Common Mistakes Businesses Are Making With Digital Marketing

Patti Mills

Patti Mills About The Author

June 23, 2020 at 9:30 AM

Common Mistakes That Small Businesses are Making with Their Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has grown into one of the most important marketing avenues for businesses of all sizes. However, there are a lot of misconceptions and confusion in the digital space, where even the terminology is ever-evolving. Many shy away from what could be an incredibly successful campaign because the digital space can be so overwhelming. Here are a few common mistakes that businesses are making with their digital marketing.

Neglecting SEO 

One of the most common digital marketing mistakes that businesses make is that they aren’t paying attention to their rankings in search engine results. When consumers begin to look for a product or service, they often take to search engines to find the best solution for their lifestyle. In fact, 51% of shoppers use Google to do research before making a purchase in-store. That’s a lot of pre-selling opportunities! In order to increase your business’s rank in these searches, you need to know your starting point and how you can best optimize your website to appear higher in searches. 

This includes a number of different strategies like using keywords, backlinking, making sure that your website loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, does not have broken links, and is consistently updated with current information. By investing the time and effort into implementing SEO best practices into your website and digital marketing, you will have a better chance of showing up in relevant search results, and more success from your digital marketing efforts.  

Creative Isn’t Working

In order for any marketing to be effective, you need strong messaging, and the digital space is no exception. Your marketing creative is what grabs the attention of the consumer and entices them to want to learn more. Too many marketers fail to provide consumers with attention-grabbing creative or rush to put something out there that isn’t eliciting the action you want the consumer to take. Does the ad click through to a page that has relevant content to what the messaging was? 

When creating digital ads and calls-to-action, make the message very clear so that the consumer is able to navigate easily to your desired destination. If the ad says “click for a consultation” it only makes sense for the ad to link to a page where your customer can fill out a form that grants them a consultation. More often than you’d think, ads will take consumers to a homepage where they have to navigate through multiple pages to get to where they want to go, leading to a higher bounce rate for your website. Make it easy on them. It’s also important to consider the platforms on which the digital ad will be viewed. If your ads aren’t optimized for the right device or platform, they will be ineffective.

Focusing on Too Broad of an Audience

The beauty of digital marketing is that it allows you to be extremely targeted and reach potential customers further down the purchasing funnel. Often businesses will try to speak to the masses with their digital messaging, which could actually alienate your ideal target audience. Having a clear understanding of who your target audience is will make for a much more successful campaign. What areas of your town are your customers primarily coming from? What specifically are they looking for when they call you? Knowing the lifestyle and decision-making habits of your audience base allows you to create ads that speak more personally to them, making them more likely to purchase from you.  

Just Because You Built It Does Not Mean They Will Come

Most people use some form of social media today, so we can’t stress the importance of a strong social media presence enough. However, we often see businesses relying solely on their social media pages for their marketing, yet the information on their page is not current. You have to work on your social media page so that it will work for you. Make sure that you are staying up to date with trends, current information that can make the consumer’s life easier, and look for opportunities to broaden your reach capabilities. Map out a social media calendar that correlates with other marketing messaging you are putting out there. Look at boosting social media posts to get more life out of your content, and implement blog content where available to be a resource for your prospective customers. 

A good rule of thumb for the type of content to post and how often is to post sales or offer-related content about 20% of the time. The other 80% of your posts should be non-sales content that is still related to your business category, and interesting to your customer—information they will find shareable with their own community. For example, if your business is in the home services category, try a post about the top 5 things for a homeowner to cut down on higher utility bills in summer. Useful, compelling to your audience, and shareable.  You’ll increase the reach of your social media posts over time by being a trusted resource.

They Set It and Forget It

A huge benefit of digital marketing is that it offers data on how your campaign is performing in real-time. This allows businesses to pivot and make adjustments faster in the digital space than other media platforms. Business owners frequently implement a strategy, and neglect to track its performance. Make sure to have bi-weekly or monthly discussions with your media partner to ensure that the strategies you have in place are performing for you. If there are certain aspects of a campaign that are performing higher than others, use the flexibility that digital allows to pivot more marketing dollars in that direction. Your media partner can offer insights based on the performance data and recommendations to improve performance.

They Live and Die by The CTR

The coveted click-through rate is a blessing and a curse in the digital realm. Many businesses use this as their benchmark for how successful a campaign is. While it can be a fantastic measurement for you to use, it’s not the be-all-end-all. CTR’s are typically very low particularly with display ads, but that doesn’t mean the campaign isn’t effective. Just because someone didn’t click on the ad, does not mean they didn’t see it or acknowledge it. Consumers often need to see an ad multiple times before they will take action. The success of a campaign should be evaluated on multiple indicators, and you will want to decide which indicators to watch before the campaign begins. How has your overall site traffic increased or changed since the campaign started? Has the call volume increased? Are you converting more site visitors to actual customers because the targeting is better? Consider a variety of factors beyond the CTR to gauge the success of your digital campaign.

They Don't Understand It, So They Don't Do It 

Business owners may recognize the need to be active in the digital space, but quickly become overwhelmed by the different platforms and channels. The feeling of being overwhelmed by the space can lead business owners to make the mistake of avoiding any digital marketing entirely. Luckily, you do not have to handle digital marketing on your own. Working with a trusted and savvy media partner will provide you with the knowledge and resources you need for a successful digital strategy.

Every business, no matter the size, has the ability to create high-quality digital ads. Digital marketing done right can help expand reach, increase brand awareness, and improve the return on your overall marketing investment. Without digital marketing, your brand is missing the opportunity to reach your target audience in multiple ways. When you become aware of the common mistakes that businesses make with their digital marketing, you can learn from them and implement best practices into your own strategy.

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