Success in today's marketplace requires strong online marketing skills. That's true whether you are a B2B or B2C company. You simply can't afford to have an ineffective or inefficient online marketing plan. 

There are two reasons. First, an inefficient campaign means you'll spend more money per acquired customer - dropping your ROI. Second, it means you'll miss out on the additive benefit of each sale you missed - decreasing the lifetime value of each customer. Basically, this second reason is opportunity cost of referrals, word-of-mouth marketing or repeat business.

It's in your best interest to understand the mistakes you, or your team, might be making. Here are five common mistakes that I have encountered in my own experiences with online marketing. Fixing these issues has been very profitable for our business.

1. Focusing too much on Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are very popular among digital marketers since they are very easy to setup and scale. That being said, engagement on other platforms, like Instagram, can be higher.

Also, Youtube continues to dominate video search and is an overlooked area for marketing.

Lastly, don't forget about LinkedIn. I am surprised at how many people and businesses neglect LinkedIn. These are all effective alternatives to running more ads on Facebook.

2. Not using email marketing

As you spend money on online marketing, you want to do everything in your power to maximize the value of every visitor. This is when email marketing comes into play.

After you get a user in the door, you want to create a means of consistently engaging them on your platform. Consider using Justuno and MailChimp to lead visitors into your email lists and then market to them on an ongoing basis.

Once you've created your lists, you can then send targeted emails to each group. For example, you might have a list for existing customers and a separate list for people who visited your website but did not purchase anything.

3. Not knowing your audience

Even if your brand is developing valuable content and has a good product, your campaign will be ineffective if you aren't promoting it to the right audience. This ties back into proper data analytics since the data will show whether or not your audience is engaged or converting.

Use tracking pixels so you can reach out to people who have already visited your website and or joined a mailing list.

In addition, you should mine your current user base for as much information as possible. Find out where they live, average income, interests, profession, how they found you, etc.

All of these metrics will give you insight on who is actually buying your product, not just who you think is buying your product.

4. Only focusing on big influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies at your disposal. It's effective because it leverages industry influencers who have built a community of followers who trust them. You can immediately position your brand to benefit from association with that influencer.

The mistake most people make is by engaging influencers based solely on the size of their following. Real success comes from working with influencers who have high levels of engagement. Look at their engagement per post (likes and comments) and read the comments to see what kind of reactions they're getting from their followers.

Influencers typically charge more if they have more followers, so do yourself a favor and make sure they have the engagement levels that are required for success.

5. Poor data analytics

You have access to numerous data collection and analytic tools. All these tools are great, but many marketers fail to use the right tools and or analyze their datasets correctly.

So, as an online marketer, which data points should you be focusing on? It really depends on your product or service, the customer and how you convert sales. Tools like Google Analytics can help you assess the effectiveness of your campaigns and the demographics for your users.

Sometimes this process is an art as much as it is a science, yet strong analytics will help you for a hypothesis and validate whether or not it is working.

Final word

At the end of the day, every business owner needs to know what's happening with their digital marketing efforts. As you launch your online marketing campaigns, make sure you avoid these five online marketing mistakes that could hurt your bottom line.

Published on: May 30, 2018