It’s 2020 and no matter what your line of business is, we are sure that digital marketing is a core part of your marketing. With average person spending 6 and half hours online everyday, there are high chances that your next customer will find you online, and that is why every business must have a rock-solid digital marketing strategy. But businesses make mistakes, and here are few common digital marketing blunders that businesses often do.

Online Marketing Mistakes Businesses Are Doing 

1. Not Having a Clear Marketing Goal : 

Rudy Guilani rightly said, “Hope is not a strategy,” it certainly isn’t if you are doing digital marketing of your business. You need to have a clear marketing strategy. What do you want to achieve in the next 3 months, in next six months, in 1 year, and in 2 years? Many marketers do not clearly define their goals which is a recipe for disaster. According to co-schedule’s research 

“Marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t.”

Let it sink in.

So first thing, clearly define your marketing goals. Have goals that are aligned to business goals of the organization. Make sure the goals are SMART

S- Specific

M- Measurable 

A- Aspirational

R- Realistic

T-Time-bound 

Here’s an example of SMART Goal: By 30 June 2020, we will increase membership sign-ups by 10% .The goal is specific, measurable, aspirational (considering 10% by June is little out of reach), realistic, and is time-bound. 

Not SMART Goal: Increase sign-ups 

So, create SMART goals and once you make goals, define the next steps. 

2. Undefined Target Audience: 

Many times marketers do not clearly define their audience,which simply means they don’t really know what they are doing. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nobody to no one. So, define your target audience first. Analyze what is your market and who is your customer, whom are you serving, and do not blindly guess it. Look at your current customers data and if you are just starting then look into your industry and then make some educated guesses. You can hire a customer research firm to help you out. Creating customer personas can help you clearly define your target audience. Although simple demographics can be a starting point in defining your target audience, it surely won’t be enough. Spend more time in understanding the customers, their needs and wants, and their preferred kind of content. You can use psychographics for improving your targeting so you can send the right message to the right audience using the right medium. 

3. Not Staying Organized:

It’s almost impossible to do marketing without staying organized. There are too many things happening and if you are not organized, you’re surely going to miss out on the most important ones. So stay organized, document your strategy, maintain a content calendar, and use a project management tool to manage your team. 

4. Not Personalizing the Experience:

It is very important to use personalization in your marketing. If you don’t personalize, you will never be able to connect with your audience. Using your prospects’ name in the email while sending a BCC email to your entire list is just unforgivable. 

personalize marketing

Not only your emails but the entire experience of your customers should be personalized. You can learn from their purchasing history, their interests from the psychographic analysis that you have done, and then tweak your message according to that. This will not only gorge their interest but it will also make your customers more loyal to your brand. 

5. Not Being Data-Driven:

If you are still making your marketing decisions according to your gut it’s time to wake up and look at your calendar. It is 2020 now and you just cannot ignore data. 

Please look into your data to make meaningful decisions about your marketing’s next step. See what your analytics is showing full stop and take a look how your customer is responding to your campaign. 

 What do the numbers suggest? 

Are you moving in the right direction or do you need to make any changes in your campaign? The biggest advantage that you have in digital marketing over conventional marketing is the kind of personalization you can do and the amount of data that you can collect to measure your campaign. Make sure you use the power of data to boost your marketing

6. Not Testing Enough: 

Not testing your marketing campaigns means not really knowing what is working and what is not. You should split test your campaigns, Be it email marketing, running ads, where the form should be, or what the call to action must say. Split test, create a control group, send them one information, create a test group, send them the other and see which one is performing better. 

All big companies do a lot of split-testing to ensure they are getting good results. Booking.com, one of the leading digital travel companies, does almost 25000 tests a year to make sure their customers get the best experience and they make better decisions. So, don’t miss out on that. 

7. Ignoring SEO:

Ignoring SEO today can be one of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make (Also Read – 20 SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them).

  1. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine .(Search Engine Journal).
  2. 89% of online purchasers used SERPs to make their decision (Dezzain) 

These numbers don’t lie. Search is a big part of your customer’s journey and you cannot simply ignore it. Even if you think there’s too much competition in your niche, and it will be difficult for you to get results organically, here’s a data point for you: 

50% of searches are long-tail keywords – four words or longer (Word Stream)

Any company that focuses on SEO, will be able to rank for their long tail keywords. Focusing on SEO will give you more visibility and with time reduce your marketing costs to get similar results, thus increasing your ROI. 

