Digital marketing isn’t the next big thing — it’s the biggest thing happening in the marketing world right now. ABN Technology recent survey found that more than half of marketing executives expect to spend more of their budgets on digital advertising than on traditional advertising — like TV ads and radio plugs — within the next two years.
But before you put all of your marketing dollars into online channels, it’s important to know what works (and what doesn’t) when targeting customers in the digital world. In the last 3-5 years alone the business marketplace has evolved more than it has in the last 50. I attribute the majority of growth mainly to technology, search, and social media.
Online marketing encompasses such a wide variety of practices that it is hard to master them all. When you are just starting out, it may seem like all you ever do is make mistakes. Some mistakes will just slow you down, but others could completely derail your progress and keep you from finding the success you need.
Here’s an overview of the top 5 common digital marketing mistakes to help you learn what you need to know before you make the mistakes yourself:
1# Creating Only a Narrow Range of Content
When you’re just getting started with digital marketing, it makes sense to experiment by creating just one type of content. However, as your company grows, you need to create different types of content to connect with potential customers across all points of the buying process. To diversify your content marketing, try these strategies:
- Update Blog regularly: Unless you completely own your market, your business operates primarily offline, or your business is highly complex or confidential, you should be blogging. Blogging provides your customers with great content and can also improve your integral search rankings. In fact, business websites with blogs typically have 434 percent more indexed pages than business websites without blogs.
- Create in-depth content: In addition to blogging, consider developing more in-depth content such as white papers or downloadable e-books. Customers who are close to making purchasing decisions need longer, in-depth content so that they can conduct research before making a purchase.
- Go multimedia: Add more image-based and multimedia content to your website. Consider reposing a blog post into a SlideShare deck, or publish a sharable infographic. Good videos that are less than five minutes long are content marketing gold. In fact, 73 percent of customers say that they’ve made a purchase after watching a video that explains a product. You could also host a free webinar or produce a webinar series for your customers who are at certain stages of your sales channel.
2# Neglecting Analytics
One of the costliest things any marketer can do is to ignore analytics. Creating content, social media campaigns, PPC campaigns, etc. and not tracking which of them are connecting with customers most successfully breakdowns the purpose of all the marketing you did in the first place. Every marketer should be tracking the impact of their efforts—and twist their strategy to be more successful based on the analysis. To diversify your marketing using analytics, try these strategies:
- Peek at the numbers on social media: If you’re not using a social media management tool for publishing a post, look at the metrics provided by each social network. For example, for your Facebook page, look at the analytics in your admin panel. If you’re a Twitter advertiser, Twitter card publisher, or verified Twitter user, visit your analytics dashboard.
- Use Analytics Tools: If you blog using WordPress.com, find your Site Stats and review them. It is preferred to use analytics tools to be used for publishing of posts to understand your content’s reach. Also, check stats related to your email marketing campaigns. Find out which types of campaigns are getting the most clicks.
- Look for patterns: The metrics that you see should disclose certain patterns. For example:
- Do you get more engagement when you share content at a certain time of day?
- Do some headlines and some styles of posts get more engagement than others?
- If you word a post in a certain way, such as by wording it as a question, do you get more clicks?
- Do some types of images perform better than others?
- Do some types of content get engagement on certain social networks but flop on others?
- Make changes based on those patterns: Change your marketing behaviors based on the patterns that you see. If posting on LinkedIn at 10 a.m. gets more of your connections to read your posts, then start scheduling LinkedIn posts at 10 a.m.
3# Overlooking Mobile
Mobile users are quickly overtaking desktop users. You must have a version of your site that is specifically designed for mobile users. Different aspects of your site have to be redesigned to suit the smaller screen and the different ways that mobile users interact with the site.
You can’t rely on responsive design. You need to develop a site specifically for mobile, or you need to invest in a dedicated mobile app (or both). Just last year, Google rolled out a worldwide mobile-friendly algorithm update. You can quickly check your site if it passes Google’s mobile-friendly test here. Basically, Google favors websites that are mobile-friendly on their mobile search rankings. For the last 12 months, 52% of all searches for the broad keyword “car dealer” is made through mobile devices. Make sure your website is mobile responsive so you don’t miss the party.
4# Overlooking Social Media
“Many marketers forget that social media is meant to be a space for dialogue and engagement, rather than simply broadcast,”. How can you engage social media users in an auto related business? More ways than you can think of. If your website is your online persona, social media is your online personality.
Too many businesses forget the social component of social media. They post items to their networks, but they don’t interact with customers or industry thought leaders online. The most successful social marketers know that the social-media sphere is a generous and interconnected place. When you’re generous about promoting other people’s content, congratulating them on their successes, or sharing their scheduled events, others will do the same for your business.
Build better social media connections this year by taking these steps:
- Become a content manager: A museum manager is always looking for great finds to add to a museum. In the same way, you should be on your social networks and visiting great blogs, looking for content to share. You’ll show your followers that you stay current with what’s going on with your industry, and you’ll give them something of value without having to create the content yourself. Also, you’ll do the original creators a favor by sharing their work.
- Share user-generated content: If one of your customers has a great experience with your product and creates a piece of content about it, such as a blog post, a short video, or an image, then share it with your followers. You’ll show appreciation to the user who created the content, and you’ll help to build a sense of community among your followers. What’s the biggest bonus? Your fans create content for you. You get more exposure while doing less work.
5# Frequent promotions
Customers love promotions — well, it depends. It is proven that people desire things that are “limited.” That is called the psychology of scarcity. If you give out promotions or discounts frequently, you create a perception of availability. With that kind of perception, customers tend to be less motivated because they know, based from your past marketing, that you’ll have another promotion soon. It doesn’t create a sense of urgency, and without urgency there’s no immediate action from the customers. If they don’t call, buy, or submit a form that instant, then they’ll be likely not to do so in the future.
Instead of frequent promotions, offer time-limited deals. In this way, you will get your customers interests and motivate them to act quickly.