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Marketing is no longer about flyers and business cards. Most consumers nowadays discover companies via the internet whether it be from using search engines or spotting ads. A strong digital marketing campaign could help you to generate a lot more business. However, to make sure that you’re digital marketing is effective, you need to understand the tactics that do work and the tactics that don’t work. Here are just 10 mistakes that should be avoided while marketing online – and what you should do instead.

Not having a website

A website is the most crucial ingredient you can have when marketing online. Some companies settle for only a Facebook page, but without a website you won’t look as official. Make sure that getting a website designed is your first step before trying any other marketing tactics.

Not using social media

Social media has also become an essential tool when marketing online. You can use it to keep existing customers in the loop, as well as reaching out to new customers. It’s worth setting up a Facebook page, Twitter page and LinkedIn page. If you’re able to showcase images of your work (such as baking cakes or doing tattoos), an Instagram account could also be useful. Social media accounts are free to set up on all major platforms.

Ignoring SEO

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a tactic used to improve your rankings on Google and Bing. High rankings can increase the chance of people visiting your site (or indeed your social media pages). There are lots of strategies used within SEO including improving the speed of your site, using keywords and encouraging third-party hyperlinks leading to your site.

Outsourcing too much

Many companies outsource too much of their marketing. Doing some of it yourself could save you a lot of money. Two tasks that can be easily DIYed include social media marketing and email marketing. You can even build your own website without coding knowledge using a drag-and-drop website-builder – this guide at Labinator compares two of the most popular platforms. There are lots of guides online that can offer tips on DIY digital marketing strategies. Use these to your advantage.

Doing too much yourself

Of course, it’s also possible to do too much of your own marketing. Tasks like SEO and video marketing are always better off carried out by a professional – successful SEO requires a large network of people, while successful video marketing requires skills in video production. You’ll likely also need professionals to design logos or design PPC ads. Always spend your time researching into marketing companies so that you can get the best price while also ensuring that the company has a good reputation.

Faking reviews

Positive online reviews can be essential in winning over consumers’ trust. However, you should avoid faking your own positive reviews. By doing this, you’re lying not only to your customers but to yourself. If you get found out for writing your own reviews, you could also get into trouble – a number of companies have been fined for faking reviews. Focus instead on encouraging genuine positive reviews. You can do this by asking every happy customer you work with to kindly leave a review online.

Buying followers

Just like faking reviews, buying followers on social media is dishonest. A lot of these bought followers are likely to be from inactive accounts – they likely won’t interact with your content and it may come across as suspicious as a result (you’ll have lots of followers, but no likes). Social media sites are trying to stomp out this behaviour by deleting inactive accounts. Consequently, you could end up losing all these bought followers. You’re much better off focusing on attracting genuine followers through engaging content and boosted posts.

Email spamming

Sending lots of unsolicited emails to people could come across as annoying. It could also be illegal under certain circumstances. When conducting email marketing campaigns, try to have a clear strategy and avoid constantly messaging people that aren’t signed up to a mailing list. When it comes to mailing lists, always have an ‘opt out’ feature and try to still remain sensible with the amount of emails you post (small businesses often needn’t post more than two emails per week). This guide at Coschedule offers some great tips on email marketing.

Ignoring mobile users

A large proportion of today’s internet users are on mobile devices, so it’s important to make sure that your marketing strategies apply to mobile users as well as PC users. When designing your website, make sure that there is a mobile-friendly version that mobile users can be directed to. There are tools that you can use to check whether your site is mobile friendly. It could also be worth looking into exclusive marketing strategies aimed at mobile users such as designing an app.

Failing to adapt to new trends

Digital marketing is a constantly evolving field and what may be effective now may not be popular in five years’ time. It’s important to constantly keep an eye on new trends so that you can adapt your marketing strategy if necessary. Try out new social media channels and don’t be afraid to abandon tactics that don’t seem to be working so well. You may even be able to come up with topical marketing strategies based on recent events such as relating them to upcoming sports events.