As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide – approximately 59.5 percent of the global population according to Statistica. This means that business owners cannot neglect jumping into the digital world to get their products and services known.
But because marketing trends are ever dynamic, business owners are certainly bound to make mistakes. There’s a constant need to reevaluate what works for your business while trying to avoid specific mistakes.
Mistakes are how you learn but not all mistakes are the same. Watch out for the mistakes that could limit your growth. If you’re able to avoid or overcome them, you should see significant growth for you and your business.
I’m only able to share these because I’ve experienced some of these firsthand and some are what I’ve observed while working alongside other business owners.
If you find that you’re having trouble with getting your target ROI despite all the digital marketing efforts, then this article might help you.
15 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes Business Owners Make and How To Avoid Them
1. Not being intentional with their actions / Not setting goals.
How do you value goals?
Goals are more than just a to-do list. Goals are more than just “making things happen”. Goals are more than what you aspire to achieve.
Your goals should be your purpose. Setting goals will help you reevaluate your actions and set your focus on what’s important.
Have you ever heard of setting only SMART goals?
Specific. Some goals you might set can become overwhelming if you put it out broadly.
Make it specific to properly set your focus. In business, if you’re trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
Measurable. Tracking your progress is important for achieving your goals. It will help you reassess if your efforts need to improve or if it needs a bit of redirection. You can’t assume progress if you aren’t tracking it. What’s the point of setting goals if you don’t know where you currently stand?
Achievable. Making your goals achievable will help you figure out ways you can realize that goal. Define the achievability of your goals properly to make it easier for you but stretch it out to become a bit challenging.
Realistic. Set realistic expectations for your campaigns. Don’t make it over the top. Set it based on the availability of resources and the time.
Timely. Your goals must be time-bound. There will be no sense of urgency and therefore less motivation and more procrastination if your goals are not time-constrained. Set short, medium, and long-term goals.
Setting an intention will help you break down your dreams into tiny little steps and map out a plan backed by action.
Setting goals is all about the experience of having something to live for.
Without setting your goals and intentions, what are you here for?
2. Being afraid to narrow down their niche.
Just as stated above, when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
It’s a mistake I learned the hard way when I started running my business online.
If you worry too much about serving who you can serve without knowing if you’re the match for them and they’re the match for you, you’d see how disastrous that could be for everyone.
Start imagining your ideal client but do not assume the content they’d want to see from you.
It will greatly help you out in planning your content but keep in mind their response every time.
It will be a long process. It might even take you weeks or months like it did me so I’m sharing with you four easy steps to nail your niche strategy.
Step 1: Go broad.
Identify your overall area of expertise. Focus on your area of expertise and how you can utilize that to serve your community.
Step 2: Get specific.
Make a list of all the things you’re an expert in when it comes to your overall field of expertise. With the knowledge you have, how can you help others with their problems?
Step 3: Identify your UVP.
Define your unique value proposition. What exactly makes you unique among the others?
Step 4: Find the patterns.
See how your ideal client behaves. What do they search for? What are the problems they’re dying just to be solved?
Narrowing down your niche will save you a lot of time, energy, money, tears and even relationships. If you know who you want to serve, then the right client will come to you.
3. Lack of Unique Value Proposition.
By now, you’d have realized how these mistakes are interrelated.
Having a unique value proposition will help your clients identify if you’re the one for them.
What can you bring to their lives to make it better when there are a lot others who offer to do the same?
What do you have or what do you know that the others don’t? This can be an experience, a belief, a strategy, a lifestyle, a culture, a method, or anything that sets you apart from the rest of your competition.
The bottomline here is to answer the question:
WHY would your clients choose you among the hundred others doing the same thing as you?
4. Focusing on the Vanity Metrics instead of Sales Conversions.
In marketing, it will be your biggest mistake to just focus on quantity, rather than quality.
