If you’ve been following my columns thus far, you already know that marketing your business can be a challenging yet rewarding venture. While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success, let’s take a look at some common mistakes you should be aware of in order to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
This month, I’ll outline the top three digital marketing mistakes I frequently see in our industry and how you can take action to fix them starting today.
MISTAKE NO. 1:
HAVING DORMANT SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
If we look back 10 years ago, it was rare to find companies in our industry with a social media presence fast forward to today, and a good majority can be found at least on Facebook or LinkedIn. That said, if you take a good look at the accounts themselves, it’s as though they were only created to earn that social media icon as an indication that they’re a “hip” and tech-savvy company.
All too often, I’ll visit the websites of companies in our industry and see social media icons placed at the top of their website as a “call to action,” only to be directed to an old Facebook account with posts from 2016 or a LinkedIn page that was created and then abandoned without any activity. Silence is not golden in this case. Every customer touch point reflects your brand, including social media, so what impression are your company’s social media channels giving?
When it comes to marketing excellence, having active social media accounts is paramount. A business social media presence allows you to communicate easily with existing/potential customers, build trust and loyalty, and generate value by providing relevant content to followers. Not to mention, at this point in time, it is free to post!
In short, if you’re not taking advantage of social media, you’re missing out but, if you cannot allocate the time or resources for consistent value-generating activity, you’re better off not having a presence at all.
If you find your company making this mistake — don’t fret! It's not too late to boost your social media presence and start to make a mark online. A good way to start is to hone in on a specific social media channel (or two) and build it up with fresh ideas and a reliable content strategy. Before you jump in, however, review the existing situation — do you have the necessary resources and time to keep up the pace, and is the platform the right choice for your target audience and business goals? Commitment to having cadence and consistency is key!
MISTAKE NO. 2:
FAILING TO OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE
This one won’t require much explanation if you’ve ever used your phone to visit a company’s website and found yourself in that frustrating predicament of long page loading times or that awkward finger pinches to zoom in and out in an attempt to find what you’re looking for…
For this section, I went back and forth between using the term “Failing” and “Forgetting” as the opening for the title and as you can see, I ultimately landed on the harsher of the two, “failing.” While many companies do make the mistake of forgetting to optimize their web page(s) for an optimal mobile experience, some companies don’t forget and think that a mere re-sizing or consolidation of a desktop page is sufficient for mobile optimization. (Think again!) To make the customer journey enjoyable, the experience should be tailored to their device type, which will require more than just resizing content.
As of November 2022, over 60% of all web traffic came through mobile phones, and this trend only continues to grow. (Source: Gs.statcounter.com). Therefore, do your company and your customers a favor and do a quick audit of your website on your phone and ask yourself the questions below to ensure its properly optimized for mobile viewing/interaction.
Mobile optimization audit questions:
- Is the page fitting the screen properly, or is it not perfectly sized?
- Are the images clearly visible?
- Are the text and images to scale, or are they difficult to view?
- Are all the menus easily viewable, or are they getting hidden?
- When you tap a few functions, do they open up quickly, or is there a lag?
- Do the pages take a long to load?
- Do you need to zoom in or out to view the content?
Some other resources to audit your mobile site(s):
- Mobile-Friendly Test: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- Desktop and Mobile view speed: https://pagespeed.web.dev/
MISTAKE NO. 3:
UNDERESTIMATING CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Customer reviews are certainly nothing to underestimate! Let’s take a look at a few fast facts:
- Seven out of 10 consumers changed their opinion about a brand after the company replied to a review; (Source: Marketing Charts);
- 57% say they would be 'not very' or 'not at all' likely to use a business that doesn't respond to reviews at all; and (Source: Brightlocal)
- More consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before. In 2021, 81% did, but the year before that, just 63% did. (Source: Brightlocal)
While this is the third and final mistake we’ll go through today, this is (in my opinion), one you can easily address starting today. Customer reviews are an invaluable source of feedback that businesses should never ignore or reply with the same “copy and pasted” boilerplate to every customer review. Taking the time to respond to customer reviews, both good and bad, is a must to build trust and credibility with customers.
This mistake is certainly not one unique to our industry; in fact, I see this almost more times than not when viewing a company’s Google reviews, and research shows that 75% of businesses don’t even respond to their reviews. (Source: Womply). Be better than that 75% and make time to monitor your business’ reviews and reply genuinely.
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