Marketing in the B2C marketplace is fraught with challenges of all kinds. After all, you are dealing with hundreds, thousands, or perhaps hundreds of thousands of individuals who all want things to be done slightly differently.
As a brand, big or small, your task is to figure out a way to cater to the largest number of people imaginable. All of them are unique and come with their own demands and preferences. But that sounds more difficult than it actually is, really — especially if you avoid these eight common B2C marketing mistakes with the help of our tips.
1. Give your brand a relatable face
A lot of brands in the B2C space make the mistake of hiding behind a corporate, faceless facade. Their digital presence appears sterile and lifeless, and they offer no real incentive to their customers to relate to them.
Just think how many brands you know only as a logo. While you certainly don’t have to turn your own face into the face of your brand, adding a human touch can go a very long way.
A staggering 95% of all purchasing decisions are made based on emotions. People like to purchase items that make them feel a certain way. No one is going to buy a car they’ll feel inferior in or a toothbrush that promises pain.
Apple has, after all, achieved global success marketing a lifestyle, not a product. Their customers don’t care what kind of processor their iPhone has. They care about the promise of the feelings they will experience when using it.
By adding a human face (or several of them) to your brand, your audience is going to be much more engaged. They will see you as more trustworthy and much more reliable (and relatable) because you look, feel, sound, or do something just like they or someone they know does.
Take a look at Menlo Coaching. They put the smiling faces of their founders, Alice and David, in the hero of their homepage. They’ve also shot a short video about the business, where they show even more of their staff.
These two very simple steps make them instantly more relatable and increase the chances of website visitors getting in touch about their MBA programs.
2. Explain your product clearly and concisely
Some brands also fail to explain what the product is actually about. Unless you are selling something completely straightforward, you will need to take a step back and consider what your visitors will see when they first land on your website.
Don’t expect them to read through a ton of content before they understand what it is you do exactly. No one has the time to read more than a couple of sentences before they are hooked. If you can’t distill your message into 15 words maximum, you need to rethink your product.
Modern consumers are impatient and come with a pronounced tendency to bounce. They know very well that they can find variations of your product somewhere else. If you’ve not made it clear what you sell and why they should care, you’ve lost them already.
Let’s look at a great way to handle this. Thankbox nailed their tagline: send group cards online in a matter of minutes. They have then broken down the benefits of using their product: you can easily get people involved, you can customize different formats, and you will make someone smile.
They’ve also gone the extra mile and created a cute illustrated explainer video that shows the same process.
Their approach ticks all the boxes: they have explained what the product is and why visitors should care, and they leave no room for doubt about the benefits either.
3. Cater to website visitors who are immediately ready to convert
Brands also often think they need to convince the majority of their website visitors to convert. In reality, conversion rates in most industries range between 2% and 8%, and even these are highly optimistic targets.
A lot of your visitors will just be browsing with no intention of shopping. They will be comparing prices and doing some general product research. These people will not convert no matter what you throw at them.
Brands that go after everyone feature numerous “touches” on their website, believing a lead needs to be warmed up to convert, all in one sitting. This is not what really happens. Most leads don’t go from cold to convert the first time they see your brand’s online presence. Yes, they touch base with you several times. But it doesn’t all happen during a single website visit.
You don’t need a bunch of UI elements to convert customers. Remember, they are basing their decisions based on emotions and impulses. They don’t need a long courtship.
Instead of giving every visitor a long road to conversion, give visitors who arrive ready to check out a clear, easy, direct way to do so. Don’t make them click through five benefits-oriented pages. Let them add to the cart and pay.
Kopi Luwak Direct does this. They have one CTA — “Shop Now” — and it’s virtually the first thing any website visitor will see when they land on the brand’s homepage.
They give you the price and point you to the virtual cash register. If you want to buy the product, this approach saves you minutes. If you don’t, you can just scroll down the page and read all about their coffee and why it’s special. They’re not closing the door to undecided visitors: merely opening it wider for those who aren’t.
4. Offer top-notch customer service
68% of customers are ready to pay more for a product or service if it comes with excellent customer service. 61% of them will switch to a competitor brand after a single bad customer service experience.
By highlighting the quality of the customer experience you provide, you can significantly increase your conversion rates. Most brands don’t, so you will instantly stand out and become more memorable.
