There was a time when digital marketing was not a priority for business owners. That’s not the case today where it’s become a valuable component to a business’ success. Now that 59 percent of the global population are active internet users, people have developed the habit of purchasing goods online. One example which proves this point is the rise in Amazon’s stocks amidst social distancing. It’s a testament to how online businesses are thriving now. With a majority of the world population choosing to stay at home, consumer behavior has changed, and most entrepreneurs have also decided to migrate their businesses online.
One thing hasn’t changed though. Businesses still remain competitive and are constantly finding ways to stay on top. That’s why the demand for digital marketing services is on the rise. However, most business owners can find it challenging and may come unprepared in this scope of the business.
Digital marketing is crucial for the success of a business. There is a range of digital marketing strategies, and tactics an entrepreneur can opt to include in their digital marketing initiatives. However, there can drawbacks or mistakes that can obstruct your success when it comes to digital marketing. Whether you’re planning to go into this journey alone or you’re planning to work with a digital marketing company in the future, being aware of these potential mistakes will save you time, effort, and resources in the future.
1. Targeting the Wrong Audience
Improper choice of a target audience or the right market for your digital marketing campaign can often be the cause of a digital marketing strategy gone wrong. These high-impact errors can cost you time and resources and should be avoided at all costs.
Some of the most common mistakes when choosing a target audience are:
- Target audience is too broad
Most business owners fall into the thinking trap that casting a wide net is better, meaning, it’s better to reach as many people as they can. This isn’t productive because everyone is different, different people have different needs. You have to determine who those people are who need your products and services. This way, your messaging will be clearer and you’re sure that they will be engaging the right audience for you.
- Target audience is too small to be profitable
Similarly, targeting an audience that’s too small won’t do you any good either. Aside from trying to reach them, you have to take into consideration the percentage of those who will actually provide you the revenue you need. You have to determine a target audience that’s specific, yet reaches a number that’s profitable for you.
Also, make sure that you’re targeting an audience who can purchase from you, or make sure that you’re using the right approach for your audience. For example, you may need to tweak your strategy for children and people with special needs as you can’t apply the straightforward approach in these cases.
- Forgetting to analyse the psychographic data
The demographic factor isn’t the only thing you need to consider when defining your target audience. Sure, age, gender, and location are important, but you also need to know the psychographic profiles of your target audience. This includes their lifestyle, interests, priorities, and beliefs.
- Lack of buyer persona
Lack of a proper buyer persona will limit your vision and understanding of your customers. A buyer persona is the embodiment of your model customer, thus having this character in mind will allow you to see the big picture through your customer’s eyes. It will also allow you to create better content and accurate message that will effectively target your ideal customer.
- Lack of data and research
Accuracy is valuable when it comes to digital marketing. The success rate of your campaign will depend on the data you based the strategy on. It’s like this, what you think about your audience is different from how they actually behave and move online. You shouldn’t rely on gut-feel or trends. Always base your choices on facts.
One of the most effective ways to prevent mistakes when it comes to audience targeting is to consult and work with a digital marketing agency. They have experienced consultants who have worked with a number of businesses from different industries and show be very well versed in targeting the right market as well as audience segmentation. They will be able to provide you with insights, advice, and resources as well as guide you in the right direction.
2. Digital Marketing Goals are Not Clearly Defined
When your marketing goals are misaligned, it impacts the sales team’s performance as well. At the beginning of your campaign, you should determine what goals you’re trying to achieve.
Some common goal-setting mistakes:
- Goals are not set clearly
You have to determine what your digital marketing campaign is for. Is it to drive traffic to your website? Is it to increase sales? Is it to gain awareness? Or is it to rank on search engine results pages? Your team has to be aware of the main goal so that they know the purpose of what they’re doing.
- Objectives are not aligned with the goals
Often, the objectives and the KPIs are not disconnected from the final goal. Make sure that your team is able to present you with the goals accompanied by the respective objectives that support those goals.
- Setting goals that are not customer-centric
Initially, it’s about putting your name out there, letting people know about what’s so great about your brand and your products or services. But customer behavior has changed along with what people perceive as a good brand. Now, customer-centric companies are 60 percent more profitable compared to those who don’t focus on their customers. Always make sure that this is translated through your messaging and copies.
- Lack of ownership when it comes to meeting objectives
A team needs to accomplish a particular objective and work towards the same goal. However, this can be dangerous as Sod’s law, it’ll be a scenario where many bystanders will wait for someone to act. It’s best to delegate ownership per objective.
3. Website is Not Designed to be Responsive
As an entrepreneur, you must be aware by now that the work doesn’t end with just having a beautiful website. You have to make sure that the website is designed in-line with your customer’s behavior and preferences in mind.
Some common mistakes in ecommerce design
- Website is not responsive and mobile-friendly
Technology has changed the way we live — and shop. There was a time that we had to head out to the mall or the shop whenever we needed something, and be mindful of their closing hours. Now, we only need to open our smart devices and we can purchase products and services in the comforts of our homes, or in the loo. There’s also the fact that people can use any device to access ecommerce stores now.
Most business owners are not mindful of this behavior and don’t find this aspect of the sales journey essential. Which shouldn’t be the case. Products and services are becoming more accessible thanks to the internet and handheld devices, which leads down to fiercer competition.
As a business owner, you have to make sure that your website looks good on any device. May it be desktop, tablet, or smartphone, and that it’s responsive no matter what OS the visitor is using.
- Lack of detailed product information
A lack of product information completely cuts off the customer journey. Your potential customer should be presented with the specifications of the product or else they will find it elsewhere, meaning, they will exit your site and go check out a competitor’s page.
