A quote often attributed to Albert Einstein goes like this: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I’ve worked with a lot of companies over the last few years, and I’ve had a lot of time to look into the differences between successful strategies, and ones that could use some improvement. Often when I speak to people about their strategies, they’ve been trying to do the same thing with the same tools forever, and they’re not seeing the results they want. My recommendation: “Try something different.” I know, it’s really simple, but you’d be surprised just how often that simple piece of advice actually impinges.
Here are 5 things I’ve seen in digital strategies that cause them to fail:
Outdated or Broken Websites
Nothing screams unsuccessful on the internet like a website that isn’t updated, or is so bad it’s actually broken. What do I mean by that? If someone is online looking for your product or service, they’re obviously primed and ready to buy. They get to your website and they’re ready to review what you have to offer, but the last thing ever updated on the website was from a year ago, or even worse, you have broken links, images not displaying, or the worst, the site isn’t even displaying properly. Your website is a representation of you and your business. If you don’t care enough about your business to keep this updated and functioning, why should your potential clients. Check your website regularly to ensure it’s functioning as it should. If you don’t already have it, create a blog that you update on a regular basis. Also, make sure your website is updated to the newest web-development technologies so your site is up-to-date with the times, which will help your SEO.
Social Media Just Because
The saying “If you build it, they will come” might have worked for a guy in Iowa who saw ghosts and built a baseball field on his farm for the 1919 Black Sox, but that’s a different definition of insanity, and one that I’m definitely not qualified to label. It does not, however, work for businesses in today’s world. Just because you have a business, a website, and a social media presence does not mean people are going to see it. I have seen many companies who have a social media account, but they don’t post to it, they don’t promote it, and they aren’t utilizing it to it’s fullest potential.
You have to have a reason for your social media strategy. Keep this in mind: Paid advertising will get you exposure, your organic content will keep it. These two parts have to work together. Unless you happen to have the best viral video, or a Kardashian mentions you on Twitter, you have to work to get exposure. You might have the best content, but no one will see it unless you push it out. On the reverse, you can spend millions on digital advertising, but if your content isn’t good you’re wasting money. Create a plan on what you want your social media channels to do, and then create content to build that out. Once you have that, either stalk a Kardashian to get you exposure or simply pay for it.
Automation Because You’re Lazy
Most social channels have the ability to create posts and schedule them to publish at a future date and time. These are great if you want to put together a campaign over a long period of time. If you’re a small-business, this is life saver. But what can help you save time, can also destroy your social presence. I’ve talked to small-business owners who hadn’t posted anything on social media for months. When I asked them why, they said they forgot their campaigns ended, or the person they were actually paying to run their social wasn’t paying attention (I’m not even making this one up.) Automation can be a great tool, but that doesn’t mean you can schedule it and then just leave it alone. Always keep a watchful eye on your scheduled posts and make sure they’re going out.
Not Posting on Social Channels Properly
This is one that kills me every time I see it. Every social channel has their own rules, and what works on one doesn’t necessarily work on the other. Make sure to research the best ways to post on each channel. Here are some tips to keep in mind: adding images to your posts will double your exposure. Adding videos will double that. When posting a link to your website, make sure the proper image is being displayed. If you have an Instagram, don’t just post ads. Post images or videos of your product or service in action. This allows people to actually experience you and your brand.
It is very important that you have a good design for your website, or landing pages. A good designer knows how to design a website or landing page to usher your potential clients through the site to ensure they’re going where you want them to. I’ve seen sites that have no discernible design qualities, and they look cheap, are confusing, and always have either a high bounce rate (people leaving your site without ever visiting other pages on your site than the homepage) or a low conversion rate (people going to your landing page, but are not filling out their information). Working with someone who understands proper design is very important to your strategies. Just that one tip can help you spend less money on paid digital advertising, as well as increase your conversions on the people you do get to your pages.
However, make sure you don’t go overboard on design. All digital design should be focused on functionality. You know you have a problem if your website or landing page’s design is being discussed in the same conversations as the works of Pablo Picasso or Jackson Pollack.