We’re nearing the end of the March Madness tournament, and few brackets remain intact. Kansas, Villanova, Loyola Chicago and Michigan are headed to San Antonio for the Final Four. Only 0.48% of ESPN brackets predicted that Loyola would make it to this point, proving just how unpredictable the tournament truly is. With the right strategy, the right players and a little faith (looking at you, Sister Jean), this team is proof that anything is possible. Marketing works the same way. With professionals on your team working to create a cohesive lead generation strategy, you can make the right calls and prevent your business from being knocked out of the competition.
Welcome to Part Two of our three-part series, The Upsets of Marketing Madness. Below you’ll find more of the 68 common upsets and mistakes that can happen to any marketing team. However, an underdog like your company can come out on top by preventing or fixing these 24 marketing mishaps.
#21 No Website Nearly half of all small businesses in the United States don’t have a website. Shocking, we know. Meanwhile, here is a website dedicated to just telling the visitor that their computer is on. Here’s one where you can watch bacon sizzle.
There’s a site out there to tell users browsing on computers to let them know their device is on, yet 49% of small businesses don’t have a presence. Do you see the problem here?! 97% of consumers search online for products & services, and more than half of searches are local. People will (or won’t be able to) find your business online before they ever go to your business. Basically, you need a website.
#22 Mobile Friendliness Website traffic coming from mobile devices is increasing every day. There are few things more frustrating while browsing on a website than constantly scrolling every direction just to read an article – if they even take the time to do that. Most visitors will simply leave. Make your site mobile friendly!
#23 Too Few or Too Many Colors Don’t make it difficult for people to decipher your message, stick to your brand’s color scheme!
#24 Treating Your Site as an Online Brochure A website is a sales tool and a lead generation platform that works for your company 24/7, so treat it as such! Using it as an online brochure is not fulfilling the revenue generating potential it has.
#25 Lack of CTAs Call to actions are an essential piece to converting your site into a lead-generating tool. To create an effective one, it’s crucial that it clearly tells visitors what they need to do. There should be enough information that visitors know what they’ll receive from taking action and what information they need to provide.
#26 Poor Navigation Cluttered menus, elements that are too close to one another and an unclear sense of direction are all navigation problems that beg a viewer to leave a website. Keep it simple and self-explanatory.
#27 Hidden Navigation This one goes along with the above point, but some of the most expensive and flashy sites experience this common issue. Have you ever been to a website and you can’t find the menu or the search bar? It’s incredibly frustrating. While a typical navigation bar may not be the edgiest design feature, it does increase usability.
#28 Forgetting to BCC recipients Avoid revealing hundreds or thousands of people’s email addresses and exposing them to all kinds of follow-up spam. It’s not a great look for your company.
#29 Failing to Proofread This goes along with typos, but the point really cannot be stressed enough. Keep your company looking professional – proofread!
#30 Not Checking the Subject Line Send a test email to yourself to spot this one.
#31 Sending the Test Email These all build off each other. Be careful about sending the test email out – sending it to your entire subscriber base may not work out so well.
#32 Check Links and Promo Codes If you haven’t figured it out by now, the key to preventing email marketing blunders is checking out the email once, twice and probably even three times. You’ll thank yourself later!
#33 Forgetting about SEO Utilize SEO in your video titles and descriptions to get your content ranking! Tools like VidIQ can help you with finding the right tags and keywords to improve your score.
#34 Going for the Hard Sell 90% of users say that video is helpful in their decision process, but constantly pushing the seller to buy can ruin a great video. Think of infomercials – the product demonstration makes you want to buy, but the constant reminder that the product is $19.95 plus shipping can deter the viewer very quickly.
#35 Leaving Out Call to Actions An exceptional, targeted video is almost worthless without an opportunity to collect a viewer’s information and guide their buyer journey. Include CTAs to provide next steps for your viewers!
#36 Poor Quality Videos While you may want to produce videos quickly for your business, don’t forget that all content you produce is a representation of your brand. A poorly produced video can connotate poor work. Uphold your brand standards and keep quality over quantity!
#37 Tracking and Monitoring Analytics Many companies upload video content and forget it, which doesn’t help your strategy. If you want to keep improving, it’s important to assess how your videos are performing and adjust to optimize them.
#38 Assuming B2B Marketing Can’t Be As Lively As B2C Don’t feel forced to make stiff, talking-head videos just because you are a B2B company. Have some fun with your message, because you’re marketing to real people too! In this video campaign, Verisign shows the plight of abandoned shopping carts to bring awareness on how their business can help e-commerce websites. With it, the company found a great branding opportunity and earned themselves the reputation of “cart whisperers.”
#39 Poor choice of language. Press releases are not blogs, and most media gatekeepers aren’t always impressed with jargon and buzzwords. Editors don’t have time to read your release, so it’s crucial to get to the point with plain and simple language.
#40 Poor timing. Magazines, newspapers and other media need ample lead time, which means it’s important to get your releases in early. Poor timing will result in a lack of publishing.
#41 Lack Of or Too Many Follow-Ups Journalists don’t want to constantly field your calls, but they also don’t want to miss a great story just because it’s been lost in a sea of emails. Send a reminder email or give them a call several days after the pitch, to ensure they received it. If there’s still no response, let it be.
#42 Over-Editing Proper grammar is something that should never be overlooked, but it’s also possible to over-edit. By doing this, you can end up putting off a press release for weeks and missing your window of opportunity. Don’t over think it!
#43 Not Conducting Research Save yourself and the potential outlet some time, and do your homework. If you don’t understand what the outlet covers or what the specific reporter writes about shows that you either don’t know or don’t care to know. Don’t ruin your PR strategy with bad PR – research before hitting send.
#44 SEO Friendly Content It’s 2018, which means you should be including your keywords and website backlinks in your PR content as it’s going to end up online. If you refer to something someone else has written, link to that as well to make your content more search-friendly. As always, be careful with keyword stuffing.
And there you have it; Part Two of Marketing Madness. There are lots of blogs and articles about how to practice digital marketing the right way—but it’s important to examine how things are done incorrectly to learn from the errors of poorly executed marketing strategies. Stay tuned for next week’s blog, in which we’ll wrap up this three-part series and the 68 marketing mishaps that can drive you mad.