Common digital marketing mistakes small businesses make

Mistakes in the business world are made every day. Some of those mistakes are harmless and barely worth a second thought while others can cause major setbacks that can lead to failure. With modern digital marketing solutions, there are many different strategies that a business needs to go through in order to find the best path for its brand to become successful online. In this article, we will be exploring a way for you to avoid the common digital marketing mistakes small businesses make today. Keep on reading to learn how to save your business the troubles of inefficient and/or harmful tactics in marketing.

8 well-known digital marketing mistakes that small businesses make

When you have an intertwined and complex array of digital marketing strategies such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content creation, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, etc. – the potential for mistakes comes at every corner. That is why most businesses tend to rely on professionals to help them along the path. Taking that step-by-step approach while staying up to date with on-going trends can be difficult. And so, businesses should hire or partner with specialists to help them with the load of it all.

While you ponder on the decision of whether to hire a digital marketing agency or freelancers, consider the following eight digital marketing traps to look out for and how best to avoid them:

1. Not setting realistic goals and KPIs

There are very few segments in a business where you can improvise as you go along. Digital marketing is not of those segments. You can’t hope to find the perfect approach to your online advertising if you don’t first define what your goal is. And this is one of the biggest digital marketing mistakes businesses make. When you don’t have clearly defined goals, all your advertising campaigns lack focus. However, defining a goal for your digital advertising plans requires careful deliberation. Not having goals for your campaigns can lead your business into failure while setting unrealistic goals can prove discouraging.

Team of marketers discussing goals.
Setting realistic goals is an essential part of establishing a strong digital marketing strategy.

The solution for this scenario

The other side of the coin rests in understanding how to measure the success of your digital marketing strategy. That is why you need specific and realistic goals. Once you do, you can establish metrics to help you monitor and track the impact of each of your campaigns. Make sure that you set SMART goals when beginning a campaign. SMART goals are:

  • Specific. Goals need to focus on pre-defined actions, whether we’re discussing engagement, leads, or conversions/sales.
  • Measurable. Goals need to be trackable. That is why you need Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each of your digital marketing activities.
  • Achievable. Goals have to be feasible, with a defined endgame result as well as checkpoints along the way.
  • Realistic. Goals shouldn’t shoot for the stars, overestimating the budget and resources of the business in the process.
  • Time-sensitive. Goals required deadlines to maintain motivation and the ability to monitor the success of your digital marketing efforts.

Once you have your SMART goals in place, it’s a matter of keeping track of them, something you can achieve with the use of Google Analytics or other types of KPI tracking solutions.

2. Miscalculating when targeting audiences

Targeting the wrong audience is definitely one of the digital marketing mistakes that can make or break a business. Some marketers make the mistake of not taking the time to understand their target audience before advertising to them, which can lead to wasting time and resources on people that are not even mildly interested in what a business is selling. Other businesses overplay their hand and try to market to an audience that is too broad for their capabilities, which usually results in irrelevant content and high bounce rates.

The solution for this scenario

Make the time to gather data about your target audience – their behavior, buying habits and triggers, what they want most in products/services, etc. By gathering relevant data on customers, a business can understand them better and make it easier to target through digital marketing campaigns. With all the information you gather about your consumers, you can create a marketing profile for your typical buyer. Marketing profiles of buyers are a great way to discover the best approach to take with your advertising plans, based on criteria such as:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Behavior, etc.

Once you profile your best customers, you can focus on the volume of people you will market to. And you can also discovering new and innovative ways of attracting the right crowds to your website.

3. Neglecting your website design

Websites are digital showrooms for businesses and brands today. And neglecting this fact is one of the fundamental digital marketing mistakes businesses make. When a business underestimates the importance of having a user-friendly and well-designed website, it risks alienating online customers and falling behind the competition. Another issue here is to take shortcuts in creating your website, which can often lead to numerous mistakes when building websites that can lead to devaluation from search engines, bad user experience, inability to track your marketing activities, etc.

Girl exploring website functions.
The functionality of your website and its design can only contribute to your digital marketing efforts.

The solution for this scenario

Make sure that your website is running smoothly and that it portrays your brand in the best manner possible. Consider investing in the assistance of skilled web developers, to ensure that your website is:

  • Responsive. Given how most consumers today use mobile phones or other smaller devices to shop online, your website needs to fit to those needs. Responsive web design for medium and smaller devices provides the comfort modern customers look for.
  • Make sure that each of the elements on your page is scalable, so they fit your visitor’s screen no matter the device.
  • Fast. Site visitors don’t have the patience to wait around for a web page to load for more than three seconds. That is why you need to ensure that your page loading speed is below that criteria.
  • Easy to navigate. Simplicity is a valuable asset for any website because it offers users the ease of finding what they need in no time. Your site needs to have menus, CTAs, and a sitemap that can help customers find your products/services instantly.

Make sure that your website is operating at full capacity – schedule a consultation with our web development team today!

