Recently I spoke at an insurance conference about success in social media marketing, and shortly thereafter finishing my speech, a young insurance professional walked up to me and asked if I could take a few minutes to explain to her what I thought were the twelve mistakes in marketing that agencies should avoid in the new year.
To be honest, I had to sit down and think about this for a moment. We spent about an hour talking to one another, and by the end of our conversation, I probably could have written down fifty mistakes that I have personally made in the past that everyone should avoid! But out of those fifty or so, here are the top twelve that I came up with that your agency should avoid in 2015:
1) The first mistake many agencies make is not having a marketing plan or strategy. This is a major mistake that I would first and foremost say that your agency needs. Let’s take a quick moment and talk about creating a marketing strategy for your agency, and what it must include. First, your strategy must have a distinct and measurable goal, and without this you will not be able to have a clear social media policy. You must think about your agency’s brand and your agency’s voice within your strategy. When it comes to implementing, you must come up with very a content calendar with 10 goals in mind because without those goals, you will have nothing to measure. Don’t make the mistake of having and creating great content but not allowing the rest of the Internet world to ever see or understand that your content is even there.
2) Not using visual images in your content. Images play a huge role in getting your content seen by people, so lacking visuals is a HUGE mistake. Here’s a quick example: tweets take up more space on your newsfeed and help drive engagement when they include images. So much so that it’s comes out to about 200% more engagement over a tweet without an image. That is a staggering number and we must not ignore the role visual content plays in your marketing strategy.
3) Is your agency taking advantage of hashtags? If not, you’re making a major mistake. Although this may sound very simple, hashtags are an absolute great way for your business to insert itself into trending topics and conversations. Hashtags must play a role in your strategy.
4) Not using a constant voice. Your agency must find a voice within your social media marketing strategy. Without the right strategy and the right plan, you will never be able to have that constant voice. Your agency must be consistent in your online marketing manner- this includes the types of business you’re attempting to write. In 2015, a key component to your agency’s voice must be its brand, consistency, and being human. With these attributes, you will have a constant voice that will help bring you and your agency and ROI.
5) Not utilizing Google+. WOW this could be catastrophic to your marketing strategy. In today’s social media statistics it shows that Google+ is the most underutilized social platform. Let’s always remember that Google+ is directly integrated with Google search results, making profiles an integral part of any marketing/digital or search engine optimization strategy. This is real simple! You and your agency must have a Google + profile and you must be active within it!
6) Not utilizing the communities in the circles within Google +. Your agency can absolutely get a positive ROI with the use of these communities because there is no better way to target market a group then through the use of Google +. These communities are an advantage to you and your agency- do not ignore them.
7) Not using a social platform called Pinterest. Pinning images to a board on Pinterest is simple enough if businesses want to use social media sites to drive traffic and increase their sales within their agency. This social platform is GREAT for branding your agency as well. There is power within Pinterest- trust me!
8) Not having an Instagram account. This social platform is growing by leaps and bounds every single day. With Instagram, it is all about hashtags in order to get your visuals to be seen. This is one of the fastest growing social platforms out there. Furthermore, this site is also owned by Facebook, so that alone makes it a powerful social media arena in which every agency should be playing in.
9) Not being creative. Your brand and your agency must get creative because the social world is a place where everyone wants to be SEEN! Creativeness is a key component not only to your Internet marketing success, but also to your traditional marketing strategy success as well. An important quote that I share and discuss with my marketing team on a weekly basis is this, “the world has enough copycats. You were born original so remain original! There is no more room to be a copy cat!”
10) Not hiring a social media engineer. With all the social avenues today, it would be impossible for you as an agency owner to be able to push out new content and create great visual content in all these different social arenas without having a social media team.
11) Not hiring a graphic designer. I have made this mistake before, and I can tell you since I’ve changed my thought process about a year ago, I can see the huge returns that come from hiring and/or outsourcing the right graphic designer. She has made an enormous difference in our marketing- not only in the Internet world but also with our traditional marketing techniques. A graphic designer is well worth the money you spend and they alone will help you bring a positive ROI if you hire the right one.
12) Not using original photos of your staff within your agency’s website and or its visual content marketing strategy. Stock photos do not work. Let me repeat that- stock photos do not work!
I hope you and your agency can avoid these 12 mistakes in 2015. I could go on with about another 35 to 40 mistakes that we must avoid, but these are key to your agency’s success, so please avoid these mistakes and I’m wishing you and your agency all the best with your marketing efforts this 2015.