Digital marketing mistakes can be costly. They not only throw your budget off, but they can also harm your business’s reputation, lower your sales, and make it much more difficult to gain traffic to your website over the long term.
Even though digital marketing mistakes can be serious, not everyone knows what mistakes to avoid. This is only natural since most people have never run a digital marketing campaign before.
Fortunately, we are here to point out the biggest mistakes people make so that you don’t have to!
Digital Marketing Mistakes Revealed
1. Not Delivering Quality Content or Enough Content
Out of all the most common digital marketing mistakes, this one is probably the most harmful to your campaign. It’s quite common for business to pump out new content pages or articles without doing proper research and editing.
Publishing low-quality content that is not relevant to your target audience or has inaccurate information makes your business look bad and makes people less likely to select your products and services.
But great content isn’t just about what you publish. It’s also how you follow up with the content that you’ve put out. You can have phenomenal content, but if you don’t effectively follow up with the customers that contact you, you’re going to miss out on opportunities.
2. Focusing On Only One Source of Traffic
Another one of the more pervasive digital marketing mistakes that we see is overreliance on a single traffic source.
You can’t rely solely on search engine optimization where Google is your only source of traffic. This is dangerous because you have no control over what Google does.
When they decide to change or update their algorithm, or another competitor gets into the space and understand their system better than you do, it can put you on the bottom of the first page, or even worse, completely out of sight.
The same goes for paid ads. If you’re running Google or Facebook ads, all it takes is a few people to come in to bring the auction price up, which can destroy your margins.
We’ve had clients who have come to us and told us that they were doing Google ads without understanding how the ads worked. These clients hadn’t touched their default settings and were spending anywhere from 2 to 4 dollars per click. But then their competitors came in, drove up prices, and suddenly our clients had to pay $30 to $50 per click.
What does that do to your company as a whole? Well, you have to be able to pay the same amount to compete, which can be difficult. We don’t want to discourage you from using Google ads.
In fact, NOT using Google ads is one of the digital marketing mistakes you want to avoid. We just advise that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Your approach has to be, “Let’s put X percentage amount of our business or marketing dollars into Google ads and X percentage in a few other places.”
Maybe you spend some money on Facebook ads, for instance.
Diversifying your traffic sources protects your business since, if something drastic happens to one of your channels, you can pivot to other traffic streams.
3. Not Actually Capturing the Leads
So, you’re doing a digital marketing campaign, you have your website, and you’re driving traffic to the website. Now the question is, are you capturing leads?
If the answer is no, then you’ve fallen prey to one of the big digital marketing mistakes.
To solve this problem, you can use a chat widget on your website that will let people engage with you. It’s important to collect names and email addresses for potential leads, as well as information about what the person needs.
You can then feed that information into a CRM and maybe figure out if there’s another city that you should be targeting.
You can put a pop-up on your website that captures contact information by giving away a lead magnet, such as a checklist, coupon, an invitation to a webinar, a PDF, or a case study.
There are a lot of ways to capture leads.
It doesn’t make much sense to spend money advertising on different traffic channels such as Google ads, Bing ads, Facebook, etc., if you don’t have a mechanism in place to actually capture some of the traffic that’s coming to the site.
While this sounds like common sense, this is one of the digital marketing mistakes that companies most frequently make.
Keep in mind that conversions are NOT traffic. People can come to your website all day long, but a conversion is something that’s actually meaningful to your business, such as a phone call, email submission, or someone visiting your office.
Good websites convert anywhere from 3% to 5% of their total traffic, which is a low number.
If you’re not actively trying to raise your conversation rate and capture leads, then you’re letting 95% of the traffic just go out the door.
4. Not Engaging with Prospects
We read a study that about 85% of buyers will make a purchase within three to 18 months after visiting a given website.
Think about that. This means that 85% of the people who are going to buy from you will not purchase until three to 18 months after they’ve been to your website for the first time.
That’s a long time, as well as a very high number not to be able to engage with.
Unfortunately, more often than not, the websites that we’ve been involved with have not had any sort of lead capture when we initially took over. So, they’re letting the traffic just go out the door.
Let’s put aside the traffic that’s not converting immediately and we’ll come back at some point in the future. Similarly, let’s say we’ve generated X amount of leads over the last 30 days via whatever processes we have in place. I feel as if more than likely, these people, although they have “converted” — they’ve called or sent an email — it doesn’t mean they’re going to buy.
There must be some process in place for us to follow up. We must engage with our prospects and conversions over a period of time in some fashion via CRM, or other method.
Now again, the second step that we outlined was to capture the contact information from a potential customer, the prospect. Now this step, is the engaging with them. This could mean putting them into a retargeting list on Facebook, or into an email list or some sort of text list. It really doesn’t matter what you choose. You could even send them direct mail.
The point is that person has already been to your website once. Now it’s about being able to engage with those prospects, so you stay on top of mind.
This should be done in an intelligent fashion, not an irritating way to send emails every single day. Certainly not.
Most people would probably say, “Hey, the person didn’t answer the phone on the first try, or second try. It’s a bad lead. Right?” We hear that a lot, that it’s a bad lead. Whereas we think people should take into consideration the percentages and see that most of the people that contact you are not going to make a purchase decision in the next few hours. You should treat them as an opportunity to make a sale over a longer period of time and not forget about them.
5. Not Converting Prospects
This is one of the trickier digital marketing mistakes, as it can be difficult to convert prospects, especially if you sell high-dollar products or services.
Before we talk about more about converting prospects, we do want to point out that not converting prospects is different from not engaging with the prospects.
