While digital marketing and advertising can be complex, the digital marketing solutions available are in no short supply. It is now possible to create an AdWords or other account yourself and have a digital campaign running this afternoon – or, you can work with a digital marketing partner or agency.
With so many technologies and methodologies available to digital marketers today, even seasoned digital marketers with ample experience could be making serious (and avoidable) mistakes that will prevent their campaigns from ever achieving acceptable performance or driving the desired results.
Here are five common yet critical digital marketing mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: You don’t budget enough
There are a couple of reasons why allocating appropriate budget is so important in digital marketing, including reach (audience breadth) and frequency (or number of impressions served to each audience member). Appropriate budgets allow digital marketers to acquire their target audiences, and then serve messages to them at a level of frequency effective enough to engage their potential customers and drive them further down the funnel. If you don’t allocate appropriate budget, your potential new audiences might never even know you exist, and your current audiences won’t be exposed to enough of your messaging for it to be effective. Another reason adequate budget is so important is bidding for digital ad impressions. If you are running campaigns that rely on an auction-based environment, the highest bidder wins. If you don’t allocate enough budget for these bids, your ads won’t be seen.
How to Avoid It: Make sure that whatever your digital marketing initiatives are, that you have adequate budget to achieve your goals. You should also make sure that your goals can be realistically achieved based on your given budget. If you aren’t comfortable managing the complexity of the day-to-day budgetary management required for complex digital campaigns budget, find a resource or partner to help.
Mistake #2: You don’t know what to measure or how to measure it
Before beginning any digital campaign, it’s critical to define your overall business objective(s), your marketing program objectives, and your campaign objectives. From there, it’s easier to figure out what key performance indicators or metrics are required to measure campaign success because you can see how your digital marketing strategy fits into “the greater picture.”
How to Avoid It: Devote time to defining your goals before getting started with any campaign. For example, if your goal is to raise awareness of your brand, the execution of that campaign (and the measurement of campaign success) could be a lot different than a campaign designed to drive (x) amount of ticket sales or online applications.
Mistake #3: You don’t have the right resources or team
Managing all the moving parts of a digital marketing program takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. While budget and technology is important in digital marketing, making sure you have the proper team in place to execute, measure, and continually improve your digital campaigns is equally important.
How to Avoid It: First, map out the resources required to effectively execute a digital marketing campaign. This will include “upstream” items like strategic oversight and “downstream” items like day-to-day campaign management and creative design work. Second, determine whether these resources need to be procured or are already available to you. Be sure to seek input from other departments and stakeholders where appropriate. Finally, if you do decide to work with a digital marketing partner, vendor, or agency, make sure you’re working with the right one.
Mistake #4 You don’t think about mobile
“Mobile only” audiences are increasing, and the massive expansion of social media and video is driving this forward. As a growing percentage of audiences are on mobile devices, it’s becoming increasingly important that marketers consider their customers’ mobile experience with their website(s) and brand. Aside from optimizing a customer’s mobile experience on your own site, it’s critical to think about how advanced digital marketing and advertising can help you effectively deliver your messaging to mobile audiences.
How to Avoid It: A website that is optimized for mobile will result in higher conversions than one that is not. If your site isn’t easy to use on a mobile device, consider making those improvements. When you run digital campaigns, consider your audience’s use of mobile devices. Your customers’ online mobile behavior is complex and happens in a variety of environments. Are you reaching your audiences across the web and on social media?
5. Mistake #5 You think you can “dabble” in digital
While it’s true that digital marketing is only one element of an overall marketing program, you should know that you likely won’t see real results with one or two “one-off” campaigns. Although a campaign for a temporary promotion, for example, might help you exceed your sales or donation goal, you won’t see the same long-term effects resulting from a sustained digital presence. It can also be difficult to measure success when campaigns are run in separate channels because these disparate platforms give you a fragmented view of your customer’s buying cycle.
How to Avoid It: Advanced digital marketers with access to robust technologies can integrate multiple digital channels in order to see behavior on an individual “customer” level, and can, therefore, optimize their digital campaigns very effectively. Without this technology, however, you will still see greater results from a sustained presence in each digital channel than from running “start and stop” campaigns on occasion.