Marketing

Are you making these common marketing mistakes?

Old auto repair signs near abandoned gas station in southern Arizona.

Are you making these common marketing mistakes?

Marketing can be a tricky business, but done right it can help you and your business reap big financial rewards. By avoiding common pitfalls made by many business owners, you can maximize the impact of all your marketing efforts.

Get the basics right

Marketing experts say there are a few basic elements you should have in place for your marketing to work. To effectively market your store, you first need to do your research: who is your target market? What do they buy? Why will they buy from you instead of a competitor? Answering these questions is number one; you can’t sell to a customer if you don’t know whom they are or what they want. There’s no point in marketing to people who aren’t interested in your product or service.

Once you know whom they are, you need to communicate with them. An up-to-date, attractive, easy-to-navigate website is a must, as is good branding and digital presence. People expect the businesses they deal with to be on social media, too; this could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or a YouTube channel. This way you become interactive with the customer, get to know them better and deal with them on a more personal level. But whether you are communicating special offers, giving your brand a voice, reaching out to people through social media or printing fliers, it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are some common marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Social Media

Irregular posting

If you’re using social media (and you should be), how often do you post on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.? Your audience will lose interest if your business posts boring content rarely and haphazardly. Set a weekly schedule, keep to it and keep people interested.

Boring content

If you are posting regularly, great! But what are you posting? What kind of responses are you getting from your customers? Nothing turns off your social media audience more than boring or overly sales-driven content. There is an enormous amount of scope for producing captivating content on social media. You can repost interesting relevant industry articles, pictures on Instagram of a new model of tire you stock shown on a great-looking car, YouTube videos showing customers how to do basic auto safety checks, as well as special offers. Keep it varied, keep it interesting and keep it regular.

Mobile marketing

Your website isn’t mobile friendly

This is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Your website must be mobile responsive, meaning it can be viewed and interacted with easily on a desktop, tablet and cell phone, otherwise people will leave your site. It’s relatively easy to do, but you will need a web developer to help you. A website that is mobile friendly will also rank higher in Google searches so it’s well worth investing in.

Having complicated forms on mobile

The more information you ask someone to fill in, the fewer people will actually do it, and this is especially true with mobile. Keep it simple and ask people for just a name and an email address if they are signing up for newsletters or email alerts. You can always ask for more information later.

Tricky telephone numbers

If a customer is on your website on a cell phone and wants to call you to make an appointment, you should have your telephone number correctly coded so all the person has to do is click on the number and the phone starts dialing. Again, this is a website developer request, but if a customer has to find a pen and paper and write down the number and then dial it manually, they’ll be less likely to call you.

Website mistakes

Slow load speed

This is basically how long it takes your website to load on a customer’s device. Naturally people prefer faster websites that load in a second, so if your site is slow you’re losing out. It will also put you lower on Google search rankings. This comes back to the coding of the website, and a web developer can correct this.

Hard-to-find contact details

One of the first things a visitor to your site will want to know is where you are or how to contact you. Your contact number should be prominent and obvious on your website’s home page (along with a Google map and address) and on any other pages where there is a “‘call to action’’, a special deal or products for sale.

Branding

Inconsistent brand identity

Your brand identity should be the same across every aspect of your business: from storefront and website to social media and fliers. The logo, colors, fonts, images and wording should be very similar so your audience can identify your company in a flash, no matter where they come across your brand.

Poor-quality pictures

A picture says a thousand words and bad pictures speak volumes. Sites with blurry, amateurish pictures are a real turnoff. Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your business, services and products can take your website, online platforms and marketing material to a new level.

Out-of-date marketing materials

Don’t let your marketing materials get old and stale. Experts recommend refreshing them every year to keep them up-to-date, new and attractive. Whether it’s new fonts, pictures or updated information, keep it fresh.

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