno affinity are all factors. Consumers now expect a slick, omnichannel shopping facility that meets their unique lifestyles and personal needs. A majority of customers value customer experience over price when choosing a brand. With sound content enhancing ecommerce engagement, the future of marketing has great potential.

Continue Reading

Company Posts

Staying Relevant In The Facebook Age Of Meaningful Social Interactions

With Facebook announcing that it is pushing brand and publisher content out of news feeds, how can businesses, especially small and medium enterprises in South Africa, remain relevant?

Madex

Published

on

By

facebook-social-media-marketing

It was deemed a “rude awakening” early in January 2018 when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the social networking platform had changed its algorithm, basically meaning it had changed what users see on their news feeds.

This follows a pretty harsh year for Facebook, where it was criticised for not having the right countermeasure to stop the spread of fake news and propaganda. So now its set of rules has changed; bumping up users’ friends and family members’ status updates and photos, and underplaying public news articles and content published by brands.

But where does that leave the small or medium businesses reliant on communicating their brand messages through Facebook? How do they now reach Facebook users (estimated to be approximately two billion)?

There is still a way

jodene-shaer“’Meaningful interaction’ is not something new to Zuckerberg’s focus on how brands engage with their Facebook audience,” explains Jodene Shaer, international business owner and head strategist of social media engagement specialist, Chat Factory.

Related: 5 Marketing Missteps That Make Cash Flow And Business Growth Stumble

“There is a place for paid media, but if a brand is trying to be seen organically, then it must feel like it is part of the flowing content people want to see from friends and family. It is pushing for the reason that Facebook was created in the first place – to be social.”

Authenticity key

Truly embracing the power of live videos and video content on Facebook – and then creating reasons for the public to engage with those posts – is an excellent move for any business that is budget conscious, Shaer adds.

“The ranking for visibility of organic content is highest when live. Live videos are absolutely the route to go, as followers receive a notification that you are live and there is greater chance of visibility. A big advantage is that you can save that content to the page and it becomes shareable, and can be uploaded to YouTube, where there is still a strong call for business content.

“And it doesn’t have to be high budget either, but it must be authentic, informative, engaging and encouraging. Of all things, ensure that all comments are responded to and shares and reviews are acknowledged.”

Looking beyond Facebook

Shaer believes that smaller local businesses can make their ad rands stretch further on Facebook by moving onto Ads Manager, instead of simply using the Boost button. “The reach is different, so invest in watching some YouTube videos as tutorials,” she recommends. “Boost to unique target audiences and turn the boosting into a science, by watching your reach. Set up smaller boosts and spread your spend across a few posts instead of one big boost. Track your stats and see which audiences work best.”

“One way that South African SMEs could also make use of InstaStories, as these are gaining organic reach. They could also look at varying hashtags, but using a few to reach a very specific audience.

Related: Marketing Tips For Start-ups

“We’ve seen the opening up of the use of LinkedIn and had people return to using the power of Twitter, so it’s worth investigating how to maximise other platforms while trying to keep your budget low.

“None of this should put a small business off, but should create exciting and challenging opportunities to shift how social media is used and explore the outcomes of each post, to truly develop a social media presence,” she adds.

Shaer will be one of an entire panel of dynamic, expert presenters speaking at the upcoming Madex 2018 show, the ultimate marketing, advertising, design, social media and all that good stuff expo.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending