When it comes to digital marketing, self-deception can be as common as hashtags and hyperlinks. But let’s face it: Consumers aren’t clamoring for our ads or pining for pop-ups. We know that these tactics don’t add value to the customer experience.
We’re also waking up to the fact that marketing isn’t just a creative endeavor—it’s a business driver, and it’s expected to show tangible results. Yet, we’re still caught up in self-doubt or overconfidence, stuck in the mindset of campaigns over customers.
Whatever lies we tell ourselves, there’s a few hard truths we can be sure of:
- We’ve got to focus on what’s good for our customers in everything we do.
- Doing marketing right isn’t the hard part—it’s making sure we can keep doing it well over and over.
- People come back to us because of how they feel about all their experiences with us, not just one.
- Our marketing shows off what’s special about us.
- We don’t waste money when we try new things; we waste it when we keep doing the same old things that don’t work.
That’s just a handful of truths to think about. Now, let’s dive into the 14 digital marketing mistakes we need to stop telling ourselves.
1. A Great Website Is All I Need
Having a great website is a perfect start to your digital marketing success, but it’s never enough. Your web presence needs to be compelling, relevant, and filled with quality content focused on customers.
To have an effective digital marketing plan in place, you’ll need to update it regularly, and we need to consider how we will attract the right people to our site. Often, that means publishing in places other than your website.
With Ecommerce sales projected to soar to approximately 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026, the stakes for maintaining a robust, dynamic website have never been higher.
Image Source: Shopify
This statistic not only highlights the booming market, but also emphasizes the need of a website that evolves with consumer demands and market trends.
2. I’ll Produce Great Content Every Day
There are two myths in this statement: first, that you’ll consistently produce great content, and second, that it’ll be produced every day. It is a good start that you’re aiming high – it’s always a good idea to try and produce more great content.
But as Robert Rose says, “more content can be more effective, until it isn’t.”
We have to produce great quality stuff, as often as we can. And recognize where the limits are in time, budget, your audience’s attention.
3. Social Media Is Owned Media
We don’t own our social accounts. The platforms do. They decide how and how often your social updates are seen.
Are you posting content that people actually want to read and share? Or the stuff we avoid. Sharing engaging content is the only way to get organic social shares.
Are you building a following on your social accounts by following and sharing other people’s content? That’s the only way to build a real following of engaged influencers.
4. Negative Comments Are Bad
A negative reaction in digital isn’t always bad. Not all conversations are positive. It’s OK to disagree with people and it’s easy to do online. Avoid the trolls (don’t feed them). But engage with everyone who participates in the conversations you start online.
Just remember the Mom rules. Be polite, say “thank you” and treat others the way you want to be treated. Then you will see the opportunity in handling bad comments.
5. Everyone Will Love Our Content
Even if you are convinced that the content you’re producing is amazing, it may not always elicit the reaction you expected from your audience.
Keep in mind that just because they don’t love what you’ve posted doesn’t mean it isn’t doing its job! If you can get any kind of reaction (usually a positive reaction is best) that encourages them to engage, it’s working.
Instead of trying to evoke love, think about the other reactions that might benefit your strategy. Your content might be helpful, thought provoking, amazing, funny, or relatable.
6. Everyone Will Hate Our Content
Don’t let the fear of rejection from trying new things and venturing in different directions. As long as you have a clear mission statement, focus on customer value. And start with the goal of measuring their engagement, you will learn some amazing things from the experiments you conduct.
7. We Need To Be On Every Social Media Platform
Digital marketing encompasses so many different mediums, from blogs and social media platforms to websites and email and more. It’s a huge job! People go to different social media platforms looking for different things. And depending on the platform, your content may be more or less relevant.
For instance, as of January 2023, a staggering 89% of marketers were using Facebook to reach their audience, while 80% were tapping into Instagram’s user base.
Image Source: Startup Bonsai
This goes to show that while it’s crucial to have a presence where your audience hangs out, it’s equally important to select platforms where your content will resonate the most.
And don’t even get me started on Snapchat.
