Your digital marketing strategy has a huge impact on website traffic, your ROI for both organic content and paid advertising and your search engine ranking. With so many tools, techniques and platforms to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which strategies to pursue to make the most out of your efforts. Along the way, it’s easy to make missteps that actually end up harming your results.
If you find your efforts lacking desirable results, you may be guilty of one or more of these common digital marketing mistakes:
You’re Doing Too Much
Sometimes it seems that you’re either not doing enough or doing too much. It’s actually easy to fall into the latter trap nowadays with so many social media platforms, software applications and information readily available. If you try to do a little bit of everything, you can’t put your full focus on the most effective tactics. Here are some clues that you might be spreading yourself too thin:
Are you on every single social media platform? We get it, you probably need a Facebook page. If you do B2B sales, you definitely need a strong presence on LinkedIn. However, you don’t need to be on every single site, especially if your marketing team is small and you are just starting out. Snapchat, for example, is mainly used by millennials and Gen-Zers, and you probably don’t need it if you’re a financial services company. Visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are only relevant if you have products that lend themselves to visual marketing.
When you find yourself being spread too thin, it is likely that none of your efforts will make much of a difference. The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule applies here. Identify what is working best for you and put most of your energy there.
You’re Trying to Rush Progress
Everyone wants to succeed as quickly as possible. Wanting instant results is common in the age of text messaging and real-time news. However, even with the very best automation tools, results take time. If you try to rush things, you end up delaying rather than accelerating your success. One symptom of this problem is acquiring every new software and service that promises to increase your traffic or boost sales.
Instead, try the following:
- Set clear goals for your marketing. When you do this, you’re less likely to get distracted by tools that aren’t in sync with your actual strategy.
- Know your audience. Do adequate market research and create viable buyer personas (or multiple ones, depending on your needs) before you waste time and money marketing to the wrong people.
- Don’t overcommit without sufficient testing. If you’re trying a new approach such as an advertising platform, start slowly and carefully test your results. You don’t want to find you’ve wasted thousands of dollars before you realize that you’re on the wrong path.
You’re Not Testing
Testing is crucial for digital marketing. While you should test everything, including social media and content marketing campaigns, it’s especially crucial to test paid advertising. Some marketers test one or two variables but overlook other significant factors. Here are some of the most important metrics to test with your campaigns:
- Keywords. You will find that your audience responds differently with the different use of language and keywords. Having a strong buyer persona will not necessarily tell you which language style or keyword appeals to them more, only testing will.
- Your CTA. The call-to-action is what ultimately yields leads and sales. These need to be creative and enticing.
- Layout and images. The way a sales page, ad or email looks can have a large impact on the results. Striking the right balance between exciting yet uncluttered takes some practice.
- Offer. If you’re using an opt-in page to build your email list, test different offers. Discounts and downloads are among the most popular.
- Headlines and subject lines. The headline of a blog post or ad determines whether someone reads it or not. Email subject lines serve a similar purpose. Be sure to try different tactics such as personalization techniques or posing a question.
- Timing. You’ll often see better results with ads, blog posts, emails or other types of content based on the day of the week or hour you post it.
You’re Misinterpreting Analytics
Analytics are crucial for any marketing campaign. As noted, not testing is one of the worst mistakes you can make. However, it’s equally important to interpret your data correctly. If you look at the wrong numbers or draw incorrect conclusions from them, they won’t help you. Here are some analytics guidelines to help you avoid this pitfall.
- Don’t draw conclusions too quickly. This ties in with the principle of trying to rush progress. Some strategies, especially connected to SEO, take time before you see significant results. Another point to keep in mind is one often quoted by scientists: “correlation doesn’t imply causation.” Just because you see certain data and a certain result doesn’t necessarily mean one caused the other. For example, if you see a sudden spike in sales following a social media campaign, make sure you’re looking at where these sales are coming from so as to not overlook another possible cause. Similarly, a sales slump may be due to the season or economic conditions rather than your latest campaign launch.
- Don’t over-emphasize vanity metrics. Some metrics such as likes, shares, up-votes and number of followers don’t always translate into leads and sales.
- Be wary when analyzing competitor data. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. At the same time, don’t be too quick to trust the numbers you dig up. Some companies manipulate data to create a more favorable impression.
- Understand that different tools may yield different results. If you use multiple analytics tools, you may notice that they don’t always agree. For example, The Daily Egg recently published an informative piece on why Google Analytics is not always accurate. It’s best to test data using multiple tools and make sure you’re measuring the same variables.
You’re Misallocating Resources
It’s important that your marketing budget is allocated in a sensible and results-oriented manner. Sometimes businesses overspend on products and services without adequately researching the options. For example, is there a free or low-cost tool that accomplishes the same results as a more expensive one? Are you still paying for a monthly service that you no longer use? Miscommunication from the top down can cause overspending or purchasing unnecessary or redundant services. Regular auditing of your marketing budget, as well as clear communication, will help you avoid such expensive mistakes.
You’re Creating Content for the Sake of Content
Content is integral to a successful digital marketing strategy. At the same time, your content marketing needs to be focused. If you fall into the trap of valuing content for its own sake, you’ll be wasting time and valuable resources.
- Make sure content is well targeted to your audience. You should consistently track your results and measure engagement.
- Value quality over quantity. While it’s necessary to publish content on a regular schedule, it’s even more important to make sure your content is unique and valuable. It’s better, for example, to create some well-researched, long-form articles than a steady barrage of short blog posts with little real information.
- Pay attention to where you’re publishing. It’s always good to publish on your own website. Beyond this, you may want to publish on LinkedIn and other social media sites and perhaps authoritative industry blogs. However, you don’t need to publish everywhere.
- Make sure your content is readable and user-friendly. Readers are increasingly responding to visual content such as photos, videos and infographics. Even blog posts can be made more compelling with the right images. It’s also important to make your content reader-friendly. Make sure you have enough white space on pages and make the text more readable by including lists and bullet points.
Marketing, technology and consumer trends are always changing, and so too must we adapt. If you set clear goals and consistently measure your results along the way, you can avoid some of the more costly errors mentioned above.
We understand that it’s not always easy to identify all of your digital marketing mistakes, much less identify the best way to correct them. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. RedShift has a unique approach to marketing that will transform the way you operate, and help you uncover measurable results. To find out how we can help you create a customized and effective digital marketing strategy, contact us.