We all know that digital marketing moves fast, and because of that, there’s a tendency to always look towards the next best thing and focus less on the lessons of the past. But developing an awareness and understanding of past mistakes is one of the best ways to pave a path to future success.
When we look at how brands have run their digital marketing campaigns in the past, we’ve noticed many of the same issues coming up time and time again. Being aware of the most common digital marketing mistakes can help ensure your brand avoids them in the future, so with that in mind, here are some of the biggest missteps brands routinely make.
1 – Failing to set goals
There’s a saying that goes “failure to plan is planning to fail” and it’s directly applicable to digital marketing campaigns. Failure to set goals (aka failure to plan) is an almost guaranteed way to ensure the failure of your campaigns.
2 – Not paying attention to your analytics
When it comes to digital marketing, there’s no such thing as “set it and forget it”. Campaigns require constant maintenance and oversight, and that means checking in regularly to measure performance. That’s not to say you need to sweat every single day-to-day change in your website visitor metrics, but you should be paying attention to macro trends. It’s important to focus on the whole picture when it comes to campaign and channel performance. For example, the channel that provides the highest volume of traffic may provide the lowest quality of leads, so looking just at referring traffic won’t give you a holistic understanding of performance.
3 – Failing to test
Ongoing testing is essential to your success with digital marketing. As established in the point above, if you try to “set it and forget it”, you’re asking for your campaigns to fail. If on the other hand, you’re monitoring campaign analytics on an ongoing basis, you’ll be perfectly positioned to optimize your campaigns as you go.
Many of us leap to conclusions about why something is or isn’t performing without doing the proper legwork to find out for sure. Leaping to conclusions about what works and what doesn’t is a mistake that can have serious ramifications for the success of campaigns. Making testing a priority is the best way to ensure marketing spends are put to good use and campaigns are given the best chance to thrive.
4 – Jumping on every hot new trend
In digital marketing, there’s always a delicate balance between staying current and jumping on the bandwagon. Staying on top of the trends and changes in the industry is an absolute necessity if you want to be successful in digital marketing. Things change fast, and brands and marketers need to be up to date on the latest technologies and strategies or risk falling behind the competition.
That said, one mistake many brands make is to assume that just because a certain platform or technology is trendy, they should automatically add it to their marketing mix. The truth is that it’s a bad idea to blindly follow the latest trends without first gaining an understanding of how implementing a new idea or technology will benefit your brand. Be aware of the latest news in digital marketing, but don’t jump on a trend before you get a sense of how it will impact your strategy.
Even the most carefully calibrated campaigns will fall flat if they’re speaking to the wrong audience. In digital marketing, audience is everything. You might have written a catchy ad headline that you think sounds great, but if it doesn’t resonate with your actual audience the ad won’t bring in any results.
You have to spend time getting to know the audience you’re speaking to. What are their pain points? What types of language appeals to them? What words do they use to describe what they’re looking for? Knowing the answers to these questions is key to designing campaigns that will appeal to the people you’re trying to reach.
6 – Underestimating the importance of mobile
By now, many brands have come to recognize that mobile is essential to the success of their marketing efforts, but it’s shocking how many still do not make mobile a priority. Mobile must be a consideration in everything your brand does online, otherwise you risk missing out on the chance to connect with an enormous segment of your potential audience. In fact, in many industries average mobile share of website traffic now exceeds 50%. Failing to account for mobile means alienating many potential customers, and it’s a mistake that can wreak havoc on the success of your digital marketing campaigns.
It’s not always easy to stay on top of everything you need to do to ensure your brand’s success with digital marketing, and you’re virtually guaranteed to make at least a few mistakes along the way. However, knowing which major missteps to look out for can save your brand time, money, and stress, and help make your campaigns more fruitful in the long run.
Gabriel Shaoolian Blog Contributor