Sometimes identifying what doesn’t work is just as valuable as discovering what does work. Here are three costly digital marketing mistakes to steer clear of in 2013.
Mistake #1: Underestimating the Value of Organic Search
Not on the first page of search results for your product? Your business is losing an astounding sum of potential sales revenue. Every missed search equals a lost opportunity and a consequential win for SEO savvy competitors. B2B companies often glaze over the importance of SEO, as traditionally long sales cycles make it tough to pinpoint ROI. The truth is, no matter how complex the sales model, your prospects are online. A recent Google study found that 88% of B2B buyers research products they intend to purchase online1, up from 71% in 2011. In fact, due to the proliferation of online resources, these B2B buyers get as far as 57% of the way through their purchase decision before they’re even contacted by a sales representative. As prospects increasingly turn to online search, your brand cannot afford to be absent from this valuable research period.
If you haven’t established a well thought out SEO strategy, start now or risk losing revenue in 2013.
Mistake #2: Leaving Social Media to the Interns
Social media should not to be taken lightly. Sometimes even the biggest brands and the most experienced marketers can easily slip into a major social media gaffe. Remember MacDonald’s #mcdstories Twitter campaign? How about Chapstick’s Facebook mishap? As Jeff Bullas notes, the average large to mid-size company has 178 ‘social media assets’, yet only 25% of companies provide social media policies or training to employees.
Even beyond the dangers of a mismanaged social media account, lies the total absence of a social media presence. B2B companies often dismiss social media as a B2C space, but since 69% of online adults use social media, the question is no longer ‘if’ your target market uses social media, but ‘how’ your audience uses social media.
In neglecting to develop a social media presence, B2B companies ultimately risk losing potential sales, a unique source of earned media, and a channel to nurture their most vocal brand advocates. In a recent Wildfire survey, 81% of respondents said posts by friends have directly influenced their purchase decisions.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative for businesses take to take ownership of their social media presence.
Mistake #3: Investing in Pricey Marketing Tools without a Strong Lead Generation Program
A surprising number of marketers today are putting the carriage before the horse in lead generation. In other words, you don’t need a fancy marketing automation system to help your team nurture leads before you even have them.
Be patient. Digital lead gen programs take time to build and often require
fine-tuning in order to achieve optimal results. Even the best SEO campaigns won’t blossom into powerful lead gen machines overnight. The very nature of an SEO strategy calls for months of iteration before seeing a noticeable increase in lead gen return and a real impact on your sales pipeline.
Allocate your marketing dollars wisely. Consult with an expert or agency to ensure optimum lead gen performance before splurging on the best automation tool on the market. And most importantly, make sure you create enough fresh content to fuel the automation.