15 Digital Marketing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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  1. Not putting the social in social media: Social media is a dynamic platform meant for socialization. Yet, some digital marketers still just use it to post content as if it was a one-way street. Don’t make the mistake by being anti-social and not starting dialogue with those that are commenting on your posts and tweets. By responding you are engaging with your audience and inviting them to come back again plus you are gaining a better context for what they need and want. Your relationships with your customers and prospects can deepen across social media, enhancing trust levels and building loyalty.
  2. Buying followers: There is no real need to spend money on buying followers when many other actions can gain the targeted followers you really need. Typically, those that you buy are not necessarily those that would be interested in what you offer or they may actually not even be real people. Others that see how many follow you aren’t going to join in just because it appears as though you have a significant fan base; they will stay and join based on your content and the level of engagement with the existing followers to that content. Focus your resources on targeted tactics that actually deliver results.
  3. Ignoring email marketing: Many digital marketers believe email marketing is a thing of the past and won’t deliver any effective results, but what they forget is that most people are using their mobile phones to still check email and consider it a vital, relevant communication platform. Consumers and businesses have noted they like to get promotional emails, especially if these come with helpful information and a direct link to where they can learn more or take advantage of the promotion. Use an email tool to regularly send out a monthly promotion or message to your list and gauge just how many clicks and sales you get from this low-cost, high-return marketing tactic. The key is merely, do emailing, just don’t overdo.
  4. Not measuring results: Whether you think it costs too much or takes too much effort, many digital marketers decide not to track results or use analytics. In reality, Google Analytics and other tools are very insightful and provide specifics on well your digital marketing campaigns are doing. Without these results, it’s hard to tell if your campaigns are really getting results or why they are not. This could undermine your entire digital marketing strategy if you don’t know where to make specific change.
  5. Outsourcing your social media: No one knows your brand like you, so handing over your social media presence to someone who doesn’t have that knowledge or even passion about it is a huge mistake. That’s because a lack of knowledge and passion will come through in what is posted and done on your social media accounts. Other’s generally won’t be able to emulate your voice, and your audience will figure that out quickly. Instead, take the time to handle your own social media management using numerous online tools such as Buffer, or others that add efficiency to the time you spend on managing those accounts without compromising the experienced brand voice that only you know.
  6. Not targeting the right audience: Despite having incredible content and being completely involved in the digital marketing process, if you don’t have the right audience in your radar, it’s a lost cause. Use tracking pixels and cookies to reach those who have visited your site or joined your email list. Use the tools on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook that provide demographics information so you can target by age, gender, and interest. When you hit this right audience, that incredible content will really pay off. Until then, you might find a few people that happen to find you but it makes better sense to put your brand in front of large crowds of people that have been trying to find just what you offer.
  7. Not taking mobile seriously: If you still think mobile isn’t that important than you are most likely missing getting in front of a massive chunk of your audience. The majority of consumers are on their smartphones looking up information and using their social media accounts. If you do not approach them this way, offer a mobile website version, or do not consider some type of mobile app to help them when they are researching or out shopping, you are making a massive mistake with your digital marketing strategy. Do your research, create a mobile strategy, and test its effectiveness.
  8. Ignoring abandoned carts or visitors who leave your site: If you don’t wonder why someone only spent a few minutes on your site or put something in their cart but then left, you are not going to grow your customer base. Rather than assuming they just changed their mind or got distracted, implement a remarketing strategy or way to re-engage them to return to your site with a reminder of what you offer. You can also give them an offer or incentive the second they go to click off your site as this improves the likelihood that they will stay and complete their sale. Don’t just let them go because they are most likely going to your competition.
  9. Using automated direct messages on Twitter: Talk about one of the most impersonal things you can do in a world where everyone wants authenticity and personalization. Using an automated direct message on Twitter is basically like asking to be unfollowed. It tells your audience you are too busy to bother personally engaging with them on social media, which then reflects on your brand image. Just don’t do it!

10. Brands produce content for the sake of having content rather than offer relevant messaging that speaks to customers’ specific interests.

Most brands believe the ability to post and share content across channels means they must produce an endless flood of information. Marketers understand that customer interactions take place across all touchpoints, leading them to believe that they must provide a constant stream of content no matter the platform, for they believe that visibility will result in engagement when, in reality, this strategy typically diminishes interest.

