As consumers continue to rely on their devices for generating opinions and purchasing decisions, digital marketing is becoming more important than ever. Two-thirds (69%) of adults shop online at least monthly, and 85% of consumers use the internet to find information about local business – according to Yelp.
This means that having a tremendous online presence is critical to maintaining a stable business and attracting a loyal audience, so digital marketers can’t afford to make common mistakes. However, these are five common mistakes that I still see digital marketers make:
1) Ignoring Online Reputation
At a time when the Internet is so easily accessible and contributes to a majority of research, online reputation is something that simply can’t be ignored. Did you know that – according to recent studies – 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews? That’s a number that businesses and marketers simply can’t ignore, yet I consistently see people approach online reviews the wrong way.
Since the Internet is so prominent in influencing decision-making, online reviews should be viewed as your company’s overall reputation. This means that these reviews plainly signify how your customers feel about you, and are available for the whole world to see.
It’s tough to precisely control what customers say about you online, but there are many ways to increase your number of positive reviews while decreasing your incoming negative reviews – effectively improving your overall score and customer satisfaction.
The key is to intercept customers before they write a review online, and measure the quality of their experience. If their experience was positive, then direct them to some review sites. If the experience was negative, then alert management and attempt to resolve the situation. In other words, you need to be proactive – not reactive – when it comes to your online reputation. Remember: your unhappy customers are often the most vocal.
2) Forgetting About the Customer
The absolute biggest mistake that a digital marketer can make when developing a strategy is forget about the customer, yet it happens far too often. Your customers need to be the basis behind every strategy that you attempt to implement. If you aren’t trying to appeal to the people that bring you the most business, then there really is no reason to be in business at all.
You need to know who is buying you products/services and why. Don’t grasp at straws trying to appeal to a market of customers that would not reasonably be interested in your business. Similarly, just because a marketing initiative makes sense to you does not mean it will appeal to your customer. You need to understand your business and whom it appeals to, and then get to know those people. Building strong relationships creates loyalty among customers, which means you need to be personable and relatable as a business.
3) Not Implementing a Mobile Strategy
The mobile era is here, so it’s time for digital marketers to stop living in the Stone Age and pay attention, because mobile is here to stay. Studies have shown that around 60% of customers make purchasing decisions exclusively on mobile. This means that not implementing an effective mobile strategy eliminates a ton of potential business.
A mobile strategy starts with building responsive websites that ensure that customers on mobile devices have a very similar experience as those on desktops and laptops. Your mobile strategies will be for naught if your website can’t seamlessly conform to any screen size. Then you have to pay attention to how mobile customers interact with your site and adjust your design and marketing strategies accordingly.
4) Only Using a Few Digital Marketing Tools
Stop asking yourself “should I focus on content for my business, or PPC? Is SEO right for me? Should I be using Google Analytics?” The answer is always YES. You need to be using every digital marketing tool at your disposal, or else you’re missing out on plenty of potential growth in your customer base.
Pay-Per-Click advertising, Search Engine Optimization, email campaigns, networking with influencers, content management, online reputation development – all of these and more need to be utilized in accordance with each other in order to develop a truly effective digital marketing strategy. Determine what works best for your business in particular and focus on that, but never leave the other tactics in the dust because you could be losing out on a lot of potential business.
Always be on the lookout for tools that can ease the process of implementing any of your digital marketing tactics. You’d be surprised how much a simple online tool can improve productivity and increase return on investments.
5) Avoiding Certain Social Sites
Just like the marketing tools mentioned above, social networking sites should never be ignored. You may think a certain site isn’t important or relevant to you, but the key is to play around with every network that you find – you never know what will and won’t work.
Digital marketers, raise your hand if you have ignored Google+. Now hang your head in shame because you have been neglecting a very important social networking site for your business. “No one pays attention to Google+” is what you may be saying right now, but get this: there is a very good chance that your Google+ page is the very first thing that a potential customer will see when looking up your business on Google. That’s right, before a customer even glances at your beautifully designed site with amazing content and tremendous value, they will see your Google+ page.
Now, what does this mean if you neglect or outright ignore Google+? It means that a customer’s first impression of you will be a barren wasteland of little-to-no content and unmanaged, possibly mediocre reviews.
Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat are a few other social networks that businesses often ignore – even though their target audience could be using it regularly. Reddit has a “subreddit” forum for any topic that you can think of, so you’re bound to find something relevant to your company.
No matter your industry, you need to ensure that your online presence is strong. Therefore, these common mistakes are ones that you simply can’t make.