March 10, 2016

12 Things Not To Do When Using Digital Marketing In 2016



Digital marketing in 2016 comes with a new set of problems, pitfalls, technologies, innovations, strategies, and opportunities.
It also comes with plenty of chances to mess it all up.

In other articles, I’ve discussed some of the lurking dangers and problems that face digital marketers. In this article, I want to hold nothing back, and provide you with the full list of digital marketing mistakes to avoid in 2016.

Digital marketing is far too important to mess up. Watch yourself, and avoid these ghastly digital marketing mistakes.

1. Failing to identify your target audience.

Identifying your target audience is the first step in any type of marketing endeavor. Tragically, it’s also easy to overlook. Don’t make this mistake. Study your audience, and much of your marketing will take care of itself.

2. Not having a strategy at all.

Yes, it happens. Sadly, much of digital marketing relies on “tactics” and “techniques” rather than solid strategies and goals. Before you ever pick a tactic to try, form a strategy to rely on. Your online marketing strategy will be your guiding light as you engage in the wild world of marketing.

3. Forgetting about mobile.Mobilegeddon may have happened in 2015, but we’re still living in the wake of its impact. If you aren’t functioning with a mobile-first strategy, you are alienating more than half of your potential audience. Mobile optimization is a key ingredient both for conversions and content, so keep it at the front of your mind when forming your digital marketing strategy.

4. Rejecting SEO.

The SEO-is-dead myth has been around almost as long as SEO has been a thing. Now, in an age of artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms, more marketers are willing to say “What gives?” and leave SEO well enough alone. This is a mistake. Why? Because SEO remains (and will continue to remain) one of the building blocks of a technologically sound and competitive web presence. Without an understanding of SEO, your marketing presence will falter and fail. You don’t have to know everything there is to know about SEO. Just get the basics, and you should be fine.

5. Not doing any conversion optimization.

There was an era in digital marketing when it was okay not to do conversion optimization. That time is far gone. Failure to conduct regular and careful split testing is a recipe for decline. Don’t be afraid of it. Yes, it requires some technical chops and an eye for analytics, but most CRO software eliminates the need for in-depth knowledge.

6. Trying every digital marketing tactic in the book.

Since there are a few hundred thousand tactics available for your choosing, you’re going to get bogged down fast. The best method for avoiding tactic overwhelm is to 1) figure out what your audience wants, 2) identify where they are, and 3) adopt a strategy to reach them. With this kind of laser focus, many tactics will fall to the wayside.

7. Using every social media platform available.

A close cousin of the “trying every digital marketing tactic” mistake is “using every social media platform.” I’ve watched hundreds of digital marketers make this massive mistake. It’s obviously important to have a social media strategy. But when you try to blanket the social media universe with your brand presence, you’re going to fall short. Why? Because social media channels require a ton of time and energy. If you try to go all out on each one, you’re going to burn out very quickly. A better approach? Pick the top three platforms where your audience hangs out, and give these all your energy.

8. Paying for followers.

Just don’t. Boosted posts and promoted tweets are one thing, but paying for a few followers on Fiverr or some other platform is shady at best.

9. Link building.

Link building (done wrong) is an old SEO tactic that got websites into trouble. Thankfully, most SEOs and marketers are beyond this point, but it bears repeating: Don’t do “link building” as it was traditionally performed. There are ways to do it correctly, so take heed.

10. Neglecting content marketing.

Content marketing should form the core of any digital marketing strategy. We have not yet reached the point at which content marketing has diminished in effectiveness. Using content aggressively, strategically, and expertly will take your marketing where you want it to go.

11. Having no marketing budget.

If you get stingy with your marketing budget, one of two things will happen. First, you realize your mistake and get desperate, dipping into other funds, which messes up your entire business plan. Second, you have no budget, so you do no marketing, and your business fails to take off. Either way, you run the distinct risk of destroying your business. Instead of shortcircuiting your business with no marketing budget, release a few funds to get the ball rolling. This is especially critical for startup businesses that have little to no market penetration.

12. Expecting huge results in no time.

Digital marketing takes time. Yes, you’ll see some measurable results in a relatively short time. However, stay realistic about the time it takes to achieve goals.

Conclusion

It’s easy to make mistakes. I get that. I’ve made a ton of my own.
Thankfully, each of the mistakes listed above can be overcome. But it would be better not to make them in the first place.
You won’t have a flawless year of digital marketing, but it can be better. Let’s see where you’ll go.

Neil Patel- Contributor- FORBES

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