There are now more than 5 billion internet users worldwide. We exist in a digital world, and your marketing strategy must reflect this. Digital marketing is by far the most effective way to reach your target audience and grow your business.
That being said, digital marketing is a highly complex, constantly evolving field. There are so many different components to your strategy that you must get right, and it’s easy to make very costly mistakes along the way if you’re not aware of the most common pitfalls to avoid.
The following common digital marketing mistakes cost many companies a significant amount of money each year. Avoiding these will help prevent you from wasting your marketing budget and seeing very little in return for your efforts.
Not Setting Goals When Developing Your Digital Marketing Strategy
It’s virtually impossible to create an effective digital marketing strategy without first identifying the goals you’re trying to achieve from your efforts. Your goals should drive the entire process. There should be overarching goals that you’re trying to achieve from your digital marketing strategy as a whole, and each individual campaign in your strategy should also have specific goals tied to them.
Establishing your goals should always be the first step in developing your digital marketing strategy. Keep in mind that less is more when setting goals. It’s best to focus on the few items that are most important to driving your business forward. If you establish too many goals, it will be more challenging to create a cohesive marketing strategy.
Once you’ve set goals, you’ll need to identify the most effective metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate whether you’re successfully achieving them. You can then track these metrics as you run your digital marketing campaign to determine any adjustments that are necessary to more effectively hit your goals.
Targeting the Wrong Audience
One of the most common digital marketing mistakes made by companies is targeting too broad of an audience. It’s easy to understand the logic behind this error – by expanding your audience, you have the ability to reach more people. While there is truth to this, there is a qualifying criterion associated with it. Expanding your audience only helps generate more leads if these additional people need the product/service you offer.
Simply targeting a larger audience without accounting for whether they are likely to become a customer has the opposite effect – it waters down the ROI of your marketing efforts and results in wasting a lot of money targeting individuals who will most likely never become a customer.
Instead, you should conduct thorough market research to clearly define a target audience that will generate more relevant and high quality leads. Once you’ve narrowed down your target audience, you can build detailed buyer personas for them which include important information regarding their:
- Education level
- Purchasing habits
- Internet consumption practices (i.e., which internet channels they are most likely to become exposed to your messaging)
- Pain points and the messaging that will most likely resonate with them
This information will help you to understand your target audience much better, allowing you to develop marketing strategies that will more effectively connect with them and address their needs. You’ll have the ability to engage your audience at every stage of the marketing funnel, allowing you to create an irresistible journey that drives more leads and helps you grow your business. By focusing on a more specific target audience, you can significantly improve the ROI of your digital marketing efforts.
Neglecting Social Media in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
In order for your digital marketing strategy to be successful, you must connect with your audience in the online place(s) where they spend most of their time. For most people, that is on social media. The following statistics underscore the prevalence of social media consumption today:
- There are 4.48 billion social media users worldwide
- The average person engages with 6.6 different social media platforms
- 33% of internet users are on social media
- The average social media user spends almost two and a half hours a day on these platforms
- 3% of Americans (240 million people) are active social media users
If you’re not allocating a portion of your digital marketing budget to social media marketing, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach your target audience, grow your brand and drive leads. However, it’s important to focus on the social media platforms where your target audience spends the most time. This will ensure you maximize the ROI of your efforts. The market research you conduct to identify your target audience can also help you determine the right social media platforms to include in your digital marketing strategy.
Not Prioritizing Mobile Users
By the end of 2022, 59.16% of all website traffic worldwide came from mobile devices, and this figure is expected to keep rising over time. The majority of people visiting your website are most likely doing so on a mobile device, and approximately 80% of mobile users will leave a website that provides a poor user experience. If you don’t provide this large segment of your audience with a good mobile browsing experience, they will leave and seek their desired information elsewhere.
The best way to ensure your website provides a great experience for mobile users is to build it using responsive design. A responsive website automatically adjusts its formatting to fit the dimensions of the screen being used to view it. Without a responsive website, you risk losing a lot of traffic that can potentially become quality leads.
You can elevate your mobile marketing results even further by creating a mobile app that will engage your users and provide a great experience.
Neglecting Customer Retention in Your Marketing Efforts
Acquiring new customers is critical to your ability to grow your business. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many businesses focus an overwhelming percentage of their digital marketing budget on customer acquisition initiatives. However, this approach is often not the best way to maximize your revenue. In fact, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table when your digital marketing strategy neglects customer retention initiatives in favor of simply trying to capture new customers.
The likelihood of converting a new customer is roughly 5-20%, while the likelihood of upselling an existing customer is 60-70%. In other words, you’re much more likely to make a future sale to an existing customer than you are to someone who has never done business with your company.
As a result, dedicating a portion of your marketing efforts to customer retention initiatives that seek to make additional sales to existing customers represents low hanging fruit that can significantly boost your revenue. Neglecting this segment of your marketing can be very costly to your bottom line and reduce the ROI of your marketing efforts.
