3 Digital Marketing Mistakes To Avoid In 2015

Here are some tips to help you avoid what I would consider the 3 biggest mistakes companies make in digital marketing.

Mistake #1: Poor Planning
In the Navy we used to say “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” When it comes to digital marketing this may be the biggest mistake companies make. The lack of an organized cohesive strategy will lead to wasted time, money and opportunity. Before you invest real dollars toward your digital marketing efforts you should have the following planned out.

Understand your marketplace. A brand needs to have a sound understanding of its competitors, geographical boundaries, customer demographics, existing distribution channels, and any information on trends in your markets (both demographic and product-related).
Perform a SWOT Analysis. Understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Define your marketing objectives. What do you want to achieve as a result of your marketing efforts and what goals and KPI’s are you using to measure success?
Have a budget. What can you afford to spend on this marketing effort as a whole and then how is it broken down by individual marketing channel? You need to spend your money wisely especially if you are on a limited budget. For example, if you need direct response for success, consider doing Pay Per Click instead of Social Media.
The “plan” is the key component to your marketing foundation and without it your chances of success are very limited.

Mistake #2: Unrealistic Expectations
While running a digital marketing agency, we see companies of all shapes, sizes, and budgets. And it never fails, whether the company is spending $5,000 a month or $500,000 a month on their digital marketing efforts they all have the same expectations of immediate results. In most instances the ink isn’t even dry on the contract and our phones and emails are going crazy with questions like “Why aren’t we on page 1 for Google already” or “Why isn’t our Pay Per Click campaign hitting it’s Cost Per Acquisition goal?” Even when expectations have been clearly set. Or so you thought. The idea that digital equals instant results is one of the biggest misconceptions, especially for companies newer to this practice. The fact is, even digital campaigns take time to be developed, optimized, and improved to where you are seeing the results you are hoping for.

It is important to communicate realistic expectations to your clients. The following are average timelines per service:
Pay Per Click Campaign: 90 days. This is an average estimate but with Pay Per Click campaigns, the bidding needs to be optimized and the copy needs to be constantly A/B tested to find the right messaging so that the client’s goals can be met. This doesn’t happen overnight. As changes are made, they need time to mature and gain traction. This usually takes 90 days.
Search Engine Optimization: 90-180 days. SEO is one of the most mysterious aspects of digital marketing because Google holds all the cards and they are constantly changing the rules of the game. Therefore, we try to set attainable goals and manage expectations for potential success. To be frank, 90 days is being generous. 180 days is usually more realistic, and it all depends on the keywords you are trying to rank for and how competitive they are. Social Media: 30 days. You should be engaged in social listening, researching your competitors and planning your content calendar in advance. Social Media has become data-driven and needs to be tracked just like any other marketing channel. The days of posting impromptu snippets about your company like “Great time at the company breakfast this morning, ate way too much bacon…” are over. These posts need to be well thought out and targeted towards engaging in your specific audience. Social media will also play a major role in any content marketing strategies.
There are many other examples of the various aspects of digital marketing, but I think you get the point.
Be patient and let the campaigns develop. Just because you aren’t seeing results in weeks 1 and 2 doesn’t mean you need to panic and try to change your strategy. Too many times companies hop around and never settle in to find out what really works and what doesn’t.

Mistake #3: Not Being Informed
Digital Marketing is no longer a cloud of smoke and mirrors where no one knows if the dollars spent are producing results. With the advent of new analytics software, every dollar, every view, every click can be tracked and analyzed. The question is do you have the right resources to perform true data science?
As a business owner, manager, or marketing staff member it is your responsibility to be informed about how your company is spending its marketing budget. Even if you have hired an agency or invested in in-house staff, how do you know they are qualified or performing at optimal standards?
Even if a brand is working with a marketing agency, key stakeholders must be aware and take ownership of critical data points. For example, if you are running PPC campaigns, you should know how to log into Adwords and check the account history and be able to follow the modifications being made to the account. This should be the same with any aspects of digital. Know the terms, the KPI’s and best practices. The amount of free learning materials out there is endless. If you don’t have the time then you should find someone who does. Hire a consultant to run audits every month and help weed out unqualified work. This will save you a lot of money in the long run. It will also keep your primary marketing agency and staff on their toes if they know someone will be checking their work.
In conclusion, digital marketing, including mobile, will continue to grow and evolve well into the future and will eventually eclipse traditional TV, radio and print. Now is the time to make sure that you are getting the most for your marketing spend. Be prepared to keep up with the times and have a scalable digital strategy that can adjust with the trends.

Source & Credit

Digital Marketing Tips 2015
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