Common Digital Marketing Mistakes
We get it. You’re busy trying to run your company and struggle to find time to grow your business. These days, it seems everyone is trying to do all they can to keep the doors open.
Then, there’s that whole digital marketing piece. Some business owners do it themselves. Others hire agencies or freelancers to get it done for them. In any situation, we hope you’re getting it done because ignoring your marketing today could mean fewer customers tomorrow. No business can afford that.
While it’s tough to see companies with no marketing, it’s really difficult to see all the businesses out there that are spending wheelbarrows full of cash for their marketing, but they’re making customer-killing mistakes.
Far and away the biggest problem we see with digital marketing is benign neglect. With nearly 20 years of experience, we still see business owners with what we call the “Field of Dreams” approach to marketing. They think if they build a website, customers will somehow find it, be impressed, and just naturally call them. It just doesn’t work that way.
Let’s go over some of the most common digital marketing mistakes business owners are making today and define solutions to overcome these challenges for good. We’re confident we can help you get on the same page.
Not Defining Your Customers Thoroughly Enough
In nearly every discovery meeting, we ask, “Who is your target market?”
You might be amazed at how many times that question is met with the same look as a cow at a passing train.
Yes, there are still business owners out there who have no real idea who their customers even are. This begs the question “If you don’t know your customers, how are you going to sell/service/reach them?”
Don’t get us wrong, most restaurant owners will answer the initial question with, “Everyone with a stomach”. Uh…no.
There’s a huge difference between the target market for Waffle House and Ruth Chris Steak House. Yes, you can get a steak at either, but…
An essential component of a successful digital marketing strategy is having a very targeted approach to your efforts. Who are your customers? You should know things like:
· Their age range
· Where they live
· Other demographics
· What they are looking for
· Their pain points & what moves them emotionally
· What they need from you in order to connect, buy, or engage
The more you know about your customers, the better you’re able to get their attention and provide exactly what they need.
You are then able to apply keyword research based on this data more effectively. You can also better understand their search intent, which is an important concept for ensuring that, when they click on your link, they actually get the information they need. Traffic is great, but you need people to become leads and buy whatever you’re selling.
You Don’t Have a Defined, Clear Digital Marketing Goals & Strategy
There are plenty of business owners out there who have a clearly defined business model. They know their products, know the industry, have a solid understanding of pricing within their business and know their customers.
But, when it comes to digital marketing, many of these same well-prepared people take a shotgun to sniper school. These are the people that scatter off in all directions at the same time and wonder why they’re exhausted and not getting much out of it all. It’s like taking the Autobahn to burnout.
You need to apply that same focus to digital marketing. As noted, you don’t want to just “do stuff” but ensure you are doing the things most likely to help your business to succeed. Creating a digital marketing strategy may mean:
· Define who you are trying to reach
· Outline the types of digital marketing tools that have the best chance to reach your target market. (social media, content, website, email, and more). For example, you most likely wouldn’t use Pinterest to reach customers for your accounting firm.
· Select the marketing tools that have the best ROI
· Create a content strategy that brings in keyword research, any relevant data points, and planning
· Build out content to reach your audience and amplify your blog posts to social media channels, email blasts and more.
· Comment on your own posts to engage consumers within your social media channels
No Content Strategy
We recently spoke to the owner of a cell phone repair company who asked if he should blog or not. He admitted that writing wasn’t his favorite sport.
We totally get that. Math isn’t ours.
He went on to talk about how his customers typically came from a 15-mile radius but there was a market for people to mail in their devices for repair. We talked about how consistent blogging could help position his company as local industry experts and could lay the groundwork for building this “mail-in” market. Plus, it would add keyword-rich content to his site and help his SEO.
A blog can be a very important tool for digital marketing and often acts as the starting point for building your brand online. Creating really great, on-target content for your blog can directly deliver results for your company.
Most people think of blogging as the only thing involved in content marketing, but it can also involve videos, infographics, ebooks, and more. Blogging is just a subset of your content marketing strategy.
Content marketing includes benefits such as:
· It gives you something to share on social media to get the conversation going about your brand and business
· Blogging helps build up your SEO to get the search engines to rank your website (Google loves seeing new content added to websites on a consistent basis)
· A way to bake thought leadership into your business, so your customers and others in the industry eventually see you as a leader within that industry
· Create engagement opportunities with your readers so you can better understand them and eventually market to them in a more effective and efficient manner
· Use it as a way to educate others about your industry, products, or services, so they learn to trust in your business
Creating content seems like a lot of work. However, good content pays for the investment time and time again. If you’ve pulled back from your blog because you feel like you’re talking to yourself or you’re not seeing immediate results from it, it’s time to revaluate what you could be doing. We’re happy to talk to you about the possibilities.
Ignoring Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Or Getting Bad SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) should put your business on the first page of Google where roughly 87% of Americans go to solve all their problems!
