The internet is an amazing source of potential business and sales, however most Australian brands and companies in my experience are missing a lot of great opportunities to seriously improve their leads and sales online.
So you can avoid these pitfalls and build a great business and brand online, I’ve highlighted the 5 most common digital marketing mistakes I come across daily:
- Your tracking isn’t working
- Your USP isn’t great
- You aren’t using landing pages
- No remarketing
- Thinking too short term
Pro tip: I know all of this can seem like a lot, please feel free to contact me for help if you need to!
1) Tracking isn’t working (or even set up)
Google Analytics – your digital true north
First off, every brand should have a Google Analytics account set up (it’s free) that tracks all the users to their website, where they have come from, and how they interact with your site and pages. While a lot of websites have it installed, in my experience most brands haven’t set up the most basic of Analytics Goals that tell them key performance metrics such as:
- Number of website leads & enquiries
- Clicks on your phone number on mobile devices
- Email signups
- Ebook & brochure downloads
- Key pages with high bounce rates you can improve to keep them on your site longer and buying
If your business isn’t regularly tracking and working to optimise all of the above metrics, as well as aiming for growth on each channel you are active (social media, Google ads, organic SEO traffic etc.) you are going to fall further and further behind in the digital race.
Pro tip: check your Google Analytics bounce rate – if it’s below 10%, your Analytics has been installed more than once on your site and has broken due to misfiring. Simply remove any duplicate codes or plugins so your analytics is only installed on your website once.
Ensure your Facebook pixel is working – even if you’re not running ads yet
Next, you’ll want Facebook’s Pixel installed, as over half the businesses I come across haven’t installed it yet, or tested that it is actually working (it’s often not). This is important so we can run retargeting campaigns to visitors (more on this below) that don’t purchase but show interest on the website (a serious game changer when it comes to sales growth!).
[FREE STUFF!] 4 tools to tell if you’re in trouble or not
To get started, I’d recommend installing the Chrome browser extensions Facebook Pixel Helper, Google Tag Assistant and Wappalyzer, which show you what tracking codes are on your website, and if they are firing correctly or not.
If you do have issues, speak with your agency/specialist who set your tracking up or your web developer, as it’s not difficult, and once setup, will allow you to know with great certainty where to invest and scale your brand online.
2) Poorly defined unique selling proposition (USP)
Start with a great elevator pitch
For those unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that you have 60 seconds to pitch a potential customer on why they should choose to buy from you versus your competitor. It’s a classic sales exercise, and most business owners & founders should be able to nail it.
Except most don’t, and 8 out of 10 businesses go bankrupt or shut down within the first 12 months. Another half are closed within three years. Seriously, ignore this warning and you’ll become a statistic.
Superior quality isn’t a USP – it’s a given.
Every week business owners highlight their main USPs to me, and almost every time they describe how their brand’s products and services are of a far higher quality compared to their competition. However many fall over when I press them to prove why it was so much better than their competition. Ultimately many brands end up buying from the same or similar suppliers, and copy each other’s marketing and customer experiences, watering down their offerings so they end up seeming more or less the same to the end user. This is treacherous ground, because if everyone says their products are better, and the prospective customer can’t quickly and easily see how or why, then most would rather pass on the opportunity than risk being taken advantage of. You may luck out every once in a while, but your odds are very poor long term.
Competing on price – a dangerous gamble
“We’re the cheapest!” is something that makes me cringe visibly, my coffee turns weak and doves cry. Okay, let’s say you really are the cheapest, that likely means your brand may have tight margins, very tight margins. And that means you have to sell more units, and since there’s less profit, you likely won’t have much more to spend on marketing, yet your marketing has to work even harder on less. This is not a sustainable option. Further, there’s nothing stopping an unwitting competitor discounting even more than your brand tomorrow, and bankrupting you both.
“The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”
The sobering stats
Statista’s 2017 study found on average most websites convert at only 2-3%. So for everyone 100 people that visit your website, 97 will leave and never come back. How do you get these stats higher? You really need to drill down into how you can add massive value and difference to your customers.
Defining your USP
When you’re identifying your ideal prospect, consider the following:
- What does your perfect customer really want?
- How can your product or service solve their problem(s)?
- What factors motivate their buying decisions?
- Why do your existing customers choose your business over your competitors?
- Where can you bring an unfair advantage that your competitors don’t have? You may have to make one based on your network, study, software, automation or gold old-fashioned hard work.
What an amazing USP looks like. Meet Koala:
Koala, the furniture and bedding company did an excellent job of this, setting themselves apart in the crowded bedding space with the following offer (which generated from zero to over $13m in revenue in the first 12 months, becoming Australia’s highest rated mattress ever with 7000+ reviews):
- 4-hour same day free delivery
- 120-night trial
- Free shipping & returns
- 10-year guarantee
- Every purchase supports the WWF & koala habitats around the country
With such a strong offer, a superior product, premium buying experience and reasonable price ($850 for a mattress isn’t bad) why would you shop elsewhere?