You can do it quite simply with both your copy and website elements. If you make it easy for your customers to contact you (or, better yet, get their questions answered without having to talk to you), they will be more likely to take the plunge and place an order.
On the other hand, if you don’t explain how you handle returns, what your delivery times are and where you deliver, you may lose a lot of customers.
Take a look at the Jollyes website. They’ve done several things right:
- First, they have a live chat.
- Their contact page also comes with an FAQ section that will answer all of the most common customer queries.
- Visitors have the option of contacting them by phone or via a form, and the hours of the customer service team are clearly highlighted.
- They’ve also chosen to highlight customer reviews that speak about the quality of their service and staff on their homepage. Now, the company already knows the products they stock are good quality, and so do their customers. Highlighting this aspect of their business gives them an edge over their competitors.
5. Focus on the readability of your blog content
If you have a blog (and you should definitely consider launching one if you haven’t already), you want to avoid confronting your visitors with a wall of text. No one will want to read an unattractive post, no matter how insightful or well-written it may be.
Unlike the B2B space, where buyers are interested in learning something and understanding what the product is about, B2C customers are impatient when it comes to making purchasing decisions. They just want you to get to the point and be done with it. The longer the post, the less likely they are to read it.
Note that we are talking about product-specific posts here. More general topics that don’t directly influence a purchasing decision can (and often should) be long. For example, if you are talking about learning to paddle board, don’t write a short post. But if you are talking about a solid vs. an inflatable board, explain the difference in the first paragraphs and who each product is made for.
If your post needs to be long, here’s how you can break it up. This Presetlove post on different Lightroom presets is extremely long. But they break it up with tons of images and thus make it work. At the same time, they show you what each product is like, so you can easily determine which ones you would want to use.
The table of contents at the top of the page also makes it very easy to jump to the section you want to explore, so there is no wasted time on the reader’s part.
6. Get focused on your social media content
When it comes to your social media presence, you want to ensure there’s some sense of direction to it. Don’t try to appeal to a very broad audience segment, even if you know they might all like it. Instead, niche your presence down, and appeal to different elements of that same broad group of people.
This will mean that you have to devote some time to figuring out who these groups are and what they are looking for. Ideally, try to figure out who your competitors are under-serving, and start there.
Let’s illustrate this point with an example. ATH sells supplements, so they can appeal to anyone in the fitness and recreational sports niche. That’s a huge, extremely broad audience that you should never target en masse. Especially since that’s what most competitor brands do: they either appeal to gym buffs or try to appeal to everyone who works out.
ATH figured out that their Jiu Jitsu-focused Instagram posts get the most engagement, so they started posting more of this content. The shares and likes expose them to a larger audience, so more people are able to hear about their products. This doesn’t mean that people who play tennis aren’t going to see them: just that they are focusing on a specific audience.
7. Speed It Up
User experience is perhaps the most important marketing element you need to be optimizing. If you don’t provide at least a decent one, your visitors will bounce.
A major element of that experience is website loading speed. Your customers will absolutely not wait for your website to load, especially on a mobile phone. They will click off and never come back — it’s that annoying to them.
Before you invest in anything else, start by improving website speed. It is a ranking factor as well, so you will see numerous benefits from this simple but often time-consuming tweak.
The three key aspects to target are code, image sizes (both file sizes and width and height on the page), and element loading order.
- Minify your JS and HTML codes.
- Set the appropriate image size for each different screen size and orientation.
- Make sure all image files are compressed.
- Reduce your redirects to a minimum.
- Preload fonts and other important elements, and lazy-load everything else. Don’t make visitors wait for an entire page to load if you can just show them the header.
8. Understand Your Bottom Line
Finally, don’t make the mistake of marketing without a goal in mind. And that goal needs to be something other than “sell more items” because that’s every B2C brand’s goal.
In order for your marketing efforts to work, you need to understand how they align with your sales and growth strategies. Don’t let these three teams operate separately. If you do, you’ll end up drowning your customer service team in complaints because hundreds of customers wanted to order a product that was served to them on social media by your marketing team, who didn’t know you had very limited stock.
Understand how each segment of your business works and exactly how much a customer is worth to you. This will help you invest the right amount of money into each marketing channel, help you select products to promote, and ultimately help you succeed.
Ensure you’re not making any of these common B2C marketing mistakes before the year is out. If you are, take a look at our examples and figure out how you can turn it around and start making a better and more lasting impact on your audience.