The Top 4 Online Branding Mistakes, and How To Fix Them.
Posted in In The Know on by Jeff Bronson
It’s hard to imagine a worse feeling, than finding out the money you’ve spent on advertising has been wasted, never to return. Or even worse yet, your advertising efforts brought a ton of traffic, yet no sales.
As we will see, some of these risks can be partially avoided, and we can make more effective marketing and branding decisions.
Below, are the top four online branding mistakes ranked in order of importance, and how to fix them.
Not measuring marketing channel effectiveness.
Given the availability of free tools like Google Analytics, measuring web traffic has never been easier. Let’s take a look at some of the different marketing channels that exist online today.
- Organic traffic (no, it’s never free).
- Paid traffic (PPC, media buys, sponsored)
- Social Media (social networks, blogs, forums, etc)
- Email newsletters campaigns
- Specialized content (videos, white papers, widgets, etc.)
These five traffic sources all require very different time, money and resource investments.
Knowing which of these sources to focus your effort, will affect your cash flow, employee delegation and company’s brand perception.
A good habit to get into, is tagging your URL’s with Google’s URL Builder, or the new Google Tag Manager. If you use a standardized way of tagging your marketing links and resources, they will be easy to segment within your analytics program.
Referencing your company’s KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) against revenue and traffic source can be invaluable. Maybe you got a good deal purchasing ad space on a well trafficked blog. However if this traffic doesn’t convert or assist in conversions, it may not have been such a great deal after all.
We say “assist” in conversions, referring to the fairly new assisted conversions visualisation available in Google analytics for goals you’ve setup. This feature let’s you see how each of your advertising sources contributed to your overall conversion goal, in addition to other useful data. Since goal source attribution is now a bit easier to see, really take the time to look at this.
In the above example, maybe our banner ad purchase didn’t convert to a goal right away, but due to this initial brand exposure, your potential customer later visited your site directly, or did an organic search for your brand and converted!
Copying your competitors.
Unless you are looking at your competitor’s profit and loss by marketing channel, it’s unknown whether their marketing efforts are really paying off at the end of the day. Just because they have been around longer, doesn’t mean they’re doing it right.
While it’s a sound practice to perform competitor research when creating your overall strategy, it’s focusing on your unique selling proposition which makes your brand image shine.
You competitor could be spending a ton on pay per click advertising that isn’t converting, therefore it’s not always in your best interest to follow their lead. It could be email marketing in your niche which is the real winner. That is why it’s crucial to segment your marketing channels and constantly test.
You may find through experimentation that a particular channel becomes your mainstay. Perhaps your team is exceeding good at creating and promoting videos , which convert into customers. Play on this strength and put out quality videos that your competitors have overlooked or don’t have the resources to make happen.
Inconsistent brand identity across multiple platforms.
Depending upon what type of business entity you have, choosing how to present your brand across multiple channels can vary.
For example, if you are a freelancer and intend to stay that way, considering creating social media properties with your real name, instead of your business name. Through the years, as you create new projects you’ll have an existing audience. If you attempt to create multiple social media presences over the years for each project and try to manage on your own, time will get taken away from your higher value revenue generating activities.;
Whereas a company with several employees and divisions can probably afford to appoint specific social media tasks to multiple employees across their organization to maintain.
Consider using a service like KnowEm, to search for and protect your brand across hundreds of platforms.
Letting your customers and fans know they can expect a consistent brand image across platforms inspires trust.
It’s always best to approach social media channels with a solid content creation and distribution strategy, before launching. Seeing a brand’s social media page with three posts from months ago, leaves a bad impressions and does more harm than good.
Disconnected creatives and ad copy
Similar to presenting a inconsistent brand message across social media platforms, your ad creatives are equally as important to get right. Hopefully, when you originally researched your target audience, you figured out how to match their needs and nuances, with your USP.
Every piece of your branding message must work together, including:
- Industry specific lingo
- Psychological use of color
- Landing page goals
- Product showcases
- Call to actions
Strongly consider these areas when creating your marketing collateral for online use.
Even if you’ve successfully hit all of these points head on, think about split testing your landing pages for maximum conversion potential.