Digital marketing requires nimble strategies that evolve with the times. There should be no status quo and no resting on your laurels if you want to stay at the top of your competitive game. Past performance is in no way an indicator of future results, and neither is the time or budget you dedicate to your digital marketing strategy. Plenty of large corporations with seven-digit budgets make major marketing mistakes. Here are seven of the most common digital marketing missteps made by companies of all sizes.
#1 Using generic emails
For most purposes, emails have completely supplanted direct snail mail. But emails are only effective if they're targeted; successful email marketing takes strategy. Bulk emails with no sense of personalization are a great way to end up neck deep in unsubscribes. Instead, take advantage of customer data to send relevant emails that reflect your company's knowledge of their buying habits, preferences, and demographics.
#2 Ignoring social media
Most every business can benefit from leveraging social media, but many companies ignore these very viable marketing channels. By not putting your company out there on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, you're leaving money on the table and short-changing your digital marketing efforts. In addition to allowing you to push out messages, the responses you get can be very informative.
#3 Failing to make tasks cooperative
Your digital content should feed all of your channels but if you've got different people or departments working on marketing but siloed from one another, you'll waste time, resources, and money. Your email, mobile marketing, website and social media efforts should all work in concert to optimize results. For instance, your blog can feed your other channels. Not cross-promoting is a huge misstep.
#4 Telling instead of asking customers
We all know what a sales funnel looks like, but the path isn't always as clear and directional as you'd like. Trying to push potential or recurring customers onto the path you want may not work and your digital marketing efforts must recognize the stage of the customer life cycle and which channels they prefer for communication. Effective digital marketing will pull customers the right way.
#5 Skimping on testing
Deciding that you have a solid strategy for your digital marketing and then pressing onwards without confirmation is a significant misstep. Testing allows you to know what's most effective. Just because your marketing team agreed on a certain approach doesn't mean it's the right one or that it won't need tweaking to ensure it provides optimal outcomes. As a matter of fact, testing should be ongoing.
#6 Failing to proofread posts
This may seem obvious, but it's a common misstep with digital marketing efforts for companies of all sizes. Sephora used a hashtag last year with what should have been the word "Countdown" but was missing the first "o" and sparked a furor. Looking at how hashtags and slogans can be misinterpreted is critical. Put several sets of eyes on any media post before you push it live to avoid a fatal misstep.
#7 Trying to move offline marketing online
It's naïve (and a significant misstep) to think that offline marketing efforts will translate seamlessly to digital marketing. This is not how the internet works, and consumers are increasingly savvy to marketing strategies and engage in avoidance unlike with offline marketing. Your digital promotions must be relevant, posted in appropriate marketing channels, and constantly evolving to appeal.
We've all seen major digital marketing snafus make headlines - remember the New England Patriots "thank you" campaign involving auto-generated Twitter content that resulted in several inappropriate hashtags that went viral? Don't fall victim to one of these digital marketing slip ups that can cost your company revenue as well as damage to your reputation.
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