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Common Digital Marketing Mistakes

Digital marketing is key to the success of any organization – it can help you drive sales, develop your customer base, and establish your brand as an expert in the industry. To get positive results, though, you must fine-tune your strategy and avoid costly mistakes.

This comprehensive guide will address the most common digital marketing mistakes – and how to prevent your organization from making them!

Not Having Clear Goals

Setting clearly defined goals is the foundation of a successful digital marketing strategy. Failing to develop these goals is one of the biggest mistakes your organization can make. It can lead to unfocused and disorganized marketing campaigns or ineffective processes that cause you to waste time and resources.

Think about it this way – if you don't establish goals for your campaigns, then how do you know when you hit your objective? How will you know what steps your team needs to take to make your marketing efforts a success?

Similarly, you are setting yourself up to fail if you do not set realistic goals. If you make your objectives too unrealistic, your team will be discouraged - and you won’t feel like you are making any progress. On the other hand, if you set a goal that is too easy to achieve, you won’t get the results you need.

So, not only do you need to set clear goals, but those objectives should also be realistic. Consider using the SMART goal framework:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Sensitive

For example, you may have a goal of increasing your user base. By what percentage do you want to grow your users? When will you achieve this by?

 A realistic goal may be to boost your numbers by 15% by the end of the next quarter. However, doubling your users in a week is probably not going to happen! Similarly, a goal of increasing your subscribers by 1% in a year is likely not enough to keep your brand growing.

As you set your goals, make sure that you consider short-term and long-term objectives. These should be aligned, and achieving the shorter-term goals will allow you to meet your overall purpose!

Having clear goals also involves choosing KPIs to measure your success. Tracking your progress will help you identify what is working and what is not. This will ultimately drive your marketing budget since you can allocate more dollars to the digital marketing strategies that have the largest impact.

Once you have set SMART goals for your marketing campaign and selected the metrics you will use to track them, be sure to share them with everyone on your team. Communication is key since it will align the efforts of your entire team!

Choosing the Wrong Target Audience

The target audience you select will drive your entire digital marketing strategy – and choosing the wrong one is a huge mistake!

Whether you try to appeal to an audience that is too broad or focus on the entirely wrong group of people, this mistake can turn into a waste of valuable time and resources. Simply put, even the most well-designed marketing campaign will be ineffective if it is presented to the incorrect audience.

For instance, when you target a group that is too broad, you aren’t appealing to the individual and the content may not be relevant to everyone. This will lead to lower conversion rates and higher customer acquisition costs.

The good news is that you can easily avoid this problem by doing your research first! Take the time to build a customer persona that represents your ideal client. Consider the following questions to help you develop your personas:

  • Describe their demographics
  • What are their pain points?
  • What platforms are they active on?
  • What are their buying habits?

Finding the right target audience will require testing and research, but the best place to start is with your existing customers. Think about your best clients and build your customer personas from there. If you serve a diverse group of people, you can develop a persona for each one!

Once you know who your target audience is, you can focus your marketing efforts on them since they are most likely to want and need your products and services.

Failing to Convert Web Traffic  

Another costly mistake that businesses make is failing to convert their web traffic. It doesn’t matter if you have millions of visitors to your site each day – if they are not buying your products, you will not be profitable!

So, why isn't your website converting sales? Why is traffic increasing but your sales numbers aren't budging? Have you potentially outgrown your websites CMS?

One of the main reasons people leave your webpage page is because they can’t find what they are looking for. It may be that your layout is confusing, the content isn’t relevant, or they simply didn’t find a solution to their problem.

Your viewers don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for what they need, so if they don’t find it right away, they will move on to the next company’s website.

What about your visitors that added products to their carts but then never made a purchase? Why do people abandon online shopping cartsAbandoned carts can be a result of a complex checkout process or the fact that they did not feel confident enough in your products to finalize the purchase.

Don’t make the mistake of maintaining a website that doesn’t convert. Give your customers the answers they need right away and make it easy for them to buy your products!

Your site should have a clear call-to-action button and a way for shoppers to get answers to frequently asked questions. Likewise, avoid requiring them to register for an account to make a purchase – let them check out as a guest and use ApplePay or another easy payment method.

