Digital marketing can be a tricky business. There are many different concepts to get your head around, such as SEO, PPC or content marketing, and things change so rapidly that it can often feel like you’re chasing your tail when it comes to keeping up with digital marketing trends. 

So what are the most common mistakes people make when they take on digital marketing strategies? This article will dig into what the most common digital marketing mistakes are and how to avoid them by looking at the following areas:

  • No goals or tracking system
  • Targeting the wrong audience
  • Neglecting your website
  • Not optimising for search
  • Ignoring social media
  • Not being strategic with resources

No goals or tracking system

How are you supposed to know if your marketing has worked if you didn’t set goals at the beginning? Without goals, you’ll have no benchmark to measure your final results against. There are many goals that businesses of all sizes can pursue with marketing, such as:

  • Improve sales
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Target new customers
  • Retain more existing customers
  • Grow your share of the market
  • Enter a new market
  • Launch new products or services
  • Build business pipeline
  • Increase bottom line or profits

Pick one goal for each campaign you manage. Of course, one campaign can’t achieve every goal, so focusing your attention on achieving one thing will be a more effective use of your time and effort.

In the same vein, you should have a tracking system or software to monitor your results on an ongoing basis. Sometimes digital marketing is a long term play, so it’s essential to check your progress after a month, three months, six months and even after a year to see what impact your activity had. 

You can use SEO tools to see the impact on your search presence or website monitoring software such as Google Analytics to have a good overview of your website and sales performance. Social media tools have built-in analytics to help you keep track of improvements, so there are many options you can use to track the progress of a campaign. Ensure your chosen system is set up and working correctly before you begin the campaign.

Targeting the wrong audience

Sometimes businesses want to target an audience, but they don’t notice that their actual audience is a different set of people. 

Using Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see the age, gender and related interests of the actual visitors of your website. This demographic is already on your website, but is that who you want to be buying your product/services? 

If you see a disconnect between who you want and who you have on your website, then carry out some more audience research. Find out where the people you want to target ‘live’ online, what publications they read, their buying habits and how they find out about businesses. Then position your business in those places.

Neglecting your website

Customers are very digitally savvy, and so if your website is slow to load or not responsive on mobile, then the customer is likely to leave the site instead of waiting.

Don’t forget to give your website some attention before you launch a digital marketing campaign. Ensure your website can manage the following things, at the very least:

  • Is mobile responsive. This means that your pages scale to size. So when they appear on a mobile screen, a tablet or a computer, it zooms out correctly regardless of the screen they are being viewed on. 
  • Loads quickly. 40% of consumers will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load, so you must ensure that any images or videos that could slow down the website loading time are optimised.
  • It is easy to navigate. Make sure that your users can find their way around the site quickly; for example, if you want users to find your blog, make sure it is in the header options. Similarly, if you’re going to feature a specific category of products, make it visible in the header or your navigation bar. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to get to it.

Not optimising for search

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is how consumers find products, services and information online. If you forget to include SEO in your website content or marketing campaigns, you could lose customers to your competitors who appear higher on the search results than you.

Conduct some keyword research to find out what terms your ideal customers use when searching online. Then integrate these keywords into your product pages or your campaign content so that you’ll be more likely to appear in the search results. This is a very top-level tip, so do your research on how you can tackle SEO, as it’s worth a whole post on its own.

Ignoring social media

Coming back to your audience research, if your target customers are on social media but you are not, then you are missing a big opportunity. 

The average internet user spends 28% of their time on social media, so building a following on social media could be a very worthwhile strategy. It ensures that the content you post on social media is seen by a group of people who are familiar with your business.

Not being strategic with resources

A common mistake for businesses is to do too much with not enough time. Focus your time, attention and money on one or two campaigns at a time, and don’t take on too much. Spreading yourself too thin in this way could cause you to get unsatisfying results on all campaigns instead of stronger results on fewer campaigns.