With all the time, money and effort that goes into marketing your brand, products and/or services, it’s essential to make the most out of your campaign. Unfortunately, many businesses and entrepreneurs fall victim to some of the same gaffes their predecessors made. Let’s learn from history. Here are the top 13 digital marketing mistakes you need to avoid.
Here are the 13 Digital Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid
- WORKING WITHOUT A COHESIVE STRATEGY
As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Numerous companies, especially small ones, jump hastily into digital marketing without a coherent strategy or vision. Without goals or a plan for achieving them, your marketing efforts are likely to be haphazard and a waste of resources. To create a strategy for success, follow these steps:
- Determine your target audience (demographics, lifestyle, income. Location, interests, etc.).
- Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).
- Decide which media, channels and tools you need to achieve your goals.
- Measure your progress and adapt your strategy if you’re not getting the results you want.
- Use your data to determine what works for your business and what needs improvement.
- SETTING UNREALISTIC GOALS
Improving a marketing campaign takes time. If you expect results overnight, you’re bound to be disappointed. Ad campaigns on social media may take a week to show success, while the results of SEO improvements may not be seen for months. The most common misapprehensions are:
- Expecting tens of thousands of new customers in a short period of time
- Assuming that all website visitors will magically turn into customers
Set realistic and quantifiable marketing goals by analyzing your business’s past trends, aligning with your company’s business goals, and learning about the experience of your competitors. Once your goals are set, create a plan to achieve them, measure results frequently and be open to making changes mid-course.
- MISSING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
A website can attract visitors, but if they are not the right audience for your offerings, you aren’t going to get solid leads. If your site is experiencing this — a lot of users but few leads or sales — you need to search for answers:
- Are you advertising in the wrong places?
- Are you communicating the wrong message?
Consider Reading Importance of Intent and Design in Digital PR?
This is a great opportunity to take the time to reassess your marketing and advertising efforts and realign them with your target market.
- NOT TAKING SEO SERIOUSLY ENOUGH
The best way to stand out in a crowd of websites and attract visitors is optimize your content for search engines. While SEO is always evolving and it’s important to keep up with the latest rules, some methods are always in vogue:
- Optimize your website for mobile viewing. Most users currently access the Internet through a mobile device, and this number is expected to grow.
- Do the keyword research. Learn the keywords customers use when searching for products like yours. Focus on keywords that have search volume and offer a realistic chance of ranking.
- High-quality, long-form content is preferred by Google and other search engines. Be sure the content is relevant to the reader and remember to sprinkle hi-res images and useful videos throughout the content.
- URLs should be concise and contain a primary keyword in addition to letting users know that to expect on the page.
- Seek opportunities for backlinks from authoritative sites and social media influencers.
- IGNORING THE “QUALITY” IN QUALITY CONTENT
Writing digital content just to fill a page or ad space is a mistake many companies make. Search engines prefer content that is valuable, usable and of high quality. Instead of producing massive quantities of so-so content, spend your time writing fewer words of amazing content!
- Quality website content is long-form content that is relevant, factual, credible and compelling.
- Quality ad content catches the eye and gets the reader to click through to your website.
- Quality blog posts present detailed information on current topics and are packed with statistics, cases studies and relevant images.
- TALKING ABOUT PRODUCTS, NOT SOLUTIONS
Users come to your website for solutions and not necessarily for your products. Focus on the benefits — not the features — of your products. Be sure that your content emphasizes how your products solve your readers’ pain points.
How do you know what your customers need?
- Talk with current and/or potential customers.
- Hire a consultant to conduct a thorough survey.
- Communicate with your sales and customer service staff.
- Analyze existing industry research, if available.
- MISSPENDING ON PAID ADS
Overspending on paid advertising leaves little in the budget for other forms of marketing. Advertising’s main purpose is to grow awareness, and if your brand is already well-known, you may be well-advised to spend your money in other ways.
Underspending on advertising is a mistake, too. With so many websites out there, paid advertising may be the best way to get your brand noticed, especially if you’re new to the marketplace.
If you feel that paid ads are the best way to go, be sure to put your money in the right place(s):
- Advertise where you’re sure to reach your target audience.
- Run A/B testing to determine the best media, format and message.
- Monitor performance and adjust spending while the campaign is active.
- POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITHOUT A STRATEGY
By providing a forum for communicating directly with current and potential customers, social media offers businesses an opportunity to build and nourish relationships. However, wading into social media marketing without a strategic plan can be a waste of money at best, and at worst, it can negatively affect your company’s reputation.
Before marketing on social media, do your research! And be sure to appoint or hire a social media specialist with branding expertise to:
- Find the ideal platforms, days and times to reach your audience.
- Post relevant, quality content and videos that inspire and engage.
- Seek out influencers to help increase your reach and gain followers.
- Build trust by responding directly to all feedback in a timely manner.
- NOT RESPONDING TO CONSUMERS
Your customers took the time to offer feedback; the least you can do is spend the time to respond. There is no better way to lose customers than to ignore them. A customer who (rightfully) feels unappreciated is sure to have friends who will hear about your neglect. A social media campaign is especially vulnerable to complaints about unresponsiveness, as its purpose is to interact with customers. Be sure to respond to all comments, questions and even complaints as soon as possible.
- LURING USERS WITH CLICKBAIT
Unscrupulous marketers use sensational, misleading or outright deceptive content to get users to click on a link to their website. When users get to the page, they find that it has no value to them whatsoever. While you increase the number of visitors to your site, their disappointment will negatively impact your brand’s reputation. It may not sound as exciting as clickbait, but content that describes what is on the page is better in the long run.
- NEGLECTING TO CHECK THE COMPETITION
Ignore your competitors at your peril! You should know who they are and what sets your company apart. While you have other things to do, try to remain aware of your competitors’ websites, marketing and advertising campaigns, product development, new services, etc. Not only is this information useful in developing a product or service in an area in which they are lacking, but it also presents an opportunity to discover new marketing opportunities.
- MEASURING SUCCESS INCORRECTLY
Are you tracking the right metrics? While Google Analytics offers numerous tracking tools, knowing which ones are most important to your success is key. Measuring the number of visitors to your site, followers on social media and even the dollar amount of sales is useful, but two other metrics are more relevant:
Cost of Acquisition (COA) tells you how much you are spending to acquire each new customer. This metric indicates your company’s profitability and efficiency. You can reduce your COA by boosting lead conversions, using marketing automation software and improving customer relationships so current clients bring in new ones.
Average Customer Value (ACV), found by multiplying the average order size by the average order frequency, determines the average amount of revenue that each customer brings to your business. ACV can be improved by raising prices, going after larger customers, and cross-selling and upselling to current customers.
- FAILING TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH SEO TRENDS
Digital marketing is an ever-changing field. Google changes its SEO guidelines and rules on a regular basis, and you should always be aware of the latest updates. Basing online marketing on old rules is a waste of your time and money. Stay up to date by subscribing to relevant online newsletters, take free or low-cost online courses, or work with a marketing consultant that specializes in SEO.
13 IS YOUR NEW LUCKY NUMBER!
Why do businesses invest so much time and money in digital marketing? Because it works … unless it doesn’t. This article discussed 13 common digital marketing mistakes that, when made, often lead to poor results. Carefully perusing and heeding the above information will help you avoid these errors.
Today is your lucky day! Reading this post will help you avoid making these 13 deadly mistakes and improve the odds of your marketing success.