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7 Common Mistakes in Digital Marketing

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Did you know that digital advertising revenues in APAC went up 23% in 2021? Experts also predict 16.2% digital advertising growth for our region this year.

And that’s only advertising - bear in mind that there are so many other facets of digital marketing. If that alone has grown so much, you already have a sense of how important digital marketing as a whole has become.

It’s no surprise, of course. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online marketing as a key tool for businesses.

Unfortunately, it’s also caused some panic. Fear of missing out on the benefits of digital marketing has led to some business owners launching online campaigns without prior knowledge of how to use digital channels.

This can be unwise. We’ve seen a lot of businesses make expensive mistakes this way. To make things worse, after all of the pain, they rarely get the results they expect.

That’s why today, we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes in digital marketing. Knowing what to look out for beforehand can help you avoid the usual pitfalls beginners make.

1. Not understanding your target audience

Magnet attracting paper people on red background, space for text. Target audience concept

Many business owners fall into the trap of casting too wide a net when growing their brand and appealing to consumers.

That’s understandable. You tend to feel like you want to reach everyone!

But here’s the reality: you can’t serve the entire world. You’re most likely just addressing a pain point for a very specific part of that world or its population.

Your academic book isn’t for everyone: it has an ideal audience, a niche. Your spicy food isn’t for everyone: it’s for people with a specific preference in cuisine, a niche.

Why try to sell the academic book to people who only read tabloids, for instance? Or your spicy dishes to people who can’t stand spice?

You need to know your audience. The more you refine and define your potential customers, the more likely you are to be successful in your marketing efforts.

Remember that it’s critical to define your audience in as much detail as possible. This will help you understand their needs and wants, which helps you connect with them better.

To that end, you should do extensive market research into your prospective customers. Create a buyer’s persona, understand how they behave, their interests, personalities, demographics, and activities.

Knowing these things will guide your marketing efforts more clearly than you trying to be everything for everyone.

2. Not having a clear strategy

Miniature people: Businessman standing on center of maze. Concepts of finding a solution or strategy, problem solving and challenge.

Let’s just get this straight: digital marketing requires more than just posting a few photos on Instagram or writing a blog post. We wish it were as simple as putting up a few posts, but it’s really not!

No, like most other complex ventures in life, it requires a plan.

For this, you need to set clearly defined goals, match your project to those goals, choose the right platforms, and meet your audience where they are.

You should assign metrics to measure your marketing campaign success. You need to track those metrics and tweak your plans according to insights from that data.

You may even need to engage marketing professionals to keep your messaging in line with the brand, interact with your audience regularly, and post with purpose and consistency.

For example, a lot of our clients ask us to guide them in all aspects of their marketing strategies, from planning to content production and even customer engagement.

3. Not making clear what sets you apart from the competition

It’s astonishing how many businesses fail to do this. If you want to market your business successfully, you must first identify your unique selling propositions (USPs).

Group of white paper ship in one direction and one red paper ship pointing in different way on blue background. Business for innovative solution concept.

A USP is what sets you apart and makes you unique from other companies that offer the same or similar products.

Without it, let’s face it: you might as well not exist, because why should anyone bother buying what you offer if someone else (perhaps someone more established than you, even) has the same thing?

So figure out your USP. Use it as a base for your digital marketing efforts by pointing it out every chance you can get.

Give people the answer to why they should buy from you whenever you can and you’re more likely to persuade them to actually buy from you then.

4. Not tracking your performance

Google Analytics website under a magnifying glass. Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google.

Here’s a question: How would you know if you’re effectively reaching your target market if you don’t track marketing performance?

It’s important to get a sense of whether you’re succeeding or doing badly in a venture. It tells you whether you need to fix something, invest more resources in it, tweak an aspect of a plan, and so on.

By tracking your performance, you can figure out how to constantly improve your digital marketing strategy and drop the parts of it that are only taking up resources without yielding results.

Of course, remember that different efforts and strategies will yield different metrics. Consider each digital platform in isolation & also how it contributes to the overall picture of lead generation, conversion rates and other critical data.

You can use digital marketing tools like Google Analytics to track your website’s performance, for instance. This can be especially useful when one of your marketing objectives is to send more traffic to your site.

You can use the inbuilt analytics in most social media platforms to monitor both your organic and paid efforts on those channels. And there are a tonne of affiliate marketing tools to track clicks for your affiliate programs.

In sum, use whatever tools you can find to help you keep an eye on the right information. This lets you fine-tune your marketing efforts and strategy.

5. Expecting instant results

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It’s normal to be impatient and want instant gratification.

But it’s important to note that it usually takes a while for marketing campaigns to deliver ROI.

For example, even if you’ve successfully optimised a piece of content for SEO, it’ll still take time for it to rank on Google. Social ads may take time to hit their stride too, as do remarketing campaigns, lead generation ads, and more.

Just because you’re not getting instant conversions doesn’t mean you should drop a tactic instantly.

It often means that more time is needed for it to mature.

Instead of panicking, continue to review your analytics. If you still don’t see an upward trend after giving it sufficient time to gain traction, you may review your strategies and consider how to improve - just don’t be too hasty.

6. Using only paid advertisement

While you may think that only paid advertisement will work in growing your business, it’s not necessarily the case.

Plus, it’s an expensive strategy. Paid ads only work for as long as you keep paying, so you have to pump a constant stream of money into them.

For small businesses and startups, it can be difficult, especially when you’re working with a limited budget.

So instead, consider all marketing channels that you have, both online and outside.

Content creation, content marketing via blogs, and social media are all options. Email marketing is another possibility. All of these can be effective tools of communicating your offering to the potential customers.

Visual of icons showing different channels of digital marketing.

Of course, we’re not saying you shouldn’t use paid ads. We’re just saying that you shouldn’t think of them as the only option available.

Be smart about it and maximise your budget with a multi-pronged strategy for maximum returns.

7. Not using social media effectively

In this day and age when everyone seems to be on social media, it can be one of the most effective marketing channels for a business.

However, many new businesses fail to understand the intricacies of leveraging these platforms.

While posting good content is part of it, there are much more elements to using social media as a marketing tool than that.

For example, you also need to know the right times to post your content. You need to track interactions with your audience. You need to figure out what types of posts seem to receive more engagement (likes, shares, comments).

Visual of social media icons explaining what each social media platform is used for.

You need to differentiate your content to suit specific platforms and their specific user demographics. You’re more likely to reach your audience on Instagram by posting lifestyle pictures of clothes from your fashion label, for example, while you’d be better off telling your brand’s backstory on LinkedIn instead.

You need to make the most of the various media you can use, from visuals to audio and text, while maintaining a consistent and identifiable voice.

You need to engage with and respond to your audience if they try to interact with or mention you on social media. You can also leverage other people or organisations who may post relevant content by sharing their content on your own channels and encouraging them to do the same with yours.

And on top of all that, you also need to be consistent with your posting to keep yourself top of mind for potential consumers!

Evading the Pitfalls of Digital Marketing

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As you can see, there are a lot of things to look out for. Digital marketing isn’t a walk in the park… though it isn’t a trial by fire either.

Just keep the things we noted in mind when you get started. And remember that when in doubt, you can always fall back on the experience of others to help you.

To be precise, you can always hire digital marketing professionals for assistance. They’re more likely to know what to do even when you feel stuck.

If you want to learn more about this, contact us for a chat for your digital marketing needs.

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