It’s a well-known fact that online marketing has firmly become an essential part of a brand’s growth strategy. Most people use the Internet in some form each day, whether it’s via their mobile devices or a computer in their homes and workplaces.
For example, research conducted by Salsify suggests that 77% of shoppers research products on their phones in a store. With that knowledge, online retailers can attract those customers with better deals or even alternative products that better suit their needs.
If you run an online marketing company, the core service you offer people is to help them attract customers in such ways using the power of the Internet.
However, the sad and ironic truth about such businesses is that they often fail to market themselves correctly to attract brands needing help.
This blog post aims to give you a practical insight into the top 10+ mistakes made by firms like yours, along with some tips on how to avoid them. Here’s what you need to know:
1. You Don’t Practise What You Preach
Any online marketer worth their salt is going to use the same strategies and concepts for themselves that they apply to their clients.
If you’re trying to sell the idea of online marketing to a client, yet it’s obvious you fail badly at doing that for your brand, why should they bother talking to you? Make sure you practise what you preach – don’t try to sell a service based on smoke and mirrors.
2. Lack Of Credibility
Good quality, results-driven online marketing isn’t cheap; people serious about growing their businesses know that. One issue that’s commonplace with the online marketing industry is how it got flooded in recent years with “experts” offering super-cheap services for clients.
As you might expect, those individuals typically offer a sub-par service. Genuine professionals like you have to compete with those people and to prove that you aren’t out to rip off your clients, you need to provide proof of your brand’s industry credibility.
3. Lack Of Social Proof
You might wonder how you can prove you’re a genuine, credible business to your clients. The easiest way to achieve that goal is through social proof. Examples include:
Online reviews curated by a third-party platform like TrustPilot;
White papers and case studies detailing how you’ve worked with specific clients and the results they experienced after your company worked its magic on their brands;
Testimonials like video interviews with a senior figure in your business and a representative from your client’s firm.
4. Failing To Do Continual Research
It’s no secret that the online marketing landscape is continually evolving, much like most Internet-based niches nowadays. With that in mind, it makes sense to “keep your finger on the pulse” and continuously research changes that impact your core services.
Something as simple as reading authoritative articles on learning how to get clients can help keep your brand relevant to the market and ahead of the competition.
5. Poor Communication With Clients
A significant issue that impacts businesses of any type is communication. The ugly truth about how brands communicate is that many need to do a more effective job of talking to the people who pay their wages: their clients!
Ensure that your brand makes it easy for clients to communicate with you.
For example, apart from conventional means like telephone and email, offer other ways clients can talk to you, such as via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and even popular online marketing forums!
6. No Online Trust Signals
Using trust signals extensively is the difference between winning over a new client and watching them spend their money with your competitors.
Trust signals can be simple things, like ensuring your website gets secured with a TLS/SSL certificate and providing geographical business contact information on your pages.
Your clients want to know that any information you give them will get treated professionally and confidentially. Make sure you can prove to them that you’ll exceed those expectations.
7. There Isn’t A Clear Value Proposition
Your potential clients know they need online marketing to help their brands grow. But they often need to understand how that works or even if specific strategies are possible.
As an online marketing business, your job is to give clients a clear value proposition. In layman’s terms, you must specify what you will do for the money they’ll pay you!
8. Terrible Customer Service
Earlier in this article, you read about the impact poor communication can have (point five). Did you know there are other examples of terrible customer service that you should avoid?
For instance, not responding to questions promptly or having an inappropriate and unprofessional telephone manner will dive-bomb the otherwise excellent customer service skills you want clients to remember.
9. Lack Of Differentiation
On the surface, your brand offers similar services to the hundreds of thousands of competitors in your industry. What makes you different? What’s your unique selling point?
Differentiation is crucial to attracting prospects and converting them into paying customers. How you differentiate yourself from your competitors will depend on your approach. For example, you could:
Tell everyone that you’re an ethical business that works exclusively with third-sector brands;
Be an industry pioneer, championing positive changes and challenging outdated working practices.
10. Poor Follow-Up With Potential Clients
While poor follow-up with potential clients comes under the “terrible customer service” umbrella, it’s worth mentioning it separately. When a prospect sends an email or calls to enquire about your services, you’ll undoubtedly detail how you can help them.
However, life sometimes gets in the way of decision-making, and potential clients invariably forget whom they speak to when seeking new service providers. That’s why you must schedule follow-up emails and calls to keep your brand fresh in their minds.
11. Mostly Negative Reputation
There’s no escaping the fact that some online businesses end up with bad press. It could be due to problems caused by a former employee or things that were out of your control.
If your online marketing brand has a negative reputation, you must take actionable steps to mitigate it. For example, working with a reputation management company can help you paint a more positive picture of your brand.
12. Lack Of Value-Added Services
It’s not uncommon for top online marketing brands to offer a one-stop-shop solution to their clients. If you want to be an industry leader and not a follower, you should consider doing it too.
Value-added services like copywriting and website development are more likely to attract prospects and convert them into paying customers.
13. Low Spending On Non-Organic Online Marketing
Last but not least, a common mistake your online marketing brand must avoid is spending little to nothing on non-organic advertising. Google Ads and similar platforms give companies like yours a significant marketing boost, so you should ensure you use them well.
You don’t need to go crazy on your PPC budget – especially if you have a small, boutique online marketing business – but you should budget accordingly.
You undoubtedly use PPC advertising for your clients, so you must apply the same strategies and concepts to your brand. Doing so will give it the extra marketing push it needs to be prominent to your target audience.
It’s easy for new and established online marketing brands to make common mistakes; the above examples are ones you should avoid at all costs.
As with any brand, having a solid business plan and evolving your marketing plan will help your firm grow and become a leading name in the industry.