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Mistakes to avoid when developing your digital strategy

James Bundey

James BundeySeptember 15, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to present on digital strategy at a business networking event in Melbourne. For the event I decided to cover one of my favourite topics – mistakes to avoid when developing your digital strategy. I’ve been making this presentation in some form for a number of years, and always find that year on year people continue to make the same mistakes time and time again.

With that in mind, I thought this was a perfect blog topic and something that I could expand upon further and hopefully it’ll stop you from wasting time and money as well.

Mistake 1 – Not setting goals

If you’re a regular reader of my articles my love of setting goals has probably been drilled into you by now. However, for those not in the know, I cannot stress this enough, please set goals for your strategy. In fact you should always do this for any marketing initiative. There’s no need for it to be complicated, but if you approach me and say “I have X and I’m looking to achieve Y”, there’s a good chance I’m going to be able to map out a solution that’s going to get you there. If you have no idea of what you want to achieve how do you expect anyone else to.

Look ahead one year and envision where you want to be; what does success look like, set some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely) goals that are going to help you achieve that.

Mistake 2 – Focusing on the latest trends

It’s often hard not to get caught up in the latest buzz or the essential marketing strategy you that must adopt today. What’s the result? Something you probably see every day. It’s the endless number of social media accounts that haven’t been updated in years. You know, the ones that your business started because you had too, those same accounts that you’re now kind of embarrassed about, because the last post you made is dated 2012.

This isn’t to bad mouth social media, it’s just a great example of where businesses dived into something with no clear understanding of how they were going to manage it. A great digital strategy integrates a variety of marketing techniques, but in my experience the most important factor is getting the right framework in place for your business and developing a clear plan on how these marketing initiatives are going to be created, implemented and delivered.

Mistake 3 – No budget

This is simply about being realistic, if you’re expecting to generate a constant flow of leads and revenue from your website, you’re going to need to develop an effective digital marketing plan, which means spending some money. Lack of budget or reluctance to invest often leads to my next mistake.

Mistake 4 – Doing it yourself

If I have a toothache I go to a dentist, hopefully it’s nothing serious, but if it is I need to make a decision. I either pay the dentist to help me or I have to learn to live with the pain. Here’s what I don’t do. I don’t go home and look at a video online and try to fix it myself and I definitely don’t use my niece because she studied medical science at university and did a semester on jaw structures and tells me it’s not as hard as the dentist has suggested.

I like to think of myself as a professional. Someone who’s spent years educating myself and honing my craft. I imagine you feel the same way about yourself and your business. I’m not doubting whether, given time, you could create, implement, manage and measure an effective marketing strategy. The question you need to ask yourself is how long is it going to take you to do it and whether it’s an effective use of your time.

Mistake 5 – No Measurement

Probably the biggest mistake I witness when starting work with new clients and it continues to be the one thing that most businesses still forget to implement. There’s no real excuse for not measuring your digital strategy as it’s the one medium where measurement is extremely simple. Plus there are lots of great cost effective and free tools available to utilise. First things first, make sure that your website has Google analytics installed. Once installed you can set a number of goals enabling you to measure how your site converts.

Other great tools that we utilise with many of our clients include:

  • Crazy Egg – user behaviour heat mapping
  • Add This – social media tools & measurement
  • Moz – keyword and search engine analysis
  • Unbounce – landing page conversion
  • Optimizely – A/B testing

As always I’d love to hear about your experiences and anything that you feel I may have missed. Also, if you have any questions or have an upcoming project you’d like to discuss please feel free to contact me.

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James Bundey

James BundeySeptember 15, 2014

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