Five Digital Marketing Mistakes That Are Draining Your Profits

 

In the last decade, millions of people have taken their business online. The field of digital marketing is still new though. Many small business owners are making costly marketing mistakes that are costing them money.

This article focuses on five common digital marketing mistakes that small business owners make. Axing these habits will help you attract more people to your website.

And of course that means more profit.

 

1) Not Providing Value to Your Email List

There is a famous saying in digital marketing,“the money is in the list.”Email marketing is probably the most underused tool in the small business owner’s toolkit.

Perhaps that is because email marketing is traditionally associated with annoying spam.

But good email marketing is as far from spam as it gets. Effective email marketing is about building a relationship with your customers. What does building a relationship mean in practical terms?

It means providing emails that your customers want to open. Exciting emails; that’s what the best email marketers have in common. You need to provide interesting content alongside your products or affiliate links.

That means different things to people. If you’re an expert in your field, then you can write an interesting article. Or you can become a great curator. That means you collect the best articles, infographics, and videos in your niche, and display them in a convenient list.

If you only sell to your email list (as opposed to providing value), you will lose goodwill. And when you lose goodwill, you lose future revenue.

 

2) Constructing Blog Posts That Aren’t Written for the Web

Inbound marketing brings customers to your website with engaging and original content. It works; and it’s become quite popular in recent years. Because of its effectiveness, many small business owners use it. But on the internet it takes more than a well-written article to succeed.

First off, you need to write for the web. On the internet, a lot of people skim information or speed read. That’s because they’re chasing down answers. You need to break up your text into small paragraphs. Web surfers devour helpful content written in this format.

It’s also critical to avoid using complex jargon, or too much high-level vocabulary. You should strike a balance here. It’s okay to use a word that your audience might have to look up. But, if they need to look up five words in one paragraph, then you need to use more graspable synonyms.

Adding images to your content is important as well. Study after study shows people like to consume blog posts with images. Many images require minimal effort, but even the simple ones elevate the quality of your post. Images are a convenient way to accelerate your content marketing strategy. Write for the web, and your blog posts will grow in popularity.

 

3) Not Using a Logo

Think of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Think of Apple and Microsoft. If you visualize those companies in your head, you can project their logo. A logo is a great way to build your brand. It inspires confidence in the customer and it helps them remember what you stand for. If you have a logo you like, make sure it’s featured on your website.

If you don’t have a logo you like, then it’s time to get one. Some people make their own logo. If that’s not an option, consider Fiverr.com as an inexpensive way to get a logo. As the name implies, logos start at five dollars. Look for sellers that have high feedback, preferably above 4.8 stars.

 

4) Not Using Lead Magnets Correctly

Email marketing is the crux of making money online. Adding quality subscribers to your email list means adding money to your pocket. Of course, most people won’t just hand over their emails.

Signing up for an email list is dicey. There are a lot of glorified spammers out there. No one wants to spend a perfectly good evening unsubscribing from dozens of annoying email lists. People want to know your going to give them value. They also want a reward, since signing up for an email list is a risk. A lead magnet assuages both of those concerns.

Now, a lead magnet is something you give people in exchange for their email address. It’s something exclusive that people can’t find for free anywhere. It might be a free e-book, a video tutorial, or an interview with an influential person in your industry.

Many small business owners provide an inferior product as a lead magnet. They don’t want to spend too much effort on something that won’t pay immediate dividends.

However, that kind of thinking is antithetical to acute email marketing. Your profits are tied to your relationship with your list. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

That’s why you need a good lead magnet.

 

5) Not Helping Google Understand Your Images

Search engines can do a lot of things. One thing they can’t do is read images. So how do they find out what an image is about? One way is the title of the image. If the title of your image is a random string of numbers and letters, Google will have no way to read it. When you insert an image into a blog post, you need to make sure it has a descriptive title. “Yellow-flower” is a better title than a random string of characters such as “654123ab”.

Proper labeling of images will help Google accurately index them. This will help the images on your website rank higher in organic search. Alternative text is useful here as well. Use it to add something meaningful not found in the title tag.

But, remember that keyword stuffing alt text is just like keyword stuffing in articles. It will bring a Google penalty to your website. The most effective alt text and titles are written for people, not search engines. They outline images, and they add value for web surfers.

 

Conclusion

There is a lot more to digital marketing than these five tips. Still, this is a great place to start. A lot of webmasters are still making these mistakes. By avoiding these errors, you will be one step ahead of the competition.

1c2479bZachary Moore is a freelance writer and digital marketer. He writes articles about digital marketing, entrepreneurship, finance and more. He enjoys sharing helpful marketing ideas with entrepreneurs who need support. You can find him at his website and on LinkedIn.

Breaking into a Market

15929429802_4d3f221c03The greatest challenge of a 21st century startup is getting anyone’s attention. twenty years ago it was enough to put a flashy neon sign on a street corner and local people would start lining up at your door. You don’t have a street corner on the internet, and no pedestrians, so where do you start?

It feels like you’re a ghost waving at imagined customers in an empty room. So what do you do? You can’t just sit on your hands and wait for something to happen. You need to develop a strategy, and here, I’ll share one of mine with you.

Start with Networking

Stop thinking of yourself as a 1950s factory boss, and try to think like a redditor. Internet denizens aren’t here to be fed slogans and lines, and attempting to do so will get them shoved right back down your throat. You need to be a human being, not a marketer.

You need to find the forums where your target audience is, and most important, where your market niche’s influencers are. You need to be available on those forums with your expertise. Add the forum regulars on your social media accounts. Show the world who you are, show them what you know, and that you have the answers to their problems. This is a significant investment of your time, and sometimes resources, but this is how you earn social capital. Don’t neglect it.

Find your competitors, find the owner’s social media accounts, and see who they are talking to. You need to be talking to those people too. If you did your prior footwork, those bloggers and social media influencers will have seen you on the forums. When you contact them, they will know who you are, and be ready to talk to you, re-tweet you, pin your stuff, and share your content.

Offer Value on your Website

Don’t ever let anyone regret going to your website. You need to have more than products and testimonials on your site. What this looks like varies enormously depending on your business, but in essence, the currency of the internet is easily accessible information. That means that you need skilled writers who can write in a manner that is easy to read, humorous, and concise.

I’ve been working in internet marketing for a while now, and this is the biggest mistake (short of trying to sell a valueless product), that business owners make. In a world where there are tens or hundreds of mostly identical stores offering mostly identical products, there isn’t a reason to pick your store out of many and buy from you. Geography has become an utterly meaningless abstraction with the advent of online shopping, and all of us now have to compete with every single store on Earth that has access to a drop shipper.

Be your Business

The age of formality is over. You can’t show up and just hide behind a store name, because nobody wants a relationship with a store. If you want to be successful on the internet, you need to be a minor celebrity. Not in the kind of way that strangers recognize you on the street, but in the way that the important people within your industry, all over the world, know who you are, and respect you.

To do this, “own it”, in a public way. Talk about it on your personal social media. Talk about it to people in meatspace interactions. You can’t be humble, or separate your public and private life when you’re an entrepreneur, because you need the support of the people in your private life to make it to the public.

Don’t Give Up

Finally, don’t expect instant results. First, you need to REALLY know what you’re talking about. Then you have to really earn the respect of other people who also really know what they are talking about. This stuff takes time. Often, entrepreneurs will give up on their passion because they think nobody is listening, but if you keep at it long enough (at least two years), and keep working on the quality of your communication and the value of the content that you are bringing to the table, people will start to listen. Don’t give up on your passion.

Oh yeah, if you’re starting a business about something you don’t care about, quit now, because you’re definitely going to fail.