{ If you need help with SEO, you can contact us or look at case studies to see how we’ve helped our clients with SEO. If you are doing SEO with no results, please visit [Seo Ranking Factor ] or let us audit your current SEO strategy }

8. Avoiding Social Media:

On an average, people spend 2 hours and 32 minutes on social media everyday. That is a lot of time. Social media gives an opportunity for your business to engage with your target audience. Be a part of the community or build a strong community. 

Here are three kind of mistakes businesses are doing:

  1. Many businesses completely ignore social media and are not even listed there.
  2.  Their are some who have basic accounts set up but they don’t do anything with their accounts
  3. Keep posting stuff that has no value and hence no engagement.

You need to create a social media strategy with an end goal, you should focus on: 

  • Brand your building on social media
  • Engaging with your audience by posting questions, facts and running engaging facebook campaigns.
  • Replying to the queries and comments of your audience 

9. Not Investing in Content: 

Content is the king and every business should invest in developing quality content. This is the best tool in your inbound marketing kit and it is rewarding too! 

A research by Demand Metric confirms that: 

Per dollar spent, content marketing generates approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. 

So invest in content. Understand your business and see what kind of content will be most useful for your business out of these.

Content types

10. Wrong Content Distribution Strategy: 

A research by SEMRUSH shows, 

94% of the time, social media is used to distribute the content by businesses.

percentage of content distribution

 Type of content they produce: 86% of the time, content produced is blog posts. 

Type of content they produce

And blog posts are not the most optimal kind of content for social media. If social media is going to be your number one content distribution channel, focus more on something visual. Images, Infographics and Videos. 

11. Ignoring Mobile: 

Ignoring Mobile

Source:BroadBand Search

Mobile traffic has increased 222% in the last 7 years and now 53% of the entire internet traffic comes from mobile. You need to have a mobile-first strategy: 

  1. Is your Website Mobile Optimized ? Take a test here
  2. Are your emails/newsletters designed according to mobile 
  3. Do you analyze how people are engaging with your digital assets on mobile?

12. Ignoring Videos: 

Video is huge. Youtube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, Facebook, Instagram are all promoting videos more on their platforms, and with increasing internet speeds, people are spending more time watching videos than ever.

  • Videos are shared 1,200 percent more than links and text posts combined (Source:jeffbullas
  • By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. (Cisco)

If you are still not using it, you are missing out on big opportunities. Videos are changing the way people are consuming content. Be a part of it. 

Here are few things you can do:

  1. Videos on Youtube
  2. Stories 
  3. Webinars 
  4. Live streaming 

13. Missing Out on Viral Loops:

Viral loop is the method of how you can use your current users/customers to invite your next customers. It’s growth hacking. 

It happens when the product will serve better if your user gets other on the platform (network effects) 

For example: You’re on Facebook because your friends are, if you are using Skype,you are using whatsapp, you need your friends to be on Whatsapp/Skype as well for communication. 

Or it happens when it gives bragging rights to the people: 

Just see how emails have a signature at the end Sent from my iPhone”.

If you’re on a gaming app, you create leaderboards and encourage your users to share their scores on social media or challenge their friends. This is a viral loop. 

14. Focusing on Quantity instead of Quality:

Lot of businesses fret over the numbers they want to hit, for example:

  1. We will publish 10 blogs a month
  2. We want to do 12 tweets a day 

Both of these goals are fine as long as they are bringing the right kind of engagement, but if you do not focus on creating something valuable, it’s not going to bring any reward to your business. 

An Ahref study shows that 90.63% of all pages in our index get zero traffic from Google and if you are posting 10 blogs a month hoping to get more traffic from Google, you might be doing it all wrong. So instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality. I want to publish 2 “rankable” blogs instead of 10 might be a better goal. 

15. Not Creating Subscriber Lists:

Not everyone who visits your website is going to buy something, but that doesn’t mean the user cannot buy something in future. But to make sure that you have a chance of converting the user in future, you need to engage with them. 

If someone has read an entire article on your website, he probably found some value in your content and might be interested in receiving more information from you in future and you might get business in future. So ask people to subscribe, and have a marketing strategy to send your subscribers personalized and useful information. 

