Don’t bomb your digital marketing tactics with these costly and common mistakes
In my last column, 8 Common & Costly Website Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make, I cautioned companies about putting too much stock in online marketing efforts without first getting their website in order. Presuming you have now gotten your website in tip-top shape, it’s time to examine your digital marketing efforts…because chances are you have room for improvement there, too.
Much as we see with websites, the reasons for oversights and waste in digital marketing range from lack of awareness, to blind faith in whoever’s responsible for the tactical execution (vendor, in-house staff, contractor, etc.), to a lack of solid process, to being in too much of a hurry to get things done that important details fall through the cracks, to the lack of a rational strategy guiding what you’re doing.
My job is to help you avoid waste and self-sabotage in your digital marketing, so look at the below as a list of audit points to check your own efforts against.
Common Social Media Mistakes
#1 – Not securing your brand name on/for your account. Don’t let someone else squat on your brand name just because you’re slow on the uptick. Secure that branded social media account! Furthermore, don’t just let the account default to an unmemorable, cumbersome URL if a “vanity URL” is possible instead (e.g. http://www.facebook.com/pages/WMAR-TV-abc2newscom/51379687226 versus https://www.facebook.com/CBSBaltimore)
#2 - Not setting up your business account profiles to the fullest extent. All social media profiles enable you to give a lot of rich, useful information about your company (you might find my How to Fix Your LinkedIn Company Page article helpful). Don’t rely on traffic coming to your website these days. Get the basics down on your social media profiles, too!
#3 - All one-way content; no engagement. Too many businesses just use social media to push their own agenda — their news, special offers, event promotions, and the like. But that’s not what social media is about, and not only will one-sided posting turn most users off, but it also won’t do much for your marketing efforts (unless all your customers are bargain hunters).
#4 – Same posts to all channels (and at same time). Yes, there are social media management tools that now help you push out (“amplify”) your message across multiple social media platforms, but if all you do is post the same exact content at the same exact time to all platforms with a push of the button, you will diminish its value (and potentially cause harm to your brand) if the push is triggered automatically and no one is paying attention to the circumstances surrounding it)
#5 – Poor discretion in posting. I have often touted the 10-second self-censor rule, meaning before you press any button to upload your content, take 10 seconds to review it to make sure it cannot harm or offend your brand.
#6 – Not minding the ship. With social media, you cannot “set it and forget it.” Social media requires constant care, feeding and attention. An account that hasn’t had any activity in weeks looks lame and if someone is not paying attention, before you know it, a single negative post can turn into a firestorm.
Common AdWords Mistakes
The below are common mistakes when it comes to Google AdWords campaign set-up and management:
#7 - Choosing the wrong keywords (or not excluding keywords under conditions when they have multiple meanings)
#8 – Writing bad or boring ad copy. You might be surprised at how artful writing only 95 characters of ad copy can be. Make sure you give the searcher a compelling reason to click your ad.
#9 – Not fully understanding or using all campaign set-up options (not properly utilizing AdGroups, ad targeting, MatchTypes, keyword inclusions, Ad Extensions and the like). You should also be implementing conversion tracking and conducting various A/B split tests.
#10 - Unnecessarily over-paying for positioning. You don’t necessarily have to pay the most to have the number one ad position…and nor does the number one position always suit the advertiser best. You need to understand how the entire AdWords marketplace works, including Google’s Quality Score, and how to best manage by keyword.
#11 – Sending all the traffic to the website’s home page. Most campaigns benefit from driving traffic to unique “landing pages” where the searcher can more easily connect with the information they seek.
Common Email Marketing Mistakes
Since email is still one of the top online activities, avoid these common marketing blunders:
#12 – Poor/obtuse subject lines. Trying to be too clever or not blatant enough might mean few recipients even open your emails.
#13 – Content delivered only within an attachment. Attachments can be blocked by spam filters and require the recipient to take an extra step to see what you’re promoting
#14 – Promoting an event but requiring a click-through to get the basics. Email can be quite effective at driving event registration, but don’t force your recipient to click a link just to learn when, where, and for how long your event will last.
#15 – No or too few calls to action. Just as with any other marketing or advertising, your email needs to have not just one, but multiple calls-to-action distributed throughout your message and in different forms (text, images, links).
#16 – Using no tracking. Use delivery systems or at the very least customized URLs to track, measure and optimize your email campaigns.
#17 – Over-delivery. The right frequency of email deliveries vary by company and target audience, but it’s important to review your campaign statistics to help determine what’s right for you. If your open and response rates of plummet or don’t correlate to the kind of direct action you seek, chances are it’s time to make a change.
Common Online Advertising Mistakes
#18 - I already wrote an entire column — Online Advertising: 7 Dos & Don’ts –that you ought read if you are conducting digital advertising campaigns or plan to.
Final Criminal Act
#19 - Worst of all, why sink money into running any kind of online marketing without routinely analyzing your performance by reviewing your web analytics software (like Google Analytics) and other tools? This kind of very simple analysis can ultimately save you a ton of money and wasted effort.Comments(0)
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