Five Digital Marketing Mistakes Alive and Well in 2022
By: Thomas Young
Digital marketing has been around for over 25 years. It has been an amazing run and I have had the pleasure of watching it unfold working in this industry day in, and day out, since 1998.
Many companies have maximized their digital marketing results and benefited greatly from online marketing. However, it amazes me how many companies continue to make these five major digital marketing mistakes as they work to grow their company.
The need for digital marketing is going to ramp up in the coming months with a possible economic slowdown ahead. There is tremendous value to your company in getting digital marketing right.
Let’s take a look at five costly, digital marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Putting Your Company Ahead of Your Customers
Your digital content, website design, and user interfaces must meet customer needs first and foremost. Too often this work is done to please people at the company rather than prospective customers. Your prospective customer is the hero in your marketing story, not your company. This is best translated by writing digital content that adds value to readers, as opposed to content about your company.
You must get outside your own head and into the head of your prospective customer.
This is hard to do because many marketers are so close to their business.
The best digital marketers get inside the head of their prospective customers and it shows in their digital content and design.
This is most evident in the design and content seen on the homepage of their company website. This is the starting point because your homepage is usually the most popular and most visited website page.
It’s not about you, it’s about the customer!
Of course, there is a balance between having a great company and providing excellent value to customers in your marketing efforts. Without an excellent business model and great processes, you can’t provide value to your customers. There must also be great effort placed in keeping customers loyal and happy and in acquiring new customers.
Companies must invest in marketing as well as operations. And when it comes to digital marketing, the customer must come first.
Action Item: Write content on your website homepage that talks directly to customers about the value they get as opposed to the greatness of your company.
2. Hiring the Wrong Digital Marketing Skill Sets
Digital marketing continues to be the wild west of jobs and careers. Take SEO for example. Anyone can get SEO work just by claiming they are an SEO consultant. There is no formal training or certifications required and results are hard to measure. Also, many digital marketers claim to be good at many things. They can run your email marketing, manage your social media, write content and do design.
The best results come when you work with digital marketing specialists in each area all working towards a common goal.
These problems are greatly reduced when leadership has a general understanding of the various roles that make up a digital marketing team.
Here are a few examples of digital marketing specialties and roles:
- Graphic Design
- Development and coding
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content for blog posts and long-form web pages
- Marketing copywriting for headlines and taglines
- Video production
- Project management
- Marketing Coordinator
Avoid jack-of-all-trades in your digital marketing staff and build a team. The team should include an internal marketing manager, director or coordinator, and several part-time contractors, along with a digital agency.
Action Item: Visit this web page and to make sure you have the right people in the right seats for digital marketing.
3. Missing the Boat on Content Marketing and How it Works
It’s not so much that marketers don’t know how to write digital content or even how important content is today, the issue is knowing how to write content with strategic value for your company.
Content with strategic value helps your company grow.
Content with strategic value cuts through the noise and gets you found. It also drives conversions. It is very much needed in today’s cluttered and noisy world of online content. Neil Patel loves to talk about the billions of blog posts online and how cluttered things are online and he is spot on!
The good news is you can rise above the digital noise with strategic content.
Here are four ways to write this type of great content:
Pillars of Thought Leadership – Identify the six key areas where you are a thought leader in your industry and focus on writing content about what you do very well.
Solving Pain and Adding Value – Your content must help people avoid pain, solve a problem or gain value in their lives. If it does not do this, then you most likely don’t need to write it and post this content.
The Buyer’s Journey – Content must help people research your products and services and move them to make contact with your company. Moving people through the buyer’s journey happens with call-to-actions (CTAs). This is high-value content people can access only after they provide an email address.
The Three Reasons People Buy – Ask your customers to tell you the three key reasons they buy from your company. You might be surprised by the answers. Build content around these core benefits; they are your competitive advantage.
Keep in mind, the best digital content meets user needs by matching their intent with the value they receive from the content. Some content is valuable enough you should ask for an email address before they download those resources. This allows you to nurture that contact over time.
Action Item: Do the four things listed above!
4. A Lack of Understanding and Insights About Digital KPIs
Digital marketing data points are key performance indicators for your company.
For example, website traffic is a leading indicator of revenue and growth. Increased traffic and website page views generally mean revenue increases. Traffic declines are not a good sign of future growth.
For many business leaders, simply seeing this type of data and asking your team questions will move people towards actions that will grow your company. This can’t happen if you are not reviewing the data and don’t know how to separate the most important data points for your company.
A digital marketing scorecard to measure website traffic, leads and sales is very powerful and a missing part of many companies’ marketing efforts.
Action Item: Get digital stats sent to the company’s leadership team monthly and learn how to interpret them towards your goals with a monthly scorecard to track traffic, leads, and sales.
5. Not Making Digital Marketing a Part of Your Company Culture
How your company thinks about marketing impacts your marketing results. It bleeds into the culture of your business and the marketing team. If you still hold old-school beliefs that you can go and find customers when you want them, then you are in for major sales and marketing headaches.
Your company must embrace the current reality that you don’t find customers, customers find you!
Make this a cultural change throughout your sales and marketing department and your company as a whole. The goals are to get found in people’s online research and to motivate them to reach out for more.
Collaboration and alignment between sales and marketing teams greatly supports this process. To get more insights and a plan of action read my latest book Sales and Marketing Alignment. You can find the book on Amazon.
It is hard to believe these mistakes are still happening 25 years into digital marketing.
Two core issues drive these mistakes.
The first is a lack of a clear understanding of what prospective customers want from your digital content before they buy. The second is a lack of time spent understanding digital marketing essentials, which is needed to build an effective team.
As we wrap up 2022 and you begin to develop new marketing plans for 2023, set goals to deal with the two core issues and remove these five mistakes from your marketing efforts.
We can help. Reach out to the team at Intuitive Websites for a free 30-minute consult and get on track for digital marketing success in 2023 and beyond.