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The 6 biggest mistakes made by newbie digital marketers

By Tom Welbourne, Founder/director

The Good Marketer


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May 30, 2022 | 5 min read

Digital marketing is an ever-changing world, with new platforms and algorithms constantly shifting the goal posts. Tom Welbourne, founder and director at agency The Good Marketer, tells us how to avoid rookie mistakes.

The Good Marketer on how to avoid making foolproof social media marketing mistakes.

The Good Marketer on how to avoid making foolproof social media marketing mistakes.

The constantly-shifting digital marketing landscape is exciting and full of opportunities. But this presents room to make costly mistakes, from underestimating the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to lacking clarity about social media marketing goals. Gaps in your marketing plan can make otherwise promising strategies fall at the first hurdle.

To avoid making mistakes, the key is knowledge. We’ve compiled the six biggest mistakes that newbie digital marketers make to equip you with the knowledge of what to avoid - and how to do things the right way.

1. No clarity on audience

Think you know who your audience is? It’s time to rethink your assumptions and get more specific. Most people have an idea of who their audience is, but this is useless if you don’t clearly define their age, gender, and interests as well as broad audience categories.

For example, a mortgage provider will have multiple audiences, from first-time buyers looking for their first mortgage to more mature homeowners who have had mortgages before but are looking for a new agreement.

Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to find out who your audience really is, rather than who you think they are.

2. Lack of clear goals

You won’t get to where you’re going if you don’t know exactly where that is. Clear goals give you a clear destination and help to map where you need to hit along the way. If you establish that you want to reach 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can break this down into what you need to achieve month-on-month to achieve that overall goal.

Digital marketers use the 'Smart' (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goal framework to create well-defined growth goals that will give a direction to take and the basis to measure your campaign’s success.

3. Setting unrealistic goals

Perhaps the most important aspect of Smart goals is the 'achievable' aspect. Having clear goals is important, but you will always end up falling short if your goals aren’t realistic.

If you currently have 500 followers, setting a goal to gain 10,000 followers organically in six months is always going to leave you disappointed and feeling like you’ve failed.

To ensure your goals are realistic, evaluate based on past experience; do some research about similar businesses; or speak to other people in your industry about what could be achievable.

4. Ignoring SEO

Everyone loves an aesthetically-pleasing website, but how many people prioritize SEO when building their site?

SEO is an essential digital marketing strategy used to increase the online brand visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). When someone searches a keyword related to your business, SEO improves the likelihood of making it to the top of those results.

When newbie digital marketers hear about SEO, they can mistake the acronym as something too technical for your average marketer, but they’d be wrong. SEO is something that even a beginner can do comfortably when equipped with the right knowledge.

5. Overlooking quality content

You’ve heard it over and over and will continue to: content is king. Your marketing strategy is nothing if you haven’t taken the time to create quality content that works for your audience.

Ultimately, your digital marketing strategy will succeed if your content can provide value to your audience. Whether you’re solving a problem or providing valuable insight, take time to reflect on how your content conveys value.

6. Lack of recorded strategy

Often, newbie marketers have a strategy in mind for how to reach their goal, but leave it undocumented and not fully developed. A written strategy gives you a clear outline of how to grow your brand or business, and how to leverage your USPs to achieve your vision of success.

Being a digital marketer is a learning curve. The mistakes will probably be plenty, so the best you can do is equip yourself with a solid framework that provides a path to follow. The best marketers are able to use the same process of goal-setting, strategizing and implementation no matter the project. Once you get to grips with how these stages can benefit you and your work, the world is your oyster.

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