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The common mistakes businesses make with digital marketing

Written by Mark Wright on Tuesday, 06 October 2020. Posted in Online, Audience, Sales & Marketing

According to the latest statistics, the average UK business dedicates 10% of their annual turnover to marketing spend.

The common mistakes businesses make with digital marketing

According to the latest statistics, the average UK business dedicates 10% of their annual turnover to marketing spend. 

While many businesses will generate a consistent return, others will struggle to see profitable results. In most, this is down to how businesses approach and manage their digital marketing activity, where the following four points are key to success: 

Start with strategy

Research has shown that at least 90% of businesses utilise social media for marketing purposes. However, I would estimate that the vast majority have zero strategy in place and, instead, publish a stream of over-promotional content that generates little engagement from both existing and potential followers. 

To generate any form of return in digital marketing, you need to start with a coherent strategy, underpinned by your business objectives.

Pushing out the odd bit of content on social media or focusing on only brand-related keywords via PPC isn’t going to get you results. Take the time to understand your target audience, the search terms they use and the channels they engage with before you push the button on any digital marketing spend. Not only will it prevent you from wasting cash, but all activity will be focused and relevant from the outset. 

Don’t cut spend, Move it

I am fortunate in that I meet with multiple business owners on a daily basis to discuss how we can utilise digital marketing to meet their growth objectives. As a result, I gain first-hand insight into the common issues they experience, with the major one being the belief that digital marketing doesn’t work. 

This belief doesn’t stem from years of creating and implementing digital marketing strategies, it comes from the trial of a small google ad spend or a one-time SEO campaign, which are swiftly cut as soon as they aren’t getting the return anticipated. 

Digital platforms are now evolving at an exponential rate, with algorithms consistently updated. As a result, there will be times when your campaigns will be absolutely flying and others when they are generating limited returns. The answer isn’t to cut your spend or eliminate your marketing budget, but to evaluate what is and isn’t working; increasing spend in the areas where you are seeing the best returns and changing your approach in the areas where you aren’t. 

Measure and evaluate

It still amazes me when I meet a business owner who wants to increase digital marketing spend but has absolutely no idea as to how their existing campaigns are performing or what platform drives the most traffic to their website. 

To make impactful decisions with digital marketing, you need to consistently measure and evaluate all activity and implement clear A/B testing when trialling a new campaign. 

Thanks to platforms like Google Analytics and social media insights, we now have access to more data than ever before, meaning there is no excuse for not consistently evaluating the performance of your digital marketing strategy. Only in doing this can you make well-informed decisions that will enable you to improve your campaigns and level of return. 

Keep pace with trends

Over the last 12 months, the use of video content has soared, businesses globally have ramped up the use of Chatbots and Amazon Ads have scaled. 

With Google, Facebook and Amazon at its core, the digital marketing sector moves at a rapid pace, which means in order to remain competitive you need to keep track with the latest trends. For example, industry leaders predict that video will account for 80% of the globes internet traffic by 2021, which means if your business doesn’t use video to engage your target audience, you’re not in the game. 

The implementation and management of an effective digital marketing strategy can be likened to running a business. To be successful, you can’t stand still. You need to constantly evaluate what is and isn’t working, make positive changes in areas where you’re losing money and push forwards with the strategies that are generating a return. 

We all know that building a business is a long-term game. When you make mistakes, you learn from them and remain focused on your strategy for growth. Ultimately, the business leaders able to apply this same mindset to digital marketing are those who will be able to dominate their industry sector as a result.

About the Author

Mark Wright

Mark Wright

BBC Apprentice Winner and Founder and Managing Director of leading UK digital marketing agency, Climb Online

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