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Over the last 10 years working on this field, I have noticed that there are several common mistakes in digital marketing that almost 90% of marketers tend to make. I myself have made several of the mistakes I will be discussing in this article, which is why I consider it important that you understand some not-so-technical aspects of this area that can make an incredible difference in your business from now on.
I selected only 10 mistakes, but we could be talking about 20 or 30 extremely common bad decisions in this area. From year to year, many misconceptions are repeated, many professionals appear and disappear from the market and few are those who really last for many years, creating serious, consistent and authoritative work.
Whether you are just starting in the digital marketing arena, whether you are an intermediate or expert professional, there is a strong likelihood that you are making some of these mistakes. Most of the time this happens because this area of business will make you commit slips, either through procrastination, or trying to work on multiple projects simultaneously and not finishing any, or because you have decided to teach others what you have not yet learned to master with mastery, or just because the market is so great and the opportunities are so many that you easily fall into the mistake of hiring people to your team without thinking about the risks you are going to face.
I have never regretted any of the mistakes I made. I truly believe that all the slips we make are an incredible opportunity to learn. I do not say this for saying, I really mean it. When you get it right and things turn out well, you hardly learn anything. However, when you stumble, you will probably have some of the hardest and most realistic learning in your professional life and this will make all the difference in the way you play your digital business.
Digital marketing, unlike other industries, is actually a marketplace with opportunities ranging from specializing in Facebook ads, SEO, PPC, Google AdWords, landing pages, analytics, information products, affiliate marketing, among others.
The size of this business is so extensive and has so many ramifications and developments that you can easily make the mistake of not being an expert at anything. Even though it may not harm you directly, it will eventually cause you to make totally unnecessary mistakes that could even put your career in danger.
Read each of these points carefully and analyze what positive aspects they can bring to your digital business. Of course, not all of these mistakes will apply to you, but between the lines, there are valuable lessons you can take and apply to your business right away.
Please raise the hand those who never came home after an event fulfilled with adrenaline and went to the computer to register domains after domains. I have done it dozens of times. Today, with some thinking, I understood that focus, prioritization and planning make all the difference.
It is perfectly normal for you to feel a great need to create multiple projects in completely different areas, create content, record videos, link building, optimize your content for SEO, make ads on Facebook, promote affiliate offers, create your own information products, etc.
If you do not prioritize and organize your tasks, you will end up doing nothing relevant.
As harsh as the message can be, the reality is that every day that you do not organize your work, do not set priorities, and do not complete each of those tasks from start to finish, you are one step farther from creating something relevant to the market.
I could give you a few tens of examples of websites, blogs, digital products or Facebook pages that started with a purpose and did not go beyond that. Bloggers who wrote a few dozen articles and suddenly disappeared from the map, information producers that made a relevant launch and filed for bankruptcy, among many others.
Tomorrow, after you read this article, make a list of the tasks and projects you want to create. Then set a priority order for each of them and only start the next project after completing the first one. This applies to both day-to-day projects and tasks, whether they are creating ads on Facebook and Google AdWords, choosing a campaign from among various affiliate programs, recording new videos for your Youtube channel or whatever.
All of us who work with digital marketing want to succeed. When I first started in this area in 2007, I knew almost nothing. Over the years I started specializing myself in a few things that fit into the digital marketing niche, that is blogging, SEO, traffic purchase (on and off Facebook), and affiliate marketing.
In some periods between 2007 and 2017, I thought about knowing a little bit of everything, including learning how to code a program to be able to build my projects faster without relying on third parties. But over the years, I understood that no one can do or know everything. More important than knowing how to do is knowing who does it and does it well.
From the moment I started focusing on something I actually knew how to do really well, not only made my productivity increase, but also gave me the opportunity to improve my skills in relation to some of the themes I mentioned earlier. I stopped wanting to teach others things that I did not master, and I tried to specialize in order to generate more meaningful results for my business. Everything else I delegated to other professionals, from freelancers to employees, who later started to integrate my business.
I often say in my lectures or courses that in marketing the answer is always “it depends”. There are no absolute truths in marketing, much less in digital marketing. This means that what I say may or may not work for your business. The same applies to everything you read on the internet or watch on Youtube.
The fact that I have created a successful project in a certain area does not mean that you will have the same success if you decide to copy my strategies. There is even a greater chance that you will get hurt, because, for the most part, those who copy do not understand how a particular niche market works and/or what are the most effective ways of working in that area of business.
Think critically about everything you read or watch. Put everything to the test. That way you will create your own opinion about a certain subject.
The more you question yourself about what you read, hear, or watch, the greater your chances of success. As much as you believe there is an infallible method to succeed on the internet, unfortunately, that does not exist. Instead of believing that certain things you read are an absolute truth, go ahead and test it. If someone told you not to boost a Facebook post, go ahead and test it. If someone said that you should not promote high commission products, go ahead and test it. Not everything you read as an absolute truth will work, and not everything that you are told not to do, must be understood that way.
It was my dear colleague Ícaro de Carvalho who created the term “stage entrepreneur” in his article “Why the stage entrepreneurship industry will destroy you”, written in February 2016, which remains totally current. In digital marketing, that term can be easily interpreted as someone who presents himself as a successful entrepreneur with an incredible knowledge but who in reality has no real business to show.
My dear friend Rafael Rez wrote that post which illustrates very well what a stage entrepreneur is. Avoid being someone like that. Sharing knowledge only increases your authority. Study more, focus your attention on what you are really good at and do something positive for the market. Forget the idea that having 300,000 fans on your Facebook page is synonymous of authority. Authority is built with serious and consistent work, but above all delivering results to those who follow your work.
