After years of experience, the WKH Solutions team has seen many marketing successes and plenty of marketing mistakes. To help you and your brand avoid marketing fails, our digital, creative, and business development experts shared their biggest marketing pet peeves and simple ways to fix them.
Lack of Brand Guidelines and Consistency
Brand inconsistency occurs when a brand lacks a clear set of guidelines to follow across all marketing efforts. This can lead to issues like inconsistent brand colors, a distorted or miscolored logo, or a disconnected brand voice. Each of these discrepancies can diminish your brand’s reputation.
The first step in building brand consistency is creating clear brand guidelines for internal and external users to follow. These rules should outline which specific colors, logos, and tones of voice people should use when referring to your organization and your brand, along with any other brand elements that you consider important to your business and that represent your brand’s identity. Use these guidelines to keep your brand cohesive across all channels and platforms.
Following the Wrong Social Media Trends
While trends can be a simple, lighthearted way to increase your brand’s reach and awareness, they have the potential to decrease the professionalism of your brand and lose the interest of your target audience.
If you’d like to explore using trends in your marketing strategy, first consider these two factors: your target audience and your brand voice. Participating in a trend that doesn’t attract your organization’s target market can be ineffective. While your viewership numbers might increase, you could lose the trust and interest of your true market. In addition, your brand should portray a consistent presence across all of its channels. If your brand is presented as professional on one platform but participates in casual trends on a different platform, you could leave your audience confused.
Overuse of Hashtags
Captioning your post with tons of hashtags not only detracts from each user’s experience, but it proves that you haven’t sufficiently researched your target audience. If you know your target market well enough, you’ll know which hashtags and keywords they gravitate towards. Adding extra hashtags that aren’t in their realm of interest can be a waste of your time and character limit.
Prior to posting on any platform, prioritize keyword and hashtag research to find the options that will best attract your ideal customer, follower, etc. From there, choose a handful of hashtags to use with your post, and monitor your post to gauge how well those hashtags attract your audience. If these tags don’t work, research more options and try again on your next similar post. When used correctly, hashtags and keywords can be a revolutionary introduction to your marketing strategy and a simple way to increase reach.
Bad Graphic Design
Nothing is worse than designs that appear carelessly thrown together. Designs like these often feel unprofessional and present a poor first impression of your brand.
There are a few first steps you can take to improve your graphic design skills. First, be intentional about each element of your design. Whether it’s shapes, text, or images, everything should align with something. Alignment should be similar across your piece, so if one thing is center-aligned, the rest should be too. Also, be sure to check that every element is spaced appropriately. There are user-experience recommendations for space between text, photos, and more that you can easily find online and follow. If you’re using images in your design, prioritize high-quality photos from the get-go. This will save you from having to replace the image later on if it’s not high enough resolution for print or larger digital pieces, and it’ll improve the overall user experience for your viewers/readers. Spending a few extra minutes on your graphics or visuals will make your brand appear more professional, trustworthy, and intriguing to your consumers. The attention to detail and extra effort will not go unnoticed.
Fear of Innovation
Successful marketing strategies are built on innovation and creativity. When a brand refuses to stray from the status quo, it reduces its chances of success. It’s hard to watch a brand copy and paste its marketing strategy from a competitor, and then be disappointed when it doesn’t lead to noticeable change.
To overcome the fear of innovation, you first need to overcome the fear of failure. If a new marketing idea doesn’t succeed, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, failure can teach you a lot about your target market and their preferences. Another way to increase innovation is by incorporating a diverse group of opinions and voices into your marketing process. Multiple points of view can spark a wider variety of creative ideas. While learning from competitors and taking inspiration from other brands can be a great place to start, your eventual goal should be to embrace creative freedom and create a marketing strategy that is unique to your brand.
How We Can Help
Marketing is a constantly evolving field, and success relies on continuous trial and error. Allowing your marketing strategy to be fluid and ever-changing is crucial in the growth of your brand and its reach. If you’re struggling with creating a marketing strategy, or if your current strategy is falling flat, contact our team to lead you in the right direction. We’re here to make marketing a less intimidating endeavor and to help you make a (memorable) name for your brand!