Online marketing has become a must for businesses. Yet, many of them make mistakes that hinder their growth and give their competitors a head start.
The good news is that it has never been easier to build an effective web presence with free and inexpensive software that requires no programming knowledge. Easy to create social media pages has also made online presence more accessible.
BDC’s team of experts, who advise businesses on all aspects of marketing and sales, identified the following four mistakes entrepreneurs make when building their online presence.
1. Trying to do everything at once
Many entrepreneurs want to make a splash with an expensive site and a strong social media presence. They see their projects get bogged down by a million details and issues, while their competitors get ahead of the curve. This results in wasted time and money
It’s best to start strong with simple, scalable tools. Then you can make steady progress, building and improving your online presence as you discover what works for your business.
2. Paying too much attention to design
Many entrepreneurs (and web designers) become obsessed with the appearance of their site. While it’s important to have an attractive, brand-true website, words are just as important as appearance, if not more so.
Your web pages should clearly and concisely communicate what your company offers and why you are the best choice in your category. Beyond product descriptions that are prominently displayed on a page, you want your website to include persuasive calls to action (e.g., “Download Now”) and your contact information appearing on every page.
3. Not building a community
One of the most important goals of your online marketing should be to create a community around your business. The best way to do this is to offer value-added content that helps, entertains and engages your audience. However, many businesses alienate their audience by bombarding them with aggressive marketing messages.
It makes more sense to position yourself as an expert in your field by offering how-to articles, e-books, infographics and informative videos. Visitors are more likely to share this type of content on social media and, ideally, become ambassadors for your company.
4. Set it and forget it
Many businesses drop their online marketing when their attention is diverted by something else. Their efforts are inconsistent, and they don’t use analytics to track their results and improve over time.
The real beauty of the Internet, Dindayal points out, is that you can immediately see where your visitors are coming from, and how they are navigating your Web site and responding to your content.
This information allows you to quickly test the performance of different content, layouts and promotional campaigns to determine what attracts the most visitors and what is shared the most often, thus driving the most registrations or sales.
A continuous improvement cycle
The way to get the most out of your online investment is to get to work, measure your results, make improvements and start over in a cycle of continuous improvement.