Not everyone can be a master at digital marketing. But understanding it and recognizing mistakes can go a long way when running your business. Get the jump on potential errors by avoiding these common pitfalls.
Overlooking Mobile Marketing
Now that the smartphone is the primary device people use to browse the internet, businesses must ensure that company webpages are optimized for mobile viewing. A crucial part of your company’s strategy should be to make sure that opportunities to explore the full potential of the many forms of mobile marketing, including apps and even emojis, are not overlooked.
Skipping A/B Testing
One of the best ways to discover what works and what doesn’t work on a website is to do an A/B test. This means comparing two versions of a webpage to see which performs better. These test results provide insight into a brand’s audience and highlight opportunities to optimize the site to suit the needs and wants of the target audience.
Ignoring Social Media
Today’s consumers want to hear the voice of a company, so it’s important to stay active on social media; infrequent posts will cause followers to lose interest. Live tweets and posts are preferable to automated messages. Social media can be used to bolster your company’s online presence, reaching customers directly to promote new products and increase brand awareness. But be aware that social media also provides an outlet for consumers to voice their opinions, both positive and negative.
Purchasing Social Media Followers
When selling or promoting products or services on digital media, focus on how the audience interacts with the company’s content. For instance, do people “Like” and/or share it on platforms like Facebook and Twitter so that it appears in their followers’ feeds? Purchasing social media followers will boost your company’s follower count, but purchased followers are less likely to engage with your content. Engagement is key in digital marketing, and posts with low engagement are often hidden from users’ timelines. Another thing to keep in mind is that companies that sell followers often have no privacy policies, meaning they may also sell email addresses and spam accounts with ads for their own services.
When done right, digital marketing is interactive. Make it easy and fun for consumers to participate by taking advantage of all the tools available to digital media. For example, users in the US can order a pizza from Domino’s by texting or tweeting a pizza emoji or choose up to three Steve Madden shoe styles for their personal Bitmoji avatar. These are fun ways to engage consumers through digital marketing.
Ignoring Search Engine Marketing
Rather than waiting for search engine rankings to build organically, companies can get a head start by employing Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Paid services such as Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Ads, and Bing Ads can help speed your company’s ascent to the top of the search results page. It’s been found that sites using SEM have a 50% click-through rate, making it a sure bet for increasing website traffic.
Shunning Email Marketing
The introduction of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) on July 1, 2014, has led many businesses to assume they can no longer use emails as a marketing tool. Not so. Companies can still send promotional emails if they have first obtained express consent from the intended recipient. This can be done by asking customers for email addresses at the cash register or asking website visitors to complete a consent form on your site. Email notifications continue to be an effective way to reach customers. (Note: As of July 1, 2017, customers who receive a commercial electronic message without consent, or receive one that fails to comply with any of CASL’s technical requirements, will be able to seek legal action against the sender of the message.)
Focusing on Quantity Rather Than Quality
Take the time and effort to create a quality digital marketing campaign that consumers will find engaging and memorable. Don’t bombard them with repetitive messages that drive them to hit the “Unsubscribe” button, or that cause social media platforms to tag your content as spam. Tactics that annoy customers can quickly earn a company negative social media buzz.
Ignoring Traditional Marketing
It’s tempting to disregard old forms of marketing, such as print and television ads, but maintaining a balance between traditional marketing and digital marketing can help ensure that your company reaches all its target markets and audiences.
Many companies fall into the above digital marketing traps, and they can be costly, both in terms of revenue and customers. If you can avoid them, your company will be in a better position to succeed in the digital marketplace.
Jennifer D’Agostino | Contributing Writer