Digital marketing is a term that encompasses all strategies of communicating with your customers using technologies such as the internet, mobile phones, display advertising and other digital media. Catering to the various needs and expectations of such a diverse set of consumers through so many channels presents a unique set of challenges for businesses trying to make sense of it all and form an effective plan of attack.
With so many avenues under its umbrella, you can bet that there are plenty of opportunities for missteps along the way. Here are seven common digital marketing faux pas and how to avoid them.
Deadly Sin #1. Writing Ad Headlines Without Using Targeted Keywords
When a user types in a keyword search, he or she will be more likely to click on an ad that contains that exact phrase in the headline. You have probably experienced that feeling when searching online in the past where an ad felt like it was speaking directly to you. On the other hand, not using the keywords you bid on can lead to customers bypassing your ad as emphatically non-relevant to their needs even though it popped up when they searched on the keyword phrase you thought they would. Fair? Not really, but human nature rarely is.
Deadly Sin #2. Doing a Lousy Job Creating Content
These days, online shopping typically means doing a lot of research. Customers want to make sure they are getting a good deal from a seller they can trust, and not doing business with some shady operator. Nothing screams “shady operator” like old or irrelevant content marketing. Company blogs have become a significant resource for consumers as they try to determine not only how trustworthy you are but also how knowledgeable you are about your industry. They are looking for fresh content that examines modern trends and lifestyles. Bad blog content will chase serious customers away.
Deadly Sin #3. Posting While Angry on Social Media
It’s easy to get emotional and say something counterproductive to your business success. The difference in the digital world is that tirade you went on when you were venting can be screen-captured and used to prove what an out-of-control hothead you are for years to come by disgruntled customers, competitors or just people online who like to stir the pot. Remember, your social media marketing efforts define your business brand; guard against damaging your reputation with everything you have. Here’s a little tip for you: If you tend to lose your temper, stay away from your Twitter and Facebook account until you have cooled down.
Deadly Sin #4. Forgetting About Your Local Customers
Many people think of the internet as a global tool, and until the recent past, businesses often didn’t put much effort into local SEO. For some, especially brick-and-mortar establishments, promoting local is a bit of a no-brainer. However, all businesses should consider reaching out to local customers since many consumers prefer buying from nearby establishments. To optimize local, use geo-specific keywords and encourage (and deserve) positive online reviews. Also, tune your Google My Business page so customers can see your phone number, business name location, and hours in Google Maps and Google’s local search results.
Deadly Sin #5. Using Weak or Missing Call-To-Action Endings
Similar to a weak handshake, an unclear call to action in ads, blogs, or social media posts can leave customers with a wrong impression. As a general rule, people don’t like to get bossed around, but they do want to be gently yet firmly guided in the right direction. They do not like being left to guess what the next step is if they decide they might want to do business with you. Don’t be shy; tell them directly to “click this ad today only for a 50 percent discount!”
Deadly Sin #6. Forgetting To Set Alerts for Brand Mentions
When you put your business name out there, you are fair game for discussion on the internet. Sometimes, that “discussion” can feel more like a back-alley mugging. People tend to get a little aggressive online, more so than in-person since they are hiding behind the security of anonymity. When certain people get upset or feel you have mistreated them, they can attempt to launch a firestorm of rage attacks against your brand. Since the best approach for you is always to handle these situations quickly, honestly and professionally, it is crucial that you know about them immediately. Coming in on the middle of a weeklong hate fest on your brand can be a pill to unravel. Set alerts for your brand name and be aware of what people are saying about you.
Deadly Sin #7. Letting Your Cousin Design Your Website
OK, not unless your cousin happens to be a professional web designer who knows how to work with SEO specialists to make sure your rankings are where they should be. Your website has to feature a clean design and meet all the best practices and standards to ensure it won’t get passed over by the search engines. Above all else, your website must be mobile-friendly. A huge chunk of customers who buy search on mobile phones first. Do not make them go to your competitor because your buttons were hard to press and they couldn’t read your text.
Moving Toward Redemption
The above list barely scratches the surface of ways to get off track with your digital marketing. It’s a full-time job keeping up with all the potential pitfalls and staying on top with an optimized digital presence.