Marketing is the backbone of businesses around the globe.
When done correctly, marketing reaps huge rewards and helps the business generate lots of income and revenue.
However, when performed incorrectly, marketing can not only give your business a huge loss,
but also can permanently damage its reputation and brand.
Sometimes however, businesses can repair bad marketing efforts by covering up the issue or
using a Public Relations specialist to make sure that the business doesn’t have too many negative effects of the marketing campaign gone wrong.
When marketing online, a bad marketing effort or campaign can be even more detrimental, as the information is very difficult to remove.
Once your marketing campaign is out there on the internet, it’s quite likely to continue.
This is why you need to make sure that you avoid bad marketing efforts online, or focus on improving your current efforts.
In this post, four ways not to market your business online will be outlined, so you can avoid destroying your business’s online branding like many businesses have in the past, and learn how to fix issues if you’re currently making them.
1. Using Black Hat SEO Providers
SEO is one of the primary forms of marketing online. Lots of people use search engines every day, so by investing in SEO you may receive an influx of search engine traffic throughout your site.
However, some providers out there provide “Black Hat SEO”, which in essence, is trying to bend Google’s rules to rank your website high in the search engines.
Therefore, you may be wondering, “why is this bad for my business?” First off, most Black Hat SEO doesn’t stick for a good period.
You’ll likely rank highly until Google fixes the loophole the Black Hat SEO provider exploited, and then you’ll drop out of the search engines for good.
Your website will be absolutely nowhere to be found – this is called “sandboxing” or “de-indexing” a website.
Black Hat SEO providers also drop “backlinks” (links back to your website) on tons of random websites that your website isn’t even relevant to.
2. Outsourcing the Wrong Things
A lot of the time, outsourcing some things can seem like a great idea when running a home business.
Not having to deal with things like email campaigns, tweeting, or updating our websites seems like the right thing to do.
However, sometimes many people are terribly carried away with outsourcing, and try to outsource everything they can.
This can lead to terrible customer relations in a few fields, especially if you deal with a very personal business. Let’s look at a common example of how outsourcing the wrong things can lose your customers.
Say your business hires someone to handle email marketing for you.
Shortly later, they send out an email to a bunch of prospective customers, but also to a list of people you already had in your contacts list.
Obviously, this email will probably help bring in a few new customers, but if your previous clients get an email that makes it sound like you have no idea who they are, they’ll likely feel a loss of respect for you and your business.
You want to treat your customers very professionally, so sometimes outsourcing everything can be a bad idea.
3. Ignoring Your Website
More potential consumers than ever are going online to look up a business before making a decision. Your website is what defines, and represents your business in the online world.
If it’s looking a bit shoddy or badly behaved, don’t put it off, work on it or hire someone to make a decent website for yourself.
Also make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as lots of people are shopping on their phones as well.
Your website can help generate a ton of leads for your business if done correctly, so if it’s not done properly, you’re likely losing a lot of business.
4. Responding to Customers Badly in Public
A lot of what’s done on the internet is available for the whole world to see.
Avoid, at all costs, arguing with a customer or someone else on your business’s Facebook page, Twitter page, Website, or other area of the internet available for everyone to see.
This can severely damage your business’s reputation and image. Follow the branding strategies of successful online businesses such as 4Life.
Likewise, you should avoid those that made businesses fall.
A great example of a ruined business of bad responding on Social Networks is Amy’s Baking Company, whose company was recently featured on the hit TV show “Kitchen Nightmares”.
After being reviewed terribly on the show, many people started talking about the business online.
The restaurant responded terribly to all of the hatred shown towards their restaurant, and now they have an un-repairable image all around the world.
I hope that your home business can avoid doing any of these catastrophic things that will surely make your business lose sales.
If you follow these tips, your business will not only experience a small increase of customers (as you’d be fixing up your website and interacting better with customers), but you can avoid potential issues in the future.
License: Creative Commons
Rogelio A. Lyon currently works for an IT firm that assigns to do Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization and Link Building.
When not at work, you can be sure to find him at home with his family.