Are You Learning from Others’ Marketing Mistakes?

January 21, 2014
Tips for learning from other businesses’ marketing mistakes

I spent the second half of 2013 searching for and moving into a new apartment. I’m thrilled with my choice, but not with a lot of the websites with which I interacted during my search. Here’s a few of the worst issues I encountered, and some tips on doing better with your own website (no matter what business you’re in).

Bad websites

There’s no excuse for a business of any kind to have a website as bad as the ones I saw during my apartment search. Garish colors, unnavigable pages, 1990s design...you name it, I saw it.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a website, particularly if you’re a small business or solopreneur. But it’s 2014, folks — install WordPress and one of their thousands of free themes, get rid of the clip art, and make your site the professional web presence it should be. Wondering if your current site needs a redesign? It probably does.

No helpful content

This was my first solo experience finding an apartment and getting a move coordinated, and I had questions coming out my ears.

  • How early should I start looking for a new place?
  • How much rent can I really afford?
  • Are there hidden fees I need to take into consideration when budgeting?
  • What do I need to look for and ask when touring an apartment?

No matter your business, potential customers have questions that you can answer. How much more work do you think you’d get if your website came up first in search results for common questions in your industry?

Blog routinely. Answer your audience’s questions. Get more traffic from the web. What company would not want to do this?

Poor video strategy

Have you ever looked at the video tour on an apartment complex’s website? Usually it’s a little over a minute long, with the first 45 seconds devoted to showcasing pictures of the sales office, BBQ pits and pool, and fitness center; then in the last 15 - 20 seconds you might see two or three photos of a living room or bedroom.

While community features are important, most people care far more about what the interior of an individual apartment looks like. Research conducted by Tubemogal indicates that 10% of a video’s viewership clicks away after just 10 seconds; if your most important information isn’t mentioned until the last possible moment, fewer people are going to see it.

In my case it meant scratching several complexes off my list because I couldn’t see inside a unit without having to schedule a tour (something I wasn’t ready to do immediately) — with your business it may mean you receive fewer phone calls or visits to your website because the information your audience wants isn’t provided in the window during which you have their attention.

Businesses: Know your audience

My experience with apartment websites has shown me that these companies either don’t know their audience, or are purposefully ignoring their needs — not good in either case.

If you haven’t already, develop buyer personas for your company, and remember they are most effective when used properly.

As you begin to better understand your potential customers, you should adjust your website and marketing strategy to accommodate those individuals’ needs. Create content that answers their questions. Make your website easy to navigate. Give your audience what they need to be successful.

Alternatively, you can ignore consumers’ needs and frustrate them into choosing another place to hang their hat.

Start here

Need a marketing strategy refresh, but not sure where to start? Download Digett’s free Marketing Plan for Growth to learn how you can revive your online marketing and grow lead volume in 2014.

I want my whitepaper

[Image: Herman Yung, cropped/sized]