Everyone wants to be successful in their job, and if your job is online marketing or you have an online business, the possibilities to succeed and to improve are countless. But so are the threats and the blunders that could make all your investments in time, plans, money, and people senseless. Even professionals are not insured against errors since the field is extremely dynamic, challenging, and often unpredictable. Based on our experience, we outlined 5 crucial mistakes to avoid if you don’t want to fail in your online marketing efforts.
1. Making content that YOU like
People are different, and most of the time, they react differently than you expect. Even if you are your ideal buyer persona, which is rarely the case, you have to be very careful when creating your content strategy. Many smart people make the mistake of focusing on things they like, expecting that the target audience will also enjoy them. Sure, sometimes that happens, but never forget to get out of your bubble and be open-minded about the possibility that you are not necessarily the best measurement about what works and what doesn’t. It may surprise you, but often the content that is far away from what you would find compelling, ends up being the most effective. So be open to testing different approaches, even if some are not precisely pleasing your aesthetic criteria and would not attract your attention online. Remember: you are not selling to yourself.
2. Not taking enough time to prepare
One of the most common mistakes even professionals make is to rush into things, rеlying on their experience or the belief that they know so well what they do, that they can prepare a successful campaign quickly and easily. Of course, the necessary background and know-how will help you to get ready faster and to avoid most blunders newbies make. But that doesn’t mean you still don’t have to take enough time to prepare your strategy. There is always something new or something you can dig out of your experience that can be extremely beneficial if you just take your time to find it. Read, look for good examples, research, and rethink mistakes you or others have made. It may take you a day or a week more, but the gains can be priceless.
3. Designing for desktop
You have undoubtedly heard and read about the mobile shift in online marketing. It is an undeniable fact that more and more people spend their time mostly on their mobile devices, and they use them more and more to complete the actions we want them to. If you haven’t done it yet, do it right now: stop designing your marketing materials (landing pages, banners, social media posts, etc.) primarily for desktop. Sure, they often look much better and more exuberant on bigger screens, but you have to remember where your customers are and where they are going to see your ads or content. Be sure to have a mobile-first mindset and ensure the best possible user experience in your mobile online channels.
4. Failing to track everything right
If you work online, you surely know by now that one of the most significant advantages of online marketing is the possibility to track almost everything and get a clear picture of how your marketing efforts affect your sales and profit. If you don’t have such experience, be sure to get familiar ASAP with abbreviations as CPC, CPM, CPA, ROAS, ROI, etc. If you are familiar with them, then make sure you track them right, and that you have the tracking of all your channels set correctly.
It may sound obvious, of course, but you will be surprised how often the tracking gets underestimated, mostly if it is set only to some degree. Don’t settle for that: get as many and as professionally set trackings as you can. Some of them may seem unnecessary initially, but you will be eternally grateful that you have them once your business starts growing fast.
5. Having unrealistic expectations
Many people still think that developing an online business is easy, and that they just simply don’t have the time or the right idea to start it; but if they do, they would succeed rapidly. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. Even with a good idea and plenty of time, there are still other crucial factors to consider.
First of all, you need money. It may sound trivial, but without having enough to invest, you have to rely on miracles. Yes, they happen sometimes, but you can’t count on it. People also win the lottery sometimes, but we trust you don’t just sit at home and do nothing, waiting for that lottery win. So make your strategy right and be ready to invest for a while before you start seeing returns.
If you don’t have enough initial capital, you better focus your efforts on finding it; otherwise, you’re just going to waste your money due to those unrealistic expectations that you are going to get profits from Day One.
You also have to allocate your budget carefully and be sure to have enough for marketing. Many starting online businesses invest heavily in the preparation part and find themselves with almost nothing to spend after their launch. You have to remember that having a great idea or product is essential, but it means nothing if you can’t reach your potential customers. And nowadays, gaining the customers’ attention online means you have to jump in the online advertising pool and be ready to compete. Be prepared to take some hits and be patient: if you have a good idea or product, and you plan realistically, you should eventually pull it off.