Does this sound familiar? You begin discussing online marketing with a friend and then you branch off into SEM, SEO, social media strategies and what not. Suddenly, you find yourself going into the nitty gritty details of each online marketing ‘school’ such as how exactly is the Adwords quality score calculated. (By the way, I call individual areas of online marketing ‘school’ as in, ‘school of thought’ because they can be very different and yet work together for the same goal. Here’s a good and eye-opening analogy: SEO vs SEM A Medical Analogy.)
Well anyway, that isn’t what this article is about. In this article, I’d like to share some 7 digital marketing blind spots that could easily be avoided but which marketers and brand owners alike tend to overlook; which is completely understandable and isn’t at all surprising given the number of ‘schools’ that branches out from digital marketing. Plus, the depth of each school is, at times just crazy. Talk technical SEO and you find yourself saying, ‘htm’, ‘css’, ‘tags’, ‘schemas’. Talk off-site SEO and you find yourself saying, ‘content’, ‘page rank’, ‘link profile’, ‘relevancy’.
Why not take a step back from the technicalities and take a wholesome view of the business for what it is? A business. You’ll then be able to identify loopholes and new opportunities from the bigger picture of things. Here are 7 common blind spots to get you started on your own analysis. Please keep in mind that this is from someone with more experience in online marketing for Asia and the APAC region.
Blind Spot #1
Over-optimizing your content for Google rankings. This is about writing long, keyword heavy pages with questions all over the place in your text for hummingbird to pick up. Again, take a step back and remind yourself why you’re doing SEO in the first place: sales and revenue. SEO-optimized text will help you rank but will the traffic that lands on your page actually click on that buy or book button considering the text you’ve published on the website. Optimization is good. Over optimization can hurt.
Blind Spot #2
Contrary to what many of us have been made to believe, Google is not the Internet. Of-course that’s where a large chunk of the traffic resides but if you’ve already gone through the long process of coming up with really good ad text and creative work for Adwords, then do set-up PPC campaigns for Bing and Yahoo as well. A few extra conversions on top of the efforts that have already been put into the creative thought process simply couldn’t hurt. If you’re worried about the time you have to spend optimizing the campaigns for Bing and Yahoo, worry not. Most likely the effort would be less than half of what you invest into Adwords because as we know it, there’s less traffic, hence less activity going on.
Blind Spot #3
Never lose focus of the ultimatum: sales and revenue. We talk a lot about engagement, website usability or which element looks prettier than the other. At the end of the day, it’s the alternative (pretty or not) that yields sales that should really matter.
Blind Spot #4
Analytics and data manipulation. Too often it is, that we as marketers and brand owners zone-in too deeply into the current task at hand; for instance reviewing content work, optimizing campaign bids and so on and so forth, that we forget to take a look at the bigger picture. Log into Google Analytics or its counterparts, and actually spend some time understanding the data and creating custom reports. You’ll discover some amazing insights and new ideas, strategies from there.
Blind Spot #5
Offline matters. Sometimes, we think of online too much that we forget the offline side of things. For instance, your leads could be a sign up form on your website but that does not mean your business cannot promote that sign-up web-page on billboards, posters on skytrains and so on. Offline channels help to drive online business and vice versa. Next time you think online, don’t forget to think offline as well.
Blind Spot #6
Ever so often we hear stories of successful viral campaigns. Fact is, going viral is not easy to achieve. While it’s healthy to try running projects designed to go viral, don’t go 100% all in. Chances are you’re up for disappointment. Split your efforts, have a sub-team working on viral designs and another team for the sure and steady methods (regular updates, weekly tips, quizzes, monthly giveaways, etc)
Blind Spot #7
Sometimes it’s not about exhausting all the possible channels such as PPC, referral traffic, banner ads, youtube, social, etc, but it’s about optimizing the same number of web traffic for higher sales and revenue. Online marketing is not just about traffic generation. It’s about retention, about customer experience, about relationships and product value. Think up-sells, product campaigns, e-cards, special gifts for certain customers to prompt returning buys and good ol’ word of mouth from happy customers.