Online marketing is a fairly simple realm of work … but if you’re like most publishers online, you probably feel your marketing could improve.
But where to start?
I’ve been helping MagicYellow resurrect their online marketing and overall brand this past month, and wanted to share a few mistakes I’ve noticed not only from MagicYellow, but also from the brands in their yellow pages directory.
We’re still working on addressing these common mistakes on our end, but just wanted to share what we’re doing to improve so you could follow along and learn with us.
The billboard approach
You’ve heard it before — you need to be everywhere with your brand.
The idea behind the billboard approach has to do with numbers … the more places you are with your brand, the more avenues you have leading to your website, and thus the more traffic you’ll attract from around the web.
Sounds good, but it doesn’t work for most brands because in order for most avenues to work, with the exception of listing based pages found with yellow pages like MagicYellow, you need to keep your content updated and interact with the community.
Would you rather have 1,000 new visitors that don’t convert into customers, or 10 new visitor that do turn into customers?
It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
On top of that, the billboard approach inevitably leads to another problem …
The more profiles you create, the more time it takes to maintain your social activity … until, inevitably, older profiles are forgotten and left behind.
This creates what’s called phantom profiles.
A phantom profile reveals a lack of activity from the brand, which in turn creates a negative feeling for the customer. So even though the avenue was once a smooth road to your website, your focus on the billboard approach will ultimately leave the avenue broken and undesirable. This is something I’m tackling now for the MagicYellow Facebook page and MagicYellow twitter profile.
Focus instead on the few social outlets that provide the best referral and conversion traffic for your business. Use Google analytics or another tracking solution to test what’s working and what isn’t.
At the wrong lunch table
If you focus in on the few social outposts that work best for your brand, you won’t find your efforts going to waste. It’s important to align yourself with your target community, because otherwise you’re just hanging with a crowd that doesn’t care what you have to say.
This is probably one of the most common mistakes made by business owners, because it takes additional work finding out what the right crowd is exactly.
Again, you can achieve this by testing.
Explore new corners of the web … when you find a community that provides a strong response (track your traffic, page views, and goals met), stick with it. It’s kind of like geo-targeting, but for your community tied together by interest instead of location. For example, at MagicYellow.com, the team and I help businesses position their brand name in front of customers based on both the customer’s interest and location … in other words, we help them to the right lunch table.
You’re too quiet
Most small businesses out there join a social network, but fail to socialize with people … and then they wonder why they only have 4 followers.
They key to effective marketing is creating a consistent flow of communication and information between your customers. Note, this doesn’t mean create a stream of one-way communication to your customer … that’s push marketing, and it’s becoming less and less effective.
Reach out to your community and talk with them. Ask them questions, take a poll, publish helpful content, share a joke, or give them a glimpse of your personal life.
If you’re not communicating and connecting with people, then you’re not doing anything.
Socializing and publishing is marketing.
My name’s not important
If you’re constantly trying to push your services or products on the people around you, you’re not going to be very fun to hang out with … and that means people aren’t going to both networking with you online.
In other words, no one will want to hang out with you.
Instead of pushing your products and services onto people, consider focusing on them and building a layer of personal information into your online presence so people can learn more about you after your initial contact.
This help people understand who you are, what you’re about, and why you do what you do. If they’re interested, they know who you are so they’ll be more inclined to buy from you.
Create a layer of transparency for your interested network and focus on pull marketing tactics instead of push marketing.
Write a comment and make progress
Let’s tackle one of the most common problems together right NOW, and make progress by talking about these five common reasons why all of our marketing suuucks!
What else would you add to this list?
Do you have any experience with suuucky marketing for your own brand?
What do you plan on doing to improve this year?
What drives you crazy about other marketers?