3 Marketing Habits to Break in the New Year

You know that your products and services are just what your target audience needs. You’ve shored up your operations to reduce costs. You may have even revamped your marketing. Everything about your business should be propelling you to a brighter future. So, why isn’t it?

Businesses make mistakes every day that can lead to closure. This is painfully true when it comes to marketing, and especially this year. Here are three marketing habits you should break in the new year.

Relying Strictly on Unpaid Marketing Strategies

The SMB spectrum is huge. It contains anywhere from startups to companies with just under 1,000 employees. The reason an SMB could be relying strictly on unpaid marketing depends on its size and age.

Relying on unpaid marketing strategies could be seen as a way to cut costs for new startups until the business really takes off. Unfortunately, DIY SEO strategies combined with constant social media updates aren’t enough to compete. Facebook continues to throttle organic reach for businesses seemingly more each year, currently allowing less than 5% of your followers see your posts, which speaks to the importance of a paid + organic approach on social. What about search? Making it to the coveted top-fold on Google search results is essentially a thing of the past for most organic results, with paid ads and maps dominating your view until scrolling to the bottom half.

For larger, more seasoned businesses, a lack of familiarity with digital marketing could be why your company simply defaults to the unpaid category. You set up a website and have social media profiles that occasionally get updated. Unfortunately, this is just the starting line. Has your business ever considered how people are finding you online? Do you even rank in search results? How large is your social presence? Are your only metrics for success the number of likes and comments you get per post?

What business doesn’t love to cut costs? But those racing towards greater success understand paid advertising isn’t optional – it’s a must.

Spending Marketing Dollars Aimlessly

The opposite problem of relying strictly on unpaid marketing is spending your marketing dollars aimlessly and hoping something sticks. Few things are more dangerous to your business than this.

There are some marketing channels every business must be on to thrive, right? Not exactly. Even if a platform makes complete sense for your business to have a presence on doesn’t mean you should be there. Apple was essentially a ghost on social media until 2016.

Forget if you have the cash flow, do you have the ability to determine what’s working and what isn’t? The right reporting and focus on the right metrics can make all the difference. Are you able to track what marketing is actually driving leads to your business? Can you optimize your campaign performance based on data like conversions rather than just clicks? If that’s not something you have the time or resources to do, you may want to consider working with a digital marketing partner that can do that for you.

Not Refining Your Marketing Plans

Business growth requires strategy. Spending money on all the latest trends or avoiding paid advertising altogether and hoping for the best are both fast-tracks to failure. Take time to regularly review what’s working for your business and what may not be. Think about new strategies you can try and existing strategies you can refine to be successful.

So, what’s the next step you should take? Start with research. See what your competitors are doing and learn what resources are available. Then, pick strategies you know work for your industry. And if you don’t know, find someone who does.

Tyler Mask

Tyler is a Social Ads Marketing Expert at ReachLocal with over five years of experience in content creation. His background ranges from working as a journalist and photographer to helping small businesses and organizations with marketing. When he's not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs, playing and listening to music, and researching strategies for nerdy board games.

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