In late 2016, Virginia Hale reported that more than 50% of Swedes no longer trust the mainstream media. In 2017, TechCrunch said, “Don’t worry, the MSM isn’t dead yet.” But their only evidence was a Google search ranking for the term “mainstream media is dead,” and we all know that Google ranks are at least 50% artificial. Whether one likes the result of the 2016 presidential election or hates it, the divergence between the projections and the result show one thing clear as crystal- the MSM does not have its finger on the pulse of the people.
So what does that mean for marketers and branding professionals? It means that anyone who is placing all of their advertising eggs in a mainstream basket- is making a big mistake. In case after case, we’ve seen brands fall into obscurity simply because they failed to forge a significant online presence.
This is not to say that advertising on mainstream media is useless. For large and well-established brands, it makes all the sense in the world. But the fact is, unless a brand already has massive recognition and huge coffers, they will simply get outbid and drowned out in their efforts to garner a mainstream audience. MSM, advertising empowers the already empowered. It has more than enough patronage to replace any brand that doesn’t suit a given agenda or rubs other bigger advertisers the wrong way. Those who don’t utilize social media must become an unmovable force, or get washed away in the immense tidal forces of the mainstream outlets.
With that in mind, here are some major marketing mistakes branding professionals looking to branch out should avoid.
Failure to strategize
Just getting on social media isn’t enough. Brands need to pump out regular content in a consistent and thematically consonant manner.
Failure to target a relevant audience
Much like failing to have a plan, failing to target an audience is a sure way for a marketing campaign to sink into irrelevance. Knowing what buyers want means knowing who they are. That takes some research and some insight.
Failure to cope with negative feedback
This is a big one. According to Informeo, roughly 50% of all the negative feedback on social media branding pages is being ignored. There’s a lot of negative energy out on the world wide web. But here’s a tip: that negativity has always been there. Now, there’s just nothing to stop people from letting merchants know when they don’t like what they see. The key is to not let the negativity suck the energy out of a branding campaign. The best way to deal with negative feedback is to ban those who are unreasonably negative and to answer the questions and concerns of those who are reasonable.
For those who are short on time, focus first and foremost on dealing with reasonable concerns. Do not leave reasonable concerns unaddressed. Not only does it let down people who might be paying customers, but it communicates to others that their concerns will also go unaddressed.
Keep in mind that avoiding the pitfalls of online marketing is just guidance. The lesson here is to embrace digital media now and get a foothold- any foothold, before its too late.