The start of a new year is a great time to shed old habits and make new ones. When it comes to your marketing strategy, it’s important to frequently revisit your efforts and determine what’s working, what needs improvement and most importantly, what should be retired for good.
Developing a successful marketing campaign requires a thorough understanding of your audience and industry. It also requires knowledge of what marketing tactics work best within your space and how to successfully implement them. Many marketing blunders can be quick and painless to fix, but only if you catch them in time.
To ensure you start 2021 off on the right note, avoid the following marketing mistakes:
In today’s data-driven world, it’s essential to use accurate information to back up your claims and lead your marketing efforts. Whether you’ve conducted your own research or are utilizing industry statistics, you should always make sure your sources are credible and relatively recent, and cite them in your content. If the claims you make in your ad, article, blog or white paper can’t be backed up by a reputable source, it can negatively impact your reputation as a trusted brand. In an era of “fake news,” companies must be as transparent as possible to gain and maintain a loyal customer base.
Planning ahead and having a strategic communications plan in place is critical for any successful marketing campaign. However, ignoring current affairs and trends and refusing to adapt your messaging when a major event takes place can make your marketing plan flop. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many companies were forced to switch their plans as infection prevention measures were put in place.
Companies like West Elm offered free virtual backdrops for remote Zoom calls, promoting their brand in a unique yet subtle way. Similarly, Jack Daniels rolled out a social media campaign called “With love, Jack”, featuring home videos of customers enjoying a drink which focused more about staying safe and connected vs. buying their product. However, other well-known brands like McDonalds altered its iconic logo to add a space between the golden arches as a nod to social distancing, but many found it gimmicky and unhelpful during a time of extreme anxiety.
While it’s essential to keep tabs on how the world around us changes and adapt marketing and communications accordingly, it’s just as important to avoid jumping on a trend without much forethought. Reacting quickly to trending social media topics can be a great way to boost your visibility in the moment, but it’s not a reliable tactic with a long enough lifespan to truly impact your brand.
Sticking with the old and refusing to embrace the new is a big digital marketing fail. Over the last several years, many new marketing tactics and tools have been introduced, including influencer marketing, strong video content and dynamic, interactive ads. With the introduction of TikTok and Instagram Stories and Reels, brands continue to gain more avenues to reach their target audiences. Failing to update your marketing toolbox year after year can result in lower online engagement and make it more difficult for your content to reach consumers.
As a B2B brand, it’s important to keep several tried-and-true tools on hand, such as regularly placed bylined articles and interviews in industry publications and organic social media content, but make sure you look into the many other ways you can expand and target your messaging.
Great content is the core of a good marketing campaign. Whether you aim to generate more leads, increase sales or build a loyal customer base, well written content that informs and entertains can help with search engine optimization (SEO) and directly impact your marketing efforts. If you’re still featuring the same language you did several years ago while not taking into account keywords and phrases, it’s difficult to drive new traffic to your website.
Take a close look at the content on your website and throughout your marketing materials to determine how you can utilize new messaging and cultivate a stronger presence. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should educate, inform and entertain your audience while the other 20% should focus on your products and services. If you’re only promoting your brand, you’ll likely find yourself in an echo chamber with little to no interaction and an inability to pull prospects through the sales funnel.
Failing to measure your marketing efforts and analyzing the results of your campaigns could lead to making the same mistake over and over again. When you launch a newsletter or e-blast, always check the results after a set period of time. This may be 24 or 48 hours. Did you have fewer opens than the previous communication? Consider changing the distribution time or determine a stronger, more enticing subject line. Do you want more clicks? It could be time to reformat your email template to draw more attention to buttons and links or reduce the amount of content featured in each issue.
Whether you’re publishing a new blog or launching a three-month sponsored social media campaign, make sure you take time to measure the reach and engagement of these efforts to determine your next steps.
There is a long list of “marketing fails” brands can make. Likewise, there’s an endless list of ways to improve your marketing efforts. With so many new tools and resources to utilize, it’s critical to stay on top of these changes or work with marketing professionals who understand the landscape to develop a strong and effective online marketing strategy.
As we continue to adapt to this ever-changing, fast-paced and consumer-driven market, it’s important to address and fix marketing blunders made along the way. Likewise, it’s just as important to recognize and celebrate the marketing successes as well. Finding what works best for your brand can help you avoid digital marketing mistakes and continue building positive brand awareness. Contact us to learn more about how we can bring your marketing goals to life.
Alex Weiss is an Account Supervisor at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She combines her creative writing background and B2B experience to bring client campaigns to life.