When I was in school, I learned a valuable lesson that virtually every teacher and professor impressed on me and my peers: the more I learn about a subject, the less likely I am to make mistakes. As I’ve gotten older – and hopefully wiser, I’ve discovered there is truth in that belief. After all, I don’t allow the tread on my tires to wear down completely before I replace them, I research the capabilities of the latest computer equipment before I buy, and I develop comprehensive plans around specific initiatives our company undertakes prior to starting them. I believe most of us learn from our mistakes, especially those around digital marketing. Every organization is different. Some digital initiatives, led by very talented marketers, hit the nail on the head while others may miss the board completely. It happens to many of us, but the key is to identify and learn from them.
I’ve identified three critical mistakes even the most seasoned pros make when implementing key digital marketing initiatives for their organizations. In addition, I’ve outlined what they can do to avoid them and strategies to help them hit that nail on the preverbal head.
Not Maximizing Content
Content is king, but many don’t realize just how much. Almost everyone understands the value of content, but according to recent studies, it’s vital to a prospect’s purchasing journey. Pinpoint Market Research indicated that 93% of the B2B buying process begins with an internet search. Similarly, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to conduct research online on their own, according to Forrester. In other words, prospects want to learn about your product or service prior to making any direct contact. Developing the right kind of content and extending the shelf life of it is what will draw more prospects to your door. This is not only true for B2B prospects, as approximately 88% of consumers research major purchases online prior to making a purchase according to both Salesforce and Retail Dive.
How to Fix It
Organizations should not only develop exceptional content and publish on their website, they should also maximize every drop of that content across different social media channels, partner channels and search engines. An informative and well-written blog should continue to live on in the form of salient quotes, Q&As, and affordable PPC ads across multiple platforms. That blog should also be highlighted in a separate video (with links in the description, of course) as well as during webinars and presentations.
In short, a blog, article or the equivalent, should have a long shelf life that helps it remain relevant 6, 12 and 18 months after it’s been first published. Utilized with multiple pieces of content, this approach can help permeate all possible platforms where prospects search for information. We understand that increased impressions make for increased engagement. Ultimately, this leads to greater ROI and revenue.
Not Properly Leveraging SEO
Search Engine Optimization has been around for quite some time. Although strategies and tactics might evolve over time – especially as Google and others alter their algorithms – the importance of SEO can’t be denied. The challenge for many marketers and the organizations they work for is they implement the bare minimum and, in return, reap the bare minimum. These days, incorporating two keywords in a blog post won’t really help, especially if competitors have spent a great deal of time perfecting their SEO strategy. This is part of the dilemma for many digital marketers – lack of a comprehensive SEO strategy.
How to Fix It
A thorough and comprehensive SEO strategy should not only leverage key terms and phrases relevant to your content, it will exponentially grow your company’s content footprint. As stated above regarding prospects searching for relevant content prior to contacting a provider or making purchasing decisions, the more places where your content can be found, the more likely a prospect is to consider your product or service. It stands to reason that the better your SEO strategy, the more likely your content will be found in more places.
Keep in mind that a comprehensive SEO strategy is worth spending time and resources on. It’s not driven by luck. These days, with so much competition vying for those terms prospects search when gathering information, marketers should invest in SEO strategy development that will pay dividends for months and years to come and help maximize the great content you’ve spent so much time crafting.
Not Properly Leveraging Your Website for Lead Generation
Twenty years ago, websites were little more than online brochures, allowing interested parties to learn a bit about your company and contact you by phone or email if they were interested. Today, Fortune 2000 organizations too often place good content on their site while not properly taking advantage of the resulting traffic. Rather than engage and follow up with visitors, companies allow prospective clients to come and go on a static website that does nothing more than look good.
How to Fix It
Today, a company’s website should do much more than act as an online brochure. Not only should company websites be reservoirs of valuable content and information, they should properly lead visitors through compelling discoveries along the buying journey. In addition, no prospect should visit a provider’s website and not engage or leave contact information. Strategies utilizing eBooks, webinars, tracking tools and follow up opportunities should permeate your website. During the buying journey, your prospect will have searched across multiple platforms before they warm up to the idea of taking that next step. A lead generating – or nurturing – mechanism should be built into your site as standard. If a prospect visits your website and is compelled to learn more, they should be excited about engaging and providing contact details for additional follow up.
The responsibilities of a digital marketer become more complex with each passing year. Although it may be tempting to implement basic strategies simply to check a responsibility box, there are real opportunities available when we maximize content, SEO strategies and our primary online presence. The prospects are out there. The real question is are we willing to go and get them?