Most small business owners don’t like to focus on the negative. After all, to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to have a vision. And rarely does that vision linger on the possibility of failure. However, sometimes the best way to achieve a positive outcome is to first foresee possible shortcomings. Plus, one common trait of successful business owners is the ability to recognize when something isn’t working. With that in mind, today we’re going to focus on several bad practices that can sink even the most prodigious marketing strategy –– and how you can work to avoid them as well.
Putting Your Eggs in One Basket
Finding a tagline, ad, or content offer that works is a fantastic way to start an effective marketing campaign. But it can’t be the only way forward. Rather, if you really want to see your company grow, you need to have a diverse array of marketing efforts working to bolster every aspect of your business. Relying too much on one element of a marketing campaign to support the others isn’t just bad practice –– it’s unsustainable.
Flying on Autopilot
Too many business owners view a marketing campaign as a cure-all –– a solution that’ll constantly yield the same results it always has. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. The online consumer is sophisticated and new trends are always emerging in e-commerce. In addition, it’s foolhardy in the extreme to believe your competitors won’t take steps to try and outrank you on search engines. So just because you occupy a high spot on Google currently, don’t assume you’ll be able to rely on old methods forever.
Ignoring the Details
It’s easy to get distracted by the big picture, and the possibilities of grandiose results when you first begin a new marketing campaign. What separates the best marketers from the chasing pack though, is their ability to sweat the small stuff. Identifying long-tail keywords is one innovative, yet highly detailed, an element of a dynamite marketing campaign. That’s because online consumers don’t use vague terminology when they make a business search; instead, they’re usually very specific. They don’t search for general terms like “lab equipment” for instance. Rather, they search for a “serum separator tube,” or “drawing needles.” Missing out on these little victories could hamper an otherwise stellar marketing strategy.
Astounding though it may sound, plenty of companies spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a week on marketing resources and never bother to properly study the results. Though this borders on negligence, many small businesses will never truly examine their marketing strategy or the latent potential therein. Though it might not be the most glamorous work, pouring over the numbers at the end of each month is worth your time. In the end, it’s your money –– you need to ensure it’s being spent properly!
Breaking the Rules
Though we’ve catalogued some truly poor marketing practices to this point, none are such egregious mistakes that you can’t recover from them. Alternatively, there are some things that just plain and simple shouldn’t be done by anyone –– ever. Flaunting rules that search engines have set up to maintain the integrity of other sites is one way to absolutely demolish your good work, and will result in a hefty penalty for your transgression. The most obvious, and the easiest to avoid, is plagiarism. Don’t ever give in to the temptation to repurpose someone else’s work as your own. Not only will it fail to pay off in the short term, but it will wreak damage on your company for years to come. Indeed, some businesses caught stealing others’ work have never fully recovered from search-engine related sanctions handed down. Avoid this –– and all the other bad habits mentioned above –– and you’ll be well on your way to creating a marketing campaign that’s perfect for your business.
No small business purposefully intends to make a mistake when marketing themselves. And the truth is, the more you learn from your mistakes, the better positioned you’ll be in the future. Don’t let your errors get you down; instead, take each lesson as it comes and moves on. You’ll be better off because of it.