Marketing today, for businesses, has gone beyond the traditional channel where business agents physically bring their goods, services or idea to prospective customers and try to persuade them to buy through word of mouth. The business sector is one of the most saturated with new businesses springing up on a daily basis, as such, while this approach is still common, well-informed and savvy business people have learned to leverage the diverse opportunities modern technology provides to beat the competition and reach more customers through digital marketing, which, ironically, is beset with some digital marketing mistakes.
Digital marketing is a very eclectic term that encompasses all marketing channels and means you can use to promote products or services not only on the Internet but also on electronic devices such as the television, mobile phones, and even electronic billboards. The singular difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing is that digital marketing campaigns are naturally carried out through digital or online channels, giving marketers more control and data to effectively analyze the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
Digital marketing allows you as a business person to reach wide, scattered audiences who are active online easier and faster and with little stress. While there is no secret formula that works for everyone in terms of establishing a perfect digital marketing plan since businesses are unique in the services they provide as well as their approaches, there are some digital marketing mistakes businesses must avoid being successful in their marketing objectives.
Put it this way, there are particular digital marketing strategies business owners must consider if they are to stand out in what is a highly competitive market. Here are the top six digital marketing mistakes businesses must avoid to steer clear of futility in their marketing goals.
1. Wrong Knowledge Of Your Audience
Every marketing effort starts with an audience, digital or traditional. This first digital marketing mistake is made when business people do not have the requisite knowledge of the people expected to consume their products. While it is clever and ingenious recognizing a gap in the market and developing a product or service that fills this, marketing requires more.
You must have a rich and in-depth understanding of your consumers’ traits, tastes, and preferences. The recognition that there are so many people online could be so alluring that you might be tempted to just create your advertising message and put it out there with hopes that someone might luckily happen upon it and visit your website.
This is a wrong approach which signifies that you’re planning to fail. If you haven’t properly targeted your audience, you will be exposing your message to people not necessarily looking for your service and also paying for clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This article on “8 Audience Targeting Strategies from Digital Marketing Experts” should be tremendously helpful in guiding you through the process of targeting the right audience.
2. Failure To Develop An Adequate Plan
Another digital marketing mistake a lot of businesses are guilty of is having no sort of plan or strategy to guide their actions. The essence of having not just any plan, but a well-detailed one, cannot be overemphasized. A plan is like a map. It shines a light on inconspicuous details and serves as a roadmap to drive you forward. Many marketers fail to achieve great success because they don’t have clearly-outlined goals/strategies and you must be wary of this as a business person aspiring for progress.
Remember, while preparing your plan to be realistic. Recognize your limits and the fact that you can’t do it all in the beginning, so start with small, achievable goals. Ensure the focus of your plan mirrors the aim of your campaign. Do you want to increase your sales, get more email subscribers, or promote your brand image? Your goals must also be measurable and must align with metrics you can track over a period of time.
3. Budget. Budget. Budget.
It is important to drive home the point that while every digital marketing campaign requires financial commitments, emphasis must also be placed on having a set budget that checkmates your expenses. Many startups fail to allocate a sizeable amount of money for their marketing efforts and in the long-run, this would ultimately prove costly. The digital marketing mistake of having a haphazard budget can be effectively rectified when businesses take a conscientious approach to delineating where and where the money is going into the marketing campaign.
You must avoid spending money on tools and data that aren’t compatible with your business. Instead, focus on hiring talent that can help you reach your goals. Remember to review your budget frequently as the campaign gets underway.
4. Social Media Marketing Mistakes
Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to connect with your audience for the purpose of building your brand, increasing sales or driving website traffic. While social media marketing is an inexpensive means of putting your business messages in front of a large potential audience, it is also another pitfall businesses have been guilty of, thus posing another digital marketing mistake.
There are several social platforms to choose from – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are just a few. The first mistake most businesses, especially small startups, make is trying to be present on everything. Oftentimes this leads to bad targeting, misused time and wasted efforts. It is advisable you pick one or two platforms where your target audience is active and build your content around the selected platforms. This would make it far easier for you to measure and analyze the effectiveness of your campaign.
Apart from the pitfall of trying to be everywhere at the same time, another common social media mistake involves responding to negative feedback. Most times, there are disgruntled customers on your social media pages making negative comments and complaints about goods they have purchased or the efficacy of your services. How you respond in dicey situations like these really matter.
You don’t necessarily have to ignore it or start a back-and-forth argument on your business page, rather, you must imbibe and display qualities like patience, persuasiveness, empathy, and love remembering that an unhappy customer is an unhappy business. Ensure you do not also fall victim to other digital marketing mistakes that is talking only about yourself and your business. This will only bore your potential customers.
Be conversational, humorous and engaging. You do not necessarily have to put out promotion offers all the time. Interactive, inspirational and human-appealing posts will not only attract more audience but also ensure that their chances of buying from you are high.
5. Content Marketing Mistakes
In 1996, Bill Gates made a statement that has over the years become hackneyed and overused, perhaps to the extent of it losing its value. He said, “content is King,” and no one has ever been more right. Content is the foundation of any successful digital marketing campaign just as it is another digital marketing mistake.
In his “Content is King” essay which was published on the Microsoft website, Bill Gates said, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” How apt!
Content, of course, original and accurate ones, is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It increases exposure and leads and gives the opportunity for other websites to build links with your business website, which adds more credence to your Google rankings, and as is obvious, the tighter your relationship with Google is, the bigger your chances of getting seen by prospective buyers.
Content marketing mistakes by businesses include not researching what your readers want to know. Now you see the importance of knowing your audience. Your content must be subjects your audience can relate to and resonate with. Carry out specialized research into your customers’ interests while looking at the most common questions they have asked. Tools like Google Trends will help you see if what you intend writing on will be appealing to readers.
A different content marketing mistake is not having a call to action (CTA) on your website. CTA is a statement designed to get an immediate response from the person reading or hearing it. Words like Buy now, Click here, Add to cart, Subscribe, Get now and Try this are examples of some popular CTAs. If you want to know more about CTAs, including how to write one, this article on “What Is a Call to Action and How Do You Make One?” might prove helpful.
Familiar with any of these digital marketing mistakes?
Then, all you should do is make conscious efforts to adopt the right practices as mentioned in this article. Know your audience, develop a proper plan, prepare your budget, maximize your social media marketing efforts and pay huge attention to the king of marketing – content. Also, do not forget that all these steps in practice would be futile if you do not regularly measure your efforts to check your progress and possible areas of improvement as well as confirm your return on investment and if the money you are pouring in is actually worth it. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights could help you with this.