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9 Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Learn from the experience of others and discover how you can avoid nine of the most common digital marketing mistakes that are all too easy to make.

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Mistakes are a great way to learn valuable lessons, but dealing with the consequences of making them is the worst. When it comes to digital marketing, trial and error is a right of passage. However, there’s no reason we can’t collectively draw on the experience of others to inform our decisions.

For those of you who learn best through example, we’ll clue you in to some of the biggest digital marketing mistakes you can make before you fall victim to their consequences.

Top 9 Digital Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

If you’ve found yourself in a muddy situation in need of navigation, or perhaps already on the path towards these common mistakes, it’s not too late to redirect. Take heed of these blunders or forever scratch your head wondering why you’re just not seeing the results you want out of your campaigns.

1. Posting On Social Media Without A Goal

All of your marketing material should be created with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) goals in mind. But with social media it’s just so simple to click and post. The temptation is real to simply paste a link to your latest blog post without including any kind of context.

But all previous social media algorithm updates have trended towards favoring content truly relevant to each user. This tends to quickly weed out posts from many businesses whose content reads as self-serving.

In order to have goal-driven social media posts you have to consider what you’re putting in front of your audience— what would your target demographic find engaging? Generating content for the sake of having it doesn’t cut the mustard with old Mark Zuck anymore.

Tips for creating more engaging content include: educational posts with unique information worth sharing, entertaining video content, strong headlines that stand out, content you can engage with like a quiz, and occasional live streams.

Golden Ratio chart: Avoid the mistake of unbalanced social media posting (chart from Buffer).
Photo Credit: Buffer

2. Ignoring Simple SEO Opportunities

SEO, or search engine optimization, is defined as the steps you can take to make your website or specific content more appealing to search engines. Spaces like Google and Bing are the most common places someone would go to begin their quest for information. For your organization to show up higher on these searches, SEO strategies are your best tools to move the needle.

There are organizations whose entire purpose is to support your site and capture all opportunities for increased visibility. But there are also steps you can take as a digital marketer to ensure your content has the best shot at ranking.

Easy things you can do for each page of your website to improve SEO include:

  • Adding meta descriptions for every page
  • Adding visuals to your pages that increase the time spent dwelling
  • Including alt text on each image on your page featuring your focus keyword
  • Formatting articles to include sections that would make strong featured snippets. For example, if you’re writing an article titled “Everything You Need To Know About Pugs” you might want to include a paragraph that clearly states a definition of the breed itself that would make a strong featured snippet like this one:
Example of a search result featured snippet.

3. Not A/B Testing Your Content

Once a digital marketing campaign has launched that hardly means the work is over. The beauty of the digital world is that it’s always in motion. It’s important that you harness that dynamism and optimize your campaigns as you gather feedback on what’s working with your audience and what isn’t.

If you’re running a campaign and want to ensure that you’re putting your best face forward, running an A/B test is the way to go. In the case of a Facebook ad for example, you can feature two different sets of copy and/or visuals for one ad. Launch the two ads at the same time and watch as they’re served to your target audience. As one campaign is (or isn’t) favored over another, you can dedicate your time and money to the favorable copy.

No more wondering what you could have done differently when it’s too late to do anything about it!

No A/B testing your content is a big marketing mistake (graphic from Vantage).
Photo Credit: Vantage

4. Ignoring Your Analytics

Beyond simply A/B testing, we have to expand our understanding of exactly how much data digital marketing can amass. Digital strategies are rich with data a mere click away, but so many people just don’t take advantage!

On the back end of your website and social media platforms for example, you can track when your audience is the most active. From there, schedule your posts to coincide with that window! Additionally, measure which content sees the strongest click-through rates (CTRs) and favor it.

5. Not Optimizing Your Content For Mobile

50% of people said they would use a company less often if they did not have a site that’s mobile-friendly, even if they liked the brand. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to the rise of smartphones, people are consuming more and more content from their mobile devices. This means your website, among other tools, needs to be mobile responsive at the very least. Migrating your communication strategies to include text marketing is the next most logical step when it comes to meeting customer needs.

Read: [What is mobile engagement and how to optimize for it]

Any marketing strategy must embrace mobile (chart from Neil Patel).
Photo Credit: Neil Patel

6. Only Generating Content For New Customers

Customer acquisition is the shiny focal point of too many digital marketers. The excitement of bringing in new eyes to the brand can sometimes overshadow your true bread and butter- which is customer retention.

Not only does it cost more to bring in a new customer as opposed to keeping an old one around, it doesn’t serve the momentum of your organization in a sustainable way to ignore the ability a strong and loyal customer base can have.

Keeping in mind and anticipating the needs of your existing customer base will go a long way in ensuring you have people sticking around for the long haul.

7. Not Utilizing Video Content

With a conversion rate of nearly 50%, video is one of the strongest mediums for driving customer behavior. Each year more and more businesses begin utilizing video as a primary tool for educational and promotional material. They do it for one simple reason — it works.

It’s estimated that nearly one-third of online activity is spent watching video. Not only that, but marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. At this point, you almost can’t afford to ignore video’s popularity if you intend to keep up with your competition.

Don't make the marketing mistake of avoiding video content (graphic from Wild Bunch Media).
Photo Credit: Wild Bunch Media

8. Only Posting, Never Engaging

The focus on producing more and more content to populate your site and social media pages has eclipsed the need to be fully active across these sites. We previously mentioned the algorithms that determine what content gets served to someone on their social media page. An additional way to make sure you’re included is by being an active and noticeable contributor to content outside of your own.

It’s important to like, comment, and share posts from other people and businesses just as much as you post your own. Not only does this help you come across as a team player, but it diversifies your profile enough to be considered interesting and useful to the all-knowing social media beings who determine relevance.

A great way to create a win-win here is by pitching potential partners or businesses guest post ideas. This way you generate a backlink (a great SEO tool) as well as extend your authority in your desired areas of interest.

9. Not Focusing On Conversions When Writing Content

We’ve been told over and over that a full site and a current blog is a good measure of success. To some extent, mainly from an SEO and relevance context, this is true. However, simply creating content for the sake of having it really doesn’t serve you in the long run.

You want everything you write and create to serve a purpose. In other words, you want all your content to focus on converting into a desired behavior: clicks, trials, views, shares, to name a few.

If you’re not noticing conversions on your page that’s generally a strong indicator that you’re not creating the right kind of content. We suggest returning to a consumer-centric state of mind. Always keep who you’re writing for in mind and ensure that there’s true value in your words. Pull back on overly promoting your material and always leave readers satisfied and curious for more.

Not focusing on conversions is a major marketing mistake (graphic from Neil Patel).
Photo Credit: Neil Patel

If someone told you a stove was hot would you believe them, or would you need to lay your hand flat against the surface to see for yourself? In the case of digital marketing mistakes, we find that the same lesson translates. We hope that exploring these nine scenarios saved you a nasty burn of your own!

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