3 Marketing Mistakes That Are Eating Your Ad Budget [And How To Fix Them]
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Times have changed… What has worked in the past might not work today, in 2019. In this article, we'll uncover 3 marketing mistakes caused by outdated strategies that are draining your ad budget and costing you money.
Mistake 1: Missing out 96% of your potential consumers
“Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy — but they may be willing to provide contact information in exchange for valuable content.” Marketo
The first time consumers land on your landing page chances are that they aren't ready to buy and give you their payment card information in order to start a free trial or sign up with you. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t share their email, name or phone in exchange for valuable content that they need, may need or are just curious about.
Let's think logically. Would a Facebook ad with sexy visual and catchy copy be enough to build a relationship with your customer? What if we combine it with a discount, free trial or other financial benefits?
The answer is maybe. If the customer has a need and is actively looking for what you are offering, this direct advertising approach might convert well.
However, according to Marketo, only 4% of your website visitors are ready to buy from you and there must be a reason for them to be on your website in the first place.
Imagine what are the chances your ad hitting already actively looking users solely based on demographics and interests targeting.
SOLUTION: Lead Generation, Instead of direct call-to-action (download, install, buy or sign-up) provide relevant content containing CTAs for the 3 stages of the buyer’s journey - Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
An example of such call-to-actions in a blog article might be:
1) Awareness CTA: see more content on the topic without requiring contact information
2) Consideration CTA: download relevant pdf/guide or attend a free webinar in exchange for contact details
3) Decision CTA: download, sign-up, request a demo, start a free trial or buy a product
This way consumers who are not interested in your product but curious on the topic can consume more content that might convert them.
Consumers who are interested but not ready to buy from you yet can provide their contact details for more valuable information and through lead nurturing turned into paying clients.
Consumers who are ready to buy from you can use the direct call-to-action to start their free trial and experience your product.
To learn more about the Buyer's Journey read how to target your audience article.
Mistake 2: Not Educating Your Customers
“79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of nurture is the main cause for this.” Marketing Sherpa
“47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.” HubSpot
Once the user is signed up for your product (provided contact details) their user journey and your job as a marketer is just about to begin. Congratulations you got a lead but not a customer! You don't expect your leads to turn into paying customers on their own, do you?
Most products already provide their users with helpful tutorials and prompts about product features and paid offers which are good but simply not enough.
Let me give you an example. People don’t buy the drill for its features or the 2500rpm it can reach but for the hole, it makes (the use-case) and ultimately for the picture they can hang up. (the benefit)
So how does that apply to your user's journey? Do you educate your users solely on the features you have or you also show them the use-cases and benefits they might experience using your product?
I’m not saying to bombard the user with all this information in your product but rather educate them making baby steps through all your available channels - push notifications, blog, email, social media, events, etc. If you want to know how does this works in practice continue reading.
SOLUTION: Lead Nurturing, provide your users with relevant and timely information with the goal to help and move them to the next stage of the buyer’s journey
You’ve probably already noticed that sending messages and engaging with your users (leads) is better than doing nothing at all even if your activities may appear as spammy for some leads.
Ultimately Lead Nurturing is moving your leads through the buyer's journey by helping, educating and building trust with them. This process focuses on providing valuable content at every stage of their journey through the right channels at the right time.
Basically, there are 3 challenges when it comes to lead nurturing - finding where to engage with your leads, how to engage the right way with them and who will do all the work producing the content.
1) Where to engage with your users?
Create blog posts or resource pages on your website and provide “learn more” links in your product. When clicked these links should open content from your website that is relevant and helpful to the user’s context in the application.
2) How to engage the right way?
Segment your user's database based on buyer personas and their buyer’s journey and map the content they may benefit from at every stage of the journey.
Then continue by creating helpful content with having in mind for whom you are writing (buyer persona) and what is his context (stage in the buyer's journey).
3) Who will do all the work?
There are many options for content production - you can do it yourself, you can do it internally by hiring a content marketer, you can use your employee’s expertise, you can outsource it to a freelancer or hire an agency to do it for you.
The important part is not who will do the work but what’s the quality of it. If you want to know how your content shouldn’t look like - read Mistake 3 below.
Mistake 3: Producing Selfish Content
“94% of consumers have discontinued communications with a company because of irrelevant promotions or messages.” HubSpot
“51% of customers will never do business with that company again after one negative experience.” HubSpot
Those numbers are telling and it matters what, how and when you share with your customers. So let's cover the most common mistakes startups do when creating content.
Characteristics of bad content:
1) Talking mainly about themselves
People love attention and so do startup executives. When educating your customers try to hold the temptation to tell them about your company or product and focus mainly on their needs.
The goal of your content shouldn't be to sell your readers but to help and empower them. Once they are educated enough on the topic and trust you, they'll ask about you and your services themselves.
2) Praising how great their product and company are
Take this article for example. Do you prefer reading about how credible, experienced and cool I am or prefer to receive relevant unbiased information on the topic?
3) Writing Blog articles only for SEO
You can't imagine how many companies do that... I understand them and that they are trying to rank higher in the search engines but that's like shooting yourself in the foot. You're writing for humans, not robots. Two reasons why this practice is a big no, no.
First, today in 2019 search engines like Google are getting smarter, not stupider. With the AI-empowered algorithm "RankBrain" Google released back in 2015, its search engine serves more relevant content to the user even if not including the exact keywords and punishes those trying to fool the engine.
Second, let's pretend you have managed to outsmart Google. What do you think will happen when the reader opens your content and it's a total piece of shit? Chances are that they are not opening your stuff again if they remember you.
4) Writing Blog articles with the main purpose to sell
Imagine going to university to learn finances. You enter the classroom excited to learn a finance lesson. However, instead, you receive a full-blown sales presentation with the features and benefits of your lector's bank and his financial services. How would you feel about that?
5) Expressing BIASED opinion
Consumers nowadays can access more information than ever before and have developed the need for internal bullshit radar. The moment they smell BS their trust and your credibility is gone. Would you rather be an industry thought leader or a distracting noise in a sea of information seeing the world through the lens of his business interest?
SOLUTION: Get into your customer’s shoes, write from his perspective, be real and don’t pitch your product or service.
The list of blogging and content creation mistakes may go and go but that’s a topic for another blog article. These are the most common 5 mistakes that you can fix today and start writing kickass content that actually delights the reader and converts.
Check out this article on How To Write a Product Blog Post [Content, Structure & Everything You Need To Know] to get helpful insights on how to write & structure quality blog content.
To wrap it up we have revealed 3 traditional marketing mistakes that are both and costing you money easy to fix. Let's recap!
1) Trying to sell directly in a Facebook or other social media ad targeting big audience seeing it for the very first time might not be the most cost-effective strategy. Use Lead Generation instead.
2) Not nurturing your leads. Once signed up to your product, your users won't convert to paying ones automatically or by constantly pushing them with promotions or free trials. Try educating them on your use-cases and benefits based on their needs.
3) Producing selfish content. Creating content that serves primarily your business interest and not customers' needs is considered bad content. Stay relevant to the topic, resist the temptation to pitch your product, be helpful and educate the consumer.
P.S. If you are interested in growth hacking and inbound marketing, shoot me an anonymous message with a topic or a question you want to get answered in my next article using the chat icon at your bottom right corner of your screen.