According to a survey by BtoB magazine:

59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.

A 2019 report by DMA suggests return of $42 on every $1 spend on emails

stronger ROI on email

An email list is the first step for a successful email marketing campaign. So work on creating your email lists. 

16. Spamming the Inboxes: 

Many marketers do not understand the difference between email marketing and blatant spamming. No John, sending an email to 10,000 people with 0 personalization and no credibility is not email marketing. People get thousands of such mails and there’s no way you are going to grow your business by irritating them. 

17. Not Prioritising on Customer Retention:

It’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one and yet many times, businesses are too focused on acquiring new customers but not trying to retain/ upsell to their present customers. 

What are you doing to retain your customers?

Does your strategy talk about steps you are taking to increase customer retention? If not, start doing it today!

18. Ignoring Abandoned Carts :

Customers who added the products in the cart are only a step away from the sale.

Are you actively looking for what’s the reason for abandoned carts?

Baymard’s research shows these reasons:

reason for abandoned carts

As a marketer, make it as easy as possible for people to checkout, only ask for information that is required. Don’t force account creation, just create an account by default if you want. 

19. Not Measuring ROI:

Not measuring your ROI is the same as playing blind. Without an eye for ROI, you might end up losing a lot of money with not results. 

How much are you spending on your marketing?

What kind of results are you expecting?

What’s the return over your investment ? 

Is the money spent well or you could have achieved more ROI by doing something else? 

These are the important questions you need to ask while marketing your business online.

20. Not Being Agile:

Marketing strategy is made once a year, but customers are evolving everyday, Your marketing depends upon externalities as well, what is happening in the world, what’s your competitor doing, and how is the ecosystem evolving. You need to be agile to see the changes happening and be quick to adapt. 

For example: If you’re a software company in the times of Covid-19, with the outbreak of the virus, your value proposition and marketing might change from how you can increase business to how you can help other businesses retain clients, or cut costs. Your messaging will become more empathetic because of the global pandemic.

21. Working in Silos:

It’s a mistake that both big and small companies make, marketing teams working in silos and not collaborating with other teams.

Different channel teams working in different silos make the situation worse. Big companies have different divisions for paid marketing, email marketing , SEO, and all of them working in silos. 

This kind of structure can reduce the effectiveness of your marketing, with different teams trying to send different messages. All these channels compliment each other. So they need to collaborate.

If you are running a social media campaign, your email marketing team must know about it. If you are going to do ads in newspapers, your digital marketing team must know the same. 

Small companies hire multiple agencies or freelancers to take care of their marketing. They need to make sure that they create enough communication channels amongst them so that they have the complete visibility of the campaign and they can together get better results. 

22. Wrong KPIs:

Once you have clear marketing goals, make sure you track the right KPIs. A difference in what you want to achieve and what KPIs you track can ruin your marketing. For example, if you want to increase engagement on your website, then tracking bounce rate , returning customers become more important KPIs than the total traffic. 

So clearly align your KPIs with your goals. 

23. Doing Everything Yourself: 

You cannot do everything alone, you need support from people who are experts in their fields and can help you get better results and also by saving you money. 

If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll end up leaving a lot of things mid way which is loss of money, time, and opportunity for your business.

Do what you are best at and hire experts to help you with the rest of the things. This will give you time to concentrate on other important things and will help your business achieve more. 

24. Not Using Marketing Automation:

With no code revolution, you can automate a lot of your marketing tasks so you can spend time on effective things and not only on gathering data. Not doing marketing automation means spending time on activities that are repetitive. 

You can use Zapier, Google Sheets add ons or hire someone like us to automate your marketing so that you spend most time on things that matter. 

25. Ignoring Collaboration:

Always be open to collaboration with others. Be it accepting/writing guest posts, running a combined campaign or simply doing shoutouts for other businesses. When you do it, not only will you gain additional visibility to a new set of audiences, but also build trust and network in your ecosystem which can help your business a lot. So, think about collaborations, help others succeed, and you will succeed with them. 

What do you think? I am sure you’re doing the majority of things right. What’s the one thing that you’re going to do from now on? What’s the one thing that you’ll fix in your company’s marketing?

Let us know and we will help you bring your business back on track and grow digitally!