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13 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Shawn Jordan

By Shawn Jordan

Planning and implementing a digital marketing campaign comes with various challenges. While you might think you have it all figured out at one moment, the next might come with a reality check. Even though not everything in the digital marketing world might be in your control, identifying the most common digital marketing strategy mistakes that others make gives you a good head start. What follows is learning how to avoid them.

 

1. No Realistic Goals or Goal Tracking

Not having realistic goals makes it to just about every list of top 10 marketing mistakes. If you don’t set goals, there is no way to telling how well your campaign is performing. Similarly, an unfocused online marketing campaign gives you no way of knowing whether you are achieving your goals in the desired time period. This also applies to tracking your goals, because you will have no way to telling which aspects are working and which need improvement.

 

What You Can Do

An easy way to avoid this mistake is to set SMART goals.

  • Your goals need to drive specific actions, be it clicking on a link, subscribing to your emails, or making a purchase.
  • Goals that you can measure through different metrics and data points give you the means to identify what’s working for you and what’s not.
  • It is important that you set achievable goals, failing which you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • Realistic goals are ones that allow you to make the best of your resources and budget, without having to stretch beyond your means.
  • Time-sensitive. Make sure your goals come with deadlines. This helps keep you and your team motivated and on track.

 

Keep your goals in mind when determining which key performance indicators (KPIs) will work best for you. Using Google Analytics to keep track of your KPIs comes next. This step helps measure your campaign’s return on investment (ROI).

 

2. Absence of a Documented Strategy

No matter whether you look at statistics surrounding content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, or email marketing, you will notice that a significant percentage of marketers give due importance to having a well-documented strategy in place. While it is important to establish your goals, it is equally important to map out a path you need to follow.

 

What You Can Do

If you have a small team or plan to handle your business’ online marketing on your own, it is best to focus on no more than two to three strategies at a time. Alternatively, you can think about leveraging the expertise that a good digital marketing agency can bring to the table.

 

3. Not Paying Attention to Your Website

One of the top digital marketing mistakes that businesses make is not paying due attention to their websites. If you wish to make the most of the booming online marketplace, having a user-friendly website that provides a great user experience (UX) is crucial. Businesses that do not focus on their websites often tend to lag behind their competitors in the online world.

 

What You Can Do

You can work on delivering a great UX through your website by:

 

4. Overlooking Keyword Research

Sure, we no longer live in a time when simply adding keywords to your content worked in attracting web traffic. However, keywords continue to play a very important role in any business’ search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. This is because more than 65% of all clicks on search results pages go to the first five results. Besides, over 85% of consumers begin searches for products online.

 

Making use of the right keywords comes with benefits that include an increase in organic traffic and more qualified leads, as well as getting the ability to gain insight into consumer behavior. Ignoring this aspect, though, is easily among the top content marketing mistakes you can make.

 

What You Can Do

Getting your keywords right requires following a few simple measures.

  • Determine which keywords you rank well for already.
  • Check keywords that your competitors are using.
  • Make use of search suggestions that Google provides when you carry out online searches.
  • Think from your customers’ point of view to determine terms they might use when looking for your products or services.
  • Consider using online SEO tools that provide insights and analytics.
  • Make keyword research an ongoing process.

 

Provide useful and relevant information that your target audience can use once it reaches the desired page, failing which all your keyword research efforts might go in vain.

 

 

5. Focusing on the Wrong Target Audience

No matter whether you look at big, mid-sized, or small business marketing mistakes, targeting the wrong audience continues to be a problem. This is mainly because several businesses try to reach out to as wide an audience as possible. The problem with this approach is that while you might manage to reach out to scores of people, not many might be interested in becoming your customers.

 

Instances of businesses simply targeting the wrong audience are common as well. This results in a waste of time, money, and effort. Besides, when businesses try to target very broad audiences, they often fail in providing relevant content to people who might otherwise be interested.

 

What You Can Do

Narrowing down on your target audience requires research and testing. This gives you the means to identify which segment might be interested in what your business has to offer.

 

Creating marketing personas based on your existing customer base can also help identify your target audience. These personas are typically based on aspects such as demographics, shopping habits, interests, and hobbies. Using personas can help you get an insight into your customers’ varied experiences, behaviors, and needs.

 

If your business caters to a diverse audience, you may create multiple personas. Then, you may target people with similar traits, and test whether you might get better returns by targeting a narrower or wider audience.

 

6. Not Using a Blog to Grow Brand Identity

Several businesses do not have blogs, and many others have abandoned their blogging efforts because they feel they have not delivered the right results. However, it is in your best interest to avoid this common digital marketing mistake, because blogs give you an easy and cost-effective way to build brand identity and authority.

