Formulating a strategy for marketing your business online and using social media is rarely a simple task. While you’re sifting through website designs, marketing short-cuts, long-term strategies, branding dilemmas, sales funnels and countless social networks, here are 7 online marketing nasties that should never make it to your masterplan (because they don’t work!).
1. The dead-end website
These are the websites that look good (or not) and are totally ineffective. Having a website that looks fantastic and shows off your products and services is one thing. Getting visitors to take action on your website is another! An effective website should convert leads and sales for your business. If there is nothing for your visitors to DO on your website, or no ‘next step’, your website is a dead-end and cannot convert! To achieve more conversions, you must provide options for your visitors to take action. Offer value (the ethical bribe) and make clear calls to action (tell them what to do!). Here are some ideas:
- Subscribe to our mailing list or blog
- Contact us or visit our store
- Fill out the form for a free quote
- Join us on Facebook or Twitter
- Buy from our online store
- Download our free ebook
- Bookmark, share, like, re-tweet
- Leave a comment
- Watch our video
- Complete our survey
- Enter our competition
- Follow this link (e.g. to a sales page)
2. The fast and cheap SEO
Search engine optimisation is not just about adding keywords to your website and creating gazillions of backlinks. ‘Fast’ SEO is a sham, and one-off SEO services are useless. Google is too smart. SEO takes time, and is as much about quality than quantity. SEO is complex. It involves comprehensive keyword research for your market, on-page optimisation (content and structural) and creating quality backlinks from industry-relevant and trustworthy websites. Some things just have to be done right and properly invested in to yield real results, particularly when giant online robots are onto you!
3. The sales pitch galore
This is the sell-sell-sell strategy. Nothing for free. No relationships. Just give me your money. Put simply, this doesn’t work. Building an online presence is all about attracting customers. Whether you attract customers to your social media profiles or website, they expect to receive value, information and to be captivated! Thanks to the Internet, consumers now have access to all your competitors at the click of a button, and your competition is engaging, entertaining, generous, caring and popular! So you’ll need to do a lot more than just show your products and tell people to buy them. You market is COLD until you provide all that extra value and build trust. Cold leads don’t buy, so until you’ve warmed them up, they’re not ready for your sales pitches. Whatever you do, keep your sales messages to your sales pages, online store or occasional promotions, and go easy with blunt selling on social media.
4. The purchased fans and followers
Looking popular has never been so easy! You can now buy fake fans and followers for your social networks. It’s cheap and it’s fast, making it ever so tempting. If you think mere numbers on your Facebook page or Twitter profile can translate into more business, think again. What drives social media strategies for successful businesses is the level of quality engagement they trigger with people who genuinely care. These are the fans who read your posts, trust your expertise, participate and contribute, and share your content with their friends. The others, the duds and the fakies (who incidentally may or may not be real people), will never do any of that. They won’t become customers themselves, they won’t engage with you, and they won’t generate more exposure for your business. So focus on engaging the people who care, even if smaller numbers, as these will be the ones who will grow your business and generate sales. Another win for quality of quantity!
5. The no-follow-through
How will your first-time website visitors remember you or keep in touch? What was that website again? Building trust and relationships online often takes some time and nurturing. When using a content marketing strategy, it involves providing quality and valuable content that gradually build up the sale. When people subscribe to your mailing list, download your ebook, become a fan on Facebook or make a purchase, you must follow through! Continue to provide value with an email series or newsletter, promote exclusive offers, give your customers a phone call, ask for feedback on your products or services, upsell (yes, it’s ok to upsell your customers) or ask them how you can help! When communication dies, when you stop showing up, when you have nothing else to promote or no value to add, when you stop following-through, there will be no next sale. When defining your sales process, define what can you provide or offer for this customer to want to buy (or buy again) from you, and how you will deliver it. Never stop following through, there’s always a next step. When your subscribers get the need for your products or services, you’ll be right at the front of their mind. Having already established trust, they won’t hesitate to buy from you.
6. The faceless business
Hiding behind your logo? People buy from people, and people LOVE to buy from people. Personal branding is huge online, with businesses big and small promoting the people who made their success. Needless to say, building trust and relationships usually requires a human touch! With social media allowing people and businesses to interact almost seamlessly, consumers are becoming even more inquisitive (and selective) about who they’re dealing with. So let yourself shine through your business, promote your people, and put a face to your business for your audience to connect with.
7. The spotlight hog
Yes, people buy from people, but your business should never be all about you! While you hog the spotlight and vaunt your expertise, products and services, and your goals and achievements, your customer is not feeling your genuine commitment to helping them. When you shine the spotlight on your customers, you can better understand their needs, their desires and what they require to achieve their goals. When you understand your customers, then you can sync your brand, products/services and marketing to their needs, and convey a message that converts into sales. Never forget that you primary purpose as a business owner is to serve your customers. Make it all about YOU and your business, and you’ll miss the opportunity to serve others and make sales.
I hope you found this post useful! How will you change your strategy?
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