For many, many companies out there, SEO is a great investment for bringing in targeted traffic- people who need and want exactly what you provide. In fact, this is exactly how SEO should pay for itself.
People have all kinds of wild ideas about what SEO really is, but the truth is that is doing all the required things Google wants to make your website “first page worthy”. This includes three elements:
On-Page SEO: This aspect involves creating great content on your site along with SEO-friendly page titles, click-worthy meta descriptions, keyword-rich tags on your images, and way, way more.
Off-Page SEO– this mainly involves reaching out and getting sites of higher authority to link back to your website. Doing this helps elevate the credibility of your site in Google’s eyes.
Technical SEO– This involves all the nerdy, back-end stuff necessary to help your site climb the rankings ladder. It includes things like increasing your page load speed, broken links, and more.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad apples out there who advertise SEO services but don’t actually do much to get your site on page one. There are all kinds of ways SEO companies don’t live up to basic expectations.
Recently, we’ve talked to four different business owners who are paying for SEO services, but their site is getting zero traffic according to SEM Rush.
The demarcation line for us about a good or bad SEO company is whether or not they are writing content for your site. Since Google emphasizes the content, it only makes sense that your SEO provider writes high-quality content for your business. If they’re not doing that, you’re probably overpaying.
Doing SEO On A Bad Website
Ok, let’s get honest. Some websites suck.
Some are just outdated. Some aren’t mobile-friendly. Other sites are just to check off a box for the business (Yep, I have a website!). There are many, many websites out there that do absolutely nothing to convert visitors to paying customers.
Doing SEO on a bad website is just driving your potential customers to your competition. It’s as simple as that.
Think about it. The national average a company spends on SEO is $1000/month. If you have an ugly or bad website, you’re paying someone to get that clunker on page one of Google which is exactly what they don’t want!
Even if you ranked the site and people click on it, if it’s that bad, the potential customers will just click away never to return. Since they needed and wanted what you provide, they’ll simply find another company.
Even good SEO is like putting a 10,000-piece puzzle together. No one gets all the pieces together, so there will always be areas to improve on with search engine optimization, but the best advice we can provide is to get an objective opinion about your site.
Whether you do business with us or not, we will always provide honest feedback about your website. The reason is simple. Your website is your digital front door. It’s about your livelihood, not your feelings.
Ignoring The Google Business Profile
If someone just gave you free real estate, would you take it? What would you do with it? Build a house? A business? Sell it? That’s exactly what Google gives you with your Google Business Profile (But, you can’t sell it!).
Your GBP is a place where you can list gobs of information about your business. More than that, it’s a place where collecting and responding to reviews not only helps your visibility, but it helps convert customers. There is even data analytics to help you understand more about what people are doing when they hit your listing.
You’d be amazed at how many people don’t even bother to claim their listing at all. They pay zero attention to this part of their marketing. This is a huge mistake.
We recently optimized the GBP listing for a local martial arts studio and took their views from around 600 impressions a month to more than 6,000. This had led to more students and better revenue for this business.
No Social Media Strategy
If blogging is difficult, social media can be overwhelming for many business owners. Yet, social media is where people spend more than a third of their time online. This is where friends refer companies to their own friends. It is where your team can jump in to offer help to someone in a local group that needs answers to problems you can solve. Social media is an excellent way to create engagement for your audience – and get your customers talking to you.
Social media marketing can feel overwhelming, and many business owners feel they have to be on every channel which is just wrong. We suggest you pick the channels where your target audience hangs out and invest your time and money there.
Remember that each social media channel has its own rules, so adjust your posting for each one. Also, make sure you have a strategy for boosting posts and certainly a strategy for any paid social media marketing. Without a consistent strategy and key performance indicators, you may as well toss your money into the ocean.
Remember, 72% of people use social media. It’s likely your customer base is a part of that. If you are not engaging with them on social media, chances are good your competition is doing so.
Not Considering An Email Strategy
People come to your website. They provide you with their contact information for a quote or perhaps make a purchase. They are giving you one of the most valuable components of digital marketing – their email address. With it, you can keep in touch with them and welcome them back to your site on a consistent basis.
You’ve spent the money to get that person to your website in the first place. Whether they buy from you or not, you’ve invested in them. That means you want to do everything you can to keep them there and get them to come back over and over again.
It’s about building a customer base
You can do that with email marketing. An effective campaign allows you to remain front of mind with your customers on an ongoing basis. They remember you, they learn more about your brand, and eventually, they may buy from you again.
If you do not have an email newsletter or other marketing campaign in place, this is a mistake to correct right away. You’re missing key opportunities.
Not Asking For Help
The biggest mistake we see when it comes to effective digital marketing is not having help. Working with a web designer and digital marketing agency can help to relieve all of this pressure while also creating opportunities for your business to thrive. It doesn’t have to be out of reach budget-wise either. Make your investment work for you.