When you’re an Internet marketer, it is easy to look down on the older, traditional marketers and think “they just don’t get it.” You see, it is not about hitting the consumers over the head anymore, consumers want something more subtle – everything’s about drawing them in slowly, convincing them to trust what you have to say. But Internet marketers aren’t perfect either. All of us have bad habits and we tend to use some tactics from time-to-time, that completely hinder our marketing efforts, and actually drive the customers away.
1. Using Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are not a new concept at all – force consumers to sign up for some kind of e-mail subscription to get a special deal and, afterward, use their contact info to retain them. Heck, these programs started even before the invention of e-mail, when people still received a lot of physical mail. But despite the fact that loyalty programs are still widely used in basically every industry, there is a big problem with them. As anybody who is on some kind of “rewards program” already knows – in most cases, these programs amount to nothing more than a spam-filled mailbox.
A few years ago, the problem officially made its way into social media. Today, most brands extort likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter to boost their fan count. However, you have to realize the number of likes has almost zero correlation with repeat business, or even word-of-mouth for that matter. But do you know just how little a Facebook like is worth nowadays? According to a study of more than 40,000 Facebook stores, from one of the largest store- building apps on Facebook, Ecwid, on average, a Facebook like is worth 21 cents per year. Best case scenario – you’ll make little over $20 per year off of each like.
2. Ignoring the Consumers
Everyone knows that big corporations don’t actually care about any of us. Indeed, today we usually ignore most TV and radio spots, and don’t actually buy a product or use a service before we ask our friends or family about it. Furthermore, all of us assume that when we call up customer service, we’ll simply have a terrible experience, and perhaps, even get completely ignored. Thankfully, we have the Internet today, and the Internet has changed the customer experience completely. Right? Well, the Web has changed a lot of things, but for some people, user experience is actually much, much worse online. But every company, no matter the size, has an e-mail on their website and a couple of links to their social profiles, so what’s the problem?
And while asking a question or sending in a complaint has become easier than ever, it doesn’t mean that people’s e-mails are always answered. And when it comes to social media (where people mostly go when they need an answer from a company), this situation is even worse, according to Socialbakers, more than 70 percent of customer questions on Facebook go unanswered. This is simply unacceptable, because it will definitely hurt your public image and turn the customers away. Keep in mind that more than 40 percent of consumers who post comment on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. So if you invite a lot of people to contact you online, you have to be prepared to answer every question possible, and make sure that you answer in a timely manner if you don’t want to hear even more complaints.
3. Neglecting Security
Months and even years of work on a marketing campaign can go down the drain in a matter of seconds if you completely neglect security. And while most of us have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality, the fact of the matter is, hacks happen all the time. Just listen to this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, where fitness celebrity Chalene Johnson explains how she got her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account were hacked at the same time. There are many different ways to keep hackers of your social media and email accounts, and your site safe from intruders and various forms of viruses, Trojans and malware.
Having a strong password is crucial, of course. And while that sounds like common sense, we have to mention it because, as The Guardian reports, the infamous “1234546” is still one of the most popular passwords around the globe. Next, having a good antivirus and firewall is also a must, and if you want to go a step further and completely protect your online privacy, you should use a VPN to encrypt your incoming and outgoing data. You just have to be aware at all times that all of your data, users’ info and basically entire business can be compromised by dangers lurking at every corner of the Web at any time. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
4. Interrupting Someone’s Day
I’m sure that you, like most of marketers today, have embraced the concept of inbound marketing completely. So it’s easy for us to convince ourselves that we can escape the problem of the so-called “interruption marketing” completely. People mostly use this expression to describe a situation where a marketer interrupts whatever consumers are doing at the moment, to let them know that he has something to sell. The reality of the situation is, once again, completely different. Interruptions are now probably more common than they have ever been in the world of marketing. And this is why many people don’t like to click the like button on FB.
Today’s consumers are worried that if they click a single button, they will receive nothing but spam. It’s actually more than a worry, some even call it a fear. For instance, LifeHacker recently posted an entire article that helps the people avoid the problem entirely. Retargeting ads follow users everywhere they go – what’s worse, most sites have those “personalized” suggestions that take an offer and over-market certain products and items to the point that people just want give up. This is perhaps the biggest problem on the list and, sadly, there is still no solution for it, because the line between interruption and inbound marketing is so blurred that it doesn’t really exist.
All in all, you have to realize that the Internet has given you the ability to interact with, empower, and most importantly, retain millions of users around the world, in ways that were not possible before. For that reason, it is worth talking about the bad habits it can bring out. Because while you may not be aware of it, if you don’t respect your audience you cannot expect to see long-term success. What’s more, if you want to see any success, you have to keep up with the latest industry trends, and start leveraging the resources you have at your fingertips.
by Adam Ferraresi