We're all Human.
We all make mistakes.
I've seen and experienced some enormous online marketing fails. Some so bad, they resulted in entire companies shutting up shop.
We're going to share some of the top things we've learned along the journey, and some of the common mistakes businesses make with their digital marketing every single day, because its always important to learn from our blunders. This article will help you adjust your sails so your boat cruises like the titanic...without the sinking part...or the iceberg...or the dying people and all that misery. OK...that was a joke, which leads us to common mistake #1.
1. Using the wrong words: Not using professional content creation services
Words. Yep, WORDS! Watch the words you use. Content is King! More precisely, digital marketing strategies such as PPC (pay per click) and SEO (search engine optimisation) are really all just words. You are more or less trying to connect with your customer using the alphabet. Think of a Facebook Ad that has led you to read the entire content until the very end. It's engaging, informative, to-the-point, and rarely takes itself too seriously. It's almost like that friend we always wish we had.
Now think of a Facebook ad that made you swipe straight past and not read the content. It was probably sounding like a salesman, had poor grammar and no real point or call to action.
The difference in click-through-rates for well written ads is night and day.
We spoke to over 100 business owners this year. Specifically, people who write several hours per week in addition to email. They told us that they spend an average of 30 hours per week reading for work. About 30% is email.
Also, 80% of them said that poorly written material wastes a lot of their time. A majority say that what they read is frequently ineffective because it’s too long, poorly organised, unclear, filled with jargon, and imprecise.
Here’s the lesson: To market your service or product, use clear, simple, direct language. Use “I”, “we,” and “you.” Use clear analogies. Avoid jargon. Describe the impact on customers. Don’t hide who you are or what you mean. If you don't have extremely strong writing skills, take a writing course or hire a professional digital marketing agency that excels in content creation.
If you've never heard of the term copywriter before, a copywriter is someone who writes for the internet. They create informative content for businesses that is designed to guide the reader’s own research. Yes, we know its difficult to accept the need to pay for services, however, we have never (really, NEVER) spoken to a client who has converted to professional content creation who hasn't increased their revenue. The fact is, strong laser focused content always equals more conversions and customers through the metaphorical door. It's that simple.
If you're still not convinced, think of it this way. No one wants to pay money to see a concert for an amateur pianist. However, take that same piano and replace the amateur with Beethoven, and you have magic. You have something that people will pay for. The same goes for words and content.
2. Not optimising your website for mobile.
You have a phone. I have a phone. My pet dog has a phone. Point being, we're all glued to our phones, and increasingly, we are consuming more and more online material using our phones, not computer screens. The current statistics from 2019 shows that 53% of all internet traffic is from mobile. That is a massive 220% increase in traffic in 7 years.
The next big factor in the growth of mobile is 5G. With unrivalled data speeds, 5G will enable more and more applications and services to be used on mobile devices.
What does this mean for your business? Poor mobile experiences can turn customers away from your business. 50% of people said they would use a company less often if they did not have a site that’s mobile responsive even if they liked the brand.
How does this impact your customers? 50% of people think that companies don’t care about their business if the website isn’t optimised for mobile users.
So, in summary, it's not enough to have a website. You must have a mobile friendly responsive website.
3. Not targeting your preferred audience
As a business owner, i'm sure you've taken time to think about who purchases your products. However, are your digital marketing strategies targeted and focused on the bulls-eye? Or are you aimlessly throwing darts at the entire board hoping that you hit something?
First, carefully consider (and write down) the demographics of your current and prospective customers. That is your target audience. If you're not sure what your demographic is, a very good way to collect data on this is to run an open (not targeted) Facebook Ad campaign for a relatively short period. Once complete, have a look at the Facebook audience data. It will tell you who clicked on your ad and their gender, age and locations. This is a good starting point to locking in your target audience.
Here is an example of a Facebook and Instagram Ad campaign we recently ran for a client to show you how it all looks:
You may be shocked at what you find. The demographic that you thought were interested in your product could be completely different. For example, when we began working with a client on their Google Ads campaign, they had never invested any time into confirming who their target audience should be. They produced and sold skin care products and they simply assumed they should ONLY target women. When we crunched the numbers, it turned out that 44% of their potential customer base was male!
You can imagine the look on their faces when we told them our results. They were missing out on 44% of their entire customer base that was searching for their product!
Needless to say, once we implemented our new Google Ads Management strategy for them, their revenue increased literally overnight.
