Top Five Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Now

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Written by guest blogger Corianne Burton, SEO Specialist with N2Q Consulting

“Make the customer number one.” “The customer is always right.” “Customer service is priority numero uno.”

These platitudes may seem tired, but they speak a long-known marketing truth. However, foundational marketing often makes the mistake of simply denying the fact that the customer comes first.

Thinking you know better than your audience, seeing consumers as numbers and not people, and failing to give customers their due attention are seemingly trite mantras from days of old… but they’ll come back to haunt you. If you become tone deaf to these truths, you’ll pay in lost traffic, missed prospects and opportunities, and even your loyal, long-time customers going a new direction. The good news is that you can still take back the success of your marketing campaigns. Just make sure to address these key foundational errors that many marketing firms make.

1. Thinking You Have All the Answers

…Or thinking that you need to have them. Marketing is tricky; it’s an ever-changing field of consumer attraction. While you may have great ideas, keeping current and creative requires humility. You must step back from all the good that you know (or, believe you should know) in order to listen. To learn. To ask questions.

Stop relying on the tried and not-so-true marketing methods. They only maintain the status quo and – as you can tell by our name – this is something we don’t like. To say no to the quo and move into the great beyond, you must listen to experts in the field, ask questions and get creative with marketing efforts that work well for your company and with its goals. If you need help, ask. After all, holding fast to the idea of being a jack-of-all-trades may hurt your endgame.

2. Believing One Size-Fits-All

Furthermore, making assumptions and following stock strategies reaps problems for campaigns and your client relationships. In other words, marketing proposed to “fit everyone” likely fits no one. Failing to listen to your audience or understand the goals of your company lead to lackluster marketing campaigns.

Focus on a segmented, targeted audience rather than a broad one. Taking into account the habits, triggers, interests, goals and hopes of prospects allows you to tailor your marketing to better meet their needs. Plus, matching these details to the goals, products and services of your company helps build relationships. This considerate attention leads to loyal customers.

3. Avoiding the Social Scene

You may desire to remain aloof from the crowd (whether digital or real world), but being antisocial in marketing efforts hurts your business. While social media proves vital to success (for those companies whose customers engage with it), half-hearted efforts produce full failures. Yes, nothing is better than a poorly run campaign.

To take advantage of social media, make sure you’re attending to Facebook or blog comments and questions. Build relationships rather than broadcasting or promoting yourself through these platforms. You’ll be rewarded by knowing more about your audience. The truth is consumers want to know that you see who they are beyond a mere notch in your sales belt.

4. Not Taking Advantage of Analytics

In the activity of a week, assessing the impact of marketing campaigns by “feel” proves difficult. Often this critical assessment gets set aside for lead chasing and advertising. Yet, marketing 101 teaches that tracking and measuring results is crucial for knowing what is working.

Fortunately, a host of analytics offer help in determining your return on investment. Google Analytics, social media analytics such as Facebook insights, and email campaign data give feedback to let you know where adjustments need to be made for greater success. Use the figures and switch up campaigns by concentrating your efforts on what works.

5. Failing to Draft a Strategy

Digital marketing and technology bring a flurry of business boosting options to your door step. It’s exciting! Unfortunately, these opportunities also prove overwhelming, even paralyzing to your marketing efforts. Or, if you eagerly jump in with both feet wherever you can, you run the risk of landing in the wrong place.

Marketing objectives and goals culminating in a strategy are vital. Identify where you want to go and the tactics on how to get there become clearer. Plus, assessing each marketing component to ensure it leads to the same destination proves easier. Your analytics will more accurately measure what you intend to when your direction is set.

The Wrap

Whether you go DIY or hire a creative agency to get your efforts flowing, addressing the details of your marketing campaign proves critical to your success. Your audience does come first. The customer really is numero uno.

