As the world of digital marketing evolves, businesses are forever having to adapt alongside it. This means keeping up with Google’s algorithm updates, challenging new competitors in already saturated markets and creating powerful digital strategies that ensure success.
It’s no surprise that all of this is becoming increasingly challenging, especially when you still have your day-to-day business activities to worry about! With an increasingly complicated digital world, it is easy to make digital marketing mistakes.
Businesses can often make the mistake of having a tunnel vision approach when developing their digital strategy – focussing too much on one aspect. However, as successful marketers will know, a multi-channel approach is the real key in this competitive landscape. Of course, this is only the beginning! This article will be looking at 5 of the (other) most common mistakes businesses make when developing their digital marketing strategies.
1. Unclear goals & unrealistic expectations
Understanding what you want to achieve and having realistic expectations is numero uno when it comes to crafting a successful digital marketing strategy. All too often, businesses have delusions of grandeur about the results they expect to see.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that it pays to be laser-focused in everything you do relating to digital marketing, whether it’s identifying your target audience or designing a website. As a result, it’s vital to have crystal clear goals at the beginning of each campaign so that you have something to work towards. You should also track your KPIs to ensure that every campaign keeps performing at its best.
While it’s important to “think big” and create objectives that will elevate your business, it’s equally important to understand that sometimes, getting the number one spot in the SERPs for a desired keyword might not be achievable if you don’t have the funding or the right staff to carry out the work. Be ambitious, but be realistic too – create SMART goals and don’t take setbacks too hard – after all, Google algorithms present themselves all the time, and they can really throw a spanner in the works.
2. SEO neglect
Whether it’s businesses simply neglecting their SEO strategy or not being willing to stay patient enough to create a long-term SEO campaign, SEO is often left forgotten about. While a campaign might not yield results for at least 6-12 months, SEO is just as (if not more) important than other elements of your digital marketing campaign. In fact, in many ways, it underpins the other aspects of digital marketing and helps to steer your campaign, making mistakes with SEO can lead to long term problems.
More and more sales journeys are now beginning with a Google search, so any business looking to grow must focus their energies into ensuring that optimisations are the best they can be. SEO has many moving parts, which means that it can sometimes feel like spinning plates while you’re trying to manage your campaign. However, if you can delegate your SEO tasks, keep a close eye on your metrics and optimise your campaign when needed, your business can expect to see increased organic traffic, more brand exposure and ultimately, more leads.
3. Poor targeting
It really doesn’t matter how good your digital marketing strategy is; if it isn’t being delivered to the right people, everything will have been a waste of time. Often businesses either try to reach too many people with the logic that more people equals more results. Or, they become too focused on one sub-set of people and end up missing out on lots of potential business. Either way, it’s vital that businesses get their target audience spot on if they want to get the best ROI possible. A good place to start is by creating marketing personas that allow you to envisage the types of people you’re looking to attract.
To create marketing personas, you must first analyse the online habits, age ranges, sexes, locations and purchasing habits of prospective customers. From there, you can create a number of fictional representations of these people (usually between 2-4) which can then be used to help craft a laser-focused digital marketing strategy. Knowing your persona inside out can benefit not only your paid search and paid social advertising, but also your content strategy and even how you approach the overall design of your site.
4. Content inconsistency
Managing a business is incredibly time-consuming for the most part, so sticking to a schedule and publishing content at the same time every week can be challenging. However, there’s a lot to be said about providing regular, consistent content for your audience and followers. People value consistency, whether it’s a series of social media posts, blogs, or short YouTube videos. Providing educational, insightful or even entertaining content on a regular basis can go a long way when it comes to improving brand awareness and brand reputation.
An excellent way to tackle this is by creating a content calendar that allows businesses to schedule when, where, and what types of content they should be posting each week or month. Before creating a calendar, it’s worth researching when and where people will be online. For example, if a business is looking to generate engagement on LinkedIn, posting during regular working hours could be a better option than midnight on a Saturday.
While you might hear stories of businesses blowing up overnight or social media accounts getting millions of followers from one viral post, the reality is that most digital marketing campaigns take time before they produce results.
Often businesses can get frustrated and abandon their campaigns after a few weeks if they haven’t achieved their objective, but this obviously won’t solve the problem!. Granted, most campaigns have to be tweaked and optimised throughout the journey, but being impatient and going back to square one is never the right option. If you’re worried about setting up or managing your campaign, contact agency specialists for assistance.
There is no “perfect” digital marketing strategy that guarantees results, and the truth is that success often stems from trial and error. However, what’s been discussed in this article should help you to understand both what mistakes to avoid, but also what you can do to be more laser-focused and create a high-performing digital marketing strategy.
Larry Kotch is the co-founder of The Brains, an award-winning digital marketing agency. Ranked #3 in B2B Marketing’s Global 30 under 30, Larry leads a dedicated, remote team of talented digital marketing professionals.