Some marketing mistakes are so common that they are made by experienced marketers and newbies alike. It doesn’t matter whether you have been marketing for days, weeks, or years, you could still be making mistakes that harm your performance. I could have included dozens of mistakes here that I see on a daily basis, but these are seven of the most common that we see all the time at LeapGo.
1. Doing Something Because Everyone Else Is
This is perhaps the most common mistake I see, and it drives me mad. I cannot tell you the amount of times that we ask a client why they are building up a Facebook presence or marketing their content, only to hear the reply: “Because that’s what everyone does.” It’s easy to feel that you are “supposed” to be doing something. Perhaps you’ve read that this is the only way to get results, or you have heard how effective it has been for other companies.
But it is never this simple.
What works for one company may not work for another. Instead of following the crowd, always start by looking at your company’s goals and resources, and then build a marketing strategy comprising various tactics. Never just do something because you think you should or because you’ve heard that other companies have enjoyed success. Try out different things by all means, but never assume that you will experience the same success.
2. Outsourcing Everything
Yes, we are an agency, and yes, clients outsource their marketing to us. But let me explain.
One thing is to hire a specialist to help you devise a strategy and ensure you constantly improve your results. As an experienced agency, we have access to knowledge, skills, and tools that many companies could only dream about having. It’s what everyone here has made a career out of, so why not leverage that expertise? But it is quite another thing to simply outsource everything and take a completely hands-off approach.
We do not take on clients that are not willing to be engaged at some level. Some clients are involved on a daily basis, some less. The truth is that this is a partnership—as much of a cliché as that sounds. When you use an agency (or any outsourcer), they should become an integrated part of your team. They will never be able to do an outstanding job for you otherwise. So don’t think of us as a vendor, and always make sure you are involved and informed throughout the process.
Wait a minute … isn’t this a blog? Yes, it is, and I am not against blogging when it is done properly. It’s when blogging is done wrong that it becomes a waste of time.
That means blogs that are an afterthought. Blogs filled with low-value content that have been watered down so much that they are of no use to anyone, built only because (see #1). Perhaps blog creation has been outsourced to a low-quality writer without any knowledge or understanding of your industry. It reads badly and it doesn’t do more than annoy the occasional visitor looking for information. Almost inevitably, the blog will be forgotten when you realize that it is not doing anything to generate traffic and engagement, and it becomes nothing more than a waste of time.
4. Failing to Measure Your Results
It is absolutely crazy how often we see this. These days, there are so many ways to track your marketing efforts, including everything from your email open rates to your landing page conversion rates.
One of the big culprits is AdWords. You set up a campaign and forget about it, even though there is so much you can track that would allow you to make minor improvements that could generate a huge increase in clicks and conversions. Google Analytics is another one. Many companies set up an account, but they don’t use it properly and they fail to set up any goals. Or they start a Facebook advertising campaign without a conversion pixel installed.
Do yourself a favor and always track results. Whenever you start any marketing activity, work out how you can track it so that you can improve your efforts and get much more while spending less.
5. Tracking Everything Separately
But what if you do track your marketing activities? There’s often still room for improvement. One of the big ones is tracking everything separately using disconnected tools. For example, you track your:
- Email stats in MailChimp
- General traffic stats in Google Analytics
- Cart conversions in your e-commerce dashboard
- Search rankings in Moz
- Social stats in Facebook Insights
- Sales funnel in your CRM
- Landing page stats in Unbounce
The list goes on…
This is so common, and it is a big waste of time trying to run around and compile good statistics. Not to mention, most of the time when you’re gathering data from different systems, there are plenty of discrepancies. Online marketing is about reaching people across multiple platforms, devices, and networks. So if all of your tracking is scattered across dozens of different tools, how can you truly understand your efforts?
The solution is to use a suite of tightly integrated tools. Software like HubSpot, SharpSpring, or Infusionsoft have brought together a swiss army knife of marketing tools into a single dashboard.
Keeping all your tracking together gives you a better overall picture of your marketing efforts, allowing you to make changes that can drastically improve your results.
6. Not Admitting Failure
Don’t keep funding a dead PPC campaign. Revive it or do something else.
Sometimes, marketing activities just don’t work out no matter what you are doing. Your PPC campaign loses money. Your Facebook posts only receive a few views after months of effort. In these cases, you have to know when it is time to give up.
In the marketing kitchen, there are a vast amount of methods, ingredients, and opinions. It is easy to follow the recipe to the letter, only to take a bite and realize: “This sucks!” If this happens, don’t make the same mistake twice. If it is not working, change something. The results could be even worse the next time, but that doesn’t matter. It’s still progress. Work out what you learned and come up with a way to do it differently. Do not continue to do the same thing and hope that something will change, because often it won’t.
7. Not Setting Clear Goals
To work out whether a campaign is successful, you need to determine what success means for your company. The no-brainers are sales, sign-ups, calls, etc. But what about reduced customer service load? Automated prospect education for improved lead quality? Higher average post-purchase ratings? Establish what’s important to you and set clear goals for your marketing campaign right from the start. Without measurable objectives in place, it becomes harder to work out whether any marketing technique is working or not. So don’t go in blind, and always decide what you want to achieve.