To fix this, you have to provide as much information as possible. Whether it’s size, what materials were used, its dimensions, or any other important details that you know the customer will wonder about.
- It doesn’t allow ‘guest checkout’
People shop online because it’s convenient, easy. Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of requiring a sign-in before allowing a guest to check out their cart. Some require more steps and these are just creating more opportunities for the visitor to change their mind and abandon the cart.
As much as possible, you have to minimise the steps, even combine pages so that they will only see one page that will allow them to check out. The goal is to make it quick and easy for them to buy from you.
- Your contact information is not visible
Users will want to verify that the ecommerce store they’re planning to buy from is legitimate. Not only that, they will want to be reassured that if a potential problem comes up, they’ll be able to reach out to a real person for help. If your contact information is not easy to locate, they won’t easily trust your site and not do business with you.
- Lack of a search bar
Part of the beauty of online shopping is that once the user knows what they’re looking for, all they have to do is type it on the search bar and Google will find it for them. Your shop should also include one to make it easy for customers to acquire what they need.
When it comes to redesigning your website and making it more user-friendly or responsive, it’s best to work with a team that can provide you with complete web design and development services as this ensures that the services and optimisation provides are aligned with each other. This will also save you time and resources in the long run.
4. Lack of Proper SEO Implementation
Search engine optimisation or SEO is now an automatic step and a crucial activity when it comes to digital marketing. The goal of your business online is to secure a high rank or position in the SERPS. This will ensure that you stay relevant in your chosen market. A solid SEO strategy is the main foundation that will build that position. However, many entrepreneurs, especially those who are just transitioning their businesses online, are not yet knowledgeable about the importance of SEO as well as the elements involved. This results in competitors dominating the market and users flocking to their store.
Some common mistakes in search engine optimization
- Using irrelevant keywords
Keywords are an essential ingredient when it comes to driving an effective digital marketing campaign. In SEO, everything starts with a keyword. Keywords are used to target your audience and it’s also one of the main elements in ranking your website.
One of the mistakes that businesses make is to just guess what keyword they’re going to use without proper research or data. Sometimes they rely on the trend or imitate what the competitors are doing which is never advisable. Your products, target audience, and digital marketing strategy should mold what keywords you’re going to use.
- Not having an SEO plan
Highly competitive businesses are now investing more in their SEO initiatives. SEO is all about data and accuracy. Creating content and messages based on the data you are presented. By not having an SEO plan, you are going to be dealt with random results, giving competitors an advantage over you.
- Disregarding page speed
Page speed is a major factor when it comes to ranking on the search engine results page. The faster your load speed the better. Yet, some entrepreneurs prioritise other factors over page speed. For example, some of the design elements of their sites are important for aesthetic purposes yet those elements are making the website load slower. There are workarounds to this. Changing the design can be one option, another is to reduce the size of the elements.
There are a number of SEO services available to you, the best solution will depend on your SEO specialist’s recommendation.
- Low domain rating
Domain rating is a score from 0 to 100 that determines the strength of your website’s backlink profile. It can be seen as how valuable and trustworthy your website is based on the number of websites that link back to yours. Search engines like Google, set backlinks as one of the top-ranking factors when evaluating a page.
Most entrepreneurs are not aware of this metric or system, thus, they miss out on an important opportunity.
Communicating with an SEO specialist or reaching out to an experienced SEO agency for consultation is advisable as they will be doing a thorough SEO audit to analyse your website and to uncover issues that needs to be fixed.
- Stopping the campaign once results come in
Some businesses decide to stop their SEO activities or hygiene once the goals have been achieved. This results in rankings dipping and content turning stale or outdated. If your online business is the plant, then SEO is the water that sustains it and keeps it alive online.
SEO is an ongoing process, you have to continue your SEO efforts, especially in trying times.
5. Following Trends
When it comes to digital marketing, it’s all about staying updated, current, and relevant. Staying on top of trends is need if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Although, some businesses tend to jump on the bandwagon with their eyes closed. If a certain software or platform is trendy, they automatically add it to their digital marketing initiatives.
Before jumping in, you have to study the trend and play with the idea first. See if it fits your brand or if it benefits your business. Never adapt to a trend without knowing how it will affect your digital marketing strategy and business as a whole.
6. You’re Doing PPC Wrong (Overspending on Ads)
Ads are an effective digital marketing strategy that produces instant results. It has the ability to influence consumers to make a purchase 90 percent of the time that’s why many businesses see it’s a must-have in their digital marketing strategy.
One mistake that can burn a hole in the pocket is not having a PPC campaign plan. This includes targeting the right audience, mapping the buyer’s journey, organising the Ad Group, where to position the Ad Campaign, keyword targeting, and bidding just to name a few. There are also techniques and strategies that need to be applied to limit the cost of your campaign.
7. Failing to Run A/B Tests
The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, this means that other elements such as user behavior are influenced as well. Even with proper research, data, and strategy, there are still risks that can prohibit your plan from reaching its maximum efficiency. Failing to do proper testing might blindside you and drain your resources.
To avoid unnecessary risks such as unpredictable external factors, A/B testing your PPC campaigns should always be included in your process before rolling out a campaign.
Don’t let these mistakes keep you off-track and deter you from reaching your goals. It’s best to be mindful of them, and act on them before they can bring harm to your business. Opportunities online are continuously evolving, and this will be the same for your digital marketing strategies as well.
Focus on the right audience, have clear goals and objectives, make your website as responsive and user friendly as possible, implement SEO best practices, never follow a trend without first evaluating what it can do for your business, implement the right PPC strategy, and always test before you roll out any campaign.
Do your research and collect the correct data before jumping into a new strategy. If unsure, it’s best to reach out to experienced digital marketers to help guide you in your digital marketing journey.