A failure to plan is a plan to fail. As a business owner, monitoring your marketing plan is just as important as your taking initiative on your actual business plan. There are mistakes that owners new to online marketing make – don’t fall victim to these mentalities:
1) Don’t throw everything at the wall just to see what sticks
Whether you are throwing money, time, and/or resources at internet marketing, it’s crucial to have a step by step plan and measure the progress along the way. If you are first starting out, it may seem like a good idea, or even necessary to do it all: SEO, PPC, local, social, email, video, and more. With this approach, it is also hard to track which tactics work and which don’t. Instead of going full speed on all aspects of online marketing, focus and do research to see which medium would be best for your business.
2) Do not obsessively compare your business to competitors
Competitive research is a necessary step when starting out and part of a regular routine. It gives a good idea of effective strategies for your business model. Just because something seems to be working out for a competitor (or at least, if that’s what you hear or they tell you), remember that it is not the whole story. So the next time you hear that a competitor is benefiting from something, whether it is: paid links, broad terms for PPC, billboard, radio, or TV ads, think again.
On the business side of things, duplicating a competitor certainly won’t give you the same success. It’s about differentiating your business in what you do best – and it may even be something a competitor is missing out on, like good customer service and word of mouth referrals.
3) Instead of just talking about your goals, write it down and revisit often
It’s easy to get carried away and go off on tangents when brainstorming about your website and business. Make sure to take notes of what you want to achieve and what you see is going well or not so well. By putting your goals down on paper, you are more likely to follow through. Make it your mantra! Once the notes are laid out, you can develop a strategy and build a road map that will help you reach those goals. It may take some time and be frustrating but it is important to have a central place for all your goals and progress. Reasonable time frames will also help motivate your team to meet goals. Goals and thoughts won’t get put into action if they just sit there!
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.