HubSpot defines digital marketing as an approach that “encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.” Consider the method as a smorgasbord of promotional strategies. The key to improved brand awareness and increased customer conversion rate lies in expertly mixing and matching available options, such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and pay per click (PPC), among others.
With digital marketing, the playing field for businesses has been leveled. Startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can now compete with multinational companies with huge marketing budgets. That is because compared to traditional marketing, promoting brands via the digital marketplace proves more affordable.
To maximize financial investment in digital marketing, critical mistakes must be avoided. Here are some of them.
1. Lack of focus
All marketing efforts must begin with market research. That’s where a business looks into the viability of a new product in regard to its target audience. Market research yields invaluable insights from customers themselves. For businesses, that means the opportunity to tweak the product in a way that will best entice and satisfy the customers it’s made for.
Digital marketing based on market research diminishes blind promotion. It zeroes in on the target. Resources are, therefore, not wasted. Conversion goals become more reachable. If, in any case, the tactics employed tapped a market segment outside the main target, that’s a welcome bonus.
2. Thinking of customers as static
Customers are not robots programmed at Silicon Valley. They do not function using artificial intelligence (AI). They are sentient, and, as such, they evolve. One critical error marketers make is looking at their target audience as unchanging. That leads to static marketing, outgrown by the people it’s meant to influence.
Consider the last year. It has been tumultuous for everyone. As a result, consumers’ pain points have, more likely than not, shifted. Those shifts in customer behavior and priorities must be factored into marketing plans. They directly affect how and what and when customers buy.
3. Not having enough supply for demand
With digital marketing, the audience is basically already in a store. Entice them enough, and it will take them less than half an hour to make a purchase. If a thousand customers come across an online ad and simultaneously decided to purchase that product, the business offering that product better have sufficient inventory to cater to demand.
Ideally, if digital marketing’s being done aggressively, production is accomplished as aggressively too with topnotch machinery. For example, if you sell commercial ornaments made of metal, equip your production team with an industrial die cutter that will allow them to make more products faster.
The worst-case scenario here is having customers wait a long time for their orders. That’s one of the main reasons why consumers do not do repeat business with a brand.
4. Failure to engage with user-generated content
Social media influencers know this playbook. To gain more followers, they regularly interact with fellow influencers. Digital marketers should include this tactic in their playbook, too. If someone tweets something funny and relevant, share the content. Share product shout-outs from customers as well. They might reshare the shared shout-out, and that’s another marketing score.
That strategy is one of the easiest ways to engage customers. Having a presence across all popular social media platforms falls short if no audience engagement is being done. Social media is not just a place to be seen and heard. It’s a place for a brand to belong.
5. Incoherent digital presence
Customers do not want to get confused. They will stay loyal to a brand whom they know intimately, like a friend from high school. That does not mean a brand should stay static. Even friends change over time. The end goal is coherence.
From the website to social media presence to sponsored guest posts, every digital marketing tactic used must align under a cohesive branding. Such coherence comes off as confidence. Confidence in the product offered.
Lastly, remember to have the links to online stores on social media pages. Make it easy for customers to find them.
In October 2020, the number of active internet users reached 4.66 billion people. There’s the captive audience all marketers seek out. If done right, digital marketing has the power to tap that massive population comprising a variety of market segments.
However, that can only happen if the mistakes listed herein are avoided. And this list is by no means exhaustive. Other possible errors are more industry-specific. To spot those roadblocks, marketers should know the business they are promoting inside out. As they say, the devil is in the details.