Top 10 Mistakes in Digital Marketing (How Many Are You Guilty Of?)

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Top 10 Mistakes in Digital Marketing (How Many Are You Guilty Of?)

Is it time to up your digital marketing game?

If you are flinging around keywords like confetti and you don’t know the difference between Instagram, influencers, and affiliates, then you might need to scrub a little on the basics. Even if your website is smooth and you’re social media savvy, chances are, there is still one or two things you could do to improve.

To help you up your digital marketing game and be all about engagement and reach, we have collected our list of the Top 10 Mistakes Businesses Make in Digital Marketing.

Let’s see how many your business is guilty of – and what you can do to improve.

Not Making Everything Mobile Friendly

There are no excuses anymore for not having a website, and everything on it, as mobile-friendly as you possibly can.

In 2016, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop usage, and more people were searching and surfing on their phones more often than at their desks. In 2020 the numbers of people using their mobiles for searching will continue to go through the roof.

There are loosely 3 types of websites when it comes to supporting mobile services – responsive, mobile-friendly, and complete crap.

The difference between responsive sites and mobile-friendly ones is that a responsive site adjusts essentially everything to suit the size of screen your visitor is using (this is the best type of website to have), while mobile-friendly sites can change in scale for mobile use, but nothing else changes.

With mobile-friendly sites, the site is smaller and may look ok, but menus and forms won’t work or vanish completely and generally, everything is harder to do.

People (and search engines) prefer responsive sites, and these are more likely to be promoted and used, while mobile-friendly only sites may be passed over for a more user-experience optimised site.

A complete crap website is one that isn’t even mobile-friendly, where the page remains exactly as it would look on a desktop but very very tiny. If your website looks like this, you need to get in contact with us ASAP as you really need some immediate and drastic help.

While we are making websites amazing for mobile use, businesses also need to ensure that their images and videos are ideal for smaller screens, that their websites don’t load slowly and also that their page is optimised for mobile-based searches.

Casting a Wide Net

Digital marketing is about honing your message and targeting your audience. Just because every man and his dog is on the internet and technically could see your content, it doesn’t mean they will.

The wider your marketing net, the more pointless your marketing. You cannot connect with everybody, and you can’t reach everybody hoping that a good percentage of them will be interested in what you are selling.

You need to work out who your target audience is and where and when to find them on the internet. Then you need to create content that speaks directly to them.

You need to hone this content using the ingredients that will connect with your audience and inspire them to act, including SEO tactics and keywords, interesting content, images that engage and social media posts that people interact with.

Figure out who the people are out there that are most likely to become your happy satisfied customers (happy enough to buy again and tell all their friends about you) and then cast your net squarely at them.

Ignoring SEO

Almost all digital marketing happens through search engines (basically Google) and through social media. Both of these mediums use a search capability to help customers find what they need.

Your digital marketing content should be optimised for the search terms or keywords and phrases that your audience will use. Your content should include the keywords naturally and should be optimised in other ways, including having links in your pages, loading quickly, updating often and having scannable and original content.

You need to start any digital marketing campaign with the idea of ‘what search terms will my ideal customer use to look for this content?’ and then tailor the content to this.

You should be covering a number of different words and phrases with your various content, to ensure you are connecting with more people. And don’t use just the most common search terms, as these are already targeted by your much bigger competition, and you probably can’t compete with the price!

There are lots of rules and guidelines around how to optimise your content well, and how to choose the best keywords for your brand, but understanding that you can’t ignore SEO is the right place to start.

Ignoring Social Media

If you have any kind of digital marketing strategy, and you skip the part where you create and maintain an awesome social media presence, then you have made a mistake.

Big mistake. Huge.

Every business needs a social media presence – at least one and probably several including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn at the minimum. Your profile has to look good and be accurate and up to date, but more than that, you need to actively interact with your audience through your social media pages.

Social media is like word of mouth and is the single fastest way to build your brand. Every potential customer that has a good experience with your business has the potential to share this with their (on average) 300+ friends.

This isn’t just about promotion and sales, however, and if you make your social media all about sales then you are guilty of making another big digital marketing mistake.

Social media is for letting people know who you are why you love what you do, and by creating connections with the people out there that are the ideal match for your business. It is about offering value to your audience and engaging with them on a human level, not hitting them promotions and spam.

Ignoring Content Marketing

Creating great content such as blogs and videos isn’t just an optional extra for hard-working businesses, it is essential.

Content that is interesting and value-driven and that is constantly being updated will make your website look more attractive to search engines like Google. You are seen as a relevant authority in your niche, and you are more likely to appear higher up in search engine results.

Content marketing is another way you can build your brand and show your audience why you are the perfect business for them. It helps you to be memorable and trustworthy.

