Companies looking to develop their digital marketing campaigns must be as conscious of their potential mistakes as they are of their options. Digital marketers are inundated with thousands of strategies and it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Even the most skilled and experienced marketers may occasionally fall prey to a few ineffective strategies.

1. Purchasing a Large Inventory of Content

It caimagesn be tempting to hit the ground running by purchasing and publishing a large inventory of content right away. But this creates content that has been developed in a vacuum, without any indication that the audience will find the content either interesting or insightful. This strategy creates large volumes of generic content that is based purely on speculation and it foregoes organic growth. It’s often preferable for a company to start with a modest amount of content and then slowly build that content by analyzing user behavior and identifying the content strategies that work best. For the sake of marketing growth, content that is trickled out a few posts a day is far more effective than content that goes live all at once. While you can purchase content and then publish it over time, this still doesn’t allow you to modify your content campaign in response to user reaction.

2. Imitating the Competition

marathonThink about it this way. You have an hour to get from one side of the city to the other. Your competition already has a head start. What are you going to do? Are you going to follow the exact same route that your competition is? Or are you going to try to find a more efficient path? By imitating the competition, you’re putting yourself at a significant handicap. You’ll never achieve the returns that they did because they have the benefit of being the first. Instead, you need to innovate. You need to ask yourself how you can be better than them and how you can improve upon what they have done. Digital marketing is not a marathon. Digital marketing is parkour.

3. Investing in Content Automation Tools

robotMany companies attempt to first build their content inventory through the use of automation. Sometimes this involves creating entire content inventories out of spun content. Other times it means merely pushing updates to a variety of platforms. The impulse to automate is natural and even intelligent, to some extent. As Bill Gates once said, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” But an easy way isn’t always the best way, especially when it comes to something as personal and vital as content creation and curation. Ultimately, most companies will find that automation actively hurts them, due to the way that search engines gauge page and website quality. Even automating posts to a social media account can be hurtful; followers can recognize bot-driven posting and will rapidly lose interest. Sometimes there is such a thing as being too clever for your own good.

4. Going All-In With Paid Advertising

paidIf you have a large budget, why not just pay for your advertising right out of the gate? You can build a huge customer base right away and then allow that customer base to grow organically from there. It seems like a simple solution, but it’s really not. PPC advertising campaigns are extremely complex and aren’t likely to yield a sustainable customer base without a lot of work. Moreover, customer acquisition isn’t what most companies need to focus on — customer retention is. Search engine optimization and content marketing strategies are a preferable long-term investment because they can grow with the business, whereas a PPC campaign requires that money be pumped into it continually to remain effective. That’s not to say that PPC advertising doesn’t have a place in the digital marketing arsenal — it just can’t be the foundation of a campaign.

Of course, the fun — and infuriating — thing about digital marketing is that many ineffective strategies actually can work in some situations, just as many extremely proven strategies can fail in others. If you have a particularly good rationale for using any of the above strategies, they still can be incorporated within a successful digital marketing campaign. You simply need to be conscious of the challenges that lie ahead.

Jenna Inouye
Jenna I. is a freelance writer, programmer and web developer, focusing on the areas of digital marketing, technology, gaming and finance. Hire Jenna through WriterAccess or contact her directly.

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