The Top Online Marketing Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Making Them

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When you launch a digital marketing campaign, do you make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to ensure its success? Do you have a specific goal in mind? What about a target market? Are you using all of the right tools and platforms to get the word out? If not, you may be guilty of making one of the top online marketing mistakes. Don’t worry, though, because we’ve got your back.

Woman with a megaphone yelling at man out of computer. Spam message concept.
Photo by alphaspirit

The Top Online Marketing Mistakes

If the numbers still don’t seem to be adding up and you aren’t seeing the amount of sales/sign-ups, etc., that you’ve been hoping for, see if you may be guilty of one or all of these marketing mishaps and work on correcting them until you achieve your desired results.

1) You Don’t Have a Website

Your website is basically like your digital storefront. It’s where your clients land and expect to be able to get their hands on whatever service or product they’re coming to you for. Even if you’ve been successful in selling on social media, etc, you’ll still want to set up a self-hosted website so that you truly own the platform, and so that customers (and potential customers) know exactly where to find you.

How to Avoid it

Setting up a website is much easier than you think, and there are several ways you can go about it. The first would be to hire someone to build it for you, which is by far the easiest option, although it’s also the most expensive, as you can pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on what you need for your site to do.

Another option is to create your own site by going through a host such as Hostinger, who will guide you along in setting up your own WordPress website. You’ll definitely want to own your domain name, too, so that customers can type, rather than

2) You Don’t Have a Strong Social Media Presence

Now let’s say you’ve already got an amazing website set up, but you have zero presence on social media – so how do you expect people to find you? Social media is crucial for spreading the word about what you have to offer. Nearly 3.5 billion people use social media, and it would be a shame to miss out on all of that potential income.

How to Avoid it

Create at least one page for your business, based on who it is you’re targeting with your products or services. Then, make sure you’re posting regularly to keep your followers engaged. Each platform has different recommended times, and you can use a tool like Canva to create free, perfectly-sized graphics to share with those on your page.

3) You Don’t Have a Blog

Blogging is one of the best forms of digital marketing. Regular content can attract and engage, not to mention optimizing blog posts for search engines is a surefire way to keep traffic flowing to your shop’s site. One or two posts per week optimized for Google can do wonders for your organic traffic numbers.

How to Avoid it

If you already have a website, you can simply add a blog by way of a new page. If you don’t have a site yet, once you’ve corrected mistake #1 you can move on to this one. If you have your blog ready to go, it’s time to start filling it with content. Don’t just post to post. Make sure that what you’re posting adds value and is relevant to your industry, and try to post at least 2-4 times per month.

4) You Aren’t Using Social Sharing Buttons on Your Blog Posts

Mondays in PJs social sharing icons (photo)

Not giving readers a way to share your posts is number four on the Mondays in PJs list of the top 10 digital marketing mistakes to avoid. You can have some amazing content on your blog and it won’t make the rounds if it’s not shareable. If you don’t make it easy for visitors to share your content, they won’t. To make sure they do, you’ll first need to make sure there are buttons on each that allow for easy sharability to (at the very least,) Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Use a social sharing plugin to make it easy for visitors to share your stuff.

How to Avoid it

This one is a super easy fix that can be accomplished by installing a plugin. There are a number of free social sharing plugins that you can use that will allow for sharing icons above or below your content so visitors can easily share your work on their pages. Shared Counts and MashShare are two that are highly rated and easy to use. They can both be found by going through your WordPress dashboard, as you should be extremely careful when downloading plugins from outside sources. You can choose whether or not you want to display the number of times each post is shared by adjusting the settings of your plugin.

5) You Don’t Have an Email List

Here’s the big problem with relying on someone else’s platform to collect your customer’s information for you. If said platform ends up shutting down for any reason, or getting hacked, etc, you’re going to lose everything you worked so hard for. By starting an email list, you’ll always have the names and emails of dedicated individuals that you know are interested in what you’re offering. Not collecting this information is definitely one of the top online marketing mistakes you should avoid.

How to Avoid It

Use a plugin like Hustle to create an embedded box to put underneath your posts and prompt readers for signups. You can also create a popup and/or slide-in for your website, or you can do both. Just remember, however, that many people are annoyed by popups and will automatically close out of your site if they feel bombarded by a sales pitch. If you are going to use a popup or slide-in, offer a freebie as an incentive to those who are signing up, and make sure it’s one that people actually want. Some examples of this may be a mini-email course or a webinar.

