Mistakes that (almost) every digital marketer will make…and shouldn’t

2017-02-27 11:02
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by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

I’m Adam Gray, Co-Founder and I’ve been in marketing all my working life. Over the years I have met literally thousands of marketing managers and most of them make some fundamental mistakes in what they do. Oddly, it isn’t because they don’t know what they should be doing but simply because they didn’t think…or simply forgot.

I am reminded of a conversation I had once at the now defined BusinessLink organisation. I was presenting some ideas to a group of marketers there and after the meeting one of them came up to me and said “you’re from a design and marketing agency so would you have a quick look at something we’re doing?”. So I did. They had spent a huge amount of money on a 48 sheet advert on a billboard on the main road in to the town. The person showed me the advert and said “Do you think this is any good?” to which I said “It’s very pretty but does it make the phone ring more?” They didn’t know…and they hadn’t really worked out why that was important because they had lost sight of the fact that any advert, or campaign, or event is nothing more than a means to an end. The great thing about digital marketing is that the tracking element – the proof – is quick and, if you give it a bit of thought beforehand, easy. So there’s no excuse.

Which brings us very nicely to the 10 mistakes you should be careful to avoid:

1. Have clear goals: everything you do in marketing needs to have a measurable outcome. You need to have a reason for doing it and a goal that you’re aiming for. To do something for “brand building” or “awareness” because it feels right may be a ludicrous waste of money. You simply don’t know so you have to measure the results of what you do otherwise how do you know if it’s working.

2. Always split test: the problem with everything you do is that it’s a bit of a punt! It may work well or not at all, but there’s always the chance it could work better and the problem is you don’t know if what you’re doing is as good as it could be. So if you are going to send emails out to 100 people and you have two possible emails to send. Why not send one email to 10 people, the other to another 10 and the remaining 80 receive whichever email worked the best with the sample group. It’s simple, but often overlooked.

3. Create special destinations: suppose you do some offline advertising, perhaps like the 48 sheet billboard. Make sure you put a unique URL on it which is only shown on that billboard. Because if you don’t you will end up fighting with someone else about which idea/action generated the visitors to the website or the sales. I know that this isn’t “digital marketing” really, but if I’m honest, digital doesn’t live in a bubble.

4. Think about key words everywhere: Everyone I know is familiar with the Google keyword planner, but most people seem to only use it for their PPC campaigns. Yes the keyword planner gives you competitiveness and search volumes which help you make informed PPC decisions, but that information is also showing a general behaviour. Many things in the digital world have an effect on your search rankings and leave a footprint behind (and with the search algorithms changing all the time, even if they don’t now…they might at some point) so make sure you are using the words that might make you more visible. But use those words everywhere because if you use the same language in conversation that I do you are likely to engage me more. J. Sainsbury rebranded as Sainsbury’s for this very reason!

5. Make social front and centre: These days social networking is THE way to generate demand and engage customers and prospects. Why? Because they’re there anyway and they choose to be there. In the old days you might say “my customers aren’t on social media” but these days it’s patently untrue. So if you don’t make the dynamic, engaging and regular running of your social channels the most important part of your day…then you are sunk.

6. Don’t believe in magic: Social media is vital, but it’s not the only thing that matters and it’s certainly no silver bullet. The most important thing you can do is be programatic tweet every single day, engage (share, like, comment) on LinkedIn and Facebook every single day. Post on LinkedIn and Facebook every single week. Do these things without fail because whilst what you post and who you engage with is important, there’s also an element of luck – be in the right place at the right time.

7. PPC and promoted posts: This is a thing about which I’m particularly passionate and possibly wrong about. It is a fact that promoting and ppc and banners on social channels is not social…it’s advertising, and therefore I am kind of against it because advertising doesn’t work the way it used to. It is a contracting market because people don’t believe advertisers any more. That said, the ppc market has a much higher ROI than TV or print…so it’s a bit of a case of do it until it doesn’t pay you to do it…but make sure you’re measuring and optimising what you do.

8. Mix it up: My first ever proper agency marketing job was working with a Japanese electronics company. They had a very formulaic programme of events. CES, special offer at Easter, Social offer in the Autumn…year in year out. Very dull and more importantly that calendar drove sales slumps because why wouldn’t you wait 3 weeks to buy a product for £750 if you got a £300 accessory when you did! Make sure that the way you market doesn’t get stale. Not just with timings and calendar, but content too. Monday is NOT always email day, and I don’t ALWAYS want to see photos of your dinner!

9. Exclude people: Now hear me out…I once was talking to a PPC guru about optimising and the story went like this. They had a client who was an insurance company. Keywords around insurance are notoriously expensive. In fact they were paying nearly £20/click to get people to their website. Despite this they had a very low conversion rate…particularly for some more exotic terms.Further analysis showed that a huge number of young men were clicking through after having searched the term “Ferrari insurance.” It turns out when you’re 18 years old that it’s quite funny to see that comprehensive insurance on a Ferrari F12 is going to cost you £37,000 per year! Not funny for the advertiser through when they are paying £32 per laugh for thousands of people! So think about not just who you want to attract, but who you DO NOT want to attract, then exclude them from your targeting if possible.

10. Rome wasn’t built in a day: Much as you want to revolutionise things with your cool marketing ideas overnight sadly businesses are not built on singular successes, they are built in behaviours and processes. You need to ramp-up and do the same things over and over and over and over, you get the idea. Eventually your perseverance will pay dividends.

This list certainly isn’t exhaustive…so please feel free to add your common mistakes (not necessarily mistakes you make!) to the list.

If you have enjoyed the subject that Adam raises in this blog, then why not get in touch and have a chat with one of our co-founders to see if we can make an impact on your organisation. Drop us an email at info@social-experts.net

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AVANTAGEHeadquarters
Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via empowerment.
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us
https://dlaignite.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/img-footer-map.png
GET IN TOUCHAvantage Social links
Taking seamless key performance indicators offline to maximise the long tail.

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