When you’re just getting started with digital marketing, it can be confusing. There are so many strategies and tools to look into for when you’re setting up your online marketing efforts – from Google search, social media, email, and everything in between. The ultimate goal, of course, is to connect with your current clients and prospective customers. But, with all the tools, techniques and channels available to you, where do you start?
To start off on the right foot you should plan and document a digital marketing strategy fully. This will not only pull all of your online efforts together into a cohesive battleplan, but you’ll also be able to target customers and optimize in a much more strategic way – not to mention that you can get ahead of your competition. A poll recently showed that 49% of businesses still don’t have a digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing isn’t a new field and there are so many marketers around the world sharing the knowledge they’ve gained on the latest industry best practices. This information is generally shared online through blogs, videos and forums.
If you’re just starting to explore online marketing for your business, or are finally getting around to investing in digital marketing, then we have some great tips for you to consider. We’ve put together a handy list of the biggest mistakes in digital marketing, which are:
- Rushing to launch
- Failing to set goals
- Failing to review your analytics
Continue reading to find out more about these pitfalls and how you can avoid them in your marketing tactics.
1. Rushing to Launch
One of the biggest yet easily avoidable digital marketing mistakes is rushing to start your campaign. Many businesses rush the process and end up launching their campaign before all the elements are in place.
Most commonly overlooked elements are, landing pages, conversion tracking and integration with other marketing channels. These are all vital elements of a digital marketing campaign. Landing pages have been shown to boost conversion rates, especially when you follow industry best practices. Without conversion tracking how will you know if your campaign is working or successful? Failure to integrate with your other marketing streams can lead to many lost opportunities.
As you can see just from that example, rushing to launch your campaign can be catastrophic to your sales. If your team haven’t had the time to create and put all the elements in place, then you’re really doing a disservice to them and your offering.
How to Avoid This Mistake
There are deadlines for a reason, but if you launch when you’re not ready, then you’re only setting yourself up for failure. This mistake is difficult to avoid and relies on you and your team working together – from the planning process, all the way through to launch. You can avoid critical mistakes by practising good project management techniques and doing the following:
- Set Achievable Deadlines. Work with everyone involved in the campaign to get a realistic idea of all the elements needed and discuss an achievable time frame together.
- Assess Project Progress Often. After you’ve created a realistic timeline, check in with the team to make sure you’re on track.
- Don’t be Afraid to Delay. If you’re falling behind schedule, take responsibility, look at your options, discuss with your boss and reassess the plan. You can either rethink the campaign strategy to lighten the workload or you can push your deadline back. Pick the option which is best for the campaign and don’t delay the decision.
2. Failing to Set Goals
A lot of digital marketing campaigns fail because marketers simply don’t set goals. Benjamin Franklin’s old adage ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail‘ is completely true in the world of online marketing. Not following this rule is a sure-fire way to jeopardize your efforts.
When you’re running a campaign without goals, it’s clear that you won’t have the tools in place to measure your success or identify if your strategy is failing and needs to shift. Without this information, your future campaigns will be uninformed, and it will also be difficult to justify the investment in digital marketing to your superiors.
How to Avoid This Mistake
Having well-defined goals will allow you to learn what works and what doesn’t – it can often be the difference between a successful campaign and an unsuccessful one. You’ll also be able to demonstrate the importance of online marketing to people who are sceptical about its impact. The fix for this common mistake is fairly simple – before you start creating your campaigns, create some goals.
- Establish Your Objectives. Establish your objective as it’s surprising how often a team can have different ideas about their primary objective. Ask, what are the main reasons for running this campaign? Do you want to generate awareness, get your current customers to repeat purchase, or encourage more of your fans to convert into paying customers?
- Set SMART Goals. Outline a set of measurable goals that support your objective. Check that the goals are achievable by asking if they are SMART, specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound. Hubspot hast a great free SMART goal template which you can utilise.
- Don’t Forget Your Metrics. Now you have clear objectives and smart goals in place, don’t forget to come up with a way of measuring your goals. It could be as simple as comparing data on google analytics or keeping track of the click numbers to conversion.
Although it seems like a lot of legwork setting goals, it is setting yourself up for success. Goals will also help to empower and align focus of your team – giving you and your team a sense of success will also enable you to understand your campaign within your wider marketing efforts.
3. Failing to Review Your Analytics
Now that we’ve mentioned metrics and analytics, we want to highlight that ignoring your analytical data during your campaign is a critical mistake that can cost you a lot of opportunities.
If you aren’t regularly reviewing your analytics, then you don’t have any idea about how your campaign is doing in real-time. Digital marketing campaign data can help you to understand your customer, improve how you market to them in the future and much more. You can help to pinpoint a campaign’s success and discover how the audience interacted with it by reviewing and analyzing the data you’ve collected.
How to Avoid This Mistake
To avoid this mistake is fairly simple, you need to be religious about monitoring your analytics and you need to be sure that you’re measuring the correct data. Information from your analytic dashboard can save you time, money, and reputation. When you review your data regularly, you can often see trends and make changes if needed.
- Monitor Often. Prioritise monitoring by setting up a regular meeting with yourself to look into your data. Your campaign length, business size and volume of traffic will all affect how often you should monitor your data. For example, an e-commerce store with a week-long Christmas deal may want to check in at least once every day, but a longer campaign may benefit with weekly or even bi-weekly checks. However often you decide to monitor your analytics, make it a priority by adding it to your calendar.
- Know What You’re Measuring. Before you start your campaign make sure that you’re clear on what is important to measure. This should fit in with the objectives and SMART goal of your digital marketing campaign. Whether the point of your campaign is to increase conversions or to raise awareness, make sure that you know how to measure that.
- Adapt Your Campaign if Needed. Finally, if you see that your campaign isn’t performing as well as it should be, don’t be afraid to start testing out changes. A developer can quickly set up a split test and let it run for a few hours to see if that will get you closer to your goal. For example, if your landing page isn’t converting as well as you’d hoped, then you can do some simple A/B testing and improve your conversion rate in real-time. Analytics and testing are a great way to give you the data you need to push you into action and make a decision.
It’s not always easy to stay on top of your digital marketing strategy, but with good project management, a clear focus, and a priority on metrics, you can save your campaign. You’ll be ahead of the pack and will be able to create a successful campaign by avoiding the all too common pitfalls of online marketing.
Author bio: Nicolas Finet is the Co-founder of sort-list.co.uk – an online solutions company which helps customers to find the best marketing agencies. Follow him on Twitter @nifinet! Gravatar Email/Personal Email: nicolas.finet(@)sortlist.com
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