I’ve seen my fair share of marketing campaigns gone wrong.
In fact, we all have, but bad advertising is kind of like facial hair on a woman: most people don’t want to be the one to point it out.
I have a different philosophy, though, and if you’re reading this, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that confronting a problem is the only way to overcome it.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Ignore These 10 Symptoms:
1. The only people who engage with your brand on social media are your employees
I see this all the time, and frankly, it makes me cringe on behalf of the company in question.
Think of how strange it would look if Billy Joel played a concert and his mother was the only one who bought tickets; that’s the music equivalent (unlikely as it may be) of posting to your brand’s social media page, only to receive likes and comments by people who clearly work at your headquarters.
Not to mention the fact that a lack of enthusiasm for your content is a dead giveaway that, plain and simple, you need to step it up; focus on sharing original, thought-provoking content.
If customers don’t think you have anything interesting to say, then it’s up to you to change their minds… because, especially when it comes to social media, the old adage is true: the customer is right.
2. There’s little to no new user-generated content supporting your brand
Do a quick search for your brand name on Twitter. What’s the overall tone of the posts you’re seeing?
If angry or dissatisfied customers have taken over the search results, then you’ve lost control of your brand’s online image… and that can quickly demolish your bottom line. The fact is, it’s not enough to just hire a social media manager to respond to angry posts with some variation of, “Send us a DM and let’s make this right! :)”
The key to successful social media marketing all lies in engaging with satisfied customers, which is why my next point is especially important:
3. Nobody’s using your custom #hashtags
This is another huge mistake I see brands continue to make on a regular basis, and it seems to stem from the shared misconception that every hashtag needs to contain your entire brand name, regardless of how awkwardly the resulting phrase reads.
Instead, I recommend treating hashtags like shareable slogans. In other words, they should embody your brand’s identity and values, while simultaneously encouraging customers to apply these tags to their own content.
After all, at its core, social media is really about collaborative conversation.
4. Your company blog hasn’t been updated in months (because it’s never contributed to your bottom line)
I see this mistake being made all the time, and I can’t help but scratch my head in confusion when companies willingly shave precious dollars off their profits via affiliate marketing programs without implementing their own content strategies.
Listen, if bloggers, vloggers, and Instagrammers (yes, that’s a word now) are able to earn commission by selling your products, surely we can come up with a content marketing strategy that works for you.
5. Customers visit your website, but don’t buy
Consider the following potential causes:
- Your ads are targeting the wrong audience
- Your ads are targeting the wrong placements (hello, accidental clicks!)
- Customers are confused by your brand or your products
- Your website copy and imagery don’t clearly communicate what you’re selling
- You haven’t effectively differentiated your brand from your competitors’
Customer surveys and social media listening tools can prove invaluable for determining where the disconnect is coming from, but one thing is abundantly clear: customers aren’t finding what they want on your site.
6. Your ads reach the right audience, but yield a negative ROI
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
You could be doing everything right as far as audience targeting goes, but if customers aren’t finding what they expected to see on your site, then no ad campaign can ever be successful.
Ultimately, the key to driving more sales from digital ad campaigns relies on how closely your ads correlate to the products and services available on your website; make sure you’re setting proper expectations!
7. Your social media manager posts the same memes and worn-out jokes as everyone else
I genuinely don’t understand why so many brands have recently begun mimicking one another’s voices on social media, but I’m confident this practice isn’t providing any real ROI.
How can you stand out from the crowd when you’re all singing the same tune?
8. App downloads have stagnated
Customers aren’t going to take it upon themselves to download your app; you need to give them a reason to want it.
Does your app make shopping more convenient? Does it provide exclusive savings or other offerings? Can it be used to save time, plan out purchases, or to get in touch with your customer service team?
There must be some guaranteed value customers can look forward to gaining by using your app— and that value needs to be emphasized in your brand’s messaging online.
9. Those who DO have your app haven’t used it in months (or ever!)
Mobile apps allow you to stay top-of-mind among customers (after all, who doesn’t have their phone with them at all times?)—but again, there should be an incentive to use them.
10. Your YouTube ads hardly get any engagement
People use YouTube for one of two reasons: either pure entertainment or to learn something new. Either way, they’re not interested in watching ads… unless, of course, you’re creative enough to present your commercial in the form of similar content to that which your audience is already looking for.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but what’s the point of investing precious time and money to create an ad users are just going to skip after 5 seconds anyway, right?
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