Every Insurance professional, home service contractor and Realtor makes mistakes, especially when trying out new marketing strategies. However, when your business is putting its reputation (and money) on the line to experiment with new digital marketing strategies, making certain mistakes can be (literally) costly.
With that in mind, let’s look at 5 of the most common local marketing fails and how to avoid them.
- A user experience that is focused on you rather than them
No offense, it doesn’t much matter what you like or even what we like. What matters most is what your prospects and customers like.
A website’s visual impact is important, but it also needs to support an engaging and efficient customer journey.
Your audience visits your site to solve their problems and alleviate their pain points, not to learn about your products. Your products could be the solution to their problems but they’re not picking up what you’re putting down.
So, if you have a lot of visitors to your site but they aren’t converting the way you want them to, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your user experience.
Consider a Home Page refresh, new Landing Pages, or an update to your payment options or check-out process, as examples.
According to recent Bain research, companies that excel at Customer Experience grow revenues at a rate that is 4%-8% higher than the market average.
- Reluctant to Experiment with New Marketing Channels
Marketing is constantly evolving, and the only way to effectively promote your business on a consistent basis is to keep up with the changes and be open to trying new marketing activities.
However, many small business owners make the mistake of focusing solely on one, relatively simple marketing technique. For example, they may build a following on Instagram and believe they can avoid using other marketing methods.
So, what happens if your target audience unfollows you on IG? It may appear unlikely that such a thing could occur, but it is possible. Trends pass us by. Websites that were popular yesterday are no longer available. You must plan ahead of time and do everything possible to spread the word in multiple ways. That doesn’t mean you should spend all of your time marketing, but it does mean you should diversify.
- You haven’t claimed your social media pages yet.
You don’t have to be active on every social media site out there. But what you should do is spend a few minutes claiming your business name on all relevant sites and posting some basic information about your business. If a potential customer searches for you on Instagram, you want them to find accurate information, such as your address, phone number, email address, and business hours. We did this a few years ago with our Facebook page. We still post to Facebook but not like we used to. As a matter of fact, right there on our Facebook profile we say, “We’re no longer on Facebook! However, head on over to LinkedIn and Let’s Connect!”.
If you don’t claim your business, your leads may end up on a page run by a stranger, someone who isn’t looking out for your best interests. So a few minutes now can save you a lot of trouble later.
- You are not managing your reviews.
Local businesses rely heavily on online reviews. People who frequent your business can easily leave reviews on sites like Yelp, Angi, and Google. According to research, more than 80% of all consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase, but many local business owners don’t do everything they can to ensure that their reviews are beneficial
The first step is to claim your business listing on all local review sites, especially your Google Business Profile. Customers can leave reviews even if a business hasn’t created a listing, so you might be surprised at how many reviews you have if you haven’t checked. Check your existing profile to ensure that all relevant information, such as your contact information, hours, and prices, is correct.
The second step is to devise a system for responding to reviews. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your accounts. Positive reviews can be responded to with a simple thank you, but negative reviews require a bit more finesse. Responses that remain positive are the most successful. If possible, try to take the conversation offline and do whatever you need to do to resolve the situation.
It is our opinion, POSITIVE reviews are some of the most valuable marketing assets your business can have. If you haven’t already, you should invest in an evergreen review system like our 7 Pillar System to request and receive reviews on an ongoing basis.
- You are not being consistent with your brand
Everything you do online has an impact on your brand. If you have more than one person posting on your behalf, whether on your blog, website, or social media, you must have a well-defined strategy in place to ensure that everything associated with your company reflects your brand. That is, your colors and fonts should be consistent with your logo. However, it also implies that the tone of what you post must be consistent with the personality of your brand.
Creating a customer profile can assist you in identifying your core customers and tailoring your brand to them. Consider the tone of some major corporations, such as Red Bull and Rolls Royce. Red Bull employs brash, hip language that reflects their brand and audience, whereas Rolls Royce employs elevated language that addresses their core customers.
The good news is that these five errors are simple to correct. If you notice any of these flaws in your own marketing efforts, take the time to correct them and get back on track. Your company will be grateful in more ways than one!
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Linda Musselwhite is an author, speaker and co-owner of Musselwhite Marketing (est 2009). Linda’s previous positions as Human Resources Administrator. Combined with extraordinary customer service makes her the obvious choice of day to day operations for Musselwhite Marketing.
Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.