It recognises that people conducting searches may not be ready to buy yet, but are at all stages of their buying journey. Through well-targeted and well-written content you can connect with everyone.

And that brings us to the next mistake

Marketing only for Conversions

You shouldn’t create your digital marketing purely with the intention of just getting sales and conversions. If you target your content to get people to buy now you could be missing 80-90% of your audience.

And even if you do target specifically to people to buy now, if you haven’t built a relationship of trust with them before this, even if your deal is amazing, they are unlikely to buy from you.

You need to craft content and create a digital marketing strategy that engages people at all stages of their customer buying journey, including those just becoming interested or aware of needing your product, those searching for options, those specifically researching businesses, those ready to buy, and those that have already bought but are looking for a better experience.

This could mean:

  • blogs around your niche explaining how to solve a problem, or even specifically what a problem looks like
  • links to external blogs and articles of interest
  • social media links to quizzes or contests
  • social media images and posts of items that your customers might find interesting
  • email newsletters and
  • educational videos or videos showing someone using your product.

Being Scared of Videos

And now we get to videos (you probably guessed this one was coming.)

Younger business owners and newer businesses already understand the importance of videos.

If you are a little older, or just generally super camera-shy, then you probably know you should be posting videos to help promote your business, but are still holding back through lack of tech knowledge or lack of confidence at being on camera.

You can’t avoid it anymore. Videos on social media, your own website and also platforms like YouTube create a far stronger response than just images and are about a thousand times more effective than text alone.

Videos can give value to your audience in a hundred different ways, and don’t have to just promote your products or star you. Instructional videos are fantastic, as are behind the scenes looks at your office, warehouse, and team. You could also create inspirational or motivational videos of things your customers might like to aspire to, or videos to entertain them and make them laugh.

You can also encourage user-generated content by inviting people to post their own videos of receiving or using your products or visiting places of interest in your hometown.

You don’t need to hire a production company or even invest in professional video, audio or editing equipment – it’s likely that your smartphone has enough features to do what you need it to do, and you can edit easily using apps such as InVideo.

Not Having a Strategy

You can’t just ‘wing’ digital marketing. Well, you can, but it’s highly unlikely that this approach will work.

You need some sort of strategy, even if it’s a basic one. It should include:

  • your objectives as a business
  • your specific goals for this marketing push
  • what your audience looks like and where to find them
  • how your audience conducts their research and makes their decisions
  • what sort of message will work best to engage them
  • a schedule for getting all this done
  • A plan for analysing your results – how are you going to know if it worked?

As you are reading this article, it is probably starting to sink in that your marketing strategy needs to include a number of different messages, delivered in different ways through different mediums.

This could include content on your website, blogs and articles, guest blogs on other websites, maintaining social media pages for your businesses, connecting with influencers or affiliates, sending email newsletters, creating videos, and paying for advertising through social media or search engines.

And this is just skimming the surface of what you can do.

If putting together a strategy or choosing the best marketing options for you is a little scary, get in contact with us to see how we can tailor something just for you.

Not Analysing Your Results

This is an ongoing commitment – you can’t just set and forget when it comes to digital marketing.

Many businesses create content and ads and social media posts and then fail to check their results, and never know what is working and what isn’t.

You should be tracking your Return on Investment (or ROI) to assess which paid methods of advertising are bringing in value for money results.

You should have a system in place for analysing how your marketing is working, so you can make tweaks and adjustments as needed. There are many online options to help with this, the most well-known being Google Analytics, which are remarkably easy to set up and use.

You can also very easily track and analyse any social media posts through the platform itself like Facebook or Instagram and see which posts get interaction.

You should review your marketing semi-regularly and make changes as you need to what isn’t working.

Not handling Feedback

Digital marketing is a constantly awake, always interacting world and you can’t hide from feedback. Your customers, and also a great many people who aren’t customers, can comment publicly about your business or products, and everyone can see it.

Any effective digital marketing strategy will include communicating with the public, and this doesn’t mean just with converting customers or those who actually walk into your store. You need to imagine that everyone in the whole world has the ability to ‘walk in’ and you should communicate with them all as though they are physically there.

You should comment on your social media posts and also reply to others’ comments. You don’t have to respond to every single one, but while you can manage it, you should.

You should definitely respond to every negative comment or review and do so carefully as every time you do this you have the chance to spin the matter positively for your brand.

Interact with your customers whether they are just window shopping or whether they have made a purchase, or need follow up assistance afterwards.

Final Thoughts

We have just skimmed the surface here, but this is a good start. If your business is guilty of ANY of these digital marketing mistakes, it’s time to pull your socks up.

And if you have no idea where to begin, give us a call or shoot us an email.

Ian Haynes

Ian Haynes

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About Me

Ian Haynes has extensive experience crafting unique sales & marketing content. Throughout his career he’s spent many year working across sales, marketing and software solutions.

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