14 digital marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

Marketing experts discuss the most common online marketing mistakes and what you can do to avoid making them.

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10. Hiring a third-party to represent your brand on social media. “The most common excuses for outsourcing social media management include a lack of internal resources and a lack of proficiency with social platforms,” says Kent Lewis, president and founder, Anvil, an integrated marketing agency. But, “nobody knows your brand better than your employees and advocates. Let them be in charge of spreading the good word, not a low-paid college graduate working from home [or a high-priced agency]. I wish this were less common than it is, but many brands still feel the need to outsource their voice on social rather than building the resources in-house.”

11. Sending automated direct messages (DMs) on Twitter. “Nothing makes me cringe more in the digital marketing world than auto direct messages on Twitter,” says marketing consultant Donna Talarico. “Auto DMs are impersonal, tacky, annoying and ensure an immediate ‘unfollow.’ Yet, it’s a more common practice than it should be.” Her advice to online marketers: Don’t do it.

12. Ignoring abandoned carts. “As consumers shop around for the best deals on the Web, it’s not uncommon for shoppers to place something in their cart, get distracted and abandon [it],” says Chris Birkholm, senior manager of marketing, Digital River, a provider of global ecommerce, payments & e-marketing solutions. “Marketers can avoid this by implementing a strong abandoned cart strategy to recover and re-engage those consumers at a later time either through reminders, incentives or other promotions and offers.

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“For example, if consumers have already provided their email addresses, send them a reminder within 24 hours, perhaps providing a 10 percent off coupon code to complete their order,” he suggests. “Alternately, you can utilize intent-based, predictive ‘Wait, don’t leave’ messaging, which provides an incentive or offer to get shoppers to check out now rather than leave your site.”

13. Not communicating with the sales team. One of “the top mistake online marketers make is not communicating with their sales team -- not asking for input from sales,” says Jeremy Durant, business principal, Bop Design, a B2B digital marketing firm. To ensure they are getting qualified leads, “digital marketers need to [meet with] the sales team, scheduling [a] monthly meeting at the very least.”

14. Not measuring results. “Always make sure the money and effort you spend on your digital marketing campaigns are worth it [by using] Google Analytics [or another analytics tool] to measure your results,” says Ceballos. “Then, after analyzing the results, update your strategies and work on improving the results. You will never know whether or not your strategy is working or failing if you fail to track your marketing and advertising efforts.”

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