When it comes to digital marketing, what do you think makes the difference — is it savvy content or timely social media campaigns? On the outside looking in, it could appear this way, but that is a fantasy keeping you from understanding what is really going on.
You must dig deep to figure out what makes digital marketing effective. You also need to avoid the pitfalls that can hurt your agency-client relationship. Here’s a deeper look at the industry and how the same old mistakes can trip up your marketing strategy.
Part 1: Is Digital Marketing Really The New Wild West?
Many people have said that “digital marketing is like the Wild West,” but that comparison is wildly fanciful. We gloss over the truth of this era. We focus on the excitement of gunfights and lawless border towns, but these events did not encapsulate everyday life during this time. The Wild West was a time of great economic, cultural and literal expansion. Only a great deal of logistical planning and innovation made this possible. Take, for example, cattle drives, the Pony Express and the invention of the steam engine. The romanticism around this period makes us forget about these improvements to the quality of life.
When comparing digital marketing to the Wild West, we do the same thing. We reduce the industry to its romantic elements, losing sight of what is going on. We see viral successes, cancel culture shutdowns and the rise of billion-dollar insta-companies. These are the romances of our industry. They keep us from noticing the foundations that made those events possible.
Experts worldwide examine website traffic, search engine results and social media impressions. They want to know how search algorithms work. They apply their gathered knowledge to their Marketing Operandi. This is the real work that builds the “Wild West” of digital marketing.
Part 2: Digital Marketing Mistakes
Now that we understand what counts in digital marketing, let’s look at the mistakes that can ruin digital marketing. We’ll use data our company gathered based on a recent experience.
During Q1, our agency noticed that despite nominal blog traffic, bounce rates and exit rates were up. People were reading the blogs we wrote for clients’ sites but not sticking around. This problem continued despite efforts to write more engaging blogs.
The Wastes Of Inflexibility
If a digital marketing company makes the mistake of being inflexible, it will waste time and money chasing its tail. When dealing with a challenge like our blog conversion issue, it’s important to dynamically approach the problem.
In this instance, we pivoted away from writing blogs. We reduced the number of blogs while still providing quality material. This saved our SEO strategists precious time that they reallocated toward solving the issue.
We focused on improving our clients’ social media presence and strengthening the quality of on-site content. Shifting our focus allowed us to provide results for our clients while figuring out the problem.
Recently, we reexamined the issue and discovered an interesting change. Though bounce rates were still high, exit rates had reduced by 30% to 40%. This could mean that readers were now coming to our clients’ blogs through other areas of their sites.
This new trend could indicate that our efforts to improve on-site content worked. However, only further examination will reveal the truth of these figures.
Part 3: Did You Tell The Client What You Are Doing?
Being dynamic in your marketing strategies can present its own difficulties. Before reducing our clients’ blogs, we needed to contact them. Clients needed to know we were reducing their blogs and why. We relied on communicating our collected data to our clients.
Without reaching out to clients, you risk alienating them. This situation could have led to disputes and accusations of underperformance. Keeping an open communication channel prevents this.
When Clients Make Digital Marketing Mistakes
Now we must examine the other side of this situation. Companies that hire digital marketing agencies can sabotage themselves with the same mistakes marketers make. Again, we will use the blog situation to examine this problem.
Marketing should be a factor in every business plan, but the industry is fluid. So, your marketing plan must be flexible. When presented with poor blog turnover, some clients doubled down. They wanted to continue receiving blogs at the same rate. They were inflexible with their marketing strategy and eventually suffered for this.
Clients who failed to heed our warnings lost website ranking. These clients were further flustered by a decrease in phone calls. Panicked, they demanded results on their digital marketing campaign. By this time, trends had changed.
Now, reducing the number of blogs written made little sense. These clients were now behind the trend. To reverse it, they needed a new, potentially costly strategy.
After our company explained how far behind the trend they were, these clients started asking the right questions. However, it was only after losing momentum in their digital marketing that they discovered their mistake.
In some instances, clients were willing to change their marketing plans for better results but failed to reply to messages about these changes. Delayed client approvals hamstring digital marketers. Clients must keep their channels of communication flowing, too.
In the end, a failure to give and take when it comes to your digital marketing is what sinks the ship. Agencies and clients must strive to understand each other and accept critical advice. Otherwise, lack of communication and failure to understand what goes on behind the scenes will doom digital marketing campaigns.