Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2023
If you’re looking to grow your business, avoiding these seven digital marketing mistakes that many businesses are making will place you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors. Get on the success train.
Avoid These 7 Digital Marketing Mistakes In The Year Ahead
The digital marketing mistakes below will slow-down or undo hard-won progress. We don’t want that for you. Hands-down, having a detailed and thoughtfully executed plan for digital marketing will bring you success.
In the digital world, maybe more than any other, it is equally as important knowing what not to do as it is implementing what you should be doing.
Mistake #1 – Not Identifying Your Overall Marketing Goal
Maintaining successful digital marketing efforts requires a good bit of attention. More importantly, business owners risk wasting money and other resources by not setting clear goals that are supported by objectives, strategies and tactics to reach them.
Goals are your number one priority and all your marketing efforts will be in support of you and your team reaching them. For instance, if your goal is to be the number one service provider of “widgets” in the area you’ll need to create a well-defined strategy for how to reach that goal. One of your objectives may be to surpass your competitor in sales. Your strategy to reach that objective may be to promote store-wide sales or create customer loyalty programs. The tactics you’ll use to inform your target audience about these perks are social media, Google Ads, and emails sent to your existing customer base to encourage repeat business.
Whatever you choose for your goals, objectives, and strategies, be specific and delegate what each team member is tasked with doing to meet the overall marketing goal.
Remember, tactics are tools. For example, social media is a fantastic tactic to support many marketing objectives. However, used improperly it will feel as if it is wasted time and money. For all efforts, messaging, frequency, and creatives will play a big part in how your marketing efforts are received by your audience. Plan and adjust accordingly.
Finally, pre-determine the metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your efforts and be prepared to make adjustments to achieve better results.
Mistake #2 – Not Properly Defining Your Target Persona
It’s important to understand that your business/service is not for everyone. And, in turn, not everyone is a potential customer. That’s OK!
Successful digital marketers take the time to develop detailed target personas. That means creating a very detailed biography of your ideal customer/client (they may be based on a real past-customer or one you’ve conjured and hope to find). From there, all content, social media, and email marketing campaigns are written speaking to that target persona.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many post likes, or email leads you have if they will never convert into real customers. Creating target personas allows you to target your messaging to people who are most likely to convert.
A target audience is a larger group of people made up of many of the same demographics as your target persona. For example, your target audience may be men 40-60 who are interested in fitness. Your target persona may be Blake, who is 45 years old, works in a law firm, enjoys working out five days per week and believes that spending money on himself is his best investment. Knowing who your target persona is allows you to tailor your marketing collateral to meet their styles, preferences, and personalities.
Without these pieces in place, businesses stand to lose if they cast too wide a net. Spending money and resources on an uninterested or irrelevant audience can negatively impact other areas of the business.
Mistake #3 – Not Having a Content and Social Media Strategy
It’s one thing to set goals and identify metrics for success – it’s another to create engaging content and establish your business as a trusted vendor/partner. A digital marketing mistake we see often is the set it and forget it approach. The launch of a website is the start of your digital marketing journey, not the end. Creating helpful content consistently is key to supporting your online presence.
We encourage all business owners to write for their audience and for search engine optimization at the same time. Maintaining a blog can increase your SEO ranking, expanding your reach to a more targeted customer base. For some businesses, it is worthwhile to publish relevant case studies that support the use or benefits of a product or service.
Embrace the possible engagement opportunities that stem from social media. Ideally, when you create content, it should add value to your viewers. The hope is that it is found and resonates with those in your target audience. If it resonates, your audience may leave a comment. Respond. Soon. This opens a great opportunity to keep the conversation going and/or to start supporting the commenting business (if appropriate). Never miss an opportunity to engage with your audience in a positive way.
Keeping this in mind as you develop your brand, helps keep you inching closer to your goals.
Mistake #4 – Assuming What Your User Needs
Your customers change, and so do their needs. Some, for example, may have adjusted their sails in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Others may have incorporated changes after building a strong rapport with a new customer demographic. It is often very helpful to your business to continuously investigate your current and target audience’s needs.
For example, reach out to existing customers and discuss what their pain points are. Ask them specifically how they think you can help solve those issues. These frank discussions may reveal opportunities for improvements not previously thought of.
Mistake #5 – Not Implementing Email into Marketing Efforts
Email marketing is the process of targeting your audience and customers through email. It helps boost conversions and revenue by providing subscribers and customers with valuable information to help them achieve their own goals. The key here is being helpful.
Done properly, the average return on investment for email marketing is $36 for every $1 of spend. Those are big numbers. Often overlooked, email marketing is still an effective digital marketing tool that will support your business goals. This digital marketing mistake is easy to resolve.
With software services like MailChimp, email as a marketing tool is (fairly) easy to use and affordable. Monthly subscriptions plans start as low as Free, or $11/month.
In what’s now considered a post-pandemic era, marketers are sending 27% more emails than they did before the COVID years.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and use cases for email marketing:
- Using a lead capture system, entice subscribers to provide contact information in return for a helpful piece of content (sent via email).
- Build and foster relationships with new and existing customers/clients.
- Market and promote your products or services.
- Increase brand awareness by keeping your company top-of-mind.
- According to HubSpot, 79% of marketers list email marketing in their top 3 most effective marketing channels.
Mistake #6 – Not Utilizing User Generated Content
What is user generated content or UGC? It’s social proof. It is evidence of your user’s satisfaction with your products, services, staff, or other elements of your business. Examples include online reviews, testimonial videos, feedback from anonymous surveys, etc.
Business owners can include positive social proof on their website, as well as in social media posts, blog content, proposals, and email marketing campaigns. Because of the inherent power of UGC, it makes it easier for business owners to ask future customers to submit their own positive experiences on popular rating sites such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor, or more industry-specific platforms, like OpenTable for restaurants.
Mistake #7 – Not Using E-Commerce for Online Selling
This digital marketing mistake doesn’t happen as often as it once did. However, websites with products for sale that do not offer an online payment option are losing out on income. Hard stop. If a potential customer has to call or email a business to make a purchase, many consumers will find an alternative source for the product/service they are searching for.
Reducing the friction for a customer to make a payment is essential when sales are vital for a business to stay afloat. In 2022, consumers expect an easy purchase and checkout process.
According to McKinsey & Company, consumers indicate that interest in digital payments continues to grow, including in new areas like “buy now, pay later” and cryptocurrency. 82% of Americans are using digital payments. That statistic is up from 72% five years ago.
Growing in popularity, is the “buy now, pay later” option. According to the McKinsey & Company survey, 29 percent report that without this financing option they would have made a smaller purchase or not purchased at all. Another 39 percent say they chose BNPL over use of a credit card, and the remaining 31 percent indicate BNPL was a substitute for a debit card or cash.
Businesses using an e-commerce option on their own website will see the best results. Product information is indexed on search engines and gives ‘juice’ to the website as a whole when considering SEO.
Other online purchasing options also exist, such as Amazon, ebay, and Etsy among others. And, don’t forget Facebook/Instagram.
Whatever you choose to be the right solution for your business, make it easy for customers to purchase from you.
If you’re looking to grow your business in 2023, avoiding these seven digital marketing mistakes will place you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors. Now that you’re focusing on the right things, remember to monitor your results to see what’s working and what’s not. Make adjustments as needed. With the right approach, you’ll begin seeing more website traffic, more engagement, more conversions, and more sales. After all, that’s the goal, right?