02 Nov Common Mistakes Made Trying To Build An Online Presence And How To Go About It
Building an online presence is no easy feat. There’s a lot to take into account than just spending money on buying ads.
Due to the change of consumer behaviour, where consumers are either seeking information or validating their decisions online, every company is seeking to establish their brands online.
With 11 years background of digital marketing experience, I’ve seen countless efforts of companies trying to build their presence online. Some accomplish their goals, but more often than not, brands make costly mistakes and the unfortunate part is that these mistakes are actually common.
Some mistakes may result of marketing budget not spent well, and some mistakes can result to a major setback, where it can be damaging to a brand that could very well ‘un-sell’ a product or service.
Mistake 1: Not Positioning Well In The Search Engines
There are plenty of inaccurate descriptions of different websites of brands when it comes to their positioning in the search engine.
Here’s an acid test: try to type your brand online.
First of all does it show on the first page on the search engine?
Does it want has the description you want to represent? Or does it just show ‘contact (copyright) 2016’.
Whatever description your website has, it’s the first info your visitors are receiving when they are searching online, and it can either help you position your brand better or negatively affect it.
More than that, does your website description fit well within your business and marketing objectives? Does it represent your USP (unique selling proposition) and key messages?
If not, then your brand may be misrepresented and that may affect consumer decisions and conversion rates.
Mistake 2: Targeting Unwanted Audiences
This is a big common mistake. Most brands I’ve noticed in my past experience have well burn marketing budgets on audiences they do not wish to attract.
I had one client who conducted business in Malaysia asked me why they have plenty of responses from Indonesia.
As technology develops, platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram allows for better and more accurate targeting in consumer behaviours.
But better technology also means more features and options available.
It requires a more in-depth understanding on how to use the features through the consoles to target and attract the right audience. It also affects methods on tweaking campaigns for optimum results.
It can be complicated and overwhelming for those embarking on digital marketing without prior experience, and ignorance in this area can lead to an expensive, ineffective campaign.
Mistake 3: No Proper Funnel
Another mistake that brands make is that there is no proper funnel in place. With digital media, there is much a brand can do to educate visitors, such as using a variety of media formats like audios and videos besides text and images.
Yet, most brands drive traffic to the homepage, where is a clutter of information.
Also, most homepages are poorly designed, leaving visitors without any clue or guidance to navigate for information.
Thus, when spending marketing budgets on a poorly structured funnel, it’s like pouring fuel without the fire, with no results.
Mistake 4: No Proper Metrics and KPI
As there is a saying ‘you can only manage what you measure’. The beauty of digital marketing is that every cent spent is measurable and traceable.
The problem is that most companies are not measuring their efforts and spend, where there is no proper metrics and KPI in place.
Without the proper metrics and KPI, firstly there is no proper benchmark on whether digital marketing efforts are working or not.
Secondly, without benchmark, there is no proper gauge to tweak and to optimize the campaign according to data, which is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing.
Results Can Be Achieved
Building an online presence is not a walk in the park. Despite that, with proper methods, results can be achieved, in garnering awareness and leads.
With proper marketing approaches, conversions can be maximized.
Here are some aspects to keep in mind and solutions, as well as how to avoid the common mistakes with your digital marketing efforts.
Solution 1: Begin With Marketing Fundamentals
When it comes to digital marketing, most people think it’s about data, technology, programming and things they can’t pronounce or understand.
While technical aspects may apply, most brands and companies forgot that it’s all about marketing fundamentals in the first place.
There are questions to be addressed before spending any digital marketing budgets such as:
- What is the brand’s USP and key messages?
- What is the problem a company can solve?
- Who are the target audiences?
With the above addressed, it is much clearer on how to approach positioning in the search engines, ad copies and targeting scope.
Solution 2: Proper SEO Implementation
Ranking keywords can be a challenge, especially with search engine like Google who is constantly changing their algorithm.
Yet it can be done with proper implementation. The minimum outcome is to at least have your brand’s name ranked number one with proper title and description carrying your USP and key message.
One of the ways is to utilize Google’s Webmaster Tool, to submit and audit your website according to Google’s policy and guidelines.
This will enormously build trust amongst your visitors when someone searches for your brand.
Solution 3: Have A Traffic Growth Strategy
When buying traffic, the proper approach is to have a growth strategy and methods to scale it.
One of the mistakes that brands make is to spend on every audience and channels to see what works. It’s like using a shotgun instead of a sniping rifle.
Instead, break the process of traffic acquisition up to phases and according to channels with each phase having targeted messages.
Spend advertising budgets on the lowest hanging fruits such as top keywords and the most targeted audience segments.
From there, analyze the results with data, then expand and scale traffic to less targeted keywords and audience that will bring in the quantity leads or awareness.
For example, if you’re selling sports shoes, then the lowest hanging keywords are ‘sports shoe’. Once you’ve gotten results, you can expand and scale traffic to less targeted keywords like ‘trendy shoes’ and test if there are results.
Solution 4: Prioritize Consumption Of Information
Most websites spam visitors with a ton of information, loads of tabs, and never ending product or service features.
Keep in mind it’s a real person behind the screen consuming information.
The key to persuading the visitor to lean toward your product or service is to pace and strategize the information presented to a visitor, which can be achieved by having a proper funnel.
A funnel, to be simplified, is a plan and process of the priority of information consumed by visitors.
Think of a salesperson trying to close a deal with a prospect. The salesperson identifies a problem, and present a solution, educate the prospect on the product or service, provide credentials and present a call to action to close the deal.
Same think for a website. Think of how it can best replace a salesperson, and on the information that the visitor will be consuming first.
That will be: from solving a problem > to education > to credentials> and a call to action.
After all, you are trying to persuade and convert a real human behind the screen.
Solution 5: Track and Measure Results
When running digital campaigns, technology has enabled us to be able to track all digital marketing efforts.
With free analytics like platforms like Google Analytics, we are able to track in-depth behavior and tweak digital campaigns accordingly, which can prove to be the success of failure of digital efforts.
Knowing your metrics is extremely important. That is because when you know your cost, you know how much you are able to spend.
Some metrics to have at your fingertips:
- What is the cost to acquire a lead?
- What is the cost to acquire a sale?
- What are top performing audiences and the cost per acquisition (CPA) for it?
- What are top performing keywords and the cost per acquisition (CPA) for it?
By know which segments are performing, then you are able to funnel budgets to appropriate channels, profiles and segments accordingly.
Through constant tweaking and optimization, your digital campaign can have results and success to out beat the competition.