With ever-expanding channels, platforms, audiences and messages stretching across the online landscape, keeping your marketing plan and brand evolution in sync with your overall business strategy can be challenging. And with so many tasks to execute, it's inevitable that you'll make a few missteps along the way.
Here are three commonly made digital marketing mistakes along with pro tips to keep them from sabotaging your online business objectives.
Mistake #1: Assuming Social Media Is All It Takes
Social media can be an effective marketing tool, but it doesn't operate in a vacuum. After reading far too many stories about how making a large investment of time and money in social media or how one social post or marketing campaign caught fire and went viral, many marketers make the digital marketing mistake of believing that social media alone is the key to making it big on the web.
In reality, such stories are the exception, not the rule. There are a number of factors that lead to the social success of a brand or business. For social media marketing to work your strategy must take the big picture into account. And it’s easy to underestimate the amount of time and money you'll spend on social media.
Consider this hypothetical example: There are two companies; Brand X is a small business that spends only $500 a month on producing social media content creating 700 pieces of content distributed on 8 different social media sites, Brand Y is a mid-sized enterprise with a monthly social media budget of $2,500 and churns out 500 pieces of content that is pushed to 4 social platforms. In the end, Brand X makes a more efficient use of resources and leverages more channels, so they will likely get the most ROI (Return On Investment) for their efforts, despite spending much less.
Pro Tip: If your goal is to boost sales and improve conversions, ask yourself how your social media efforts can help maximize conversion rates and convert leads into sales. To get the most bang for your buck repurpose content into multiple formats to suit different platforms and syndicate content across multiple channels. This will increase content quantity while reducing the costs of content production. You should also consider using social media marketing tools to make your postings easier to manage and schedule.
Mistake #2: Thinking You Can Handle Content Marketing Alone
Keeping fresh, high-quality content in the pipeline is challenging and time-consuming, even for professional publishers and media outlets. Businesses and entrepreneurs who make the digital marketing mistake of going it alone can find the prospect of creating and managing content daunting, if not impossible. Even those with the time or inclination may not be up to the task. Writing is a professional skill and craft, and not every writer can create compelling content that is informative, educational and inspiring.
Pro Tip: Consider asking guest bloggers or contributors seeking opportunities to expand their reach to contribute to your website or blog. Think about allowing user-generated content, which many consumers can better relate to. And remember that video, not just text, is also content (web video now accounts for three-quarters of all online traffic).
Mistake #3: Using E-Mail Just For Promotional Purposes
There was a time in the not-so-distant past that e-mail marketing was used only as a promotional tool. Today's marketers understand that e-mail is an important tool for not only building brand awareness and trust, but connecting with, engaging, converting and retaining customers.
Here are some important statistics about e-mail marketing:
- 66% of customers buy something as a result of an e-mail marketing message (Digital Marketing Association)
- E-mail is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping businesses with new customer acquisition (McKinsey)
- E-mail marketing yields a return averaging $38 for every $1 spent (Email Monday)
- Readers are three times more likely to share content on social media that they initially receive by e-mail (QuickSprout)
Pro Tip: Engage your e-mail readers with content that is short and to the point. Wordiness and fluff are a definite digital marketing mistake and has no place in e-mail marketing campaigns. Add a personalized touch to e-mails to increase transaction rates by up to 6x over generic messaging. In the case of abandoned carts, sending a reminder e-mail has a 40% chance of being opened.
While the Web offers brands and marketers an unparalleled opportunity to reach consumers and businesses, and influence their purchasing decisions, digital marketing mistakes can significantly hamper digital marketing efforts. By identifying and addressing these issues (and avoiding making them in the future), your hard work will ultimately pay off, so that you can achieve your business objectives.