We are 33 days into the new year. As business builders with the year opening up before us, there is no better time to seek and find new areas for growth.

What can stop us? Getting stuck in the same old routines. Staying in our comfortable lane. And most of all these three marketing traps that will sink your plans, obliterate your goals and suck the life out of your energy and enthusiasm.

Trap#1: The Catch All Website.

Your website is your business office/store front in our digital first remote work world. It is the foundation of modern marketing. If you are like most of the business builders I talk with, you have a website. Everyone has a website.

The trap is that it is a generic, catch all website. Heavy on text, full of general product/service information, a resume sounding bio of the management team. It is a product brochure on the web. It is the biggest marketing trap of all. Because “we have a website” means that your company has met the bare minimum requirement for modern marketing. And it is doing absolutely nothing to build your business. It is just sitting there. Looking pretty or worse. Boring people.

Avoid the trap. Turn your website into a destination, a key stop on the buyer’s journey, a lead generation engine for 2022. Make it the hub of your marketing with a higher level of engagement and interactivity. Direct web traffic to specific landing pages instead to your central website where people typically get lost or quickly bounce away.

Turning your website into a destination with a planned buyers’ journey and activities designed to produce action, will help you avoid these two other traps.

Trap #2: Social Media

Social Media is one of the best and least expensive ways to build your brand, cement your thought leadership, and prospect for new customers.

It can also be a major time and energy drain. Success takes constant, continuous effort. To get the benefits of social media marketing you must commit to your social media channels and use them consistently. At least three times a week. With new content.

The content needs to be fresh and relevant both to your current audience and the ones you are hoping to attract. It cannot be a steady stream of company, product and self-promotion. The rule of thumb from the social media mavens I work with is a three to one ratio of three pieces interesting, inspiring, educational content to one promotion.

It means more than posting and exiting. It means engaging with the audience, following people, reposting, inviting others into your circle and joining theirs. At least one hour a day needs to be devoted to social engagement.

The trap is jumping in because of an event or need such as a product launch, company news and, of course, a New Year’s resolution. But too often, like the New Year’s diet or workout pledge, your social media commitment flags after a few weeks. The marketing benefit is lost. Your trapped between your desire to get social media marketing working for you and the reality of the customers, employees and business demands that are filling your days.

Avoid the trap by hiring a professional like my colleague Chris Fleming of Higher Communications to handle your social media program for you. A typical program runs $1,000 to $3,000 a month. Make the investment only after you consider your overall business growth needs, what else you could do and the ROI you should expect from social media.

Trap #3 Digital Advertising.

Like social media digital advertising is a valuable marketing tool especially for lead generation. Digital advertising includes Pay per click (PPC) ads on search engines, paid SEO also called Search Engine Marketing (SEM), paid social ads, geo-fencing and retargeting.

It is a great way to advertise because it can be inexpensive, and it is measurable. You know almost immediately what is working and what is not.

The trap is as with social media it can be confusing, time consuming and money wasting, particularly when you as the business builder or a general marketing team without deep digital marketing experience spend hours of time and hundreds of dollars creating ads that don’t work. Compounding the problem is not understanding the analytics to know what is working for your audience and what is not.

Avoid the trap by hiring a good digital marketing coach or agency to guide your through the experience. Which direction you choose depends on your budget and time. A coach will support and guide your Do-It-Yourself approach. A coach will cost less upfront, and so you will need to invest the time and effort to do the work. A digital agency will cost more of your marketing budget and do it for you to free up your time for other activities.

Want some advice on how you can avoid these, and other marketing traps this year? Book a strategy session today.