Converting the prospects typically applies more directly to eCommerce brands and subscription services. However, it can apply to any other companies selling any product, whether it’s online or not.
Through this customer journey process, we’ve already acquired the lead through whatever source, whether that’s an ad or organically or through Facebook posts. We’ve acquired the lead through a pop-up now that they’ve been on the website or through the chat, we’ve put them into a CRM or some sort of database, now we’re emailing them, and then what? It’s time to close the deal.
So, if you’re trying to sell someone a widget or some sort of T-shirt or whatever someone’s selling, a printer, doesn’t really matter. The process is to be able to get someone to buy. Obviously, they’ve looked at the product, they’ve considered, they have their credit card out, they’re ready to buy. Too often, the checkout process is not smooth. It’s often overworked.
And at that point, if the customer doesn’t feel comfortable, they’re going to go to another vendor to buy from.
Talking about eCommerce for a moment, in every case we try to pare down some of the unnecessary fields that are asked for on the standard checkout. It’s irritating. There’s too much.
So essentially what we’re talking about here is that we have different lead channels, we have funnels in place where we have people coming into our ecosystem, but we are not succeeding in converting those people over a longer period of time.
So often we see, especially on eCommerce sites, where someone’s ready to buy, they have some question, maybe about returns or shipping or a question about the product that they couldn’t find on the actual page, but there’s no chat. How is someone supposed to get their question answered?
They’re not going to be able to. People are not going to fill out a form and wait two days for an answer. They’re just going to leave and go to the next website. It’s just a lost opportunity.
In most instances you are not the only person selling this particular product. So, if they can’t find it with you, they’ll go elsewhere, and more than likely find another solution that is, if not exactly the same, very similar. That’s the reality of the situation. Nobody has a monopoly in most cases.
Consumers are savvy enough. They understand how to use the internet to price shop, and they understand what’s a reputable site and what’s not. And even if you had something exclusive at one point, if it’s anything worth having, someone’s going to have a come up with an equivalent option or knocked you off directly. The customer has options.
6. Not Upselling and Not Providing Additional Resources and Opportunities to a Customer
Let’s say the customer has already purchased from you, or they’ve already signed up to your newsletter. Now the next step is for your business to wow the customer, whether that’s through a great welcome series, great content, or smart follow-up.
If it’s an eCommerce site and someone has browsed a product and not made a purchase, you can send abandoned cart messages to them. Or if they’ve looked at a product, put it in their cart, and decided not to buy, this is a great opportunity to send someone a very targeted email to address some of their potential concerns.
Failing to do this is one of the subtler yet more costly digital marketing mistakes.
Customers appreciate the time, thought, and effort that goes into well-thought out follow-ups. They solidify the business-customer relationship so much, especially when there’s a free trial period in place, a discount, or some other compelling incentive.
Having a nice welcome series or email receipt really says a lot about your company because that’s what’s going to bring you into your next step of being able to upsell to the customer.
Let’s look at another situation.
If you’re selling t-shirts and someone buys a white t-shirt from you, right when they’re at the checkout, why not offer them another t-shirt with a different color? You already know they’re interested in a specific type of shirt, so the opportunity to make another sale is there.
Digital marketing mistakes are common, but don’t let this become one of them!
Most online buyers have their credit cards right in front of them. Upselling is all about capturing the customer’s interest in the moment, and making that extra sale is a great way to offset marketing costs by adding in additional items. Because there’s no extra cost of customer acquisition at that point.
Let’s say the customer doesn’t take advantage of the upsell. Maybe they need time, want to evaluate the product, don’t want to spend more at that exact moment, or they want to get the first product and see if it’s actually great.
Finally, if a customer does buy from you, it’s a good idea to follow up asking for a product review or providing supplementary information about the product. This will keep your brand fresh in their mind.
7. Not Asking for Referrals
Not asking for referrals is one of the digital marketing mistakes you don’t want to make!
The same goes for not asking for reviews. Both of those are essentially one in the same, depending on the type of business. You found a customer, you acquired them, they trust you enough for them to give you their email address or contact information or more money.
And they’ve made their purchase. They’re happy with it. By not asking for them to share their experience with someone or to offer an opportunity for them to promote your brand. It’s a huge loss, essentially. You’re missing the opportunity for them to do your marketing for you.
Oftentimes we’ll receive emails and say, “Oh, the experience was great.” It seems obvious. It’s like, okay, well, great. Can you please provide social proof? It’s very powerful. Would you mind leaving a review on Google My Business or would you mind writing a testimonial? Whatever the case is. These are all things that really, really, absolutely be a part of a marketing plan and oftentimes are overlooked, unfortunately.
Now, don’t get us wrong. If you sell some sort of knock off iPhone charger that doesn’t work, you’re not going to want to ask for reviews on that, but you’re probably not going to be in business for very long.
However, in many situations we’ve seen where there could be an issue or a problem, and the actual follow-up process and the experience that the customer gets could certainly offset whatever problem or negative experience a customer might’ve had.
Throughout the experience of working with the customer and being proactive to give them updates on the shipping process or why it got delayed or trying to find an alternative product for them, those steps can allow the customer to still view the business in a positive light, thus wanting to promote your business even more, even if they had some sort of negative experience.
Don’t feel uncomfortable or be afraid to ask for referrals. In many ways, if you’re proud of the business you have or the product that you’re selling, there’s no reason that your customers can’t be your biggest advocates.
Your current clients are the ones that are most neglected as time goes on. Often people are too focused on sales and new acquisitions, as opposed to paying the right attention to the people that have already proven. Nobody is better than somebody who has already proven to work with you and trust you and pay you for your time and efforts.