Are These Marketing Mistakes Hurting Your Business?
If you own a business you’re leaving money on the table.
Just as a broken pipe leaks water your business is probably leaking dollars.
Lots of dollars.
So many that it could be the difference between having a business that’s crushing it, or having one that’s just getting by.
All businesses leak money, including mine. But here’s what I found:
There are simple marketing things you can do right now to make an immediate difference. Some of them won’t cost a cent. Bottom line – It’s about exploiting your core strengths.
I call them leverage points.
It’s about taking what you have now, then tweaking, massaging, and re-engineering it, for an exponential increase in sales and income.
Sure you can cut your costs to the bone. Maybe you’ve done that already, but you know it’s finite.
So let’s focus on the marketing side of things. Because that’s where the greatest upside will be found.
Take a little time from your busy day, and digest this post. I know there are gold nuggets just for you.
One of them might even be a game changer for you.
1. Not Clear About Your USP
What is the USP? It’s your Unique Selling Proposition.
Here is what Wikipedia says about it:
‘The USP is ‘a marketing concept first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. The USP states that such campaigns made unique propositions to customers that convinced them to switch brands.’
Need a translation? Well, it’s about your point of difference with your competitors. Not sure what it is? You need to figure it out so you can gain a huge edge in the marketplace.
If you don’t have an edge, you’ll be like a turkey scratching around in the dirt looking for a few seeds.
2. Lack Of Clarity About Pain Points and Hot Buttons
There are two things you MUST do before embarking on an authority positioning program:
Understand the Pain Points and Hot Buttons Of Your Audience.
Think of your ideal clients. What are their defining characteristics? What keeps them awake at night? What itch do they have that needs to be scratched? Can you identify problems they don’t even know they have? (That last one could be a game changer.)
Simple truth – if people have a pressing issue, they’ll do just about anything to get some relief.
If your business is about pain alleviation, you need to remind them of their pain, before you offer a solution. Bringing out the pain is more than stating the obvious. Sometimes you must go further. You do it by pressing the exposed nerve till they get to the point that they MUST have relief NOW!
Show How You Can Make Their Lives Better
So what makes you unique? Sure you’ve got skills and knowledge. And yes you may have a university degree or three. But most of your competitors have the same thing. And your audience knows it.
Essentially, there are different motivators for different people. See if you can identify the motivators that apply to your business. Take a look:
Pursuit of Pleasure. Think of all the money spent on so-called sin products and services. Talk about the quest for pleasure! But it’s not just about illicit activities. Think of the travel industry. It’s a massive industry dedicated to the desires of people who just wanna have fun.
Desire For Gain. Not all businesses are about pain relief or pleasure enhancement. Some have products or services that offer the potential for gain. Gain can come in many forms, but is often about making money.
So what business are you in?
Offer a Better Tomorrow. If you’re providing pain relief, pleasure, or freedom, you’re giving people a better future.
So, if you focus on the core pain points and hot buttons of folks in your niche, you’re going to clean up, no question.
See more by reviewing one of my recent blog posts:
3. No Branding Strategy
What is a brand? If you talk to one of those overpaid ad agency boofheads, they’ll tell you that a brand is a ‘defined personality.’ Whatever that means.
Here is what Wikipedia says about it
“A company’s brand represents their market identity—who they are, what they do, what kind of quality they provide, their reputation for trustworthiness, and more.”
My take? Your brand is about everything your business does. It’s not just about your logo, company colors, and fonts. It’s also about how you engage with customers, deliver on your promises, and stand out in the marketplace.
4. Poor Messaging
What Is Messaging?
Messaging is about how you communicate with customers and prospective customers.
Your team is part of the messaging story. Every engagement they have with clients and prospects is about messaging.
But for this blog post I want to narrow the focus to your website.
This is because most of your audience is now sold on visiting a company’s website.
So, site messaging is this:
Aesthetic Elements. This includes your logo, colors, fonts, layout, etc. It’s about the aesthetic elements that contribute to the visual appeal of your site.
The Useability and Functionality of Your Website. Answer these questions: Is it easy to navigate? Do your pages load fast? Do your links work?