Not Creating and Publishing Content on a Regular Basis
Content is a critical component to any digital marketing strategy. It accomplishes a variety of important goals:
- Establishes your business as an industry expert and thought leader
- Conveys your brand messaging to your audience
- Educates your audience, building trust with them and providing them with valuable information as they research solutions for their pain points
- Drives traffic to your website
- Helps you expand your social media audience (valuable content is often shared by your social media followers)
Keep in mind that simply creating content isn’t sufficient to drive an effective digital marketing strategy. Your content must be relevant and engaging to your target audience, and it should provide them with value. Creating content that addresses their most common questions and pain points is critical to a successful content marketing strategy. You can accomplish this in several ways:
- Reach out to your sales team to learn the most common issues raised by prospects and the questions they’re regularly asked during the sales process
- Conduct keyword research to identify the long tail search queries which garner the highest search volume
Make these topics a primary focus of your content marketing strategy. You can create blogs to address these topics and then repost them on your social media profiles to maximize the number of people you reach. It’s also important to create larger content pieces (eBooks, white papers, guides, etc.) that can be used as lead magnets on your website. These items can be offered for free on your most commonly viewed web pages and blogs in exchange for a person’s email contact information. This allows you to instantly add this person into your email marketing lists so that you can nurture these new leads until they’re ready to become a customer.
Not Tracking Your Leads
One benefit of digital marketing is that you have the ability to track the source of each lead. This is much more challenging with traditional marketing methods since you lack the granular data necessary to identify the traffic source for each lead you generate.
Your digital marketing leads can come from a variety of places, including:
- Organic search (SEO)
- Paid search
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Referring links from external websites
By tracking the traffic source of each lead, you can determine which sources tend to generate higher quality leads that are more likely to become customers. This allows you to focus your efforts (and your marketing budget) on the sources that deliver the best quality leads, while de-emphasizing sources that aren’t as fruitful. When you track your leads, you will be able to significantly improve the ROI of your digital marketing efforts.
Not Implementing Effective A/B Testing
Even the most carefully thought out digital marketing strategies will need to be revised over time. It’s virtually impossible to predict the exact right moves to make in every circumstance. Fortunately, digital marketing makes it very easy to perform A/B testing that will allow you to improve the effectiveness of your tactics over time.
To get meaningful data from your A/B testing, make sure to adhere to the following best practices:
- Test the right items – Test the items that will make the biggest difference to your lead generation results. This may involve testing items on your website pages with the highest traffic volume, or conversion items on your key lead generation pages.
- Pay attention to sample size – If you don’t have a large enough sample size when you conduct your testing, you won’t be able to generate results that provide actionable, reliable data.
- Make sure your data is reliable – One important way to ensure your data is reliable is to calculate the statistical significance. This will help you determine whether your results are likely to be caused by the changes you’re testing and not by random chance. You can use this online tool to calculate the statistical significance of your A/B tests.
- Test one element at a time – The only way to determine the actual impact that changing an element will have on your conversions is to test one element at a time. If you test changes to your headline and your call to action at the same time, you won’t be able to identify which one is causing the change in your results. Keep your tests focused on one thing at all times.
- Run all A/B tests for comparable time periods – The only way to get accurate and reliable results is to conduct all tests for comparable time periods. However, it’s also important to factor in seasonal peaks and plateaus when running A/B tests. If you run one test during your highest sales volume period of the year, it may not provide the most accurate or reliable results compared to a test run during a typical month of business.
- Don’t make mid-test changes – Wait until the testing period is complete before you introduce any new elements to your testing. Otherwise, you won’t generate enough data to achieve reliable results.
Failing to Track Your Data
Digital marketing provides you with a treasure trove of data to evaluate the success of your efforts. This is one of the greatest benefits of digital strategies compared with traditional marketing methods. However, this data is only valuable if you track it and use it to inform your future actions.
There are a variety of performance intelligence tools available to help you track the success of your digital marketing efforts. Whether you use Google Analytics, Hubspot, or some other platform, make sure to track data regarding all of your success metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). The more data you compile, the better. In addition, make sure you have a dedicated person in charge of analyzing the data and making actionable recommendations based on the results being generated.
Webolutions Can Help You Avoid these Common Digital Marketing Mistakes
The best way to ensure you avoid these costly mistakes is to work with an experienced digital marketing agency that leverages the most up-to-date industry best practices. At Webolutions, we have you covered.
Webolutions has been Denver’s top digital marketing agency since 1994. We provide a wide range of services to address just about any need you may have, and our team possesses the extensive experience necessary to deliver the exceptional results that will generate the quality leads you need to thrive.
Our transformational Intrinsic Multiplier™ Approach will help you grow your business faster, smarter and easier. We accomplish this by leading your team on a collaborative journey to identify what is special about your company. This allows us to clarify the unique way you do business, the benefits your customers experience, and the culture you’ve created.
We also perform comprehensive market research to determine what your competitors are doing well, the messages they’re conveying to their audience, and any opportunities to create an industry leading market positioning that clearly differentiates you from them. This market positioning will form the basis for the Brand Platform™ we develop, which will be used throughout your key brand communications elements and integrated into your company culture.
After laying this foundation, we’ll develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that will achieve your goals. Our Real-Time Performance Intelligence Dashboards™ provide the data necessary to evaluate the success of your campaign, allowing us to make recommendations to continuously improve the ROI on your digital marketing efforts over time.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Webolutions provides digital marketing services to clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.