Terrifying Internet Marketing Mistakes (and how to avoid them)
Today is Halloween! And according to the National Retail Federation, spending for the spooky holiday is higher than ever this year. The average customer is going to spend almost $78 on things like candy, decorations, and costumes.
As you scare your friends or children with creepy costumes and tricks, we want to share some of the things we as Internet Marketers find terrifying. Like bad content, ugly websites, and abandoned social profiles.
The following are some of the most common terrifying mistakes businesses make in the their Internet Marketing. Here is how you can avoid these scary mistakes, both on Halloween and after.
How to Avoid 7 Terrifying Internet Marketing Mistakes:
1. Dead Silence.
Customers expect businesses to be available and quick to respond on blogs and through social media. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a company is to play dead when a customer interacts with you on the Internet.
25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour (Source: American Express). But, on average, companies respond to only 30% of social media fans' feedback (Source: Factbrowser). Isn't that a scary stat? Don't scare your customers away with dead silence, but treat them to helpful, fast feedback.
2. Unwanted Haunting.
Do you haunt your customers through numerous mediums and numerous times a day? Don't scare customers away by being a nuisance. Too many daily social media updates or emails can be your customer's worst nightmare. The more posts per day, the less engagement -- when a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive only 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post as a single post. (Source:Track Social )
Be mindful of your publishing frequency on Facebook, and start testing with your own page to see what frequency is right for your community. Send only solicited, useful, and well-timed content to your subscribers and fans to keep them around.
3. Freaky Subjects.
If you use email marketing, avoid email subjects that will look like spam. 61% of emails received at professional email accounts are non-essential. (Source:Mimecast ) Inboxes are overflowing with marketing email. Use personalization, proper timing, and offers valuable to the recipient to break through the clutter and be seen.
4. Tricks Instead of Treats.
Are you handing out dental floss when they are looking for candy? There is nothing worse than getting information you don't need or want from a source you thought was going to give you something useful.
If you promise industry tips, don't send out product information. Don't trick your audience when they are looking for a treat. Email the content that was promised, and post useful information that is related to your industry for your fans. Otherwise, they might skip over your business in the future and look elsewhere for the treat they expect.
5. Inescapable Maze.
Is your website a maze that your visitors must navigate to find what they want? While a corn maze might be exciting, nobody wants to spend an hour looking for information on the web.
Make sure your website is well-designed so users can quickly find the information they are looking for. It is important to give visitors clear and obvious directions on where they should go.
- Want a free trial - click here.
- Want to contact us? Fill out this form.
- Include a search bar.
- Make your navigation bar visible, simple, and include the main pages of your site.
- Distracting but necessary items, like privacy policies and terms, are best left to the bottom navigation (footer) of your site.
- Use anchor text to send users to the correct part of a page so they don't have to scroll.
Finding the item or information they were searching for in the first place is a priority, and if they can't immediately see how to get to the information they want, a user is likely to leave the site and look elsewhere.
6. Shape Changing.
From Dracula turning into a bat, to the man who becomes werewolf shape changing can be frightening. Your customers will think so, too.
Are you sending mixed messages through your marketing? Do you misrepresent yourself on your website, through social media, or through your blog? Nothing will send your customers running more quickly than perceived lies or misinformation. Be honest, be transparent, and let your customers get to know you.
Even SEO practices that use techniques like keyword stuffing or link farms will hurt you. Not only could you be banned from the search engines, you will be risking your reputation. Getting customers through honest key terms and valuable content will not just attract them, it will keep them coming back and building a good online reputation.
7. Criminal Insanity.
By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web. (Source: Forrester Research)
To neglect the web as part of your marketing would be complete insanity. More people are shopping, researching, and interacting about products online than ever. Social media influences buying behavior. 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013. 43% via LinkedIn, and 36% via Twitter (Hubspot). To miss out on these opportunities would be just criminal.
8. Monstrously Hideous Websites.
A beautiful website can be a thing of art. But too many websites are poorly designed and will make visitors cringe. Your website is your calling card on the web, so don't leave visitors with a bad impression. Try these 5 ways to give visitors a great first impression
so they want to stay and shop, and keep coming back.
We hope you have a Halloween filled with treats.
Have you seen other scary internet marketing mistakes? Share them in the comments below!
by Lindsey Winsemius. Lindsey is the Vice President of Communications for ApogeeINVENT, and is the social media voice and blogger for the company. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Google+