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Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving and constantly growing industry. In fact, it is predicted that by 2023, $146 billion will have been spent on digital marketing efforts. For any business, digital marketing is usually a key factor in success.

But, without proper online marketing, you may begin to see less-than-favorable results. So how do you make a digital marketing campaign worth talking about?

Perhaps most important to building a good campaign, is knowing what makes a bad one. Here are 11 common online marketing mistakes that you could be making – and how to avoid them:

1. Ignoring Marketing Strategy

Before you even begin your marketing efforts, it’s a good idea to have an air-tight plan. For a lot of young or small businesses, this is often time the most overlooked piece of the puzzle. In fact, one survey found that only 33% of respondents had a documented marketing strategy. 

A lack of planning can lead to incoherent marketing efforts that are difficult to measure and manage. This also means they’re difficult to scale upward, which can leave your company gasping for breath in the long-run. 

To build a successful marketing strategy, start by defining your audience. Who is this product really for? How can you craft your marketing around them?

Next, focus on your goals. Your goals need to be reasonable and achievable. Setting too high of goals can leave your marketing team scrambling and discouraged.

After that, define what tools and tactics you’ll be using to achieve these goals. You should also define the metrics you’ll be using to measure your growth and success. Keeping track of your progress is pivotal to keeping your strategy updated.

After defining your strategy, you’ll be able to take a more organized approach to your marketing efforts. The best part of any strategy is its room for growth as you begin to see measurable success.

2. Poorly-Defined Audiences

Casting a wide net is not always a great idea when it comes to marketing online. Instead, you should be focused mainly on your target audience. Ask yourself who your product or service is really for and work from there. 

A great way to define your audience is to create buyer personas for two or three different types of target customers. This will help you shape your strategy around the target market.

If you want to define your ideal customer, try:

Defining Buyer Personas

Categorize your target market into a few distinct “customer types.” These categories can be made based on demographics, particular pain points, and/or possible expectations or objections to your product.

Try to keep the number of customer types small to avoid stretching your marketing efforts too thin.

Conduct Market Research

It can pay to work with marketing experts when it comes to conducting research. By working with an expert, you can help your organization develop a better understanding of your market.

Markets are consistently evolving. It is important to stay on top of your market’s changing trends, habits, and expectations.

Engage With Prospects

Social media can be the perfect place to engage with your prospective audience. Customer comments, surveys, forums, and polls can all be useful places to seek out first-hand market feedback. 

3. Reckless Use of Social Media

It’s never a good idea to use social media without a plan. Social media is the easiest way for you to connect to your audience directly. On social media, you have the ability to create relationships between your audience and your brand.

Some of the most important factors of social media posting are good timing and consistency. Research indicates that certain platforms have certain times of day that are most effective to boost the reach and engagement of your post.

If you want to properly use social media, follow these digital marketing tips:

Identify SMART Goals

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Use this as a guideline when setting goals for your social media strategy. 

Get on the Right Platforms

Some companies are better suited for certain social media platforms. For example, users on Twitter will be much different than users on LinkedIn. It’s important to know your target audience to know which social media platforms will be best for you.

Partner With Influencers

Studies show that up to 50% of buyers look to influencers before making a purchase. It can pay to network with influencers to expand your reach and credibility. 

Listen and Engage With Your Audience

Pay attention to the conversation surrounding your product or service. Engage with your audience. Utilize personal stories to generate interest. 

This can help personalize your business, making audiences trust you more.

4. Ignoring Your Metrics

Failing to track your marketing results is one of the worst things you can when it comes to digital marketing. You need to know if your campaign is working, and the only way to do that is with careful tracking of key metrics.

Online traffic is not the only metric you should be looking at. In fact, the “vanity metrics” such as overall leads, sales, or traffic are ultimately not very useful when it comes to setting your strategy up for success.

When it comes to measuring metrics, don’t just focus on the “what.” Take a close look at the “why,” as well.

Why are your vanity metrics the way that they are? How is your marketing strategy contributing to the results you’re seeing? These questions can help you remain adaptable and prepared for long-term, strategic success.

5. Superficial SEO Practices

The internet is stuffed full of information, and it’s important your marketing efforts don’t get lost in the shuffle. The key to staying relevant lies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO best practices are constantly changing. When it comes to SEO, you should always be doing new research and staying readily adaptable. 

But, there are a few evergreen SEO best-practices you should utilize:

Do Your Keyword Research

It’s pivotal to choose the right keywords. Focus on which keywords your target audience would be using. Also, pay attention to which keywords you would like to rank for.

The best keywords will be in the sweet spot between the realistic chance of ranking and consumer search volume. It’s important to do extensive research when choosing keywords. 