6) You Don’t Understand Your Target Market

All of the marketing gurus in the world will tell you that if you try to please everybody, you won’t wind up pleasing anyone. That’s because, in order for your digital marketing campaign to be successful, it needs to be targeted toward the group of people that need and/or want your product the most, AKA, your target market.

How to Avoid it

Create a customer profile of your perfect client. Try and think about who they are and what they do in their daily lives. Determine how old they are, where they live, what level of education they have, and what their income looks like. You can even scroll through Google’s photo section to find a stock image that matches your “buyer.” Then, build your target market around that profile. What’s the ten-year age range and general location surrounding your customer? That’s the market that you want to shoot for. Directing your digital marketing campaign towards a more specific group will help you to understand and engage with your customers more.

7) You’re Sending Spammy Messages

Sending spammy-sounding messages is absolutely one of the top online marketing mistakes you can make. Some will say not to send cold messages at all, and that’s a logical standpoint. If you don’t know someone (and sometimes, even if you do,) a cold message tends to come off as rude and desperate, especially if you send the same generic bullshit to everyone. If the message has nothing to do with the person you’re sending it to, they probably won’t even waste their time reading it.

How to Avoid It

If you’re determined to use cold messaging as a form of marketing, make sure you do it right. Do your research and find out all you can about the person you’re sending the message to. Don’t just randomly send your copied and pasted sales pitch to everyone you come across on social media. Make sure there’s a reason to send it to them, and then figure out how to explain that reason to them in a way that creates interest in what you’re offering. Something along the lines:

Hi, _______,

I’ve been following you on _________ for some time now, and I wanted to talk to you about something I think you may have some interest in because (insert reason why they specifically will care about what you’re doing and how it can benefit them.) Please let me know if I’m right in thinking you’d like to get in on this opportunity and I’ll send you some more details.

8) You Don’t Have a SMART Goal For Your Campaign

If you’re not clear on what exactly it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your marketing campaign, you’re going to have a tough time making the necessary adjustments and getting to where it is you want to be in terms of hitting your goals. For instance, you most likely have the objective of making more sales or getting seen by more of your target market. But those are still just objectives, and they’re very general, so it’ll be hard for you to know what you’re aiming for, which will make it even harder to create a solid plan.

How to Avoid it

A SMART goal, which stands for, “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “relevant,” and “time-bound,” is a goal that’s able to be clearly defined and one that’s results can be proven. For instance, your typical goal is to create more awareness around your brand, and your SMART goal may be increasing unique sessions on your website by 100 people per day over the course of 30 days. By setting a goal with measurable results, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your campaign has been successful or if you need to tweak your efforts to achieve your desired results.

9) You Aren’t Being Consistent

Launching a digital marketing campaign and losing momentum is by far one of the top online marketing mistakes. To keep your brand fresh in everyone’s mind, you need to post on a regular basis. Expert opinions seem to vary on exactly what the magic number is for how many times you should post on each social media platform per day, but the consensus remains the same about the need to be consistent.

How to Avoid it

Whatever schedule you choose, stick to it as closely as possible. If you don’t want to create new posts for your platform several times each day you’ve got a few options. You can use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite and schedule multiple posts ahead of time when you feel like working on them, or you can hire a social media marketing expert to handle it for you.

10) You Aren’t Using Pinterest

I still see so many business owners and entrepreneurs that say they don’t use Pinterest for marketing for a number of reasons; they don’t understand it, or they don’t think it could be useful to them, etc. But Pinterest is such an amazing tool to use for business, it’s the third-largest social media network in the world, right behind Facebook and IG, but aside from social media, it also acts like Google in the sense it drives traffic to your site time and time again via backlinks.

How to Avoid it

Definitely take the time to create a Pinterest page for your business, and optimize it for search engines and your potential customers. Create visually appealing Pins and post them (ideally) several times per day, at least five times per week to boost business. Make sure you’re using original graphics and posting on a semi-regular schedule!

Avoiding The Top Online Marketing Mistakes

Make sure you bookmark this page so you can reference it while you’re working through each of the steps on this list of the 10 top online marketing mistakes. That way, you’ll know you’re on your way to crafting a killer digital marketing campaign for your brand.

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Erika Sellmer is a digital content specialist with a passion for remote work and empathic design.