Everybody’s an expert, right? No, not right. And this is especially true with marketing. In fact, concepts of effective marketing are changing so quickly that so-called “experts” of just a few years ago are no longer such experts. And this is troubling for new entrepreneurs who have a great business idea that they have officially registered but very little understanding of marketing in this new consumer-driven economy.
And so, they research and they read, and they try to develop a strategic plan using the information they have gathered. While some advice is actually solid, there is an awful lot of noise out there that isn’t. Some of that noise involves the following 5 bad tips and myths.
Companies like Nabisco, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Geico Insurance are all over social media. They are everywhere because they have huge marketing staffs with a large department dealing only with their social media platforms. Probably, you are not there yet. So, before you run in and set up Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat accounts and profiles, take a breath. Even if your startup has a small team of people, you cannot be all over social media.
Developing a social media marketing campaign is not easy. There are relationships to build and nurture, and this requires creative content on a daily basis, as well as lots of conversation. Pick two platforms that most of your target market frequents and develop those really well. And get some expert advice, along with studying how your successful competitors are doing it. There is a learning curve here.
Wrong and wrong. Yes, some customers will find you. But a marketing campaign has to be at least half focused on going out there, finding prospects where they are and luring them in. Fish don’t jump on a boat because you have food to offer. You have to put the food on a hook and put the pole in the water, where they actually live.
Set a goal of finding 50 prospects a day. Go where they are and engage them in conversations; post something of real value that they will want; place some targeted ads in the right spots.
A website has to be as engaging and compelling as any blog post, ad, or social media post. Think about the e-commerce websites you have visited lately. And I don’t mean amazon or e-Bay. These are clearinghouses, not websites. The ones you enjoy have the following characteristics:
Have a look at how you are introduced to Basecamp, a company that provides project management solutions to businesses:
It doesn’t talk about the software products; it speaks to problems that project managers have and it states the benefit of having a…“calmer, more peaceful way to work.” And, it’s funny.
No, they won’t. And this is what is called “vanity tracking.” It is really quite meaningless – sort of like getting lots of “flirts” on a dating website but never actually getting a date. You have to use your metrics to determine where visitors are coming from and where they are bouncing from your site so that you can understand why you aren’t getting conversions.
Something is turning them off. Go find them and start some conversations; take a look at where they are bouncing and make some changes.
This is very dangerous. You may get a burst of initial sales because you have offered huge discounts and even some freebies, but when that party is over, what happens next? Your focus has to be on relationships and trust first – getting your brand known as one that cares about people and wants to be their problem solutions, even if it doesn’t mean a sale right now. That’s what a consumer-driven economy is all about. A customer wants to know “who” they are dealing with not just “what” they are being asked to purchase.
Marketing has certainly changed, now that most of it is done online and has to compete with a huge deluge of content. No one just throws up ads and expect to get results. The Internet is a place for relationships and brand recognition built over time, not overnight. Startup entrepreneurs have to develop patience and let those relationships and reputation develop through sound strategies built upon best practices.
Benedict Brychta is an MBA student and a passionate blogger from San Jose, CA. He is a big fan of entrepreneurship and he loves to share his opinion on different things happening in the spheres of marketing, self-improvement and healthy lifestyle. You can contact Ben via his Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.