Few topics are as complicated as digital marketing strategies in the digital business world. No plans are identical, from internal business processes and infrastructure to Google’s partially obscured algorithms and plain market happenstance. Holistic customer-centric strategies involve content marketing, social media activity, customer service, interaction management, user experience, and so much more.
Research can often lead you to theoretical conclusions, analysis of questionable methodology, and plain buzzwords. There’s an absolute abundance of problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy and conversion rate in this context. Thus, instead of explaining how to succeed, we’ll highlight ten common pitfalls to avoid when such plans undoubtedly vary.
Problems That Can Potentially Ruin Your Digital Marketing Strategy
To paraphrase Murphy’s Law, “anything can go wrong” in digital marketing. Attempts at humour aside, this is not a hyperbolic statement. There are hazards to avoid every step of the way, and some marketers, business owners and businesses still manage to find more. From the very first step of choosing to launch a campaign to the last stages of monitoring progress and acquiring backlinks for SEO, there are small and large problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy, conversion rate or user experience for potential customers and loyal customers alike.
We obviously cannot list every digital marketing challenge for the sake of text economy and out of respect for our readers’ time since, as a business owner, your time is limited. We can, however, list ten across different phases of a digital campaign.
1. Businesses Poorly Defining Their Target Audience/Customers
Target audience identification is among the first steps toward building a digital marketing campaign. This issue should be obvious enough; you will fail if you don’t know who you’re marketing. It is the biggest challenge a marketing professional faces.We can list ten across different phases of digital marketing campaigns. Click To Tweet
Still, businesses may overlook a target audience’s definition in their online marketing and mix it with other related terms. Neil Patel has written many articles on this subject, precisely because it’s so prevalent an issue. The key takeaway should be this: define your audience very carefully.
Consider the following factors to do so:
- Demographics; age, gender, education, location, etc.
- Psychographics; the reasons behind purchases.
- Behavioural patterns; buying frequency, average order value, etc.
- It is an essential process no business can afford to mismanage.
2. Poor Google SEO and Advertising Budgeting
Poor budgeting can irreparably harm your long-term strategies. Budgeting is at the heart of all campaigns, regardless of type (whether traditional marketing or digital), simply due to practicality. Return on investment (ROI) hinges on cost-effectiveness, costs and sales alike.
Consider, for example, budgeting for business software like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a management platform, or an analytics platform. This booming software industry sees wide acclaim and continues to prosper. Yet, businesses and business owners continue to budget poorly, often due to poor goals or research into their chosen solutions. Sadly, there are no simple solutions for this issue, except for diligent study and solid SMART goals.
3. Scope Creep and Strategy Derailments
On the SMART goals, scope creep is among the most common problems with any long-term campaign. Derailments soon follow, and the results range from notable to catastrophic.The first step toward building a digital marketing campaign is targeting audience identification. Click To Tweet
PMI very aptly identifies “poorly defined initial requirements” as a primary cause of scope creep. Of course, there are other reasons, both standard and unique or circumstantial, but this one is highly avoidable. Specifically, one needs to adhere to SMART goals very closely:
- Specific – are your goals as straightforward as possible?
- Measurable – are they measurable, and through which metrics?
- Achievable – do your position and infrastructure allow for these goals?
- Realistic – can you realistically expect to achieve these goals?
- Timely – are your goals strictly time-bound?
4. Neglecting SEO over Marketing
New problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy emerge with your campaign launched. One of the most notable is neglecting search engine optimisation (SEO) over marketing.
This problem is common because it’s understandable; one may believe marketing will suffice, or SEO for Google is a fool’s errand. A campaign for digital channels can get very hectic, and derailed or scope-crept campaigns will undoubtedly sideline your SEO efforts. It’s crucial to understand the importance of an SEO-friendly website and synergise with digital marketing. These practices share the explicit goal of increasing conversions and sales, and poor SEO will indeed hamper marketing.
5. Neglecting Content Quality
The most infamous tenet of both SEO and marketing is that “content is king”. This tenet hasn’t become less accurate since Bill Gates said it in 1996. It has become more relevant than ever, especially with the increasing number of mobile users.New problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy emerge with your campaign launched. Click To Tweet
Interestingly, it’s effortless to neglect content quality over content quantity. One may chase specific activity metrics and use various digital tools to pump out content for its own sake and not necessarily meet customer expectations or a business goal. Lacking in-house talent can make consistent quality content output unrealistic, so quantity becomes “the next best thing”. However, that’s far from an ideal solution, and it can destroy campaigns outright. Content quality drives user engagement (incredibly impatient mobile users) and enhances SEO, thus yielding better conversion rates. It’s quality that is “king”, and for good, verifiable reason.