Avoiding Social Media

Avoiding social media is arguably the biggest digital marketing mistake your brand can make. There is a good chance that your target audience is constantly on social media – 70% of Americans use social media – and if you’re not there, then you are missing a big opportunity to engage with them and market your products.

When a customer follows your brand on social media, there is a 91% chance that that customer will visit your app or website. Up to 89% of these individuals will make a purchase, and 85% will recommend your business to a friend or family member.

These numbers don’t lie – social media is key to your digital marketing success, and you need to take advantage of it! Doing so will boost brand awareness and loyalty, increase leads and conversions, and enhance the overall customer experience.

In other words, you should be active on all the social media platforms that your target audience uses. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – or all three of them – you should consistently share content that aligns with your brand and engages with your customers.

Forgetting to Optimize the Mobile Experience

Forgetting to optimize your web pages for a mobile experience is also a common mistake that digital marketers make. More than half of all web traffic is generated on mobile devices, and this number continues to grow each year. 

That means there is a good chance that your viewers want to browse your website from their smartphones and tablets! Building a mobile optimized website is not enough, though. The experience needs to be optimized so that it is seamless effective – otherwise, you will lose business.

More than 50% of people will not buy from a company if they do not have a mobile-friendly site – even if they otherwise like the brand. Similarly, these individuals feel that businesses that don’t take the time to develop a mobile site do not care about their brand.

Another reason that you need to optimize your online content for mobile is that it affects your SEO rankings. Google will rank your links higher if they function well on smartphones and tablets since that is where most of the traffic comes from!

Your brand can avoid this mistake by testing how your web pages performs on mobile devices and optimizing them accordingly. Similarly, consider developing a mobile app that is designed to cater to these users.

Ignoring SEO Considerations

SEO, or search engine optimization, is essential if you want your target audience to be able to find your business online. Search engines like Google and Bing will crawl through your content and identify keywords and terms. The better you align your content to what your users are searching for, the higher your links will appear in the results list.

Still not convinced that SEO is important? SEO drives over 1000% more traffic to websites than organic social media! That means if your digital marketing strategy doesn’t address SEO, you could be making a costly mistake and missing out on a lot of website traffic.

Ignoring SEO considerations will limit the visitors to your website and drive traffic to your competitors. They are not ignoring SEO, and neither should you!

You can prevent this problem by conducting keyword research to see how your target audience makes queries. Once you identify the top keywords, start incorporating them into your blog posts, landing pages, and other content.  

Other factors that affect SEO include load time and title tags. Search engines want their users to find information fast. So, give your pages accurate titles and ensure that they load up quickly!

It is important to note that these changes will not happen overnight. Be patient and consistent since it takes SEO some time to develop.

Using an Outdated Website Design

An outdated website design can also drag down your digital marketing efforts. Failing to update your website to be aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly is another common mistake that businesses make.

Research shows that 75% of users will judge the credibility of your brand based on your website design. A customer's first impression of your brand is driven by the appearance of your website - and this can have lasting effects on how customers view your business.  

You can avoid this blunder by designing a user-friendly website that is quick to load and easy to navigate. Make sure that your branding shines through the design and that you present a cohesive image!

Missing Remarketing Opportunities

Remarketing presents a valuable opportunity for your business – and missing these opportunities is a common digital marketing mistake. Always foster relationships with leads that have already shown some level of interest in your products and services.

Acquiring new customers will always require more time and money, but most brands tend to focus on acquisition instead of retention. This mistake will lead to a cycle where you consistently add new leads to your pipeline, but you struggle to convert them.

A solid marketing strategy allows you to move existing leads through the sale funnel – they may just need a nudge to finally convert!

Some strategies to help you avoid this pitfall include abandoned cart reminders and promotions to encourage them to complete their purchase. The goal is to get them to think about your brand again – and the products they wanted to buy – and email campaigns are the easiest way to do this.


Ryan Pelicos

Marketing Coordinator

Ryan is a passionate storyteller who thrives on challenging the status quo. He is an avid researcher with a keen analytical mind able to strategize on technology, sales and marketing decisions by analyzing data and behaviours across various industries and technologies.


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