No matter what industry you are in, marketing plays a huge role in growing your business. By marketing successfully, you can build long-lasting relationships and create engaging customer experiences, but even small mistakes can derail your best efforts.

We have put together a list of the most common marketing pitfalls to avoid.

1. Not having a plan

Having a marketing plan will help you set clear goals and create a roadmap for success. By not having one, you could be wasting a lot of time and money.

Tip: Start asking yourself questions about your business and draft out your mission statement. Include things your business is trying to accomplish and who you are trying to reach. This will give you a starting point in creating a good marketing strategy.

2. Thinking of marketing as an expense (–vs. an investment)

Your marketing budget is not an expense! It’s an investment that you undoubtedly will see a return on. Your products and services need a voice and a way to set them apart from your competition so you can gain new loyal customers.

Tip: When times get hard and budgets get tight, many go straight to their marketing spending as the first thing to cut. Instead of cutting your marketing budget, think about it as an investment. It isn’t costing you money, it’s making you money, and there are plenty of options out there that are cost-effective.

3. Ignoring SEO

By ignoring search engine optimization (SEO), you miss out on a lot of business visibility. In fact, 93% of all website traffic is driven by search engines. Without optimizing your web pages for search engine rankings,  your online prospects are likely to visit your competitor’s site instead.

Users trust search engines, and the top results that appear on a search engine results page are considered very reliable and relevant to the keywords they are searching for. By ranking on these results pages, your website will gain trust and credibility that attracts new prospects.

Tip: You should always invest in a blend of marketing strategies to give you the best possible exposure. Get familiar with the basics of SEO and how you can implement that into your marketing plan.

 4. Neglecting existing customers

Although new customers are important, the reality is that acquiring a new customer can cost more than retaining an existing one. Make sure your marketing efforts are continually targeting the needs of your existing customer base. Building trust with them goes a long way in keeping them coming back–and telling their friends!

Tip: The success rate of selling to one of your existing customers is 60-70% whereas selling to a new customer is a 5-20% rate – so focus more on your customer retention.

5. Being unable – or unwilling – to adapt

Businesses need to evolve to succeed. This reality hasn’t been more true than it has in the past few months due to COVID-19. The most successful companies work hard to constantly evaluate their marketing tactics, update them to accommodate new trends, and are in a position to pivot whenever a crisis occurs.

Tip: Research how companies have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have gone under while others thrived. This is because they adapted and embraced radical change.

 6. Marketing to “everyone”

As much as you may want them to be, everyone is not a potential customer. Be very selective with who you are selling to and understand your target audience to ensure that your message directly maps to their pain points.

Tip: As you uncover your ideal audience, create buyer personas. This involves actually getting to know them – which includes learning their individual needs and buying habits. Creating personas can help to focus your content more directly to reach those buyers.

7. Ignoring the competition

Competition is healthy. It pushes us to do better and be the best. Some recommend ignoring your competitors and focus more on your own business, but if you don’t know what they are doing in the industry, how will you know how to do it better?

Tip: Use your competition to your benefit – learn from their mistakes. What are they doing that’s successful? What’s not working? Take that information and improve your own business strategies.

8. Making excuses that keep you from marketing your business

“If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses.” – Bruce Nauman

Excuses can cripple a business, especially when it keeps you from marketing . You may think you don’t have the time, it’s too expensive, or you didn’t need it before and you don’t need it now. Making excuses to not invest in marketing – and in yourself – is a shame because it invites a wealth of opportunity that your business is missing out on.

Tip: Hold yourself accountable in the face of excuses. They may seem like the easy way out, but if you could see a return on your investment in a matter of weeks wouldn’t you do it?

We want you to position yourself for success and growth. By really considering your current marketing tactics, you could save yourself from wasting valuable time and money.

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