Humble yourself to listen to your prospects, customers, industry experts and even your competition to adopt a marketing strategy which tailor fits your company and demographic. Engage with your audience to build loyal relationships. Be sure to use analytics to measure and adjust as needed.

Doing nothing out of fear or everything out of eagerness yields poor marketing results. Money and time are precious commodities poured into these efforts. Use them wisely by developing an intentional marketing campaign that avoids these top marketing mistakes.

To speak with a beyond the status quo marketing firm for help with any marketing efforts that overwhelm or allude you, reach out to N2Q today. We love to see you succeed.

 

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How to Track Social Media in Google Analytics

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As they say, ignorance is bliss.

Unfortunately, this generally doesn’t apply to digital marketing. In fact, ignorance may be as far from bliss as possible, especially if your social media accounts aren’t performing to your standards.

For those with no way to track website performance and metrics, it can be easy to believe that you’re hitting all of your benchmarks, driving new traffic, and harvesting adequate leads. Overlooking weak spots and missing pain points completely is also possible without a good way to objectively evaluate how your social media accounts are functioning.

Luckily, there’s a better way. Google Analytics is a free tool widely used by novice webmasters and seasoned veterans alike. It offers an easy way to evaluate traffic sources and determine the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Providing insight into the many facets of site functionality, Google Analytics can unwrap your website’s performance, uncovering the truth about what your digital marketing is able to accomplish.

Curious? Here’s how you can make the most of your social media stats:

Track Traffic Sources

Many marketers erroneously believe that as long as website traffic stays steady, everything must be fine. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Without a solid understanding of where your customers are coming from and how they’re getting to you, it’s very challenging to get a full picture of consumer web behavior. Google Analytics is extremely valuable in this arena, breaking down traffic from exact point of origin.

Under the category Real Time there is a section called Traffic Sources. From here you will be able to see exactly where traffic to your website is originating, a function that silos results based on individual traffic sources. Many of these sources should be expected; most marketers see many results from Google and direct access, as well as social media sites, blog posts, and more. Take the time to go through your most popular sources, and determine which are social media sites and see how these sites rank overall.

Set Goals with Campaigns

In order to truly hone in on how your social media marketing campaigns are working, Google Analytics lets users set up goals. This feature allows you to narrow your results, tracking specific features regarding how consumers perform once they reach your site.

Under the Admin tab, click Goals, and then select New Goal. In the fields provided, enter the data you wish to track, including pages visited or viewing duration. Choose a name that summarizes what you’d like to accomplish, and select Destination as the type. Then, in the destination field, enter the tail end of the URL you’d like to track. For example, if you’d like to see how many Twitter followers make a purchase, you can set this field to reflect your Thank You page. Users can also add monetary value tracking or incorporate a sequence of pages through the Funnel feature.

View Conversions

For most marketers, conversions are an end goal. Fortunately, Google Analytics makes tracking conversions easy, providing access to one-click insight by going to the Acquisitions menu, selecting All Traffic, and then choosing Channels. From here, users can enable the Social view to see exactly how social media sites break down.

The report generated here will include many valuable stats, including goal conversion rates, goal completions, and goal value, providing a great overview into how your goals are performing for each social site. Users can also utilize the Assisted Conversions report, accessed under the Conversions menu under Multi-Channel Funnels. This report maps which leads were originally, but maybe not specifically, a result of social media marketing. For example, a customer may have found your site through social media, clicked away, and then used Google to find your page again days later in order to make a purchase.

Draw Conclusions

Google Analytics is a great start, but numbers alone can’t tell you how to improve. Instead, you need to learn from what information you have available, using it to develop insights that can be applied to boost your social performance. Devise questions that relate to social behaviors and see how your customers are fitting into the mold. What social media sites have the highest visits? Do Facebook leads have a longer page duration? Is your traffic from Twitter viewing more pages on average?

Formulating these questions can help you get to the root of your social media successes and failures, especially when you are running specific campaigns. For example, if visitors from Twitter are spending more time on your landing page but don’t see a reason to click through, perhaps your marketing materials are misleading.

