Introduction: The World’s Most Powerful Marketing Platform
If you ask me, the value of the web as a 21st century marketing platform is best-illustrated in a few simple statistics:
- Over 40% of the world’s population has access to the Internet. In 1995, it was less than 1%.
- Over 51% of smartphone users have found new brands or products while searching from their mobile devices.
- For every $1 spent on Google Ads, businesses make an average of $2 in revenue.
- Worldwide digital ad spend is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021.
- Google directs more than 95% of all online searches.
Whichever way you look at it, the statistics speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, the tendency to dive in at the deep end without careful consideration is rife. Due to the sheer size and scope of the Internet, business owners often assume they simply can’t go wrong. In reality, it’s surprisingly easy to fall foul of any number of rookie errors.
Learn from Mistakes…But Not Your Own!
We’ve reached a point in time where the ‘trial and error’ approach to digital marketing simply isn’t necessary. The reason being that enough mistakes have been made by millions of businesses worldwide to paint a pretty clear picture of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
So rather than learning from your own mistakes, why not take something from those already made?
To illustrate the point a little more clearly, I’ve created a shortlist of 10 of the most common rookie errors in digital marketing. Irrespective of the size and nature of the business you run, steer clear of the following and your digital strategy will thank you:
While it’s true to say that you have to spend money to make money, needlessly overspending can have catastrophic consequences. If there’s an element of your digital marketing strategy that simply isn’t delivering consistent returns, modify it or get rid of it. There are too many incredible opportunities to leverage online to waste time on those of no value to your business.
Investing in pop-ups
Now more than ever, pop-ups have a tendency to have the opposite of the intended effect. Hence, to pay good money for pop-ups is to both throw your money down the drain and run the risk of sending prospects straight to your competitors. The effectiveness of pop-ups has deteriorated significantly over the years – a miraculous turnaround being unlikely at this stage.
Directing to the wrong pages
When an individual clicks on one of your ads or links, it’s typically because they’ve decided they want something from you. Something specific, which they expect to access as quickly and conveniently as possible. Hence, you need to ensure they are transported directly to the appropriate landing page. There’s little more infuriating than clicking a link and being transported to a page that’s got nothing to do with the link you clicked, only to then have to search high and low for whatever it is you were looking for.
Overlooking the value of SEO
Suggestions that the importance and effectiveness of SEO are diminishing really couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, the world’s reliance on the major search engines is only set to intensify indefinitely. For small and large businesses of all shapes and sizes, there’s really no long-term digital marketing initiative that can deliver the same consistent ROI as SEO. More than 90% of all online experiences start with a search engine – can you really afford to turn your back on Google and Co?
Crossing the line into spam
Tenacity and perseverance hold the key to successful digital marketing. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between a ‘both-barrels’ digital strategy and crossing the line into spam. From keyword use to link building to e-mail marketing and so on, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Quality should always be prioritized over quantity in all aspects of your digital strategy.
Publishing substandard content
If you don’t want to hire and pay for professional copywriters, you don’t have to. But under no circumstances should you make the mistake of publishing substandard content. Even the slightest errors and oversights are enough to paint entirely the wrong picture of your business. Quality content lies at the heart of every successful digital strategy, which must be unique, engaging, relevant and of value to the reader. If you can’t get the job done yourself, hire someone who can.
Ineffective use of CTAs
Or perhaps, little to no use of CTAs whatsoever. CTAs have played an important role in all aspects of marketing and advertising since the dawn of time. If you want your prospects to take action, it’s up to you to tell them what to do and show them how to do it. Effective CTAs are eye-catching, prominently positioned and communicate some kind of value in their own right. The idea being that the customer feels they’re benefiting in some way by clicking your CTA.
Marketing content stagnation
The most effective ads and online marketing materials have a limited lifespan. Sooner or later, everything goes stale and warrants a refresh. From time to time, it’s important to revisit all important elements of your digital strategy and continue their current effectiveness. Even if they’re still getting the job done with a solid consistency, it’s important to avoid stagnation before it occurs.
Limited use of available channels
Digital advertising opens the door to literally hundreds of different marketing channels to explore. Nevertheless, the vast majority of newcomers to digital favour the ‘all eggs in one basket’ approach. They choose one or two channels they know, without considering what they may be missing out on elsewhere. These days, multi-channel marketing is the only truly effective type of digital marketing. Limit your exploration of the available channels and your strategy stands to suffer as a result.
Overlooking mobile audiences
Trust me when I say – overlook mobile audiences at your peril! Mobile traffic is already comfortably outpacing traditional desktop traffic in many key markets worldwide. Rather than simply paying a passing ‘nod’ to mobile visitors, the time has come to prioritize mobile traffic in everything you do. Including your digital marketing strategy – mobile-first being the new standard for the forward-thinking digital marketer. Now, most of our manufacturing and industrial clients start with “oh, but our customers do not use their mobile devices much, they sit in their offices in front of their computers…”. I do not want to throw more numbers and stats at you. I’ll just mention one that is big enough. Over 90% of business owners use their mobile devices over 70% of the time for online search, social media, and email.
Author: Dennis Dubner, CEO of SONDORA MARKETING