Delivering value to your readers, your students, or your clients is not an upgrade. That is what you are supposed to do, assuming you are a good professional. The world is full of mediocre professionals, mediocre businesses and mediocre thoughts. You can do better than that with your work!
Often the digital market makes me think that we are in the imminence of an implosion, especially in Brazil. Contrary to what you may think, digital marketing is much more than creating courses to teach others how to create courses. Or teach others to make money on the internet, when you cannot do it yourself.
If you are starting out and want to learn more about digital marketing, take a digital marketing course and not a course about creating a course. Before you buy a training, understand what that material has to offer to someone like you. Understand who are the most relevant professionals in that market. Read the structure and timeline of the content offered. Understand how such a product can help you build your business on the internet or simply bring that physical business you already own to the digital world.
With such a large and potential market, you can really make a difference in various niche markets, using different strategies, whether through content marketing, affiliate programs, inbound marketing, lead generation, creating a video channel, etc. There are hundreds of different ways for you to create relevant content and build your own audience and authority.
That will give you a much broader and more objective view. Possibly, it will help you create a perennial digital business and that will have much more value in the long run for both you and your audience.
If you work for clients, you have probably understood that the vast majority see investment in advertising as an expense. In fact, advertising investment is marketing and that investment can serve several goals and several distinct results, whether it is branding, brand awareness, conversion, engagement, etc.
Not necessarily an investment in advertising has to generate an immediate return. Contrary to what often happens, investing in advertising is initiating a process of recognition and building authority, especially if we are talking about a product or a brand that is totally unknown to the general public.
Understanding the consumer journey is equally important. If you have never heard of a product, would you see an advertisement on Facebook and buy that product right away? If you are not familiar with the product, you do not know the brand and have never heard of it, you are not ready to buy it, which is why many of the campaigns you will be promoting on Facebook, Instagram, Google AdWords or any other network, are simply not going to work.
Understanding every moment and every investment is essential not only for you to understand your audience, but especially for you to understand how digital marketing works. When you understand how everything works, the consumer journey, the marketing funnel, and especially how your “client” behaves, you will understand that not all investments presuppose a direct result and that often the indirect result is even more relevant.
It may sound cliché, but it is the purest of truths. Since I created my first company in 2005 (I was only 19 years old), all the most relevant moments of my professional life or those when I obtained better results, they all had one thing in common: I worked hard.
When I created a blog called Fique-Rico (Get Rich), which later was renamed Escola Dinheiro (Money School), I wrote more than 500 articles in its first year. During most months, I did not earn enough to support myself, but I did not give up. I kept working more than the others worked and probably studied more than they did too.
Whenever you choose to sit down on the couch, instead of writing that article you had idealized, know that someone on the other side of the country will be doing what you decided not to do. All the success stories I know in digital marketing are the result of a lot of study and hard work. If you think you will be able to have the same success as some of the most relevant professionals on the market, watching a course or reading an article, I am sorry, but that is not going to happen.
As much as you have read that you have to study hard, work hard and above all, give up a lot to get to the top, you still believe that you will find a way to do it faster and/or effortlessly
Numbers, numbers and more numbers. Digital marketing is packed with metrics, KPIs (key performance indicators), ROI, CRO and so many other acronyms. One of the most common mistakes in digital marketing is to believe that all numbers are relevant and/or serve to determine the success of your actions.
As much as you think that your Facebook page with 500,000 “likes” is an incredible result, at the end of the day, what really matters is the result it generates for your business. It does not matter whether you are achieving fantastic organic reach, whether your clicks are cheap, whether your number of fans has increased, etc. At the end of the day, you will live and sustain yourself with the result generated by all those metrics, which in 99.99% of cases means money.
Metrics are important to everyone, but the result is the only thing that matters at the end of the day.
Do not be fooled by the numbers. If you have a fantastic organic reach on your Facebook page but cannot channel that traffic, you are not generating results. If your blog gives you immense organic traffic but you cannot generate qualified leads, you are not generating results. If your site is in the top position of Google, but no one searches for that keyword, you are not generating results. If the opening rate of your e-mails is 60%, but only 1% click on the links within them, you are not generating results.
Although numbers do not always mean results, they are extremely relevant for you to understanding what you are doing well and what you are doing wrong. If you have traffic and do not generate leads, you need to understand what to change in your strategy. If you send e-mails and your readers open them, but do not click on them, you need to change your strategy. And so on.
Considering the same idea of the previous mistake, it is important to understand that revenues are totally different from profit. There are numerous cases of “digital entrepreneurs” with 7 digits revenues that broke a company in 12 months. If a particular professional earned $100,000 in a month, it does not mean his revenue was $100,000. It means that he earned a hundred thousand dollars. What was the cost involved in achieving that goal? If he spent $90,000 on ads to earn $100,000, is that what you want to follow?
The most important thing is always the end result. No one ever talks about operating costs. Understand this and you will realize that earnings are very different from revenues.
Contrary to what happens a lot in the digital marketing area, networking with other professionals is key to your growth. You will probably only understand that the day you decide to launch a project and realize that you have no one to help you with the release.
When you decide to launch your own product, whether it is physical or digital, you will realize that your contacts are key to building your affiliate structure. Not to mention that a good network of contacts allows you to be able to open doors once totally closed.
Events like Afiliados Brasil (Brazil Affiliates), for example, are essential for you to work on your contact network. It is no wonder that we always talk about the importance of networking, bringing your business cards, leaving the shame at home, engaging with other people. The competition is extremely healthy and will, in the vast majority of cases, work entirely in your favor
As knowledge takes no place, contacts are never too much. In digital marketing, a good contact network can make all the difference in the final outcome of your actions.