Online Marketing Fail

6 Reasons Your Online Marketing Fails

If you’ve seen less-than-stellar results from your online marketing efforts, consider how these six “lack ofs” might be negatively impacting your ability to achieve your online marketing goals.

1. Lack of Consistency

You can’t just mow the lawn once in May and then again in September and expect the neighbors to come by regularly to admire your yard.

You have to consistently and regularly tend to your online marketing. The best, easiest way to do that is to prioritize it via a calendar just like any other common business practice or responsibility.

Engagement is the most sought-after marketing goal today, and every savvy business is vying for your customers’ attention. In other words, if your clients already LOVE your business, respond regularly with humor, energy, special offers, etc. to keep them engaged.

  • Post to social media weekly if not multiple times per day, depending on the platform and the energy your fans and followers have.
  • Send out an email marketing campaign at least once per month (more often if you have coupons or special offers to share).
  • Schedule and plan for print marketing campaigns—for trade shows and other events, mailings, and handouts—months in advance so you can budget for expenses and plan to have them printed and ready when needed.
  • If you have a blog, post to it at least once a month, if not once a week.

Most of these items can be set up and scheduled to go out to the world ahead of when you actually need them. Ask us how in the comments section below!

2. Lack of Attention

Now more than ever, people are willing to interact directly with businesses to tell them what they like and don’t like. These empowered consumers appreciate when a business responds to that feedback. Are you listening?

If you close your ears to them, they will find another business that seems to mirror their style and needs. That’s just the way it is these days. You can’t make marketing decisions in a bubble; you have to talk to your customers, ask their opinions, get them engaged with your business so you can improve – and then tell them you’re working on improving!

Test, test, test! Try different types of posts and email campaigns, be creative, mix things up, and pay very close attention to how your audience responds. Spend time testing out different scenarios, different campaign types and styles, different voices even.


3. Lack of Personality

It’s entirely possible that your marketing is just not impacting … anyone. Whether it’s because you just don’t market that often, haven’t found your voice yet, are imitating your competition, or haven’t engaged your audience in a way they expect from you, keep at it.

You most likely haven’t found your voice yet. Get some tips in this post: “Using Personality to Attract More Customers to Your Small Business.”

Solicit their feedback whenever possible and just keep trying new things. And remember, even negative feedback is better than none at all!

4. Lack of Diversity

Just as you wouldn’t cut the grass one blade at a time, you also shouldn’t focus all your online marketing efforts in one area. Online marketing is like a giant ecosystem, and each part feeds into the other parts. Consider this scenario:

  • Jane Prospect visits your website and signs up for your email marketing.
  • She sees something in one of your email campaigns that her friend could use. She forwards it to her friend.
  • Joe Friend clicks on the link in the email campaign that Jane shared and goes to your website, where he makes a purchase and is automatically signed up for your email marketing.
  • A follow-up email goes to Joe to thank him for the purchase and invite him to follow your company on social media sites. Also included is a special incentive to share a coupon with yet another friend.
  • Joe feels happy about his customer experience and decides to show his appreciation by ‘liking’ your Facebook page and maybe even posting the offer from the email to his own Facebook wall because – what the hey? – it gives him something in return, which his 500 friends then see….
  • Going forward, you have two separate ways to market to Joe – via email marketing and through Facebook, with your website being a pivot point.


5. Lack of Follow-Up

If you fail to show up for a doctor appointment, do they call and email you repeatedly to get you to rebook your appointment? Nope, they sure don’t, and that’s because there are a lot of other patients to serve.

If you don’t follow up on your doctor’s advice, does he hassle you or does he leave you to your own devices as a responsible adult? In most cases, the latter.

Think of your online marketing consultants as doctors for your business. Show them enough respect to follow up regularly, keep things on track, and show you care about the health of your business. Do your part to make sure they get the information they need so they can do a good job for you.

These are busy people with multiple clients to serve simultaneously, and they don’t have time to chase non-responsive clients. If you want the job done well and the right amount of attention paid to your projects, follow up on emails, phone calls, and various stages of the project within a couple days.

Just like a doctor, online marketing professionals can’t make every decision for you. They can primarily point you in a direction, but then require response from you to finish the job. Show these professionals that marketing is a priority instead of an afterthought so they can help make you more successful. Work with them effectively and efficiently to maximize your impact on your customer.


6. Lack of Patience

Arm in arm with consistency and diversity is patience. Online marketing requires an investment of time. While some campaigns might hit immediately, others might fall flat. Email marketing might be a dud for months and then, suddenly, you strike the right chord and the response is overwhelming.

Online marketing moves FAST. What’s exciting and new one moment can be dull and boring just a few hours later. So it’s important to keep your energy fresh and your ideas flowing. Trial and error is just part of the deal.

Talk to your fans and customers, pay attention to marketing efforts that strike you as a consumer, ask questions, and challenge the status quo. Most importantly, keep at it!

Photo credits: mallix and Dario-Jacopo Lagana’ and Jeremy Page and Alex Proimos

Management consultant and brand strategist for small teams. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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