Over the last few weeks, the importance of digital marketing has never been greater. The world of digital has exploded, with more and more businesses where possible, beginning to invest in their digital activity in order to sustain their business while the lockdown is in place. Digital marketing tools and techniques provide business owners the best chances for competition, survival and even business growth.
However, in the rush to become more digitally driven, it is easy for businesses to make mistakes. Particularly at a stressful time like this where planning and strategy is often minimised to meet tight timelines.
In this blog post we look at some of the most common digital marketing mistakes to avoid when implementing your digital activities.
1. Not outlining your goals
Whilst it may be tempting to skip the planning phases and get straight to producing digital marketing content, moving forward without setting measurable and achievable digital marketing goals will leave you rudderless directionless more often than not.
Without clear goals, it is extremely easy to fall into the trap of carrying out digital marketing activities that achieve 'vanity metrics', but deliver very little in terms of achieving your wider business objectives.
This is particularly common issue we see when businesses don't set goals for their social media marketing campaigns. For example, spending loads of hours producing visually great content that gets loads of likes and engagements, but becoming deflated when it doesn't translate into increased traffic. If a clear goal of increasing web traffic was outlined in the beginning, you would know to create content that encourages people to visit landing pages on your website, or sign up to your website's newsletter.
When setting your digital marketing goals, following the SMART objectives principles will help your business clarify your ideas and focus your efforts, allowing you to allocate your time in a way that promises the most return.
- Specific: Ensure your goal is clear, simple and defined.
- Measurable: Make sure your goal can be measured by analytics and data tracking
- Achievable: Is it achievable or is it not possible within your resources?
- Realistic: Whilst it would be great to grow your reach by 1000%, is this realistically going to happen?
- Time-sensitive: Your goal should have a time-frame, allowing you to see if you have been successful in achieving your goal.
Our friends at Sprout Social have put together a great template for setting SMART social media goals, which can be found here.
2. Only focusing on the sale
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it".
This short mantra, proposed by Simon Sinek, is often neglected by businesses when it comes to digital marketing. And don't get us wrong, we understand why businesses revert to just 'selling' when producing digital marketing campaigns.
It's almost logical to think that as a business who sells a product or service, you should be using your digital marketing efforts to tell people what you sell, how much it costs, where they can buy it etc.
But in today's world, gone are the days of traditional outbound marketing. Business need to stop pushing product and start pulling in customers by producing content that delivers value to their lives.
The businesses who are the best at digital marketing are those who use to create communities, add value to their customers and communicate their ethos and values.
Nike are a perfect example of a company who have used their digital marketing activities to great effect, building a community and telling stories, rather than pushing products onto their customers. In 2017, their 'Breaking2' campaign, which followed Eliud Kipchoge's attempt to break the two-hour barrier for running a marathon, was a huge success. 13.1 million watched the attempt live via Twitter, and on the back of the amazing content they produced a 55-minute documentary about the story.
3. Putting all your eggs into a 'Paid Ads' basket
Another common pitfall we see businesses falling into is only focusing their digital activities around paid campaigns as they chase those instant results.
Now, as PPC experts, we certainly know there are many benefits to implementing paid marketing campaigns into your digital strategy, including:
- Fast results
- Granular targeting
- Budget controlled
- Very measurable
- Provides insightful data
However, focusing solely on paid campaigns as your long term plan will cost considerable investment to maintain. PPC and other paid campaigns need to be implemented alongside organic SEO and social media marketing activities.
Whilst business won't see instant results with these marketing activities, it is worth noting the considerable benefits that accompany them:
- High ROI – SEO will offer the best return on your investment of all digital marketing activities.
- Targeted traffic – Optimising your website for key search terms will ensure the visitors you bring to your site are more likely to be actively searching for your products and services.
- Long Term Results – Once implemented ethical SEO can leave you with long term positions and rankings on the search engines as opposed to PPC which often provides short term results.
- Cost Effective – SEO is recognised as one of the most cost effective marketing channels.
4. Being too social!
Before we get accused of hypocrisy - hear us out! We have spent many a meeting with clients telling them the importance of getting a presence on social media. Only earlier this year, we published a blog post on this very subject.
But often we see businesses implement social media marketing into their digital marketing campaigns by signing up for every social media platform going. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Snapchat - they're on them all!
Businesses are finding themselves with too many options and too little time, spreading themselves too thin across all these different channels and ending up with a thin covering of similar content on each channel. What often happens is that as time goes on, certain channels become neglected and end up being abandoned, which can make it look like that your business is no longer active.
It is important to take a step back and really understand where your customers can be found, what messages you want to share and ultimately build a social media strategy that’s unique to your business. Targeting specific customer segments on a specific social platform with unique content will deliver much better results than a blanket post across a wide range of channels.
5. Not making the most of your data
The brilliant thing about digital marketing is the ability to measure its effectiveness. Google Analytics, SEMrush and other tracking tools allow businesses to determine what activities and campaigns aren't working and delivering on your marketing goals.
However, businesses often don't know what data they should be looking at and often get lost in the myriad of statistics.
What you need to do first is figure out which data is relevant. This should be determined by your goals - another reason why establishing your digital marketing goals is important - allowing you to turn them KPIs. Once you're measuring the right data, it’s much easier to see what's working and what isn’t.
Need help with your digital marketing?
We understand it can be easy to fall into these mistakes without realising. Particularly in the current climate where businesses are rushing to put more digital marketing activities in place.