10 Digital Marketing Don’ts
If you’re not getting the results you want or expect from your digital marketing, it’s time to get down to the root of the problem and figure out what’s working, what needs to change, and why.
We’ve talked about marketing mistakes previously on our blog. Now we’re honing in specifically on digital, sharing some common digital marketing don’ts to watch out for.
10 Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Letting Your Website Go Stale
If your website was developed a couple of years ago, there’s a good chance some content may no longer be relevant to your target audience. It’s smart to conduct an audit of your site on a regular basis—at least once a year—to not only ensure there are no broken links or page errors, but to assess if your content needs a refresh.
Does your website still look and feel modern? Does it still reflect your brand mission and values? Is everything loading without issue across devices? Be sure to regularly check security certificates and look for any other issues that may need to be resolved.
2. Not Refreshing Your Content
Of course, your blog and social media content should also be regularly updated. You may have a blog, Twitter account, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, and possibly more, but without your commitment and time, they won’t help move the needle for your business.
How long ago was your last blog post written? Did you post a bunch to Facebook last month but haven’t updated your page at all this month? Part of growing an active social media following and making content work for your marketing strategy is commitment to constantly feeding the funnel.
Another piece of this is making sure that the information in your social profiles is up to date, including your location, business hours, and description. How long ago was your Twitter bio written? Have you joined a new platform but haven’t added an icon to your website footer or email signature to allow people to find you there?
3. Posting in a Vacuum
Blog and social media management tools can help save time, but they can cost you marketing ROI in the long run if you’re scheduling batches of posts and not paying attention to how they perform. Are you practicing active social listening and paying attention to changes in your subscribers or followers? Looking for opportunities? There’s no perfect formula for how often or when you should post on social media, and what works will depend a lot on industry and company-specific factors. (According to a study from HubSpot, if you have a smaller following, posting twice a day to Facebook will actually result in about 50% fewer clicks per post.) Remember that social media is a two-way street, and you can learn a lot by taking time to do more than push content.
4. Shrugging Off Email Marketing
Don’t ignore the power of email marketing. Contrary to what some business owners and marketing managers may think, people actually like receiving emails. In a national survey conducted by MarketingSherpa, 72% of Americans indicated they prefer that companies communicate with them via email—69% of people said that emails had influenced them to make a purchase. Email marketing continues to be an effective way to build relationships and drive sales.
5. Not Using A/B Testing
A/B testing—or split testing—is an important step in improving your digital marketing results, and it can be used for decisions related to everything from PPC ads to CTA buttons to landing pages and more. By testing variations of your content or ads, you can identify what works best and understand why certain elements impact experiences and user behavior.
For example, when getting started with Facebook Ads, you might first create versions using variations of copy or imagery. That way you’ll have a clear understanding of which change drives better results. Conducting A/B testing for different versions of landing pages or other content on your website allows you to collect data and make adjustments to increase engagement and conversion.
6. Not Showing Up Where Customers Expect You to Be
If your primary customers are Millennials, you should probably be on Instagram. For Gen Xers, Facebook is an important place to be. Not only do your customers expect to find you on the social media channels they frequent, they also expect you to be responsive. Seven in ten Twitter users expect to hear back from brands that they reach out to—and slightly more than half expect a response in less than an hour.
7. Ignoring the Power of Video
It’s not wonder more marketers are investing in video marketing. Four out of five consumers believe demo videos are helpful, and four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. People are consuming more video content and want to see more of it from brands. It’s a great way to get discovered by new audiences, and to keep existing customers engaged.
8. Being Anti-Social on Social Media
Use social media to engage with your audience, not just sell them your products. Focus on providing your followers with relevant, helpful information, and keep in mind that customers do interact with brands via social media. Twitter reported earlier this year that customer interactions with companies have increased 250% in the last two years.
Don’t let comments (especially complaints!) go unaddressed. When a customer reaches out to you on social media, you need to respond appropriately and quickly. So ensure that monitoring of your social media accounts is part of your marketing plan.
9. Neglecting Your Online Reputation
Monitoring and responding to online reviews is a critical part of keeping your digital presence in check. Why? A 2016 survey indicated that 84% of people trust online recommendations as much as a recommendation from a friend. The same survey showed that 74% of consumers have more trust in a business after reading positive reviews, so it’s a good strategy to encourage reviews from happy clients and loyal customers—and do what you can to address negative online reviews right away.
10. Going ALL Digital
A digital marketing strategy is imperative, but mass reach media (such as radio) still have an important place in your marketing plan. Your media mix should reflect an understanding of your target audience, and not rely too heavily on one medium over another. Integrated campaigns are, on average, 57% more effective than those that aren’t unified across channels, according to a study by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). And brands that increase media platforms from one to two can increase ROI by 19%.
Change is lightning fast in the digital age, and in the rush to keep up, it can be challenging to mitigate marketing mistakes—especially ones that creep up over time. As you step back and assess your marketing strategy through the close of 2017 and beyond, keep these digital don’ts in mind.