Every year, marketers must tweak their overall approach to respond not only to their brands' changing needs, but also to the industrywide trends that alter online marketing's best practices.
The target for these practices is constantly in motion, so the risk of making digital marketing mistakes is even greater. Brands must react on the fly and adjust quickly to keep their strategies firing on all cylinders, but businesses are leery of making impulsive decisions. And when the prevailing ideology behind best practices isn't understood, it's even easier to misinterpret how a brand should act and react.
Some of the worst mistakes will come when brands fail to trust the established practices that cover today's world of online marketing. It's critical to know how to react in moments when a clear, comprehensive read on the information isn't always possible. Here are three simple mistakes to avoid throughout the year.
1. Short-Sighted Planning
The top digital marketing mistake from five years ago still applies today, according to Forbes: Marketers cannot expect a quick fix from their marketing strategy. If you aren't incorporating long-term planning that extends one year or longer into the future, you're setting yourself up for failure. Many campaigns, particularly SEO and content marketing, take some time to develop tangible results. Even strategies that start generating returns more quickly — paid search and retargeting, for example — require refinements and tweaks that only time and constant analysis can provide.
Short-term plans are fine, but brands need to put the primary focus on a long-term vision. Identify your digital marketing consultant(s) and design short-term objectives to be stepping stones on the path to fulfilling larger future goals.
2. Impatience Toward Driving Investment Returns
Marketers — not to mention brand executives — can sometimes have their thoughts clouded by unexpectedly fast returns. They begin to think that a brief spurt in Web traffic, social engagement or conversions might signal that their performance is exceeding expectations, and that the bar should be raised. Too often, though, these results do not sustain.
Be happy when spikes in campaign results surprise you, but wait and think long and hard before deciding to elevate your marketing goals.
3. Failure to Adapt to Changing Dynamics
Considering how varied digital marketing is and how quickly its best practices evolve, marketers need to keep an eye on the research and case studies rolling out at any given time. In the coming year, research will reveal new insights and suggestions that will alter a company's best practices. Failing to account for these changes will put your brand behind the eight ball as your competitors recognize opportunity and adapt accordingly.
Managing a brand's digital marketing is far from straightforward, but marketers can help themselves by simply trusting the process, understanding their circumstances and not letting abnormal results cloud their thinking. If you can do these three things, you'll steer clear of some of the most costly digital marketing mistakes.