In summary, don't assume what the target demographic of your product or service is. Collect data, then target that audience. It will translate into higher quality, more relevant leads and increased revenue for your business, not to mention that if you blindly target EVERYONE, you are throwing away your money. Don't be that guy....or gal. Oops! we just assumed again.
4. Not investing in SEO
Your website MUST be optimised for search engines such as Google.
If you ignore SEO, you will pay the price.
Simply put, customers that are searching for your product or service wont find YOU! They will instead find your competitors.
Further, if you are not on the first page of search engines, well, you may as well not exist.
Here are two mind boggling stats for you:
1) Over 80% of customers perform online research via google before making a purchase.
2) Almost 80% of users NEVER scroll past the first page of google search engine results.
You should of course invest in Google paid ads (adwords) to get to the first page of Google search engine results (SERPs), however, do not ignore SEO!
Approximately 50% of users ignore paid ads.
So, what this means is that a successful online marketing strategy includes paid ads AND SEO. (We recently compared Google Ads vs SEO in depth). You need to ensure your website contains keywords and phrases that people are searching for. This is part of on-page SEO (or on-site SEO). If you want to maximise your traffic and revenue, you need to aim to reach top spot of search engines. Numero Uno! For this, you will need to invest in other SEO factors such as off-page SEO (or off-site SEO) including content creation. Both on page SEO and off page SEO are part of any reputable digital marketing agency's SEO packages and plans.
5. Using Poor Call-To-Actions (CTA)
I recently saw a billboard saying "Save 5% when buying this week". I won't mention the brand that was advertising this offer, but it got me thinking. Someone really stuffed up here! A large company went to the a very expensive effort to pay for a billboard, design the marketing and implement, but the call-to-action was...well...rubbish. The problem is, this offer simply isn't attractive. It's a very weak call to action. Making it even worse, the billboard didn't list the companies website! So what they are essentially saying to people seeing the billboard is "if you want the product, there is no special offer, and you need to dig a little to find our website". You don't need to be a genius to figure out that we all wouldn't be enticed by this marketing.
Ironically, on the same road, another digital billboard said "20% off all orders and free shipping before 31st September". Oh, and their website and brand logo was impossible to miss. This call to action is significantly more appealing to your customers.
It gives them a strong reason to actually visit your site, and visit it now.
These examples translate directly into your digital marketing.
71% of websites don't have call-to-action buttons on their websites.
50% of websites have poorly placed call-to-action buttons which allow a user to find and click on it within 2 seconds.
So, the lesson here is, think carefully, and regularly about your call-to-action, then ensure your digital marketing strategies have them implemented properly on your website design, Google Ad Campaigns, SEO, etc.
Ok, you've read this far. You're in the bonus rounds now. There are of course many other factors to improve your online marketing strategies, but we'll wrap up this article with the final critical mistake that many businesses make with their online marketing.
6. Having a slow website
We've all experienced it. You click onto a website link but it takes what seems like forever to load. You get frustrated and close the website. We all want everything NOW, so we all get frustrated easily by slow websites.
We took over the digital marketing for a law firm this year who spent $15,000 to build their website, but their website took 8 seconds to load. That is FAR too slow. A few crucial errors in the website development execution from their previous agency meant that they had spent all that money, yet were essentially driving customers away from their website because it was simply too frustrating to wait for every page to load. Consequently, their online marketing campaigns simply weren't translating into new clients. Once we fixed the speed issues on their website and got the load time to under 1.5 seconds, their leads and enquiries from their website increased by 25% almost instantly.
Why is website speed even a factor?
First, in 2010, Google officially announced that load times would be a factor in its search ranking algorithm and confirmed it again recently.
Second, there is a direct correlation between website load times and customer conversions.
For example, in 2007 Amazon discovered a connection between load time and turnover. It was shown that for every 100ms extra loading time, Amazon loses a turnover of 1%. This same principle applies to all websites, with the golden number being 3 seconds. That is the how long it takes for users to get frustrated and abandon your website. So make sure your website design and development is flawless. You don't want to build your business on poor foundation.
Summary & Conclusion
We're all human. You don't need to aim for perfection, but you must aim for progression. That is, if you want to be successful in business. Every mistake you make in your digital marketing is another opportunity at learning what didn't work. Consequently, you are one step closer to finding what does work.
Don't be shy to ask for help from professional digital marketing agencies. We've eaten our humble pie many a time. So you get the benefit of not having to waste time and money making the same mistakes. Just make sure you pick the right digital marketing agency!
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