Dozens of new brands pop up online every single day. Some will succeed; many will not. Whether a brand is b2b, b2c, or a mix of both, there are a few mistakes that almost every new brand makes when starting out online.
Here are the four mistakes that we see most often and how your brand can avoid them.
Not Having a Story to Tell
Thanks to easy-to-learn CMS and other helpful online tools it has become easier than ever to launch a brand online. Setting up a website, social media accounts and search and display advertising campaigns can be done in a weekend. This has caused many would-be marketers to jump headfirst into the online marketing pool without a second thought. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get down to business, understanding what your brand is about before going all-in will make communicating easier and increase your future bottom line.
While traditionally brands have used documents like “creative briefs” to organize their stories, there are less complicated methods available. Building a storyboard or creating a simple outline is a good way to start. Think about where your brand has been, where it is now and where you see it in the near and distant future. Fill in the gaps with how you plan to get to the next step and, most importantly, why your audience should care. At the very least, write yourself a mission statement. If you don’t know what your brand is all about, how will your customers get the message?
Not Including Target Keywords in Website Copy
With all we know about the importance of SEO and showing up on the first page of Google, not including targeted keywords in the copy you write is a disastrous mistake. While you should never just “jam them in,” writing in a way that allows for keyword inclusion is absolutely essential to the success of your brand’s website.
Writing SEO relevant copy isn’t about keyword “stuffing,” rather it’s about writing useful and engaging topically relevant copy. If the keywords your brand targets are truly keeping you from copy that fits your brand, it’s time to choose new keywords. They may not have as many monthly searches, but a better fit will more than make up for the lack of volume.
It may be difficult to get started, but good SEO doesn’t have to be ugly! There is a point where SEO and beautiful copywriting meets. Be sure to take the time to find it.
Not Keeping Up with Social Media
As of May 7th, 2013, the number of tweets per day has reached 58 million. With so many different conversations going on online, shouldn’t your brand be paying attention? Not taking a moment to see what people are saying about your industry, your competition or (hopefully) your business is a disastrous mistake.
Businesses used to pay thousands of dollars at a time to learn what a few people thought about their products. Now you can tap into your audiences’ minds for free, 24 hours a day. In fact a well hashtagged tweet can instantly pick up new customers. What are you waiting for?
Not Making Adjustments
While many brands are guilty of changing their marketing too often, many more are guilty of not changing it at all. Too many digital marketers set up a campaign using a tool like AdWords or Facebook and just let it “do its thing.” Would-be marketers set up campaigns and let the budgets burn without ever checking to see if the campaign as actually leading increased sales or engagement. AdWords reassures them that things are working by sending emails about how they could be getting more clicks if it weren’t for their small daily budgets. That must mean the campaign is a success, right?
While there’s not enough time to manage each of your campaigns a daily basis, it’s important to set time each week to see how the campaign is doing and make minor adjustments. Having a set time will not only ensure that the campaign is running smoothly, it will also keep you from having a “This campaign is a disaster! Cancel everything!” moment of panic a few months down the road.
What’s your advice for first time digital marketers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.