 

Using your blog in the right manner can work wonders in driving traffic to your website, it can improve your website’s SEO and ranking, and it also lets you establish yourself as an industry expert.

 

What You Can Do

Getting your blog to work for you might be simpler than you think.

  • Post content regularly.
  • Provide quality content that is relevant, up-to-date, and useful.
  • Encourage your audience to interact with you through the comments section with the aim of keeping them engaged.

 

7. Ignoring Social Media

Close to half the world’s population uses social media, so ignoring it comes at your own peril. Social media gives you an opportunity to build relationships with your customers, increase brand awareness, and reach out to new audiences. Data suggests that social media platforms can help build brand loyalty, increase conversions, and improve customer experience. Besides, using social media platforms comes at a fraction of the cost of employing traditional marketing techniques.

 

What You Can Do

You should start by identifying social media platforms that your target audience favors the most. While you need to foster relationships with your consumers, you also need to do the same with your employees and brand influencers. This ensures that your consumers get similar messages from different stakeholders. In addition:

  • Make sure your posts seem real, and not very business-like.
  • Use a professional approach.
  • Take a stand on issues you feel strongly about because several consumers now wish to buy from socially-conscious businesses.
  • Carry out polls and ask for opinions to boost conversations.
  • Think about using paid advertising.

 

8. Using Erroneous Practices

Indulging in shady practices to boost traffic to your website might come with short-term benefits, but long-drawn effects can be rather damaging. One of the top SEO mistakes in digital content production is that of using clickbait – where you try to lure customers by making content seem very appealing to them while providing no real value. While this practice might help increase web traffic, it can have an adverse effect on your brand’s credibility and reputation.

 

You also need to steer clear of using black hat SEO methods that might help increase your website’s ranking by tricking search engines. This is because search engines such as Google continue taking measures to combat the use of unfair practices, and they take stringent action against those found violating guidelines. For instance, indulging in black hat SEO can get Google to ban your website from showing in its results.

 

What You Can Do

Make sure you provide content that offers value to your target audience. Use descriptions to tell your customers just what they might expect to find in your content, and do not mislead them in any manner. Use only white hat SEO methods as these lead to long-term benefits.

 

 

9. Spending Excessively on Paid Advertisements

Data suggests that just about a quarter of all spending on digital ads reaches the desired target audience. While using paid ads on platforms such as Google and Facebook might work well in increasing web traffic and conversions, it can be a rather expensive and ineffective proposition if you do not have a suitable strategy in place.

 

What You Can Do

If you plan to use paid ads to boost your business’s online presence, keep these points in mind.

  • Study your target audience and divide it into sub-segments based on aspects such as locations, age groups, interests, and income levels.
  • Carry out A/B testing by using multiple ads with different formats and different target audience sub-segments to determine which ones produce the best results.
  • Have a defined budget and prepare to adjust the price per click on ads based on their performance.

 

When you are only beginning your online marketing endeavor, it is best that you devote your time to getting to know your target audience and testing other strategies. Once you have a well-defined target audience, you get the ability to refine your efforts and increase your online ads’ ROI.

 

Other Common Mistakes

Here are some of the other common digital marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

1. Not using a customer-centric approach. The solution is to deliver customized experiences through personalization, journey mapping, data analysis, and effective targeting.

2. Not using email marketing. More than 90% of Americans appreciate getting emails from businesses they support. You can use emails to provide insights that you gain from customer data across different channels, as well as to achieve high levels of personalization.

3. Not using case studies. Case studies help increase credibility, build trust, boost organic traffic, improve conversion rates, and enhance user experience. Implementing case studies in your marketing plan gives people the means to see how your business has helped others, and what it can do for them. Start by building relationships with your clients and letting them know you would like to spotlight their companies and their customer success stories online. Once you have your case studies, share them via email and different social media platforms.

4. Not using the right tools. Digital marketing has come a long way in the last two decades, and changes continue to take place regularly even now. For instance, your overall efforts in 2021 should take into account content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and even paid to advertise. Content marketing in itself is wide-ranging and can involve textual content, infographics, and videos. As a result, succeeding in your efforts requires that you use as many suitable tools as possible. If you feel you do not have the required know-how, seeking professional assistance might be your best bet.

 

Conclusion

Surviving and succeeding in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape requires that you remain up-to-date about the latest trends and technologies. When trying to ensure the success of your business in the online space, it is normal to make a few mistakes. However, identifying common online marketing strategy mistakes and steering clear of them gives you the ability to save on time and money, and it also helps minimize stress. If you are still not sure about how to boost your business online, consider taking help from a reputable agency.

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