An online marketing strategy might not produce the expected results. Common mistakes are often the reason.
Online marketing is hard work. When you start your online business, you should not expect amazing results immediately. But if traffic or sales have still not increased after a few months, you need to ascertain the reasons for this failure. Some examples of common mistakes:
- An overly aggressive sales strategy. Consumers hate feeling that they are being pushed to make a purchase. This principle is even truer on the internet, where users tend to be more hardened and more critical than in “real life”. If you are perceived as a company that practices harassment or spamming, you may quickly find yourself on a black list – or worse. Remember that what gives you added value on the internet is the service you can provide to people in order to best meet their requirements. Listen to the demands of your audience and adapt your strategy accordingly.
- An unintelligible sales strategy. You may have adopted the marketing principle of producing relevant and neutral information so well that people no longer have a very clear idea of what you have to offer. Bear in mind that your online marketing strategy is aimed solely at increasing the reputation of your company and therefore its sales.
- Communication aimed at the wrong target. Perhaps you have not correctly identified your target market or the social networks where they are to be found. Your communication may be good, but ill-suited to your specific market. Make sure you are where your customers or potential partners are to be found and pay attention to their requirements.
- Anonymous and impersonal communication. Although they operate in a virtual space, the internet and social networks are not there to replace human contact but, on the contrary, to facilitate it. Avoid automated, indifferent or impersonal responses. Social networks favor connection between companies and individuals – take advantage of this to communicate in a friendly and informal way with your customers or fans whilst remaining professional.
- Disparate and ineffective communication. Due to excessive enthusiasm, you may have signed up to as many platforms as possible. Monitoring is difficult or even impossible. Some accounts are no longer updated, posts on your blog are few and far between, etc. Your communication looks disorganized and inconsistent. Rather than rushing onto dozens of social networks, focus on the essential. Be present only on sites that count for your company and your market and on which you really have the resources to dedicate.
- Opaque or untruthful communication. Users of the internet and social networks are looking for transparent and truthful information. Communication which is untruthful or overlooks actual problems is the best way of antagonizing users and generating negative comments. If you want to experience success with your online strategy, you need to be as transparent and open as possible. If obvious mistakes or failures by your company have been brought to light, accept the criticism and offer compensation. This will show that you are a serious company concerned with the well-being of its customers and partners, whilst giving you the chance to improve.
- Inadequate responsiveness. You have managed to attract your audience’s interest, but cannot follow through. The key for the internet and social networks is responsiveness. You need to take an interest in what is being said about you and your company, whether good or bad. Introduce a monitoring strategy to assess the impact of your image on social networks and on the internet and react accordingly and as promptly as possible.
Sources: Réseaux sociaux et entreprise: les bonnes pratiques, Christine Balagué and David Fayon, Pearson, 2011; Le marketing en ligne, Jon Reed and Christine Balagué, Pearson, 2011.