Your Content. This is where the rubber hits the road. Content messaging consists of your text and video based content. Plenty of websites look good and satisfy the functionality rule. But the content? Oh, dear. Often it’s a case of grit your teeth and ‘count the cliches’.
Site content is the most important element on your site. But the problem is that most site content is mediocre.
Why Good Content Messaging Is SO Important
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, yet few businesses get it right.
Good messaging can take people from being cold, skeptical and cynical to a point where they want to buy. In other words, it will help you generate more leads, customers, and income.
But, bad messaging will turn people off. Too many websites are full of bland clichés that consumers are only too well aware of.
Good content can also dispel myths and negatives about your type of business. The goal is to educate people about all the wonderful things you can do for them. In fact, great content can act as a catalyst for action. More visitors will make an inquiry, request a quote, or buy.
So the imperative for you is to break free from the pack of ‘me-too’ competitors. Do it by transforming your website into a robust sales hub. A tool that educates, differentiates, and builds desire, so visitors will WANT to buy.
See more by reviewing one of my recent blog posts:
5. Clueless About Conversions
Conversions? It’s a big topic. Conversion can mean different things to different people. But in the online context, it might be the initial step they take AFTER visiting your website. The action step could be to buy, request a quote or consultation, or to subscribe to your email list.
In the internet marketing environment, we use terms like opt-in conversions and sales conversions. But for most businesses, conversions is about leads and how many convert into paying customers.
6. No Upsells
Sell someone a product or service, then sell them something else. That’s the principal. Structured properly it works amazingly well. For instance, I’ve sold a paltry $49 entry level product, then added them to my sales funnel. A month later some of them had spent $30,000.
The key to effective upselling is to be very good at problem-solving and matching solutions to customer needs and wants.
7. Spending Too Much Money On Design
There is a perennial debate amongst designers and content creators. Some content creators give short shrift to design; they say that content is king. And many designers are clueless about content messaging; they put the emphasis on design.
Here is my take on the topic.
You need both good design and good content to make a website sizzle.
You cannot have one without the other.
When a visitor visits your website, if it looks good they’ll hang around for a bit. But if you don’t have compelling content they will soon click off, never to return. It’s as simple as that.
So, in a nutshell, good design will create a favorable first impression. But good content will keep visitors on your site for much longer. The effect? It will significantly increase your chances of them becoming a lead, and doing business with you. No doubt about it.
8. Not Educating About the Value
Here’s an idea. Educate, don’t sell. Show people how your product or service will help them solve a problem or improve their lives. This is the way to steal business from your lazy, undifferentiated competitors.
Education takes money forms. For example, you can educate with case histories and customer stories. Testimonials play a part too – but avoid tedious testimonials. Always include a client pic, their full name, and their location. Ideally, you will create mini customer stories from your client testimonials.
If you employ salespeople teach them how to educate customers. But of course, the information given must be totally relevant to customer wants (no one wants to be bored witless with information that doesn’t address real needs).
9. Not Having a Presence On YouTube
YouTube is now the number two search engine after Google. I bet you didn’t know that. In fact, some say it will one day eclipse the mighty Google for search traffic.
The fact is that YouTube has become a dominant force in the online media world. Why? People love watching videos. They’re hooked on them. So it makes sense to move your orientation in the direction of this incredible platform. Once you’ve opened your YouTube account you can create some content that your prospective customers will love.
A lot of people think they have to spend big bucks and create a Hollywood-style production. But unless you’re a big brand, this is not true.
In fact, my experience has been that videos which project authenticity work better. They work even better if they also discuss pain points and hot buttons.
10. Not Using SEO
SEO what is it? Well, it’s an abbreviation of the words search engine optimization. SEO refers to techniques used to get a website displayed in SERPS (search engine results pages). I like to call it money for jam.
Look at it like this.
Google will send you free traffic if you get ranked in page one of SERPS. Simple as that. Others are getting free traffic from Google, so why not you?
Most people make their decision based on what they see on the first page of Google for a given keyword phrase. So, it makes sense to do whatever you can to be seen there.
11. Ignoring Keyword Research
Even if you outsource the SEO work, you should be crystal clear about the keywords that are relevant to your niche.