8. We Need To Blindly Follow Our Competitors
If your competitors jumped off a bridge, would you jump too? Same is true for digital marketing.Looking at your competitor’s digital marketing plans is a good place to start, but it’s not a great end goal. Marketing should be specific to your business and it should aim to put you out ahead of your competitors, not at the same point. The best way to get ahead is to go beyond with your marketing strategy. Just because you aren’t familiar with a specific digital marketing strategy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it.
Looking at your competitor’s digital marketing plans is a good place to start, but it’s not a great end goal. Do what works for you.
Go left, when they go right. Marketing should be specific to your business and it should aim to put you out ahead of your competitors.
9. SEO Is No Longer Relevant
SEO is more important than ever. We continue to block more ads. Search visitors create more than all traffic and leads for many companies.
Yes, SEO is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay up to date on the latest techniques. But SEO is not a complete marketing strategy when used on its own – it works best when paired with great content, mapped to the buyer journey, focused on customer value, and conversion you earn.
10. Mobile Optimization Is Just a Bonus
Some marketers still treat mobile optimization as if it’s just a luxury. But in reality, more than half of all web browsing now happens on mobile phones. To be exact, 58.33% of global web traffic came from mobile in the first quarter of 2023.
Image Source: Statistica
That’s a lot of people looking at websites on their phones!
With so many people using their phones to go online, not making your site mobile-friendly is like turning away half your potential customers. Mobile optimization is essential.
11. Analytics Aren’t Crucial for Success
It’s easy to think that if your website looks good and your content feels right, you’re on the path to success. But without checking the scoreboard, how do you know you’re winning the game?
Some say that keeping an eye on analytics is too technical and not really necessary if you’re already making sales. However, this is like driving with a blindfold on and hoping you’re headed in the right direction.
Understanding the numbers is understanding your audience. Analytics tell you who’s visiting your site, what they like, and how they found you. Skipping analytics means missing out on the chance to make your good website great. It’s the difference between guessing and knowing, and in the fast-paced online marketplace, knowledge is power.
12. Treating Every Customer the Same is Effective
In the digital age, personal touch is king. Customers today don’t just enjoy personalized experiences. They expect them.
When you send out the same message to every customer, you’re basically saying you don’t see them as individuals. And that’s a problem.
Why? Because a whopping 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences.
Image Source: Bloomreach
If you’re not segmenting your audience and tailoring your messages, you’re missing out. Personalization is the secret to making your marketing go from bland to grand, and treating everyone the same is like serving the same dish at every meal—eventually, people will dine elsewhere.
13. Email Marketing Is Outdated
You’ve probably heard that email marketing is dead. But let’s set the record straight—email is very much alive and kicking.
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to reach out to customers directly. Think about it. People check their emails every day, several times a day. It’s the first thing many of us do in the morning and the last thing we check before bed.
By declaring email marketing obsolete, you’re overlooking a channel that has a return on investment (ROI) of $42 for every $1 spent.
So, before you write off email as a relic of the past, remember that it’s a tool that can yield a bounty if used with care and strategy. In the end, saying “email marketing is outdated” may be one of the most costly digital marketing mistakes you could buy into.
14. Customer Service is Separate from Digital Marketing
There’s a dated idea that customer service and digital marketing are two different beasts, each living in its own little world. But let’s get real. Customer service is a huge part of your marketing strategy.
It’s the smile at the front desk and the helpful voice on the phone, but now it’s all happening on your social feeds, live chats, and email inboxes. When someone has a question or a problem, they head straight to your digital doorstep. And how you answer that door? That’s your marketing in action.
Ignoring customer service in your digital marketing is like ignoring the engine light in your car; sooner or later, you’re going to break down. Great customer service creates happy customers, and happy customers are your best marketers. They leave reviews, they share your content, and they tell their friends.
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Don’t let digital marketing mistakes stop you from embracing the full spectrum of what great marketing has to offer. From recognizing the enduring power of email marketing to understanding the critical role of customer service as part of your marketing efforts, each element plays a vital part in the bigger picture.
The goal is not to just avoid these pitfalls but to learn from them, creating a more robust, dynamic, and successful digital marketing strategy that resonates with your audience and delivers results.
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