Business experts usually advise new entrepreneurs to disregard statistics. Yes, they mean don’t mind that up to 90% of startups fail. If you obsess over that fact, you may only become more prone to making mistakes and sharing the destiny of the frustrated entrepreneurs.
But while it’s smart to avert your focus from that fact, it can help you avoid the most common startup mistakes. If you just ignore the reasons startups fail, you may plunge yourself into the same situations that will lead your business to its demise. Hence, before drafting your business plan and making financial decisions for your brainchild, note these marketing mistakes that you must avoid:
1. Targeting Everyone
Many marketers and entrepreneurs think that they can sell their product or service to everyone. They make their promotional materials or branding universally appealing. As a result, they end up targeting no one.
Sure enough, market or audience problems are the top reason many startups fail. They don’t realize that they haven’t given their audience the motivation to commit to their product or service. For example, if you’re selling health supplements, you can’t just tell people that they need your product because it will make them healthier. They already know that.
Instead, you have to find the people with a real need for your supplements. If your supplements’ benefits are hair growth and glowing skin, then you have to target people with fine hair and skin problems. But you can’t stop at that either. You also have to consider the income, educational attainment, gender, lifestyle, and hobbies of your audience. That way, you can determine your specific target audience, and avoid wasting your marketing budget.
Can you have more than one target audience, though? Yes, you can. The key to marketing to them right is using the right channel, which we’ll tackle next.
2. Speaking Through the Wrong Channels
There are various channels you can use to reach out to your audience. The internet is probably the best channel nowadays, as it has social media, emails, and paid ads. Plus, almost everyone uses the internet, which means that you’ll definitely find your audience in it. But that’s not true, unless you’ve used the correct channel.
You have to understand your target audience to find out which channel you should use to connect to them. If they base their purchasing decisions on social media, then choose social media as your channel. If they rely more on print ads, then send out flyers or brochures.
Each audience may have its own channel. Discover what they are, and avoid the ones they don’t use.
3. Using Outdated SEO techniques
SEO is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. But like trends, some SEO techniques also go out of favor over time. If you still use the following, call a competent digital marketing agency before it’s too late:
Link and Article Directories
Unless yours are high-quality and niche-specific, link and article directories are generally useless nowadays. Before search engines became so powerful, link directories were used to categorize websites so that internet users can easily find what they’re searching for. But since link directories don’t provide real value, they eventually became a wasteland of low-quality links. It may even get your website penalized.
Exact-match Domains (EMD)
For a time, exact-match domains were the pinnacle of SEO. EMDs allowed websites to rank high in search engines when users search using, well, an exact-match keyword. For example, if you’re targeting your website’s URL as a keyword, then any user who Google searches that keyword will be directed to your website.
But EMDs lost its effectiveness as Google adjusted its algorithms. Nowadays, EMDs can be flagged as spam.
Reciprocal linking is like a “trade” or “exchange” between two brands so that both can boost their SEO. Basically, you and another brand will agree that if they link to you, you’ll also link to them.
But this is ineffective now because many traded links don’t contain valuable content at all. They simply bait users. But if you can show your audience high-quality content in your traded links, then reciprocal linking may not hurt your SEO at all.
4. Overlooking Email Marketing
Just because people generally spend more time on social media doesn’t mean you should overlook their emails. If you have an account in an online store, aren’t you always given the option to receive newsletters and email updates about special discounts and promos? That’s because emails are still effective in capturing attention.
Hence, if you’re not yet taking advantage of email marketing, do it now. Communicating with your audience through their personal email addresses is also a way to build a lasting relationship with them.
Overall, when you’re marketing, remember that you’re not just selling a product or service. You’re also solving your audience’s problems, making their lives easier, and getting to know them. For every marketing strategy, think of how it will impact your audience economically and emotionally.