I’m not saying that quantity is not good, I’m saying you should first focus on the quality then the quantity. Make quality content then make lots of it to fill the quantity criteria.
You can try writing and creating informational and inspirational content to appeal to your audience but all that would do is to inform and inspire them, and that is NOT enough to turn them into clients.
While it definitely helps to get your name out there, it is often not enough to bring value to your business. By value, I mean money this time.
It will be counterproductive for your digital marketing efforts if you only get a lot of followers, likes, comments, a huge amount to spend on digital marketing, and not clients everytime you set out on your marketing campaigns.
It will be useless if those metrics don’t convert to sales.
You might want to focus more on the Actionable Metrics, which will help you pinpoint actions that are yielding results that will be valuable to your business. For example, engagement rates, traffic sources, ROI on digital marketing spend, etc.
With this, it will help you make informed decisions on which specific area to work on.
Align your sales and marketing goals. Start with Actionable metrics to help your Sales Conversion Rate. See which actions help convert leads to clients.
5. Having their Shiny Object Syndrome.
While it’s definitely good to keep up with new trends, it doesn’t always mean that they bring value to your business.
Trends are quite dynamic too.
It will be in your best interest to evaluate them first before jumping in.
It might become your biggest mistake.
Always study and evaluate every opportunity first before taking the risk to know if it will be worth it.
Concentrate on what has always worked, instead of becoming excited and distracted with the new.
6. Making assumptions about what their customers want.
In marketing, always put your customers first.
Do not assume what they’re looking for. Always utilize reliable data on the internet or gather data on your own.
Look through surveys or make your own survey.
Gather insights from people who are already in the industry for a long time.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Business people don’t always know it all. That is why they invest a lot in market research.
What’s holding you back from doing your own research?
7. Constantly looking for new customers without any plans on retention.
Those who are new in the business are most likely to make this mistake.
Whether you’re into a product or service business, you need to realize how important it is to make efforts for customer retention through customer satisfaction.
There are a lot of values that a satisfied customer brings to your business.
Customer retention is not just about going after their money for the nth time. It is already at the stage of forming great relationships with your customer.
You aren’t treated as another business anymore.
You are already someone they could trust with their money because of the value you bring into their lives.
Plus what they say about you definitely boosts your credibility!
So, head on and make campaigns and exciting offers that are irresistible for your old customers.
8. Competing on price and having never-ending discounts.
If you know your worth, you wouldn’t have to compete with others on price.
New business owners always try to make it a point to make their products or services “affordable,” because they know it will address one of the pain points of a lot of people.
But that can be detrimental if you want to grow your business. It isn’t always bad to have a cheaper price when you are just starting out. But don’t forget that you can’t please everyone.
Those who will come to you will be there for a reason. If you increase your price and people are still paying for it, that is when you know your work has a lot more worth than you initially thought.
Having lower prices can also lead you to overwork because you need to have more clients to make it profitable.
Having discounts is also an effective way to get customers, but please don’t overdo it.
9. Neglecting their social media platforms.
According to GlobalWebIndex, 54% of social media browsers use social media platforms to research products in 2018.
That is pre-pandemic statistics.
Just imagine the numbers now that everyone has jumped in the digital world for interactions and for their necessities.
It is now essential to at least establish a strong online presence on various social media platforms.
You need to first determine which social media platforms your target market is using so that you could make the most out of it.
Plan your posts ahead of time and set a schedule for it.
Make it engaging and always remember to bring value. Don’t just focus on offering your products or service, instead focus on the benefits it could bring to them.
10. Not hiring a website or graphic designer.
If you want to create a professional brand, you’d need to invest in people who can help you make it look professional.
As of 2020, 75% of website credibility comes from design, according to WebFX.
You shouldn’t have to do things alone if you want to expand your business.
You need to embody that CEO role by realizing that delegating tasks will be essential and that includes hiring a website and a graphic designer.