4. Failing to invest in SEO

Ranking high on organic search results for keywords relevant for your niche is an essential part of developing the online presence of your business. By gaining positions on search results pages, it becomes easier for online users to come across your website, which further contributes to the organic traffic on your website and your long-term lead generation capabilities.

The common mistake companies tend to make is to underestimate the overall role that SEO plays in digital marketing solutions. When a business neglects the implementation of SEO strategies, people are unable to come across your website and your brand never gains the online reputation you want it to have. Another misstep that business owners have is failing to understand the amount of time it takes for the benefits of SEO to kick in and start showing results.

SEO
Neglecting the value of SEO strategies is one of the worst digital marketing mistakes businesses make.

The solution for this scenario

Patience is a fundamental virtue when it comes to SEO. When you turn to a professional SEO agency to provide you with a tailored strategy for your business, you need to realize that it will take several months before you start seeing results. But once you do, the online presence of your business will continue to grow continuously and long-term. These are some of the crucial activities that will help you establish a strong SEO approach for your business:

  • Keyword research.
  • Engaging and high-quality content.
  • On-page optimization (web development and web design)
  • Off-page optimization (backlinks, citations, use of GMB)

5. Forgetting about remarketing

Any lead, no matter how seemingly small or irrelevant, has the potential to convert into a customer. Forgetting that is one of the more common and costly digital marketing mistakes businesses make. When a business gives up on site visitors that left their website without making a purchase, it’s neglecting a potential gold mine right under it. This is a common issue with businesses that focus more on getting new customers instead of converting lost leads and retaining current customers with remarketing.

The solution for this scenario

Having a proper remarketing strategy in place can help your business reduce the number of lost leads to a minimum. The best approach here is to focus on retargeting consumers through engaging email marketing campaigns. Emails have proven as a great way to remind customers of your products/services, special offers, discount deals, membership programs, etc.

Another good channel for remarketing comes through remarketing ads, commonly used by marketers through tactics that involve tracking lost leads through cookies and search history. You can then use customizable ads to target users that left your website without making a purchase.

6. Missing out on branding through content

One of the best ways to engage with online consumers is through the offer of useful and quality content. By offering content through blogs, a business can develop its brand identity and awareness, defining itself as an authority in its niche. A lot of businesses fail to recognize this, which leads them to make one of the common mistakes in digital marketing – abandoning their blog section. As a result, site visitors and search engines are unable to find any relevant information about the brand, which downgrades its rankings on search results and its ability to compete with others.

Person typing on a remote keyboard next to a laptop.
Avoid the mistakes of not boosting your digital marketing efforts through engaging content.

The solution for this scenario

In order to get the most value out of your blog section, you need to make sure to:

  • Post on a regular basis. Search engines and consumers value consistency. By posting content on a regular basis, you can drive more traffic to your website, and increase your authority.
  • Provide quality content. Blog posts mean nothing if they don’t answer the questions that people are looking to find answers to. That is why you need to invest time in creating content that will give value to those that read it.
  • Engage with readers. Interacting with your audience in the comment section of your blog keeps them engaged and coming back to your content.

7. Ignoring social media marketing

Social media users are growing each second and businesses that don’t make use of that fact are losing a high volume of potential customers. When a business fails to invest in social media advertising, it denies social media audiences the chance to interact with its brand. And given the fact that average users spend a third of their time on social media networks, this is a great chance to establish long-term relationships with them and expand your reach to new audiences.

Girl looking at social media likes on her phone.
Social media is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy.

The solution for this scenario

Start by gathering data to determine which social media networks fit your business in the best way. Once you determine that, focus your efforts on organic and paid social media advertising, combining the two into a strategy that will provide your business with a steady amount of leads.

Schedule a consultation with our social media team and let us help you develop a strong social media strategy that will:

  • Increase brand awareness and loyalty
  • Drive leads and conversions
  • Save money spent on traditional marketing
  • Improve customer experience

8. Investing in too many strategies

Expanding the range of your digital marketing efforts should be the ultimate goal, but not an overnight one. Countless businesses have made the same mistake in digital marketing of overestimating their success and expanding to other advertising channels too soon. The result of such a decision usually ended in great losses due to spreading company resources too thin, wasting money on multiple campaigns with no value or guarantees.

The solution for this scenario

Each digital marketing solution requires an educated and well-planned, strategic approach to it. Making the leap of faith without at least consulting an agency or in-house marketer with experience could end up costing your business a lot. To avoid this obstacle, a business should take a strategic approach in its strategies:

  1. Choose an advertising approach
  2. Gather as much data as possible
  3. Explore all aspects of it
  4. Find the perfect combination to apply it
  5. Establish a long-term winning strategy
  6. Move on to the next digital marketing solution

Take the straight path to digital marketing success

With so many digital marketing mistakes businesses can make, why would you take any unnecessary risks? With Digital Dot to support you, you can avoid any obstacles in taking your brand to the next level in terms of online advertising and growth. Contact our agency today to get a detailed consultation and start building the perfect strategy for your business!

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