For marketers at all stages of the game, access to analytics can be the demarcation between growth potential and slowing sales. Google Analytics can provide many of the insights you need to improve performance, putting game-changing resources right at your fingertips.

Essential Marketing Analytics Tools for Small Businesses

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Just about every business out there is beginning to recognize the importance of online marketing. Whether they are building a website, creating social media accounts, or maintaining a viable email list, every business is moving into the digital marketplace. Once they show up, however, many tend to fizzle out. This generally comes from a lack of understanding of the digital world, a poor marketing plan, and no idea how to make improvements or read data. This is where marketing analytics come into play.

What’s the point of having a website or a social media account if no steps are taken to measure its effectiveness? Without knowing who is visiting a business’s page, where they are coming from, or how long they stay, it’s difficult to determine if the time and money being spent is even worth it. Luckily, there are plenty of digital marketing analytics tools available all around the web to help combat the confusing world of marketing data analysis.

Keeping Track of Your Website and Its Effectiveness

Nearly every business with an online presence has its own website at the very least, but just having a website isn’t enough. It is important for every business owner to fully understand the performance of their website. This includes tracking audience engagement, data on demographics, topics and pages that are viewed and used the most, and how people are finding the web site in the first place. Luckily there is an incredible resource through Google called Google Analytics that will track all of this information free of charge.

Once a website’s traffic and engagement is being tracked, it is easy to move into search engine optimization (SEO) analysis. Tracking key word rankings, the number and quality of back links (links from one page to another), and general SEO effectiveness are all types of data that need to be sifted through and analyzed as often as possible. This is where Google steps up again with Google Web Master Tools. Designed to make website and SEO analytics free and easy to use, Web Master Tools is a great resource for any small business on the web.

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Analyzing Your Social Media Presence

Social media is easily the most expansive and complicated form of marketing online, and encompasses so much more than most realize. Including websites, apps, games, shares, and links across multiple platforms and companies, social media has become a wild beast that few have been able to tame. Luckily for the small business owner, companies like Scoop.It, Quintly, Cyfe and a few others have all stepped into the ring with lassos in hand.

Scoop.It and Buffer – Provided free with the option to upgrade, were both designed to measure social media views, visitors, comments, and daily shares across multiple social sites. Scoop.It also provides product guides, case studies, demos, and FAQ’s to its 1.2 million users, and is fully integrated with Google Analytics. Both websites will also help manage social media posts through their useful tools, and help compare average and daily hits on each post.

Followerwonk and Quintly – Created by Moz, Followerwonk is a comprehensive resource for tracking posts on Twitter, while Quincy provides the same service for Facebook. Both provide clean and easy to use interfaces and graphic representation for analyzing posts, likes/ favorites and shares/retweets. Followerwonk also provides its users with popular hashtags and optimal times for tweeting content, and is a statistics based open information application. This means that businesses aren’t limited to their own information, but can research the competition as well. Quintly, on the other hand, limits its users to 3 Facebook pages per free account, with more available with a paid subscription, and is ideal for small businesses.

Cyfe and Addvocate+Trap!t – Both of these websites follow content sharing across multiple social networks, and each one has a unique method for sorting its data. Cyfe leans more towards full internet presence and includes data for websites outside the normal social media channels, while Addvocate+Trap!t (two companies that recently teamed up into one super squad) provides comparative data between channels to help small businesses determine which works best for them. Both are free, easy to use, and incredibly reliable.

Making the Most for the Small Business

Generally speaking, most small businesses do not have the time or money to invest in a large scale digital marketing plan. These services tend to be costly and require a serious commitment to creating an expansive digital presence. Luckily, companies like Google and Buffer have stepped up to help the little guy build his online portfolio and get up to speed with the big players. Using these resources will allow any small business to improve both their website usability and social media effectiveness.