18 Common Pitfalls of Digital Marketing

Are you making these common pitfalls in your digital marketing?

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You’re making a big mistake! Well, maybe not, but there’s likely a few holes in your digital marketing that could be improved. Avoid these common pitfalls of digital marketing and you’ll see more leads and a better return on your investment.

pitfalls of digital marketing

Blogging for your business1. You’re Not Blogging

You may have heard that you should be blogging but do you know why? Businesses with websites of 401-1000 indexed pages get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 indexed pages. This is because they can attack a wider range of keywords – the long tail. Good SEO practices combined with a strong keyword strategy can turn your blog into a lead generation machine (those extra indexed pages help). Studies show that the close rate for SEO leads is 14.6% compared to just 1.7% for traditional outbound methods.

2. You’re Blogging Frequency is Off

Having a blog is excellent, but are you blogging enough? Most companies don’t give a blog enough time to see a return on the investment (see #1). However, even if you do blog, frequency matters. Of marketers that blog daily, 82% acquired a customer through their blog while only 53% of marketers blogging monthly acquired a customer from their blog. Overall, 79% of companies that use a blog see a positive ROI.

3. You’re Not Using Lead Capture

Lead capture is one of the most effective methods of increasing your leads, but very few businesses employ it correctly. Most websites have a “Contact Now” or “Request a Consultation.” Only 4% of website visitors are ready to buy when they land on your site. Do you have offers or calls-to-action for the other 96% or are they coming, reading, and leaving never to return again? Use lead capture on your site to capture those visitors that aren’t quite ready to buy but may be ready to buy at a later date with a little nurturing.

social media marketing for your business4. You’re Ignoring Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool yet in 2015, a large percentage of companies are ignoring it. Sure they post regular updates, but they aren’t listening, and their content isn’t engaging. Auto-posting has shown to decrease likes and comments by as much as 70%. When done right, social media can be a critical channel in your marketing toolbox with close rates 100% better than traditional outbound methods. Over 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.

5. You’re Not Following ROI Rules

As a marketer, you should know which levers you need to push when it’s time to move people. This means knowing where the ROI is of your company’s time and money. Content marketing generates 3X as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs on average 62% less. Only 50% of companies are expected to increase their lead generation budgets meaning they aren’t going to invest money if there is no return.

6. You’re Not Following Up Fast Enough

The expectation now is that communication with a company is supposed to be real-time. Facebook and Twitter are expected to be responded to within 1 hour. Website contact forms and emails are expected to be followed up on the same day. Following up is equally important when it comes to sales. Research shows that 35-50% of sales will simply go to the vendor that responds first.

7. You’re Not Using Lead Nurturing

Generating leads takes a lot of time and effort. Carefully crafted social media outreach, blog posts, perhaps some paid advertising (online and offline) over several weeks can yield a wealth of leads. But 79% of those leads will never convert into sales. Why? The primary cause is a lack of lead nurturing. A shocking 65% of companies have not implemented lead nurturing of any kind. Those that do it well see a 50% increase in sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.

8. You’re Wasting Your Sales Department’s Time

Not all of the leads you generate are good leads. They may be a poor fit for many reasons: they don’t have a need for it, they are your competitor, they don’t have the budget, they lack purchase authority, etc. Yet 62% of marketers will pass every lead to sales only to find out that 27% of those leads were actually qualified. That’s a lot of wasted time by the sales department. Lead scoring would help decrease the amount of unqualified leads that make it to the sales process, something only 21% of businesses actually do.

9. You Haven’t Identified Your Marketing/Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is a model that helps describe how your company acquires customers via marketing and sales. 68% of companies have not identified their sales funnel. The crucial point of the model is to know when the handoff from marketing to sales should occur. This means you know they are both a good fit and interested in your product/service. Understanding your funnel also indicates you know the average sales cycle for your product/service (which has increased an average of 22% over the last 5 years).

email marketing for your business10. You’re Not Sending Emails

In 2014, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States. 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. All of these are telling you that you should be utilizing email marketing if you aren’t already. If you are using it, try sending emails at a different day and time. Oddly enough, Saturday and Sunday had the highest click-through rates at around 9%.

11. You’re Not Mobile-Focused

Over 50% of all web traffic is now mobile, 80% of email users will read email on their mobile device, mobile commerce will account for 25% of all e-commerce revenues by 2017, 53% of people believe mobile-optimized sites are easier to use, and mobile ad spending will grow 300% by 2016. However, only 55% of businesses are using mobile as one of their marketing channels. With the tide shifting, you must make sure that your focus is on mobile and the mobile consumer.

12. You’re Not Providing Relevant Content In Your Emails

It is critically important that you’ve identified your buyer personas and map your content to fit your personas. 56% of email users unsubscribe because the content is no longer relevant. Personas help you make sure that your content is staying relevant because you are speaking directly to them and their concerns.

13. You’re Not Running Any Tests

You may like the design or copy for a piece of marketing, but it may not be the most effective it could be. You’ll never know unless you’re testing and testing often. 61% of businesses run fewer than 5 tests per month. You can literally test everything about your website: colors, copy, organization, headlines, CTAs, layout, images, etc. Companies that take a more structured approach to testing – and test frequently – see twice as many sales as companies that don’t.

14. You’re Not Using Landing Pages

Landing pages are one of the most effective ways to communicate and exchange value for an email address. You create an offer – something that speaks to your ideal buyer – and give them a contact form. This allows you to nurture them into future customers. Did you know that the more landing pages you have, the more effective they are? Studies show that businesses with 30+ landing pages generate up to 7x more leads than businesses with only 1-5 landing pages. Start creating those offers!

creating buyer personas digital marketing15. You’re Not Creating Buyer Personas

Last, but certainly not least, is buyer personas. Buyer personas really allow you to identify who your ideal customers are and speak to them directly. You should understand their concerns, how they spend their free time, and where they spend time online. Give them a name and make them a fictitious representation of your ideal buyer. 44% of business say they have buyer personas, but a whopping 85% of business don’t use them in their marketing. Additionally, segmenting your customers can lead to an increase in conversions because you’re giving customers more of what they want.

16. You’re Not Spending Enough To Get Leads

Are you spending what it takes to generate leads? Studies show that companies should be spending $26-50 per lead if revenues are between $250,000 and $10 million in revenue. If you’re spending less than that but aren’t seeing the type of growth in sales you want, its time to invest a little more. The inverse of this is also true. You don’t want to be spending more than that to acquire leads. It leads to cost spirals and sending good money after bad marketing.

17. You’re Not Using Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is not cheesy, and it doesn’t create a robotic feel when you do it right. Currently, only 25% of Fortune 500 companies use marketing automation and only around 5% of all marketers use a full marketing automation program. Why use one? Well, it acts as a 24/7 salesperson making sure that there is always someone there to respond in a way the prospect is looking to be responded to.

KPIs to track digital marketing success18. You’re Not Using KPIs

Do you know what your cost of customer acquisition is? Do you know what your customer lifetime value is? These are two of the most critical marketing KPI’s and they should your budget and activity. 71% of businesses say they use KPIs to drive decision making, but only 48% said they actually had access to them. Additionally, only 31% of those companies said they use a dashboard to track all KPIs.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve read any of these 18 common pitfalls of digital marketing and thought “we do that!”, don’t fear because all is not lost. Getting your digital marketing house in order is easy and the major investment required is usually time. To see more of a return on your digital marketing, make sure you’re avoiding these common pitfalls.

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