If you have the budget for it, you can wait for a few weeks for the final design, and you don’t want to be involved in any technical aspects of designing, then go for it!
11. Talking like a robot / Being too technical.
How will your ideal clients trust you if you don’t seem real?
You don’t have to go overboard if you want to look professional.
Remember that you need to be visible, that’s your purpose for marketing.
People want something real, something that they can relate to, something they can imagine for themselves.
You don’t need to use ambiguous words to impress people. It would be useless if your target market doesn’t understand any of it at all. Not everyone has the patience to search it all up. Plus, that is something that is easily forgettable.
Each and everyone is different.
Becoming authentic in every way provides a fantastic opportunity for you to stand out from your competition.
When you talk in a way that seems more human, it will be easy for your audience to understand what benefits you bring into their lives.
Write and talk in a way that is clear and sincere and you’ll effectively boost your image.
12. Not tracking your growth and ROI.
Along with your goals, digital marketing is trackable.
Not tracking will not get you out of the delusion that your campaigns are doing well if you’re just looking at numbers and not analyzing them.
You need to see which actions are helping you grow, which investments are bringing in profitable returns, and which needs to be improved or replaced.
A lot of tools are out there for viewing your analytics. Let them serve their purpose and help you track your growth and ROI.
Always track and monitor your data, then strategize your results. Thank me later.
13. Not replying to comments
Engagement is important in digital marketing.
Some social media platforms heavily rely on your engagement rates to push your content to a bigger audience.
It can be easily forgotten as millions or even billions of content is being published every SECOND.
It is important to make engaging content and actually ENGAGE with your audience.
It will make your audience feel your presence, it makes you real to them, it makes you someone they could easily reach.
And if they want what you’re showing to them, it will be most likely easier for you to convert them into clients.
Consistent responses will create a positive image for your business and your brand.
14. Spamming people
Who likes getting spammed?
I know that publicity is publicity, whether it is good or bad, but would you really like to be known as someone pushy and annoying?
Instead of actually getting yourself known for the benefits you offer, you’d only be wasting time and resources for both you and your target market.
You’d be ruining your brand reputation.
Promoting and spamming are two different things.
You’d want to promote, not spam.
If you’re into email marketing, see who would like to receive only newsletters and see who would like to receive marketing emails. You can also try segmenting your audience to make sure you send out only the relevant messages to those who want to receive it.
If you’re on social media, no replies means getting a reply already.
You wouldn’t want to be spammed yourself, so stop spamming people.
15. Having Imposter Syndrome.
Every once in a while, you might be hit with imposter syndrome too.
It is as simple as doubting your capabilities and feeling undeserving of your success.
You’d feel like a fraud, an impostor, a con artist, someone who is fake.
But it’s perfectly okay to have those doubts but you should never be held back in reaching your goals.
It just means you have greater things to lose.
You’re on the right path. You have a purpose. There is a reason for you to be in the current position you are in.
Whenever you’re feeling that way, turn your feelings into motivation. If you’re feeling undeserving, do something that will make you feel otherwise.
Look through the awesome comments you receive for your work. Remember the compliments you’re receiving for being a blessing to others. Take solace in your progress. Lastly, know that you are not alone.
We all feel like impostors at some point in our lives but it should never hold us back. Take a hold of your feelings and use it to make you stronger.
Admit it or not, the focus of business owners is to bring profit into their businesses. So they make a lot of effort in bringing their service or product out, but it’s simply not enough.
The mistakes I’ve encountered have a lot to do with mindset. In marketing, you appeal to your customers not through the features your product or service has, but through the benefits your product or service brings to them. They simply don’t care about what you offer, they care about how your offer can make their lives better.
Adhere to what works. It’s okay to test the waters first. It’s going to be a good learning process but it will greatly help you to read about these mistakes from different sources and observe it for yourself.
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I want to know! Which of these mistakes have you personally encountered? Care to share your experiences? Feel free to comment!