Digital marketing is unique on many levels. Unlike any traditional form of marketing, it can be totally free (which means small businesses can compete with huge brands).
Unlike most other forms of marketing, in digital marketing creativity and authenticity can win over large budgets (which is another opportunity for small businesses and personal brands).
And yet, digital marketing is still often misunderstood, and as a result, businesses go back to other (old) marketing channels or fail to see any solid results.
Here are old digital marketing mistakes that I still see being made by small businesses:
Treating social media marketing the same way as other marketing
Lots of businesses make the mistake of doing social media marketing the same way they have done other marketing.
One big distinction between most forms of marketing and social media marketing is that authenticity wins.
If loud headlines may win the game when it comes to banner, TV and radio advertising, in social media marketing it all comes to authentic and relatable stories.
To get the most from social media you need to change the way you think and follow the example of the brands that get it. Expect to have a conversation with the people you’re connected with and encourage transparency and humor as a starting point.
Failing to embrace new trends and content formats
Too many small and local businesses neglect new platforms, like Snapchat and TikTok thinking that only kids use those.
Well, guess what, Facebook’s audience was once much younger too. In a couple of years the userbase of those newer platforms will reach the age of your target demographics. Why not start introducing them to your brand now?
This will also encourage your marketing team to discover and use new content formats, like vertical, short-form videos, which so many platforms are favoring in newsfeeds.
From TikToks to Instagram Reels to YouTube Shorts, snackable, binge-ready video is where it’s at in 2023. A recent study from HubSpot found that short-form video is the number one trend that professional marketers are investing in this year, as it yields the highest ROI of any video format.
Videoleap makes experimenting with a steady flow of short social clips easier, allowing your team to create professional, branded videos that will fit various newsfeed requirements. With extensive libraries of shared templates, pre-licensed soundtrack music and eye-catching visual effects, you can use your footage to create a high volume of quick iterations and see what resonates with audiences.
Neglecting Content Re-Packaging
Many people think that when they post a piece of content on their blog, it’s game over – they can’t do anything more with it.
Repurposing is one of the hallmarks of a successful content marketing campaign, but you have to do it right. If you have valuable content, the more places people can find it, the better. There’s nothing wrong with turning a pillar article into a podcast, video, slideshow or leveraging the visual content trend to create a series of images for sharing on Pinterest and Instagram.
That’s just smart marketing. It’s also a great voice search website optimization technique because you get to create a lot of content assets that target all kinds of long-tail search queries. There are quite a few repackaging tools allowing you to easily introduce new content formats into your strategy.
If you are not sure what direction your content repackaging efforts should take, try Text Optimizer which will suggest all sorts of related angles and topics:
Neglecting content curation
Too many business social media profiles are filled with their own links and quotes. This is not social media networking. This is broadcasting.
Offer spotlight to other creators, and you will soon notice them do the same for you.
Sharing great content and adding your comments is a key human activity that transcends the digital world.
From memes to cartoons to interesting quotes, there’s lots of shareable content already out there. You can bring it to a new audience via your social media sites.
Drumup is one of my favorite curation tools that allows you to keep your social media profiles filled with interesting content and links that are not your own.
Marketing anonymous content
Too many business blogs have no authorship set up, so most of the content goes live under a generic “admin” profile.
Make sure there’s a name and an author byline attached to each article so that there’s a recognized expertise behind your brand-owned content.
There are two things to think about:
- Content without an author is not as trustworthy as content that’s written by a human being. This is important for both human readers and search engines.
- If you want content to reflect your brand voice and your authority, then you can’t get just anyone to write it. Forget about cutting costs by outsourcing to the third world, and find someone closer to home who can really represent you brilliantly.
Get people within the company – like your CEO – to produce content that immediately has brand authority and credibility, and shows the human face behind the company. Your customers will trust and respect your company more if they know the people behind it.
Neglecting email marketing
Some people believe that if they are using social media for content marketing then they don’t need to bother with email marketing campaigns.
That’s wrong too.
Research shows that email still remains one of the best ways to reach people. And it generates double the return of other marketing channels. That doesn’t sound very dead to me.
Email is an integral part of a content marketing campaign because it remains one of the best ways to let people know about the content you produce in a more personal way than a newsfeed.
Don’t abandon email. This marketing channel has great reach and supports your overall campaign. There are quite a few affordable email marketing platforms that make it easy to set up smart marketing automations and personalize your email campaigns.
Not measuring social media marketing ROI
If your goal is being visible and connected, then you can check out your social media fan base and track mentions and interactions.
And there’s more. The main social media sites provide analytics (Facebook Insights, Pinterest Analytics, and so on). You can also check what’s happening in your Google Analytics dashboard, which includes social reports.
I also use Visualping to monitor my branded search results: It will alert me via email once there are new mentions or articles showing up for my brand name in Google search. It will also notify me if there are any changes to my Knowledge Panel or if there are new search sections that are added to my branded SERPs:
Put all those together and you will be able to see how the audience attention you get translates to leads and revenue.
Ignoring negative feedback
If people don’t like your content – tough. If you’ve been thinking that, you need to change your approach.
The thing that can hurt you the most in a content marketing campaign is being unresponsive. Respond to both great feedback and negative feedback and emphasize solving problems quickly. Research shows that almost 40 percent of social media users who complain about a brand on social media expect a reply to come within sixty minutes.
Digital marketing can boost your ROI and uncover more business opportunities for your brand. But it never stays the same. Keep innovating, try new tools and involve more people into your marketing strategy and you will soon see real results from your efforts.
Image: Envato Elements
More in: Marketing 101
I think another key marketing mistake small businesses are making is not including information that their target audience actually wants in content. Put yourself inside of your ideal client’s shoes. What do they want to know before purchasing your goods or services? Make sure those things are addressed on your website and other content marketing mediums. Even if its uncomfortable. Be sure to address: Price, Time, Pros and Cons, and Competitors.
You’ll be easier to locate via search engines and build brand trust quicker.
Email marketing is indeed a powerful tool for reaching out to your audience. Moreover, it requires small expenses compared to the results it gives. New social media trends are awesome, but don’t forget about old-school methods (: Speaking it as a millennial who works in a content marketing agency.