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Digital Marketing Advice NOT to follow

5 Oct, 2010 McKell Naegle

digital marketing mistakes

Below are 8 common phrases of “advice” for digital marketing. Don’t believe everything you hear. Digest it, then take a step back and use some solid strategy to help it be effective for your brand.

1. “We just have to make a really cool site, and it’ll bring in the traffic”

It helps to have an attractive, user-friendly website, but if no one knows it there or how to get to it, how much good does it do?  You need to do some work and spend some money to get people to your site and make that first visit effective enough to make them want to return. Solid Search Engine Optimization work is a smart step in the right direction.

2. “Let’s just send it to everyone”

Don’t just send whatever you have to everyone on your list. The people on your list did opt in to getting further information from you, but you want to make them glad they chose to do so. Do your homework and send relevant messages to your customers – messages that fit their industry, needs or interests. Just because you can do something (because it is easy and inexpensive) doesn’t mean you should.

3. “You should make a viral video”

Here is the hard truth: You don’t make a viral video. A video can become viral or “go viral.” A video only becomes viral if people share it with others and those people do the same. There are ways you can increase the likelihood that your content goes viral (see our previous blog post for more tips) The number 1 thing is to make content that’s really appealing.

4. “We need to dump more money into digital”

“Dumping” more money into anything isn’t the answer. This isn’t to say that many brands couldn’t benefit from a greater investment in digital marketing. However, figuring out what makes sense for the brand should be the critical step instead of figuring out who has excess ad inventory. Buying more impressions for a digital ad can be a good move, but make sure it is in an area that will effectively reach your target demographic. Don’t “dump,” but rather “strategically place” your digital marketing dollars.

5. “Our site should have a massive Flash intro video and music”

These elements can be cool on first visit, but can also be some of the most frustrating user experiences on the internet. A video or animation that you’re forced to watch before you can even enter a site make people have to wait until it finishes playing or try to figure out a way to skip so you can get to the information you went to the site for. This also applies to music that automatically starts playing – people may not be in an appropriate place to have music playing, or they don’t have the same taste in music you do!

Before you go for the “wow factor” on your site, make sure the rest of the site is amazing (including the content). If you’ve got spare time and money after that, then add in all the other elements – in moderation.

6. “Let’s go out and get more fans (likes, followers, etc.)”

“Getting more fans” by itself is not a solid plan. It takes work and some money to get them. It is a good way to stay front of mind with consumers, but first, it is wise to consider: What are you going to do with these fans after you get them? How is your investment going to pay off? Facebook fans don’t become worth much to your company’s bottom line until you convert that fan relationship into an additional sale or any sort of meaningful, measurable action related to your brand. Step one is to get in front of your target audience, but the crucial second step is engaging them, building trust, and converting them to your brand.

7. “All you need to do is measure impressions”

This also applies to measuring visitors, page views, and other similar metrics. It is not enough to  plan on measuring for your digital marketing. These sorts of metrics don’t tell you everything about the effectiveness and value of your program. It is crucial to dig in deeper. For example, don’t just track impressions on Facebook. First, look at things like clicks, shares, comments, and video views. After that, move toward conversions, whether it be a sale on your ecommerce site or even printing a digital coupon. Get as close to the point of purchase with your tracking as you can.

8. “You’ve got to get your brands on Foursquare”

This is not just referring to Foursquare – you can insert any of the “hot” sites or platforms here. Getting your brand onto/into the latest platform is not a silver bullet for every brand and company out there. You need to focus on the fundamentals first. For example, before investing a lot of money into every platform available, focus on establishing your search optimization. More potential customers will find and buy your products based on them being the first listing on Google for an important keyword above being listed on Foursquare. Invest in creating some content that people care about and that compels them to not only share it, but also to buy whatever you’re selling. When you have a solid brand established it is a great idea to expand to other digital marketing platforms that allow you to engage your consumers.

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