Avoid these ten marketing traps

Is marketing your friend or your foe? From printed collateral to social media, each of your marketing materials are your representatives, telling your company’s story and making first impressions on your behalf. All of your marketing efforts should work together to build lead generation to increase sales and grow your business. If you want to get loyalty, raise your profile, and make the sale, it’s vital that your marketing is the best it can be. Here are ten marketing traps you need to avoid:

Fuzzy messages. Your message needs to be clear and concise. To help you achieve this, learn to sum up your central message in a single sentence. Once you can do that, you’ll know you have the focus you need to keep your marketing messaging to the point.

Self-importance. Marketing isn’t about you, it’s about your customers. Craft your materials to talk to and about them. Find out what matters to them, and speak to that. Marketing that talks on and on about how wonderful your company is soon gets boring for the recipient.

Lack of a plan. Marketing is one of the most important things you can do for your business, but it can also be time consuming and eat into the budget. That’s why you need a solid plan first. A plan will help you set objectives and work out how to meet them.

Missing calls to action. Whether it’s website content or a Facebook status, your customers need to know what to do next. Maybe you want them to share your content, or revisit your site. Whatever it is, let them know – and then give them a compelling reason to do it.

Too broad a focus. If you try to appeal to everyone, you run the risk of appealing to no one. Picture your ideal customer in your mind, and speak directly to them. Take the time to understand their concerns and figure out how to solve their problems. It’s important to create multiple campaigns and specifically target them towards different audiences.

Forgetting the benefits. Don’t just tell your customers what it is, tell them why they want it. Instead of the specs of the print machine, tell them how it draws attention to their customers. Show them how your product or service can improve their lives.

Boring content. Content is everywhere. Content is your email newsletter, your tweets, your blog posts and your homepage. If your content is dry, boring or repetitive, it will be hard to convince your customers to come back for more. Consistently be on the lookout for news and trending topics that are popular among your target audience so your content captures their interests.

Not knowing your business. You know your product or service really well, but how well do you know your overall business? Take time to develop your business personality and unique voice and make sure your marketing materials stick to it at all times.

Not understanding your unique selling proposition. Why should your customers choose you over your competitors? What makes you stand out? Your competitors will be offering experience, quality and good service too. What makes you unique and a natural first choice for your customers?

Lack of listening skills. Getting a strong message out is only the first half of your marketing efforts. Listening to feedback and incorporating it so you can do better next time is the other half. Welcome feedback and listen to what your customers want.

Your marketing campaigns are like your company’s personal PR team, telling the world what you stand for and why they should care. Especially in today’s social-media-heavy world, having the right content on your social can be a major plus for your business. Avoid these marketing pitfalls to make sure your message is well received.