Want to know how online startups are reshaping businesses around the world? A glimpse into how this market segment is growing reveals some startling figures.
Statistics show that online shoppers are increasing. Compared to 2015, 2016 saw an increase of 45% more shoppers in the US only. Online shoppers spent $327 billion in 2016, while the market will reach the $500 billion mark by 2019.
Unfortunately, most online startups fail to make an impact for one reason or another. Oddly, this occurs despite their attempts of improving their business presence in the market. So, where these businesses may be going wrong? Here is a list of commonly overlooked mistakes that startup marketers too often make:
1. Planning Short-Term Goals But Not Long-Term
A number of startups fail despite getting early investment because they give importance to short-term goals. In doing so, they often get carried away and begin to lose sight of long-term goals.
These startups spend cash on acquiring customers. As a result, they go empty handed and are left with little to spend on other operations.
2. Don’t Replicate Your Competitors
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is a great way to learn and finding ways to do it better but that’s where it should end. Never try to replicate your competitors, just learn, improvise and take your own direction.
Companies trying to replicate their competitors often get caught in the trap of unnecessary things. For instance, you’ll end up creating a lot of noise and annoy your customers as a result. Also, in-toeing your competitors, you’ll have no proper marketing strategy of your own.
At some stage, you’ll feel bottlenecked and run out of options. Also, your competitors might be working on a bigger budget and have more resources than you. In the end, you will have to redo it all over again. To avoid this, it is better to develop your own online marketing strategy and keep your options open.
3. Listening To Too Many Inputs In Marketing
There is no denying that everyone wants to be a part of product marketing. From managers to employees, everyone has an opinion. But, does that justify their inclusion in the marketing procedure? Not at all.
Adding more opinions means stretching the marketing process which is not required. Remember, the longer it takes to finalize the marketing process, the more complicated it will become. So, it is better not to pass your marketing ideas to everyone, just trust the opinion of people you think as your marketing assets.
Instead, shift your focus on enhancing your marketing funnel and products. Once done, focus on developing an attractive pricing model that is acceptable to customers. Back your products with warranties and refund policies, support and after sales service.
4. Picking The Wrong Marketing Channels
Countless marketing channels are available that you can use to engage customers. Choosing the right marketing channel will lead you to the best returns for online marketing.
If you have more than one target audience, you should figure out which channels to pick for each audience. It is all about hitting the right channel for the right audience.
5. Failure To Manage Discounts And Coupon Codes
There is no benefit in shopping online if you don’t end up saving more money compared to physical stores. As per conversation with my friend Sarah Brennan from ClothingRIC, 85% of Americans use coupons for purchasing merchandise online.
Out of these, 62% use coupons to purchase online fashion apparels and accessories. When it comes to online shopping, coupons allow shoppers to get decent discounts and other incentives. Suffice to say that couponing plays a key role for attracting customers online. But, managing coupons can be tricky at times. Some not yet replaced expired coupons can wreath havoc on your online marketing.
To avoid this, using a coupon management system can track and report such coupons. In addition, the system also allows several other metrics like a number of coupon users, coupon feedback and coupon performance to name a few. In short, a coupon management system helps marketers know the conversion rates and the channels they come from.
6. Spending Time Perfecting the Brand
You may be seeking a perfect brand and spending time reshaping it over and over. But first, don’t make your business pronounce weird or unprofessional to targeted audience; try to avoid these start name mistakes – because it is not feasible to make so many changes that quickly when it comes to name and strategy around it. Doing so will result in lack of results but will surely waste precious time and funds.
Another issue with swiftly reshaping and changing your brand is an excessive promotion. Hyper brand promotion on social media and other platforms is not recommended. Why, because making too much noise about your brand might drive away customers.
They’ll simply stay out of the promotion and show no interest in your brand. Instead, they might try your competitor’s brand which is a letdown. But, the worst thing would be when they stop following your brand altogether.
7. Overlooking The Value of Quality Content
Content is perhaps the most powerful way to inform, educate and capture the attention of your customers. Nothing draws customers to your brand like an articulate content does. A quality content will narrate your brand’s story in a way that it will seep into the psyche of your readers.
Unfortunately, many startups make the mistake of not choosing content marketing as a viable marketing channel. The truth is that content marketing not only helps establish a brand’s position but it also drives more sales. Additionally, it also allows CEOs to position themselves as brand experts.
8. Ignoring The ORM
Your brand’s online presence is important and so is managing your online relations. This software may seem to cost a lot at first but provided their worthiness to maintain online relations, in the long run, may cause more harm than good.
Recommended: Handling Bad Reviews and Leveraging Good Ones
Several brands suffered sarcastic reviews for neglecting the importance of Online Relation Management. These comments can be perceived asmark trustworthy by other users. Inevitably, the reputation of your brand can nosedive instead of rising.
9. Not Tracking Results
Tracking your brand’s overall performance should be an obvious thing, but some startups fail to manage failure and success of their marketing endeavors. Social media platforms are often at the forefront of this mishap. The sad truth of not tracking results leads to wasting your marketing efforts. Not only that, but you also reduce your chances of learning that often come with constantly analyzing your results.
For instance, you might want to track sent marketing emails and social media campaigns. Moreover, you might need to carefully study the Call To Action that might be working for your marketing campaigns. Inevitably, tracking down results will lead you to an effective strategy that will work for your business.
10. Turning Your Blog Into Glorified News Site
Of course, you never thought of turning your blog into a news site, but that’s what happens to some blogs these days. Readers come and read, feel bored of company news and achievements and don’t turn up again.
Some blogs take a different route and lose direction in the process. As a result, they lose and eventually fail to target and drive the audience. The idea of having a blog is not to spread the news, rather ask readers their problems and solve them with the product. Keep your blog focused on sorting out the reader’s problems and give them something in each post new every time.
By avoiding these mistakes, you ensure that your online startup marketing doesn’t commit any mistake, especially at an early stage. Instead, it will take a head start and will likely help your online startup a great deal in years to come.
Allan is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Queens, NY. Allan specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and E-commerce marketing.