As Gary Vee famously said, “I f***ing love losing…”
Whilst a lot of people take pride in ‘never’ making mistakes, there really is no better way to learn than by f***ing things up.
Saying that, it always feels better when someone else can make that mistake for you. Here are nine of the most common digital marketing mistakes so that you can avoid making them too.
Lack of personalisation
It can be difficult to offer a truly personalised experience with certain online marketing channels, but even the slightest personalisation can make a huge difference. Even something as simple as including the recipient’s first name in email subject lines can improve click-through rates by 41%. But there’s no reason why you can’t come up with something a little more abstract; Coca Cola’s famous #ShareACoke campaign is a perfect example of this. Go the extra mile to show customers you really do care about them and you won’t be disappointed.
Not tracking ROI
How well did your recent marketing campaign perform? Without tracking in place you’ll have no way of knowing. The great thing about digital marketing is the breadth of tracking options you have. Most social media platforms have built-in analytic tools as standard, offering in-depth insights into your audience demographics and the performance of your posts. But there are countless premium analytic tools that offer far more advanced tracking options; anything from the number of people visiting your website to heatmaps of where people click on a specific landing page. Understanding the most important metrics to monitor can make your tracking efforts all the more worthwhile.
Creating content without a goal
Content is king, but all content needs to have a purpose. Whether that’s with the intention of driving sales to a specific product, entertaining a particular buyer persona or simply to ‘fill the gaps’ in your content schedule. You’d be surprised at how many campaigns are created without having any strategy behind them…
As a social media marketer, you’ll probably understand that different platforms require different types of content. Twitter followers look for shorter posts, whilst LinkedIn requires more business-appropriate lingo, and Instagram a more visual format. But it’s so important to ensure the basic messaging you use is consistent across all platforms.
Say you post a tweet that says “We’re excited to announce that we’ll be attending X event this weekend.” And then you share a blog on LinkedIn that talks about how “events don’t offer as much value as they used to”, it’s not going to go down well with your audience. Using contradicting messaging across different platforms is only going to confuse your followers and discourage them from paying attention to your brand. This is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, but a mistake that we see all too often.
Ever made one simple change to a campaign that resulted in a huge boost in results? That’s the power of testing. It’s not very likely that everything you do will work first time. Having systems in place that allow you to play around with different scenarios can give your campaigns that extra level of depth and ensure that you don’t just ‘set it and forget it.’ Don’t make quick conclusions about how your campaign is performing – take time to analyse the data and you’ll truly be able to reap the benefits.
There’s nothing wrong with running a wide-scale marketing campaign on Instagram. But the results could be multiplied if you were to use a variety of marketing channels to extend your reach. For example, say you’re launching a new product. You may feel like you’re doing more than enough by running an organic Instagram campaign, backed up by a paid Instagram Ads campaign. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re going to that depth with your campaigns then you’re definitely heading in the right direction. But you could be doing so much more. Why not bolster your product launch with a stream of email marketing campaigns, a bespoke landing page to drive conversions and even the use of offline techniques such as billboard placements or radio advertisements? Integrated campaigns may take more work, but they’re guaranteed to have a greater impact.
Overlooking the value of SEO
If done well, SEO can play an invaluable role in your online presence. SEO has somewhat developed a poor reputation as a result of black-hat SEO techniques that were popular throughout the ‘00s. But things are different in 2018; it’s near impossible to get to the top of Google by using illegitimate techniques. And anyone that does get lucky with this isn’t going to stay there for long. SEO is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other digital marketing channels out there, and it can offer huge benefits if done well. Imagine being able to rank on page one of Google for even half of the search terms related to your business. Would your monthly marketing report be any different?
Pulling the plug too soon
This is by far one of the worst marketing mistakes that we see brands making. Investing thousands of pounds into a campaign, only to pull the plug the second results start to dip isn’t going to win you any business. You may as well be throwing money at a brick wall. If you genuinely have faith in your in-house team or agency then you should trust that they’ll be able to get things back on track. The poor results could simply be down to seasonal changes or another factor that’s out of their control. If you don’t have faith in your in-house team or agency then it could be worth investing in someone with a proven track record.
Ignoring the competition
The internet is full of quotes like “To achieve success you need to ignore what everyone else is doing and focus on yourself”. And while this is true, it helps to always have one eye on the market. Things are moving faster than ever in the digital world. Brands are constantly coming up with new ways of doing things, leading to the disruption of whole industries – just take a look at Uber or Netflix. Focusing solely on your brand may lead to complacency, and that’s never any good.
We see these sort of mistakes all too often. And most could be easily avoided with the right preparation. Take time to put together an in-depth marketing plan with some of the things we’ve mentioned above at the back of your mind at all times. The next time you make a mistake, whether it be with your marketing efforts or something else, remember it’s an opportunity to learn something…
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