What to do: Post engaging content that demonstrates the importance of quality over quantity. Because content has clearly become an integral element of the digital marketing experience, companies must approach this trend carefully, as other brands have also hopped on the bandwagon. Instead of focusing on quantity, marketers must focus on the quality of their content. Engaging material has the power to strengthen customer loyalty and advocacy, while mediocre work will likely have the opposite effect.

11. Marketers think they can (and should) monitor and measure every point possible.

Though marketers now have the ability to gather, analyze, and act upon data across the customer lifecycle, many will find that the power of digital can also hinder progress. “Most find themselves drowning in a sea of unnecessary data because they insist on tracking every point imaginable,” says Michael Behrens, vice president of eMarketing at ASCII Services , the digital marketing arm of ASCII Growth Services. “Ultimately, however, not all customer information and behavioral data can be brought to action, nor should it be.”

What to do: Take one step at a time to determine which touchpoints and metrics truly impact the bottom line. Instead, companies must develop a better balance via constant testing and strategy reconfiguration. Not every touchpoint will yield information that pertains to the brand’s bottom line, and these relevant touchpoints are likely to change as the customer experience evolves. Therefore, marketers must climb the staircase to success, for there’s no elevator. But, by putting one foot in front of the other, they will soon reach the top.

12. Companies dream of an omnichannel strategy, but fail to centralize the incoming digital data.

For years, marketers have romanticized the notion of an omnichannel experience. Yet, while many talk about breaking down the departmental silos that stall progress, few have successfully implemented this unified approach to customer experience and data collection, as companies typically lack a cohesive organizational structure, as well as the technological infrastructure to bring all incoming information together under one roof.

What to do: Integrate customer information to understand the customer experience and drive strategic development. Ultimately, data centralization will be the primary component standing between success and failure, for companies that neglect to integrate disparate systems are destined to struggle, hindering customer experience. “When it comes to data centralization, organizations must invest in the integrated technologies that enable marketers to be more efficient and effective with regard to actionable decision-making,” Behrens emphasizes. “Ideally, companies will have such an infrastructure in place from the start, as those who fail to implement such systems are destined to fight an uphill battle against resource decisions, siloed information, and enterprisewide inefficiencies. Unfortunately, however, such is the case for many on the journey toward digital proficiency, as few brands currently have the ability to blend incoming data across the entire organization.”

13. Marketers rarely look to consumer behavior for guidance, ultimately failing to uphold the brand promise.

Despite the fact that consumer behavior ultimately drives brand success or failure, many neglect to tap into said actions to derive insight from this incoming data. These companies rush to implement the latest strategy because it’s the newest trend. But seeking solutions from this “business first” standpoint signals the wrong approach, as marketers disregard their own customers’ needs, desires, bad experiences, and demands for digital engagement.

What to do: Focus on customer centricity to boost trust and deliver ROI. By organizing campaigns that build upon their own customer insight, brands can easily strengthen trust in order to cultivate the types of relationships necessary for continued success. Ultimately, digital campaigns can’t succeed based on Big Data and analytics alone. Instead, marketers must consider clear and actionable customer insights. Delivering the perfectly tailored message to the intended target remains at the core of every marketer’s mission. However, digital marketing will always be secondary to an actual relationship, hence why companies must maintain a real, humanistic approach.

14. Executives invest in the necessary technology, but not the resources that drive success.

While most leaders now agree that digital channels require special attention, many invest time and money into integrating the proper systems, yet few invest in the necessary resources. Companies often thrust management responsibilities on their already tapped-out workforces, setting the initiative up for failure from the onset.

What to do: Create teams that specifically care for and carry out the brand’s digital strategy. Technology isn’t going to operate itself. Instead, strategic development must also include finding the right person or team of people with the necessary skillset and bandwidth to make the investment worthwhile. Ultimately, brands must recognize that technology cannot replace employees, for the customer experience will always require the human touch.

15. Brands neglect to establish one program manager to monitor metrics and goals.

Because companies often implement marketing initiatives with great speed, many use this “bias for action” as an excuse for not taking the time to develop comprehensive plans and well-defined campaigns with specific objectives. Thus, employees begin operating within their siloed departments without one program manager to oversee and deliver leads or sales.

What to do: Understand how each digital asset performs and its contribution to the end goal. By putting one program manager in the position to supervise all marketing activity, companies will ultimately come to understand the role of each digital asset with regard to how they individually and collectively impact the broader campaign. Thus, brands can easily create one comprehensive snapshot of the campaign and demonstrate how each asset contributes to the end goal so the program manager may effectively shift budget dollars to maximize campaign performance.

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