Since the success of their mattress range, Koala have branched out into flat-packed furniture including bed frames and sofas, with a new guarantee that all furniture can be assembled in 4 minutes or less without any tools. Goodbye Ikea woes and stupid Allen keys we lose all the time!
But seriously, taking the time to find unique and powerful points of difference can enable your brand to strike a decisive difference in the market and win a lot more business.
3) Not using landing pages for lead generation
Given most websites convert less than 2-3% of traffic into leads or sales, are you really sure you want to send traffic there? Almost every client I’ve worked with big and small, send their advertising and traffic to their website homepage or services page.
What’s wrong with this approach you ask? Isn’t this the whole reason I have a website so people can find my brand and all of my services online?
What everyone does wrong with traffic
If you think about it though, your website is like a service brochure, a generic, but necessary piece of marketing for your brand. But if you think about it, I can’t think of a time I invested thousands of dollars into something from just a brochure.
There’s a crucial set of stages required where you have to build credibility, trust, and actually connect and sell to your target market’s specific desires and need. Since your website typically will offer multiple services to multiple markets, it doesn’t really nurture and connect enough with the individual buyer.
Further, each user is often at a different point in the buying funnel, from first realising they may need your service or product, to having bought before and diligently researching a better provider.
Note above how many competing buttons, articles, social media links, and other bits of information there is on the typical homepage above, and how simple, strong and clean the messaging for the landing page is. Convert – or don’t. But man it works.
If you were a salesperson, you wouldn’t tell each of these groups the same spiel and expect to be very effective. The message to all of these different audiences needs to be different and to be personalised if it’s going to be effective. Yet, your homepage, and probably your entire website only has one message.
““It can be easy to get caught up in the concept of a website and forget about the end user. A successful website isn’t just a lovely visual piece, it’s a portal for attracting your target audience and giving them the information they need to decide if they want to become a new client.”
Brandon Weaver, Instapage
The genius of landing pages is that they are designed to offer one powerful sales message to one audience. If you’ve honed your USP down to a fine edge for each of your markets, you can target these audiences with ads directly to your landing page.
The result? Well typically, a good landing page can convert 4-7%, and in some cases as high as 16%. Imagine getting 7 leads for every one hundred visitors instead of 1-2 for the same ad spend? It’s crazy how much more powerful landing pages are, and that more business owners aren’t using them.
4) No remarketing
This section is also called how to miss out on 50%+ more sales every month
Remarketing is a clever advertising method that allows you to connect with visitors to your website who may not have made an immediate purchase or enquiry. It allows you to position targeted ads in front of your website visitors that have previously visited your website – as they browse elsewhere around the internet they’ll see your ads, videos and offers for a few days right when they’re looking to buy.
Given over 97% of traffic bounces and leaves without making an enquiry or purchase, remarketing is extremely powerful as it gives you a second, third, fourth, and even fifth opportunity to educate, nurture and promote your USP and make more sales. Imagine being able to pitch your services a few times in a few different and novel ways to someone on the fence? Being on the fence isn’t comfortable and this will give users a chance to convert if they want it.
The proof is in the pudding
Typically, clients running remarketing and retargeting can generate another 30-60% more enquiries/sales from their existing traffic. The best part? Since this marketing is to a much smaller group and highly targeted, it’s usually extraordinarily cheap to run – less than 5-10% of your overall marketing budget typically.
5) Thinking too short term
I get it, we want everything now, perfect and ready. Except, fundamentally, we don’t value things that are simple, quick or easy. We want these things, but the moments that really stick with us – they took something. They were gruelling, they defined us as who we are, we share that bond with those we went through it with.
Business is the same. It isn’t easy, and with so many changes and innovations nowadays, marketing is being disrupted and evolving almost yearly now.
Lambos and unicorns
Expecting to turn ads on and make a million dollars just isn’t realistic. Doing the work to build a compelling USP, really understanding your clients’ needs and desires, and crafting a great, long-term digital and service experience with landing pages and remarketing is a must.
Ultimately, we’re selling to living, breathing, individual people. Don’t focus on short-term, shallow relationships just for the (perceived) sales. Instead think about how your brand can reliably create raving fans, advocates and a community that loves what you do.
From $3m to $60m in under a decade
Gary Vaynerchuck took his Jersey-based family cornerstore wine business from his father and transformed it from a $3m to $60m international wine brand in a decade. When asked about how he marketed the brand, he famously refused to do print, radio and TV ads, and instead promoted his brand by hiring an assistant to research his customers’ Twitter feeds, and send them unexpected, highly personalised gifts thanking them for ordering. Always entertaining, colourful (swearing people), and very relatable, here are is another example of how he approached his marketing:
So when it comes to your advertising, I’d strongly recommend you consider how you can build a compelling USP and add some real massive value to your customers – not a simple, quick or easy undertaking. But what made Koala or Apple or even your favourite local bakery on the corner so strong is that they did the work, set up the systems and paid such painstaking attention to detail.
I know all of this can seem like a lot, so please feel free to contact me for help if you need to. Business is tough enough, so don’t do it alone!