Month: March 2019

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The right marketing strategies can elevate your brand and give your business positive attention and exposure, while the wrong ones can sink your company. To find out which strategies work—and the ones to avoid—we asked entrepreneurs from YEC Next and YEC this question:

Q: What common marketing strategies should entrepreneurs avoid and what should they be doing instead?

1. Not knowing your target customer

When marketing a product or service, you need to know your potential customer inside out. By understanding the demographics and characteristics of your potential client, you’ll be able to focus your marketing efforts and get new customers efficiently. Start by writing down the benefits your product or service offers. Then write down who would benefit from using your product or service. —Matt BigachNexus Homebuyers

2. Not tracking your data

People are quick to want to run Facebook ads or publish blog posts, but they aren’t ready to manage them. In order to manage the process, you need to have your analytics infrastructure in place so you can track the performance of your paid campaigns and outcome of your content strategy, and make sure you know what your analytics goals are and that you’re tracking them properly. —Jim HuffmanGrowthHit

3. Trying to sell to strangers

The first rule parents teach their kids is to never take candy from strangers. People are trained from birth to not listen to your sales pitch if they don’t know you, so that’s the importance of brand equity. Give value first and build a relationship before you ask anything of someone. Once the sum of your relationship and the need for your product are greater than the cost of action, selling becomes seamless. —Todd Giannattasio, Tresnic Media

4. Focusing on yourself instead of prospects

From ads to web copy, too many businesses put the immediate focus on themselves over their prospects. However, prospects want to know what value can be gained immediately—not what your business has achieved. Your goal should be to appeal to a prospect’s emotions so they’ll want to know more, and only when the conversation continues should you highlight your personal successes. —Ron Lieback, ContentMender

5. Not addressing customers’ true interests

Make sure you have analytics and are looking at them, whether it be on the back end of your app or website, or through Google Analytics, or both. We like to see what piques our members’ interest and give them more of it. Also, knowing what makes them move on from us to surf elsewhere is equally as important in order to figure out what needs to be adjusted. —Jessica BakerAligned Signs

6. Not letting your website be indexed properly

  • I deal with a lot of clients and get the question, “How can I generate more traffic and rank better?” One issue I see, more common than I would like, is when someone develops a new website and the developer forgets to remove the no-index tag, which tells the search engine not to index their site. For any new site, make sure your robots do not have the no-index tag so your site doesn’t vanish from search. —Bryan DriscollThink Big Marketing

7. Doing too much content and not enough promotion

“Content is king” is frequently repeated in marketing strategies, but no matter how great the quality of your content is, it isn’t going to matter if no one is reading it. Not promoting the content enough is a cardinal marketing mistake that is far too common. Time spent promoting should be thrice it took to create it. Use social media to reach out to your target audience and promote content. —Rahul VarshneyaArkenea

8. Buying email lists

Purchasing email lists may seem tempting to the entrepreneur starting out, but they are not a good investment due to its low conversion. Instead, build your own email list using highly targeted content to attract your ideal customer to your site. Once your site has traffic, use exit-intent popups and content upgrades to capture their email addresses. —Jared AtchisonWPForms

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9. Doing paid ads without landing pages

Don’t spend money on Facebook or Google Ads before you’ve built a great landing page, optimized your conversion funnel, and installed remarketing pixels to retarget your website visitors—that’s the horse before the cart in digital marketing. It is really easy to jump the gun on ads and become excited by metrics; however, metrics are meaningless without a clear path to conversion for your clients and customers. —Matthew CapalaAlphametic

10. Ignoring the 80/20 rule

We all have probably heard about the Pareto Principle: 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the cause. But it’s easy to forget to use it in our marketing. Regardless of your type of marketing (social media, email, or content), about 80% of your effort should be providing value to your audience, while about 20% should be promotional activity. This ratio will help your marketing sizzle. —Shu SaitoGodai Soaps

11. Having great sales, but poor support

I always tell my clients that marketing will backfire if they don’t take care of clients who actually have bought their product or service. There is no point in scaling up marketing efforts if customers are unhappy. You’ll just end up with a sea of negative reviews and your brand’s reputation will gradually fall apart. Clients should scale their marketing in parallel with their support capabilities. —Amine RahalLittle Dragon Media

12. Lacking in consistency 

No matter what marketing strategy you have and what channels you use, you always have to be consistent in your efforts. This means that all your content has to maintain the same brand language, tone, look, and feel. The coherence and harmony of your messages make up the digital image of your brand, and it will be very difficult to achieve good results without those qualities. —Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

13. Not creating buyer personas

If you want to sell a product, you need to know who you’re selling to; that’s why it’s so important to create buyer personas. There are a lot of free buyer persona templates available online, and filling them out in detail will help you determine the needs and pain points of your ideal customer, as well as other characteristics, so you can better market to them. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC

RELATED: 6 Tips for Enhancing Your Company’s Marketing Plan

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