Everyone makes mistakes, especially when trying something new. But, when your small business is putting its reputation (and its money) on the line to try some new digital marketing strategies, making certain mistakes can be (literally) costly. Here are 5 digital marketing mistakes you should avoid if you want to enjoy online success with your small business.

Mistake 1: Targeting the Wrong Audience

The beauty of digital marketing is that it allows you to target your ideal audience, including local audiences who might be hard to reach in other ways. However, this strategy only works if you are targeting the right audience, that is, people who are interested in what you have to offer. Before launching a digital marketing campaign, take the time to understand your target audience, build buyer personas, and create an accurate picture of who you want to reach with your digital marketing campaign.

Mistake 2: Lacking a Website

No this is not a joke. Only 51 percent of small businesses have a website, despite the fact that 97 percent of people look for goods and services online. If you want a digital marketing campaign and an online presence, you have to start with a website. And before you assume that an effective website is a financial impossibility, contact Distinct Web Design. You might just be surprised at how affordable a business site can be.

Mistake 3: Lacking a Marketing Plan

You know big businesses have detailed marketing plans to guide their content decisions, ad buys, and long-term goals. But did you know that your small business needs one too? Winging it (by which we mean throwing money at whatever solutions sound good at the time) will reap you nothing but an empty bank account. Instead, figure out what you want to say about your business, who you want to say it to, what avenues are most effective for reaching those people and how much money you will need to do it.

Mistake 3: Avoiding Social Media

Facebook isn’t just for college friends or high school selfies anymore. For small businesses looking to launch a successful digital marketing campaign, Facebook, and other social media venues, offer easy and inexpensive access to wide networks of potential customers. Instead of avoiding social media for fear of looking bad or because you think it’s only for personal use, embrace all the potential these networks provide your business. Just think, for example, how many people might read your content, ask about your new product, or send friends to check out your business if you successfully promote yourself on social media.

Mistake 4: Ignoring the Sales Funnel

No matter what type of marketing you choose, your customers are going to go through a sales funnel to reach the point where they convert or take concrete action to engage with your business. It is your job to guide them through the funnel, from first hearing about your company to becoming loyal, repeat customers. And that means putting measures in place at every point of the funnel to encourage people to move further toward conversion. If businesses fail to understand or account for the sales funnel in their digital marketing, chances are they will miss out on valuable opportunities to find and cultivate future customers.

Mistake 5: Failing to Track Results

How do you know that a marketing strategy is working? By tracking results. Unfortunately, many small businesses embrace digital marketing but forget to track how their new strategies perform. For example, have you adopted Google Adwords? Then you should be doing A/B testing to identify the most successful ads and direct your marketing dollars toward those. Have you launched a social media campaign? Then you need to know how many people are coming to your website from social media. Without hard facts, you cannot identify the most effective methods of marketing. And that means you cannot guarantee the success of your digital marketing campaign.

Digital marketing can be a great boon for small businesses, thanks to its reach and cost-effectiveness. However, doing digital marketing rights mean avoiding certain mistakes, like not targeting the right audience or failing to track results. If you want a digital marketing campaign that is poised to succeed, please consider reaching out to Distinct Web Design. We can customize a marketing plan that meets your business’ budget and unique needs, and that helps avoid mistakes that can detract from the results you want to see.