6. Poor Choice of Tone and Style
However, even the best content can be marketed poorly. Among many problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy is your choice of tone and style. This is why you need to give special attention to the tone and style of your video marketing, social presence and overall online presence and customer experiences. Indeed, this subject is deep enough to deserve its article to cover.
Tech-savvy customers dislike corporate jargon, overly formal tones, and “salesy” approaches. Thus, many digital marketers have shifted to more personal, engaging, everyday styles. However, it is a fine line to walk; potential customers dislike forced humour and unprofessionalism. What’s more, some such approaches are not sustainable. Consider how the infamous Wendy’s Twitter account shed its “attack dog” style for a case study of this factor.
7. Social Media and Credibility
On the subject of social media marketing specifically, this topic deserves its mention. Social media missteps can positively ruin digital marketing campaigns simply by eroding public trust and credibility.
Social media marketing is, of course, a very lucrative aspect of digital marketing. Social media platforms have given marketers access to an ever-expanding pool of customers, and Statista predicts this trend will continue.Social media missteps can positively ruin digital marketing campaigns simply by eroding public trust and credibility. Click To Tweet
What’s more, these tech-savvy audiences actively seek to engage with companies and brands on different online platforms. That’s why it’s common and advisable to follow one’s competitors on social media to outperform them in customer experience and your social media campaign. However, it’s common to misread the room and damage one’s public face. From Bud Light to Gillette, many examples of campaigns backfired in recent memory. Here, the best advice is prudence; you can aspire to innovate, but you must also ensure a good public presence.
8. Adoption Rates and ROI.
On the internal side of things, the adoption of internal tools is an equally common pitfall. Or rather, a lack thereof. Indeed, employees may frequently not adopt internal tools or underuse them, throwing a proverbial wrench into the gears of collaboration.
Consider, for example, the poor adoption rates of CRM software that persist today. How can teams function with siloed data, poor communication, and undefined or miscommunicated metrics? How can marketing and sales departments collaborate toward a common goal when they’re not on the same page? Worse yet, how can they ensure optimal ROI? They cannot. This problem you’ll likely need to address proactively; provide proper onboarding and training. Demonstrate the merit of your internal assets and encourage their use whenever possible. Your efforts may not fully solve the issue, but they may minimise it enough.
9. Ignoring Your Data
Regardless of your teams’ collaborations, ignoring your data may also occur. Among many problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy, this one may be the farthest-reaching.
Indeed, this problem can manifest in the very first stages of customer identification, as we’ve highlighted at the beginning. It may appear mid-campaign in poor SEO and conversion strategies or cause inappropriate social media tone and messaging. It may even emerge post-launch, as monitoring Google Analytics or Google Adwords and readjusting efforts falter. Unlike the others, this is a holistic problem that can branch into every aspect of your digital marketing campaigns.Social media marketing is, of course, a very lucrative aspect of digital marketing. Click To Tweet
Naturally, such overarching problems require deep solutions. To proactively tackle this challenge, you should make a conscious effort always to make data-driven decisions. From setting SMART goals to content creation to monitoring, data needs to back every one of your choices. Fortunately, there are many software solutions, CRM or otherwise, that can collect troves of data to use.
10. Failing to Monitor Long-term Campaigns
Finally, constant monitoring should be a staple practice for all business efforts. Circumstances change, customers and users change, Google’s algorithm changes and your business changes. As such, monitoring your campaigns is necessary to ensure you can adjust effectively and timely.
Failing to do so often stems from neglecting crucial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Your teams need to adhere to your set goals and keep an eye on KPIs from beginning to end. It is especially true for digital marketing and SEO endeavours, as they’re frequently long-term investments. You can’t simply rest on your laurels; a watchful eye is always vital.There are probably as many problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy as there are campaigns. Click To Tweet
To summarise, there are probably as many problems that can potentially ruin your digital marketing strategy as there are campaigns. There are many ways to fail, from setting goals to monitoring campaigns and everything in-between. However, this doesn’t need to discourage you; vigilance pays off, and knowledge is power. With proper research, planning, and prudence, you may avoid these pitfalls and succeed where others fail.
About the author: Mariah Williams is a web designer, copywriter, and avid digital marketing enthusiast. She contributes to WP Full Care and similar publications, where she discusses her experience with SEO and PPC marketing, CRM software, WordPress, and other CMSs.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Mariah Williams. The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect Mauco Enterprises’ views.
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