It may be tempting to focus on the most obvious keywords. But many of them will be hard to rank for in the short to medium term. For quick results, it is better to focus on long tail keywords – keyword terms that are more specific.
For instance Chatswood Accountant, instead of Sydney accountant. The former keyword will have less traffic but a lot less competition. (Chatswood is a suburb of Sydney.)
Another point. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to compete for broad city-wide keywords if you’re primarily serving a local area.
12. Ignoring Social Media
Why do it?
Annoying as it is to many people (including me) the fact is that it’s not going away. But here is the reality. More than a billion people use Facebook every day. And many of your potential customers use it. So, wouldn’t it be great if you could target your perfect type of prospect and no one else?
Social media could be a valuable inclusion in your marketing mix.
Here are just three reasons why I like it:
Builds Authority. You can join forums and groups to answer questions and help people solve problems.
Can Create Viral Buzz. Come up with the right angle, and get some real buzz happening. The big thing about social media is that people are often happy to share content.
Search Engine Benefit. It’s debatable how much SEO benefit can flow from social media activity. But there is one thing we do know. It will help with citations. Citations are vital if you want to rank on the search engines for your favorite keywords.
13. Not Building a List
It’s amazing to me how few businesses collect emails and communicate with their subscribers. An email list full of prospects for your product or service is pure gold.
The key is to collect their email in the first instance. You do that by offering them something of value in return for their contact details. I frequently offer a free report that shows people how to solve a problem that is relevant and helpful to them.
From there my automated follow up system will send them nurturing email messages which educate and sell at the same time.
14. No Blog
At some point, many business owners think of starting a blog.
Many new blogs are launched every year by companies. But many shut down or become dormant within months.
If you have a blog or are considering starting one, you should be clear on the reasons why a blog is a good option.
One thing is clear. Your blog should become a core business activity. If not, it won’t deliver the benefits you want, and will likely die on the vine.
The key is to expand your thinking about what is possible when implementing a blog strategy. Rather than an add-on – an afterthought – your blog needs to be front and center in your online marketing program.
Only a minority of businesses with websites have a blog. And of those that have one, most are lame. The obvious problem is that the content is usually mediocre, to say the least.
But the underlying problem is a failure to understand the high benefits that a blog can deliver.
A few months ago I wrote this blog post:
In that post, I covered nine reasons for having a blog. Here are four of them:
1. Will Establish Your Business As the Leader In Your Industry
Have you heard the term, Authority Positioning? It’s about positioning you and/or your company as an authority. Ideally, you’ll want to be a thought leader in your industry or niche – the top dog. The top dog gets to lead from the front and always gets a change of view!
Are you there yet?
The point is that a well-executed blog strategy will establish you as the kingpin in your niche. The way to do it is to articulate a compelling message that hits the spot with your ever widening audience.
2. The Search Engines Will Send ‘Free’ Traffic
Here’s how you do it. Select topics that focus on low competition keywords. Then, create some content around the keywords. The chances are that some of the content will get ranked in the search engines. Imagine that – search engines, like Google, will send you visitors for free.
3. Will Boost Your Sales Conversions
A blog can be a powerful way to increase conversions for these reasons:
Social Proof. People generally won’t do business unless they have confidence. One way to instill confidence is to give them social proof. Social proof comes in many forms, the most obvious of which is a testimonial. Bolster the humble testimony with other techniques such as case histories and customer interviews. Then feature them on your blog. Another way to do it is through engagement. Take a look at this blog and its comments – you’ll see plenty of social proof here.
Prove Competence. All the claims and promises in the world won’t amount to a hill o’ beans if you can’t show competence. If you have qualifications, show them. But there are many other techniques you can use too.
4. Builds Your Brand
You can build your brand without a blog – a good website will do that. But here is where the blog can take your brand to another level. It will humanize your brand. How? Do it by featuring regular, original stories about you, your team, and your customers.
There’s a lot you can do here – use your imagination to develop more ideas.
The main thing is to tell personalized, people-centric stories that convey real benefits to readers.
Your Turn – Time to Comment!
What was your biggest takeout from this post?
After reading this post are there any ideas that you will now embrace?
Make a comment below!
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