The seven deadly sins of marketing

marketing mistakes

We receive thousands of marketing messages every day, and it’s easy to make mistakes.

But by avoiding these seven common mistakes, your marketing will hopefully be more useful than useless.

How many of these have you noticed recently?

Mistake #1: “Me” copy

This is the most common symptom of being obsessed with yourself and not your customer. It’s instantly recognisable with self-referential marketing like “Company XYZ has been around for 15 years, and is the market leader in blah, blah, blah.”

Take the attention off yourself and focus on your customers. Use the words “you” and “your” much more than you say “me” “I” “us” and “our company”.

Mistake #2: No call to action

If you piqued someone’s interest with a potential way to solve their problem, you mustn’t leave them hanging. If you always include a clear call to action, no one will be left wondering what to do next.

Mistake #3: Using jargon

There’s seldom place for industry jargon in your marketing. Use language your buyers can understand.

Remember that it is informed people that buy, not confused ones. If you leave people wondering what you’re talking about, you don’t stand a chance! Keep it simple and write like you’re writing directly to your ideal customer!

Mistake #4: Striving for silly

In a bid to capture attention, some marketers are aiming for ‘silly’ rather than ‘useful’. You’ve probably seen these wacky, quirky and over-the-top attempts to earn attention.

Even if you do get lured into checking them out, they’re certainly not sustainable without any substance behind them. Don’t be gimmicky. Be useful and help your buyers solve their problems.

Mistake #5: Being too clever

Again, this is another type of self-indulgent marketing that usually fails to deliver results. The reason it is ineffective is because if you force your prospect to think too much, it will be too hard for them and they’ll move on.

You might ‘get it’ and think you’re clever, but you have to consider the environment that most people are in when they are experiencing your marketing. If it’s an email, blog post or tweet you are competing with literally hundreds of other messages at the same time.

Even with offline marketing there is some much noise vying for attention that you only have a split second. So unless it’s compelling and clear, you’ll miss your chance!

Mistake #6: Not capturing leads

The golden rule of marketing is to get qualified leads so they can be nurtured into customers. Whether you are running an event, blogging, or releasing premium content, remember one of your primary goals is to build your permission asset by attracting leads.

Always have offers where people can opt-in to receive more of your useful marketing.

Mistake #7: Failing to experiment

As marketers, you’re never 100% sure what is going to resonate with your tribe, so you should always be trying new things, testing your assumptions and fine-tuning your work. Keep on experimenting!

Stay useful

To keep your marketing useful, it is handy to document your strategy in a one page plan. To help you out, here’s the Web Strategy Planning Template – it’s a free download.

Adam Franklin is social media speaker and marketing manager of media strategy firm Bluewire Media. This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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