Digital Marketing: Five Mistakes to AvoidBy John Siebert

Once upon a time, you could interrupt customers with ads in newspapers and magazines, and on television.

Of course, huge billboards did their part, too.

It’s harder and harder to interrupt today. It’s even harder to get anyone’s attention.

Customers don’t care about your flashy ads. They care about finding a solution to their problem, and everything you do as a business has to fulfill that need.

Digital marketing has changed how you show up at the right time to the right people. It’s changed the way you build products and offer services.

In his book, Meatball Sundae: How New Marketing is Transforming the Business World, Seth Godin argues technology is as important to new marketing as the drive-in is to fast food.

Digital Marketing and Five Mistakes to Avoid

Human behavior hasn’t changed that much, but marketing certainly has. Successful marketing is about how products fit the needs of customers, and how organizations fulfill their brand promises.

If you want to be successful in your digital marketing efforts, avoid these five costly mistakes.

Targeting the Wrong Audience

You have to know your target audience before you even think about marketing to them.

There are plenty of companies that have totally gotten their buyer personas right, and there’s a lesson for us digital marketers.

Take Uber. Uber focuses on the high-flying executive, the “I-hate-driving” celebrity, mobile professional, or anyone else who’d like to add a little luxury when they hire a car. Luxury vehicles are standard with Uber, and the whole experience is made even better with a brilliant mobile app.

Lacking Focus

The old sales and marketing tactic of “spray and pray” doesn’t work offline, and it certainly doesn’t work online. The biggest digital marketing successes come from staying focused on specific, measurable goals.

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Getting Caught Up in Vanity Metrics

Too many marketers and businesses are satisfied with the vanity metrics of visits, shares, comments, and community.

Except, your focus should be on interactions, clicks, conversions, and relationships. More clicks than conversions, if you will.

Metrics help guide you to better decisions, and provide valuable insights about what’s working, and what isn’t. Metrics don’t drive revenue. The quality of your products and services do.

Betting on a Single Channel

Every marketing asset has a job to do, but no single channel can do it all.

Working with multiple digital marketing channels will help to fulfill your goals from each campaign.

The channels you choose for your digital marketing aren’t as important as clicks, conversions, and relationships. PPC, SEO, content, and email marketing should all work together in an integrated fashion.

Mixed Messaging

We see this too often in paid search. When a prospect looks at an AdWords ad, clicks through, and bounces right out, it could mean the landing page copy didn’t deliver on the promise in the ad.

There’s no room for a bait and switch.

Are your landing pages confusing visitors? Does your email marketing conflict with your AdWords ads? Every single digital marketing channel should support the same important goals.

What do you believe are some of the biggest mistakes digital marketers make? Which of these mistakes are costing you dollars? What’s hurting you right now?

Image courtesy of terrancedc on Flickr.

John Siebert

John Siebert is the president and CEO of Tranquil Blue, a website design and development shop based in Tampa, FL.

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