Not every marketing project will be a home run. But if your campaigns keep falling apart or failing to meet goals, you may have a big problem on your hands. A successful digital marketing project avoids these common pitfalls:

1. Your digital marketing project has no clear strategy

Not planning is planning to fail. That’s the old adage, and it’s not wrong. It’s surprising how many of the uninitiated believe putting a few ads on Facebook and Google will lead to massive conversions and sales. (Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t.)

A digital marketing project needs a solid strategy to take off:

  • Have realistic goals and expectations. Before launching a campaign, have in mind a realistic CPA (cost per acquisition) and the number of leads or sales you expect your campaign to receive. It’s also important to understand that it takes time for campaigns to reach their expected goals.
  • Do the research. Look at your biggest competitors—what are they doing? How expensive are the keywords you plan to target? How crowded with other advertisers is your chosen platform? These are the types of questions you need to ask before launching a campaign.
  • Define your audience. What kind of messaging resonates most with your customer base? Which potential customers are you not currently reaching? Define who your ads are intended for and craft messaging and creative specifically for them.
  • Develop your conversion funnel. Unless you have the name brand recognition of McDonalds, you’ll likely need to factor in some brand building as part of your digital marketing project. A conversion funnel can help you introduce your service or product to potential customers over time, eventually leading to a conversion. (More on this below.)

2. Too many hands in the honey pot (overwhelming input)

Want to know the fastest way to derail a well-thought-out plan? Ask for more input.

Collaboration is the lifeblood of a successful digital marketing team, but trying to shoehorn every person’s idea or opinion leads to projects that lack a singular focus. The results are often less than stellar.

Instead, cut down on collaboration overload. Limit unneeded input by focusing on suggestions supported by data. Digital marketing thrives on analytics! When you make data-backed decisions, your campaigns are much more likely to succeed.

3. Not enough hands in the honey pot (lack of collaboration)

On the opposite end of the spectrum are digital marketing projects that receive virtually no attention. This challenge often arises when key decision-makers are disengaged.

Perhaps it’s a client who doesn’t respond to your emails or a boss who never gets around to approving your work. Whatever the situation, a lack of collaboration has the potential to seriously hurt a campaign.

To avoid these kinds of problems, try setting expectations up-front. Communicate to clients the collaborative requirement of a successful digital marketing campaign. It may also be a good idea to schedule a 15-minute standing meeting with all decision-makers to ensure you get time with them at least once a week.

4. Your brand needs some work (bad reviews = bad reputation)

No matter how creative the content and solid the strategy, it will be hard for your digital marketing project to find success with a brand with a bad reputation.

Online reputation problems are often the result of bad reviews. To clear the way for a successful digital marketing campaign, you or your client will need to address the problem. Start by claiming the business listings on review sites. Then begin the hard work of responding to upset customers and rectifying what needs to be fixed.

It may also be a good idea to ask happy customers to leave reviews. People are more inclined to leave a review when they’ve had a bad experience. Happy customers often don’t think of leaving a review, but a simple follow-up email or SMS message may prompt them to do so.

Engaging in a little brand building will go a long way toward helping your digital marketing projects.

5. You’re not tracking the right performance metrics

The metrics you track should align with your campaign goals. It’s easy to get hung up on vanity metrics, which are numbers that look good on the surface but have little to no effect on actual conversion goals. For example, if your goal is to get as many leads as possible to fill out a form, it doesn’t make much sense to put a lot of weight on the number of people your ads reached (no matter how high that number may be) if the number of form fills is still low. Tracking the wrong metrics could cause you to focus on the wrong things, resulting in lost ad spend and little return.

6. The budget is too small or too big

Another possible issue is that your ad spend isn’t where it should be. There’s a Goldilocks sweet spot for every campaign: not too big a budget, not too small… just right.

The problem with underspending is that your ads may never get off the ground. Without an adequate budget, advertising platform algorithms will struggle to find the right audiences for your ads. But dishing out too many dollars  upfront could result in the platform eating as much of the budget as possible without providing any return on ad spend.

To avoid the dreaded fall-off, start your ad spend on the lower end of your budget and scale up slowly (no more than 20% a week). Once you begin to see a return on your spend, start tapering to an increase of no more than 10% a week. By going slow, you’ll find your “sweet spot” without wasting ad dollars unnecessarily.

7. The target audience is wrong

Sometimes there’s a disconnect between who you want to target with your digital marketing and who actually converts. Know your customer base and the kind of messaging and visuals that resonate with them. If you have access to customer analytics (such as through a CRM), use the data in the planning stages of your digital campaign.

However, it’s equally important to reach potential customers who would not otherwise buy from you. A conversion funnel can be especially useful. Conversion funnels typically introduce your brand in the initial ads, and then re-market to individuals who saw those ads with more conversion-related language. The idea is to work up to the conversion when the potential customer feels more comfortable with your brand.

8. You’re not meeting customers at the conversion stage

In the same vein as targeting the right audience, you also need to meet potential customers at the conversion stage (when they’re ready to make a purchase). If your potential customer is unaware of your brand, then hitting them over the head with “BUY, BUY, BUY” messaging probably won’t convert to a sale. However, introducing them to the brand with informational blogs, free samples of your product, or through another soft introduction (such as a conversion funnel) may go further toward nailing a sale or conversion.

9. The user experience is lackluster (or worse, dysfunctional)

What happens when someone clicks your ad? Are they taken to a well-designed landing page with carefully crafted messaging and a clear call to action? Or do they hit a dreaded 404 page? (Sounds like a nightmare, but we’ve seen this happen.)

A digital marketing project is so much more than just the ads. The entire user experience, from the moment they see your ad to the follow-up after they convert, is important. The best thing you can do is run through the process yourself to find out if there are any challenges or dead stops that may prevent someone from converting.

It’s also helpful to have someone go through the process who has no knowledge of the brand. That way, they can tell you if any of the messaging is confusing or lacks information they would want to know before completing a lead form, sale, etc.

10. You’re on the wrong platforms

And lastly, your ads may just be on the wrong platforms. Different channels are better and worse for different campaigns. For example, our urgent care clients’ ads fare really well on Google because people in need of urgent care are searching for that service specifically on search engines. They need immediate help and are much more likely to convert. On the other hand, urgent care ads don’t do nearly as well on social media sites because that’s not where people are looking for immediate healthcare services.

It may take some trial and error before you find the right platform for your campaign. But once you do, you’ll see much more engagement and interest in your ads.

Ready to launch an online advertising campaign?

If you’re ready to launch your own digital marketing campaign, the Vuepoint team is ready to help! Schedule your free consultation with us via Zoom or in-person—whichever you prefer!—by calling (210) 858-7295. Or submit your request here.