The 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing in 2016

If you’re pushing for more exposure of your brand this year, make sure you’re not committing your business to a slow death by using the wrong techniques in digital marketing.

What may have worked just a few short years ago could actually be harmful to your brand in 2016.

That’s because winning at digital marketing is like catching eels- forever wriggling out of your grasp with constant movement and change.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top of things- it just takes the occasional refresher course in what works and what’s a total waste of time.

Stay current or harm your brand.

Wasting time isn’t the only danger you face when your approach to digital marketing is outdated.  Some old techniques can actually harm your brand by making you look bad and causing you to miss out on lots of marketing opportunities.

To get you started on the right path for the new year, here are the 7 deadly sins of digital marketing in 2016.

Sin #1:  Undervaluing social media

If you’re still referring to social media as something Millennials do to stay connected with friends, it’s time to pull your head out of the sand.  Social media is now a leading way to connect with customers.  

Businesses use social media for brand exposure, lead generation and the kind of targeted marketing not offered through the search engines.

Plus, even if they do find you in the search engines first, consumers are increasingly leaping over to social media to check out your brand.  If you’re not there, they might move on to someone who is.


Is she on tumblr? or Pintrest?

Sin #2: Choosing the wrong platform.

Choices abound, so concentrate your social media efforts on the right platform.  Consider who’s more likely to use what.  For example, Instagram is for the younger set while Facebook captures the minds of the older generations.  Each platform works differently, too, insofar as what you’re able to post and how.

Sin #3: Treating social media like the ugly stepchild of your website. 

Since people are more likely to be on social media when they’re on their mobile devices, some futurists predict a slow death of the website.  While that’s a little extreme because there will always be the need to own and control your own content, it does point out the importance of social media.

Don’t belittle your social accounts by purchasing your followers and likes.  Get them organically through posting good content…much slower but way more effective.

Sin #4: Asking for love on social media.

In the early days of social media, one had to prompt followers to “like”, “retweet”, “connect”, or otherwise give social love to your posts.  That’s because we were all pretty new at it, and needed reminders.

Now, however, we’re all pretty familiar with the idea of giving love to posts and tweets that we like.  It’s second nature, so asking for it when you haven’t earned it makes your business look anything but authentic and professional.

It’s OK to nudge your followers towards helping you out with likes and shares, but only when that nudge is preceded by something of value.  It’s similar to encouraging comments on your blog…“like this post?  give it some love!”.

Have these two every owned as desktop pc?

Have these two ever owned a desktop pc?

Sin #5: Clinging to the Desktop PC world.

This is so last year, but it’s so vital to survival of your website I’m hauling it out again for 2016.

If you design and test your website with the desktop PC user in mind, that’s fine but that’s less than half the world at this point.  As of some point in 2014, mobile users in the U.S. surpassed the number of desktop users, according to a white paper published by ComScore.  60% of our time is now spent on smartphones or tablets.

Not only that, but roughly half the time we spend on mobile devices is on apps.  That includes apps like FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Nudge nudge…that’s important and if you don’t know why, go back and read Sin #1.

Sin #6: Posting crappy content.

Don’t post things on your website or social media that doesn’t add value.  Posting great waves of junky cheap content just to look busy and current is tiresome for your followers.  Give them something they want to see!

This may sound a little self-serving until you know the meaning of content.   It’s not just the written word, remember.  Content can also be images, videos, feeds and surveys.  It can simply be a link to something you think would be relevant for your followers, with an introductory snippet from you.

Whatever post, ask yourself if it’s something you’d appreciate seeing in your social media feed or on a website you visit.  If not, then ditch it and go in search of something worthy.

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the quality of what top brands are posting these days is improving daily.  From the production quality of videos to the article-style writing they’re posting, these big brands are definitely making it worthwhile to follow them on social media or even occasionally check out their sites.

#7:  Ignoring the data.

Let’s say you’re already using social media to market your business- are you also using the data analytics to their full extent?  If you’re not collecting data about your digital marketing campaigns then I’d say there’s a lot of wheel-spinning going on over at your place.  You need those numbers so you can decide what lines of action to pursue and which to abandon for their ineffectiveness.  Without data, you’re going nowhere.

If you want to make intelligent decisions about pushing your brand or otherwise boosting your business in 2016, get going on eradicating these 7 deadly sins from your life.  The first four are crucial, and the fifth can’t happen until you’ve brought your marketing into a state of current relevancy for 2016 and beyond.  Good luck!

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