Unfortunately nobody is perfect (excepting perhaps Dame Maggie Smith). So we all make mistakes when it comes to online marketing. But don’t despair – these problems are all fixable! Some may take longer than others, but the time investment will be worth it in the long run!
We’ve outlined ten common digital marketing mistakes below, to help you understand where you may be going wrong. We’ve also provided a few tips on how to get your marketing strategy back on track!
1. The Website Basics
Perhaps the most common marketing oversight is neglecting the basics. Your site needs to have an appealing design, be easy to navigate, and be optimised for mobile. Your website should also provide an overall positive user experience, with plenty of calls to action, and a variety of media. Videos are becoming more popular for a reason – audiences enjoy easily digestible content.
With Google’s recent Page Experience update, ensuring your website is quick to load is also key. This can be as simple as compressing elements that have larger file sizes, such as images and videos, or you may need to invest some time into the issue. Some businesses might even need to outsource and hire a developer to improve their site speed.
2. Not Having Goals (Or Not Tracking Them)
A huge part of marketing is analytics. The best marketers are constantly looking at data they’ve collected from numerous strategies, and fine tuning their methods when they’ve got evidence that something is working. So if you’re not setting goals, let alone tracking them, you’re unlikely to see any real success. And even if you do, you won’t be able to measure it! Make sure your goals are realistic and specific too – there’s no point setting vague goals that won’t ever come to fruition!
Perhaps you are tracking your marketing efforts, but are you also taking into account your return on investment? If not, your marketing success could simply be attributed to spending a lot of money on various strategies!
3. You Don’t Know Your Audience
When it comes to your audience, there are a few common problems businesses tend to have. Perhaps their audience is too broad, as they want to reach more people. Or they may target the wrong audience, as assumptions are made rather than using data to confirm the facts. Overcoming this mistake is incredibly simple – just research your target audience! Google Analytics can tell you a lot about your site visitors, as well as the demographics of your competitors’ audience.
You also need to know what your audience wants. It’s essential you’re speaking to the people interested in your products, but you also need to be saying the right things. That way, you can address their pain points and demonstrate how your product meets their needs.
4. Not Offering Discounts and Promotions
It’s always good to reward customer loyalty. This will encourage your customers to stick with your brand, and hopefully continue to use your services. But offering discounts in general, not just to previous customers, can significantly increase the traffic to your site. Though you will need to properly advertise these promotions to get more reach! Coupons can be particularly effective – almost 50% of people will switch to another brand due to a coupon offer.
Although you may assume that offering discounts to your customers will mean a net loss, companies have sales for a reason. It’s likely that visitors will be drawn to sale items, but will also put full priced items in their shopping basket, as they feel they’ve already found a bargain.
5. Not Enough Focus on SEO
As a marketer, you know SEO is important. But is that reflected in your working hours? Although SEO can be frustrating, as you’re unlikely to see significant results overnight, it’s a key building block in any marketing strategy. 93% of people find websites on the internet through search engines (primarily Google). So your business needs to be as close to the top as possible in the search results.
You may also be interested to know that between 70% and 80% of people focus on the organic search results and ignore the paid ads. So promoting your site through paid search isn’t always the best strategy. Instead, you need to ensure that your website contains phrases and keywords that users are searching for.
6. Not Having a Marketing Budget
Creating a marketing budget is essential. It’s often a challenging endeavor, and will result in a lot of trial and error, but you need to know where your money is being allocated. How much you should spend overall will depend on factors such as your industry, and which channels you focus on.
Of course it’s all very well and good having a marketing budget, it’s another thing to know how to spread the cost! Lots of businesses end up spending too much on paid ads rather than working on things like SEO. When you’re first starting out, it can be sensible to leave paid ads alone and focus on testing other strategies first. And when you do start spending on advertising, make sure you run A/B tests to see what works best, and monitor the performance of every ad.
7. Not Including a Blog on Your Site
Having a blog on your website can increase traffic. Blogs are not only a great educational tool, they also help you build stronger relationships with your audience. People can comment on your blogs, and start a conversation. According to Hubspot, including a blog on your site will mean you’ll have 97% more inbound links, which will also increase traffic to your site.
The difficulty a lot of organisations have with blogs is that, like SEO, it can take a while to see the results. You need to be patient, and slowly establish yourself as an authority in your field via useful blog content. Blog regularly too – as long as you don’t compromise on quality.
8. Neglecting Social Media
No matter the demographics of your audience, you need to be using social media as part of your marketing strategy. Just about everyone uses social media in some capacity – the average person, when online, spends 28% of their time on social media. You just need to work out which platforms are used by your audience the most.
Social media is inexpensive too – even if you invest in paid ads it’s usually cheaper than other marketing techniques! With some platforms like Facebook, it’s a good idea to pay for advertising, as you’ll see much better results. Your ads will appear in the newsfeeds of relevant users, letting them know about products in line with their interests.
9. Forgetting About Email Marketing
There’s a common belief that email marketing is no longer relevant, as communication methods like social media have eclipsed it. But this simply isn’t true. Email marketing continues to have a great ROI, mostly because it’s so cheap. And if you don’t have many people signed up to receive your newsletters, there are several ways to build up your subscriber list – from social media to thank you pages.
It’s also important to optimise your emails for mobile, as the majority of users open them on their phones. And if the email is formatted poorly, it may be marked as spam, or subscribers could just delete it without reading it.
10. Spamming Your Customers
While it’s important to consistently post content, especially on social media, you don’t want to go overboard. It’s not always easy to know when you’re doing it of course, as spamming isn’t just about volume (though that plays a large part). You also need to ensure that your content is relevant to your audience, and perhaps educational. In terms of email marketing, you may need to segment your email lists so you’re only sending relevant content to sections of your subscribers.
When it comes to content volumes, particularly with newsletters, it can be helpful to ask your subscribers how often they want to receive emails from you. You may be sending too many messages, and irritating your subscribers. And although it’s unlikely, be prepared to increase your output should your audience demand more!