As a digital strategist, I’ve seen all the digital marketing mistakes you could imagine.

Since I’ve helped dozens of small businesses improve (and in some cases start) their online efforts, I have also their learned common pitfalls.

While every business is unique and needs a unique plan, I’ve learned these digital mistakes are super common and super easy to avoid. But unfortunately they still show up all too frequently.

Keep reading to make sure you don’t fall into these same traps.

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Digital Marketing Mistake #1:
THINKING WEBSITES ARE CHEAP

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I’ve built lots of websites (usually using Divi from Elegant Themes, or Extra for blogs like this one). And a BIG part of my business comes from companies who already have new-ish websites. These small businesses went with the cheapest bidder online – and ended up very unhappy with the results.

So they went with the cheap price tag, and what should have been a bargain ends up costing twice as much. That’s because they end up having to commission a second site – this time built by a proper designer (like me!).

And that’s not even factoring in time wasted costs.

Don’t get me wrong. There are definitely designer-diamonds-in-the-rough. Heck, when I started, my rates were ridiculously low, and I still worked passionately on all my projects.  So of course it’s possible you can pay bargain-level prices and get a good website.

But be honest with yourself. If you have a specific vision for your website, AND you want a responsive designer, AND you want it done in a reasonable time frame, AND you want to be able to easily update your website in the future: stick with designers who are, at minimum, paying themselves a living wage.

 

Mistake #2:
THINKING WEBSITES ARE EXPENSIVE

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I’m not suggesting, however, that you need to break the bank building your website – especially not if when you’re a small and/or new business. Don’t think you need a $20,000+ price tag to get good results.

Because I use Elegant Themes, I’m able to let my brilliant theme do all the heavy lifting, so I don’t need to charge my clients an arm and a leg. Try to find designers like me who are smart with their time, but still committed to customer service (great testimonials don’t hurt!).

Or if you’ve got a bit of time and are comfortable online, then you could even become one of the MANY small business owners who have used Elegant Themes to build your own website. Whether you’re a GardenerElectricianFood CatererBusiness Coach, Moving CompanyCarpenter or anything in between, they’re probably got a ready-made template waiting for you.

And if you do go your own route, here’s 6 web design best practices you can follow to make the best website possible.

This article a little dated, but it’s still a go-to for me (because most best practices should be timeless, anyway).

 

Mistake #3:
Not Taking Social Media Marketing Seriously Enough

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I see this digital marketing mistake all the time. All too often, busy small business owners hand over the task of managing their social media to the youngest person on staff. Millennials should know how to Tweet stuff, right? Right???

Yes, young people may be more familiar with different platforms. But social media marketing is SO much more than just pushing buttons.

Your digital marketing should be as robust, purposeful and informed as your traditional marketing. You probably wouldn’t just throw any old thing up in print, tv or radio. You shouldn’t just through any old thing up on your social platforms, either. 

Online marketing is the major way to reach new consumers in 2018, and you should be serious about it.

Even if you can’t afford to pay a social media marketer, make sure whoever is managing your social media has relatively strict guidelines and goals. Educate yourself (it’s not that hard!), and/or give them tools to educate themselves. Have meetings about it. Come up with a plan.

This Sprout Social blog is a great place to start.

 

Mistake #4:
Taking Social Media Marketing Too Seriously

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So yes, social media is serious business. But any one given post is fleeting. Don’t get so worried about having the perfect post that you don’t get around to posting at all.

Your social platforms will always be in flux, as you grow, flow and adjust with your audience.

Social media marketing is great for small businesses, because you can so affordably test new approaches, and get immediate feedback on whether they work.

Follow best practices, yes, and start to track your online analytics. But also treat your digital marketing like a sandbox, where you can experiment.

And remember that digital marketing, like sandboxes, is supposed to be fun!

Finally, please let me know in the comments – which of these digital marketing mistakes are you guilty of? How did you fix them?

Psssst …. like the Pinterst graphic in this post? I built it super easily and FOR FREE using Canva.
And all these great images are from Unsplash, and they were FREE too!
They’re two of my favourite online resources available to digitial marketers …
find them all with links here
!