This post originally appeared on tBL member Joshua Lyon's blog Joshua Lyons Marketing Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

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Digital marketing has evolved rapidly over the last couple decades and has become the most important marketing outlet for many companies and professionals. But, with the incredible potential that comes with digital marketing, there are also many digital marketing mistakes that can be made. Taking it a step further, these mistakes can often be detrimental to the success of a company’s growth. In fact, about 14% of all businesses fail due to ineffective marketing. Don’t let that happen to you!

While it’s true that making mistakes can be one of the best ways to learn and improve, you certainly don’t want to make too many of them. Having said that, here are eight of the top digital marketing mistakes you should make a point to avoid:

1. Failing to Define Your Target Niche

We’ve seen this many times. It’s not a wise marketing move to simply release a product or service and start promoting it to everyone under the sun. There needs to be a strong focus on identifying your target audience, segmenting them into specific types of marketing campaigns and reaching them in a personalized way. A great place to start is by creating buyer personas. You can learn more about the importance of buyer personas here.

2. Failing to Address Target Audiences’ Problems

Solve problems to avoid digital marketing mistakesThis digital marketing mistake is extremely common nowadays. It’s not enough to define your target niche and create several buyer personas. You also need to address the issues and problems your target audience is facing. Understand that most people probably don’t care about what you’re offering. All they care about is how your product or service will resolve the issue(s) they’re facing.

Here’s an example: Let’s assume you brush your teeth on a regular basis. You are probably completely fine with the toothbrushes you use. Let’s also assume you replace your toothbrush every three months, according to best practices. Then, you go to purchase your new replacement toothbrush and see an advertisement for a new type of toothbrush. This new toothbrush is designed to do self repairing and cleaning. As a result, it maintains nearly new condition for 12+ months. This new toothbrush solves the problem of having to buy new toothbrushes every few months, and the seller makes this point very clear in their promotional material. In this case, if the price is right, you go ahead and buy the new toothbrush. If the toothbrush seller didn’t promote how the product addresses your problem (frequent toothbrush replacements) you would have never purchased it.

How does your product or service help your ideal customer or client? Make your value clear when marketing yourself.

3. Neglecting Existing Customers

While getting as many new customers as possible is a very effective strategy to grow your business, you should never neglect existing customers.

A happy existing customer, if properly nourished, can turn into an ambassador for your brand. For example, you can give them 25% back on their next order if they bring two new people to visit your site and buy from you.

Loyalize your existing customers and they can potentially advertise your brand better than you could do with PPC or email marketing. In fact, according to an article by Ambassador, “74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.”

4. Not Optimizing Your Site for Mobile

This is another issue we often see. As of 2019, not having your site optimized for mobile is similar to losing over 50% of your traffic. According to the latest mobile marketing statistics, mobile traffic accounts for over 59% of the traffic websites get. Even Google now uses a mobile-first index, which prioritizes mobile sites over desktop sites.

It’s imperative to optimize your site for mobile and offer your site visitors a seamless experience when navigating through your web pages. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and get the respect of both Google and your website visitors.

Reply to customers and clients5. Not Replying to your Customers

Whether its reviews, messages sent on Facebook, chat messages on LinkedIn, emails or messages via the contact form on your website, you have to respond to all of your customers.

More and more internet users are now finding unique ways to contact companies listed online. They will usually contact you via social media channels, leave you a review or submit a message through your website.

Do not ignore comments and questions, because they will build up in time and bury your brand image. Your clients, and even non-clients, have the power to bury your brand and decrease its value. Therefore, make sure not to give them the chance. Be wise and concise with your answers and your clients will highly appreciate you.

BONUS TIP: If you have a local business, do a Google search for company and see if there are any Google Reviews about you. If someone has left a review, did you reply to them? If not, this is an example of not replying to your customers. Make sure you take a moment to reply to Google Reviews that have been left for you. Not only does it help with your online reputation, but Google is also watching to see how well you engage with these people.

6. Engaging in Unfair and Shady Practices

This is a huge mistake that shouldn’t be made. It’s also probably one of the most detrimental marketing mistakes to your brand and reputation.

Whether it’s sending out emails that contain deals and discounts that don’t work, black-hat SEO tactics, fake competitions, making unrealistic promises or lying in order to set your brand apart from your competitors, shady practices will definitely not help you in the long run.

Even if you miss out on clients and they choose your competitors who are “pumping up” their portfolios, don’t resort to dishonest practices. Do the “right” thing. Honesty is always appreciated and gives you an edge in the long run.

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7. Overspending on PPC

Whether it’s Google Ads, Facebook Ads or Amazon Advertising, you should not typically spend your entire budget on pay-per-click advertising. Numerous startups invest all, or too much, of their money on this type of digital advertising, believing it’s the right answer for getting new clients and skyrocketing their businesses. If managed well, PPC can be incredibly effective. However, don’t put all your marketing budget eggs in one basket unless you’re absolutely sure it’s the right move and you know it will be meticulously managed and done correctly. Even then, if you do put all your money in PPC, you’re missing out on other marketing channels. As a result, your PPC may not be as effective as you would like. For example, what if someone finds you through a PPC campaign. Then, when they land on your website, it isn’t mobile friendly or not designed to convert them? Or what if they check you out on social media and because you neglected it, in favor of PPC, they end up not liking what they see?

If you’re going to invest in digital marketing, you should also consider content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media, automation and website development as potential components to your marketing mix. Spend your money wisely if you want the greatest chance of growing your client or customer base.

8. Expecting Overnight Results

Lastly, out of all digital marketing mistakes, one of the most challenging is that companies often fall into the trap of expecting overnight results. With the technology we have today, we are so accustomed to getting whatever we want almost instantaneously. However, marketing of any type takes time. Even with PPC, where you can start showing up on Google instantly, it still takes many months before you’re getting optimal results.

Think of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise was consistent, reliable and ultimately the victor. He knew he wouldn’t win as soon he started the race, but he had the patience to see his race through to the end. Certainly, the more you put into marketing, the quicker you’ll see results. But still, make sure your timeline expectations are realistic.

Final Thoughts

It isn’t easy to have an amazing marketing presence. If it were, everyone would do it. But, if you do a good job and avoid these common digital marketing mistakes, you’ll be far more effective at growing your business. And, if you need help with your digital marketing, let us know!

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