Make It Mobile Friendly

A large chunk of your audience will be visiting your site via mobile phone. Websites that are optimized for mobile can also help boost your SEO rankings. 

Have Clear URLs

Short, clean, and clear URLs can actually make a major difference when it comes to SEO. Be sure your URLs contain a primary keyword and major page topic to send a strong SEO signal.

6. Choosing Quantity Over Quality

High-quality content is favored by Google and other search engines. It also sends a strong signal to your consumer base that you’re a company that can be trusted.

Therefore, when it comes to digital content, more is not always better.

Content is defined as high-quality when it is long-form, informative, and well-researched. Adding multimedia or other visually engaging elements, such as videos, can also help improve consumer dwell time. 

Consumers are more likely to engage with content that is focused and well-constructed. Focus on crafting dynamic, data-driven content, instead of just putting out article after article of uninformative drivel.

7. No Website Promotion

It’s pretty hard for consumers to come to your website if they don’t know it exists. While boosting your SEO efforts can help you climb in search engine rankings, it’s not the only way you can make your website more visible. 

Website promotion can help attract quality traffic. Quality traffic is more likely to result in customer conversions. For you, the objective is to promote your website effectively. 

Some online marketing tips to follow when it comes to website promotion include:

Build B2B Partnerships

Having partnerships among brands can help increase the scope, reach, and recognition amongst a wider audience. Social media can be a great channel for showcasing these partnerships. This can help drive more quality traffic to your site.

A great way to build partnerships is to work quid pro quo. For example, you could write a guest post for a B2B brand and include backlinks to your own website. At the end of the day, B2B partnerships should be mutually beneficial.

Utilize Website Bookmarking

Another way to use social media for website promotion is website bookmarking. Certain social platforms such as Reddit and Pinterest are used for exactly that purpose.

To properly utilize website bookmarking, craft quality niche content that relates to your product. You should also use relevant keywords, both on social media and within your content, to attract your audience. Always ensures this content links back to your website.

It’s also a good idea to utilize these social media platforms to make lists or sub-sections containing relevant pieces of content. This can make it easy for consumers to be attracted to your web pages. 

8. Over-Reliance on Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an easy way to secure quick sales and traffic to your site. But, pay-per-click marketing can become expensive.

When doing digital marketing, you should be focusing on long-term goals. Relying solely on paid advertising long-term just isn’t realistic for most young or small businesses. 

Instead, shift focus to building your SEO strategy and engaging in serious social media efforts. Done right with the proper planning, these methods can be just as effective as pay-per-click advertising. But, they’ll give you more bang for your buck.

9. Using Unsafe Marketing Practices

Engaging in blackhat methods to increase your website traffic can be a major online marketing mistake. Not only can this lead to costly consequences, but it can also completely destroy your brand reputation.

Everyone loves instant gratification. But, receiving fast results through cheating methods probably won’t give you the long-term benefits you’re searching for.

In fact, Google is likely to notice cheating right away. This can lead to some serious penalties. Search engines don’t like to be tricked into improving performance, and they’ll likely make sure your website receives the punishment.

Getting caught up in unsafe practices can also damage your reputation. Your audience may lose trust in your and your company’s practices.

Instead, stay focused on ethical methods. Work on your strategy and execute your plan as efficiently as possible. It might require a little more work on your end, but it’ll also deliver more desirable results in the long-run.

10. Underestimating Your Marketing Budget

A key piece of online marketing advice you should follow: never underestimate the cost of digital marketing.

It may seem simple, but really marketing comes with a lot of moving parts. Paid advertisements aren’t the only expense for an effective marketing strategy. You’ll also need a clean, quick website, market research, and a bunch of other things to make your strategy as effective as possible. 

Planning is a key part of building your budget. Building a detailed plan can help you anticipate surprise expenses. This will ensure your marketing strategy is more likely to achieve the desired results.

11. Expecting Overnight Results

Online marketing is a long-term investment. You won’t see results overnight. Instead, it’s important to be patient and keep putting out quality content. 

Having unrealistic expectations of your marketing strategy can lead to discouragement when your goals aren’t realized right away. But, stick with it. Fostering patience can help propel you toward your financial goals.

Patience doesn’t just mean playing the waiting game. You’ll also need to be consistent in the work you’re putting into your marketing strategy. Continue to make smart decisions, and you’ll likely find yourself soaring above the competition.

Online Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

For many young, small businesses, online marketing may seem like a major hurdle to success. But, it doesn’t have to be. 

With these tips, you can build a more effective strategy, and develop the patience to see it through to major results.

Contact us at Latitude Park for extra assistance with your online marketing efforts. We have services in SEO and Web Design that can help take your business to the next level.