Digital marketing can be difficult, especially for small business owners. Even experienced marketers make mistakes because there are so many intricate strategies and tactics involved. This is in part due to how quickly aspects of digital marketing—like the Google algorithm, social media platforms, and trends—change. In this article, we’ll discuss common digital marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Unrealistic Goals and Poor Goal Tracking
An unfocused marketing campaign lacks the right goals. If you don’t set goals at all, you won’t know how to measure the success of your campaigns and you can’t decipher whether or not it’s a campaign that you would repeat in the future.
While starting a campaign without goals is a mistake, so is setting unrealistic goals. Goals that you cannot achieve will mean that your campaign has failed, even when it has actually worked to bring in more customers. No matter how well your campaign does, you’ll feel like it was a bust, which can not only make it difficult to plan for the future, but it can make you look bad if you’re handling the marketing on behalf of another business.
Once you’ve come up with realistic goals that should be obtainable, you’ll need to be able to track them effectively. For example, if you have a goal to get more calls for your business and acquire more leads, then you’ll need to set up call tracking so that you can count how many calls came from your campaign or how many lead forms were submitted as a result.
To avoid marketing mistakes involving your goals, make sure that you set obtainable goals that you can measure and track based on a set time limit. Part of developing your campaign should involve determining what your key performance indicators (KPIs) best match up with your goal.
You can track your KPIs with Google analytics, call tracking providers, and social media analytics. Then, you can measure your return on investment (ROI) to determine if it was worth it for your business.
Targeting the Wrong Audience
Targeting the wrong audience means that all of the money you spend on your marketing campaigns will largely be wasted because you won’t be reaching the right people. If you try to target too broad of an audience to reach more people, you’ll end up discouraged when you don’t get as many conversions as you’d hoped for.
It’s not uncommon that businesses may think they know their target audience but end up targeting the wrong people. While you may believe that your product was created for one audience like millennials, you may find out that they resonate more with Gen X.
To avoid targeting the wrong audience, do your researcha on who your audience is. This will take market research and testing, but you need to know who is most likely to buy your products. You can start by creating marketing personas based on your current customers. These fictional profiles can represent the different types of customers you have based on real data so that you know the types of people to target. Make sure to base your personas on things like demographics, and interests and hobbies.
If you sell multiple products that may have different audiences, make sure that you establish more than one buyer persona to cater to a more diverse audience without overreaching. After you create those personas, you can begin targeting people with the same traits with your marketing strategy. Once you test it, you can determine whether you need to target a broader or a narrower audience.
Not Working with Influencers
You likely have a social media strategy by now, but social media is always evolving, so you’ll need to keep your finger on the pulse and make updates as necessary. Today, one of the most important aspects of social media marketing is working with influencers. Influencer marketing can be part of your overall social media strategy or a separate strategy, as many agencies are dedicated to just providing you with influencer services.
To avoid missing out on this key marketing opportunity, begin searching for influencers within your local area or your niche, depending on your business. You can reach out to them via email or directly message them to let them know who your company is and ask them about their rates.
Not Paying Attention to Web Design and User Experience
User experience plays a big role in whether or not someone will purchase a product or service from your website, and web design can affect user experience. One of the worst mistakes you can make is neglecting your website when you could be improving the user experience. Check out this example from Medcline:
Someone visiting this website will be looking for pillows, so it’s best to address their concerns as soon as possible on your website. As you can see, they have a clear call to action (CTA) that makes using their services easy, something that improves user experience. You’ll also notice that their navigation bar at the top is clearly labeled and isn’t overcrowded, so they can find the information they need quickly.
To help make your website more user-friendly, start by focusing on your website design. It should be quick to load, mobile responsive, and easy to navigate.
Any and all businesses with websites can benefit from search engine optimization (SEO). When someone searches for your business or products on Google and other search engines, you want your products and website to show up high in the results. Neglecting SEO means that you’ll likely end up spending more on advertising than you would with an effective SEO strategy.
To avoid this mistake, make sure that you prioritize SEO as soon as possible and give it time to develop. You can’t get the number-one spot on search engine results pages without putting in the work and developing patience.
The first thing you can do to begin implementing SEO is to learn how to do keyword research. Knowing which keywords to use on your website can help you begin ranking more quickly. You should also begin planning your content around these keywords and updating it regularly. A great example of keyword research, can be taken by Join Calibrate’s blog. They use keywords, such as medication, medical, managing anxiety, summer exercises, and more to improve their sites rankings on different search engines.
Make sure that your content matches the search intent of the keyword by checking out the pages that are already ranking for it. If you’re a dog training business and want to show up in searches for dog training services, you’ll need to ensure that the search intent for dog training isn’t how-to articles but where people can find dog trainers to hire.
Avoiding Disastrous Digital Marketing Mistakes
There’s going to be a lot of trial and error when it comes to figuring out which digital marketing strategies are right for your business. However, with the right goals in mind, you can determine which strategies and tactics can benefit your business the most. Start by considering these mistakes, and if your business is making them, put an action plan in place to rectify the situation. With some prioritization and new initiatives, you can turn your digital marketing strategy around.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.