According to a recent report published by Bing, the total amount of content available online totals nearly 1 trillion pages! That averages out to about 150 pages for every person alive today. With nearly 97 percent of consumers using the internet to search for local products and 65 percent of them actually buying such products, you can’t afford to ignore such a huge audience base when it comes to marketing your product and/or services.
However, to make sure that consumers are actually seeing what you want them to see on the web, there are certain things you must take care of. Here are five of the most common mistakes brands make online and how to avoid them:
1. Not keeping track of what your competitors are up to. So, what’s the most important thing that helps you determine your company’s next move? If you think it’s just the public demand that drives corporate decisions, then let me remind you of an old saying: Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer. Yes, if you want your business to grow and succeed, don’t make the mistake of being unaware of what your competitors are up to. Monitor their internet marketing strategies, including their social media efforts, and make sure you know where they’re heading all the time. This can give you good ideas about how you can do your job better.
2. Being unaware of what’s going on in the marketplace. Although you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to offering distinctive products, it’s a mistake not to keep up with the market trends. Here’s an example of the once industry leader in photography, Kodak. There was a time Kodak made advancements and developed some of the most outstanding technologies in film making. However, at the end of the day it failed to keep up with changing trends and customer needs — e.g., evolving its business to leverage the extreme popularity of digital cameras. The results speak for themselves. By the time Kodak realized its mistake, the market had closed the door.
3. Not monitoring your web traffic. Another common mistake often made by businesses is neglecting visitors to their own websites. While you’re busy monitoring your competitors, don’t forget to keep track of the traffic coming to your own site. Use this data to answer questions such as who is visiting your website; how are they getting there; who are the ones actually converting into paying customers; and which of your online advertisements are generating the most traffic. Use analytics tools such as Google Analytics to fine-tune your ongoing internet marketing tactics.
4. Avoiding social networking. If you want to cash in on the power of the internet, social media simply has to be a part of your marketing mix. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have evolved into huge platforms that offer a plethora of opportunities for promoting your products and services. You’ll be interested to know that the latest data released by Internet World Stats reveals the total number of Facebook users throughout the globe has increased by a whopping 171,492,820 from March 31, 2011 to March 31, 2012. And this is only for Facebook. The figures for Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest together will be even higher. Therefore, don’t forget to focus on social media platforms for sales and marketing.
5. Failure to build a valuable client list. If you’re one of those marketers who builds your client list by buying mailing lists, I want to let you know that this isn’t the right way to do things. One of the best ways to build a targeted client list is by offering free incentives or goodies every time your clients leave their email address with you. Moreover, you can keep track of the email addresses that are being used to register with your site.
Sophia Myles is a product specialist from the Comm100  email marketing team.