Friday Digital Roundup
The Friday Digital Roundup is a witty take on the weird world of the internet. With fun stories from around the globe, it’s the only email newsletter you’ll actually read and enjoy!
We do love writing it, but clearly not as much as people like receiving it - just look at the response we got when a technical hitch meant it wasn’t sent out on time!
Coffee and the FDR is how I start my Friday.
Do not engage until I have devoured both
When it comes to the end of the week, there is no better way to start a Friday than with a run around the internet with Todd and Jo in the FDR. Just don't let them know I do it from the loo!
My inbox is full of rubbish newsletters that Im constantly deleting😬 My VIP inbox is for 1 thing only- THE DIGITAL ROUNDUP🤠I dont read a Newspaper or the news online, I just wait for Fridays, when this lands in my inbox- then I know ‘The weekend has landed’🤗
Online Marketing: Five Common Mistakes Businesses (Nearly Always) Make
Marketing a business isn’t a new concept. You already know you need to do it.
Marketing a business online involves so many options that it often leaves people confused about where to start. This can leave businesses frozen, doing nothing, or worse – it makes them decide what to do quickly, without doing enough research and ends up with them potentially wasting time and energy on something that doesn’t work.
There are loads of interesting options, but there are some traps and pitfalls too. We’ve spoken to thousands of businesses over the years on the best practice for social media, blogs, SEO, Google Ads, and more. We’ve seen and heard people talking about the mistakes they’ve made, but there are some more common than others.
And here they are, in no particular order….
Online Marketing: Five Common Mistakes Businesses (Nearly Always) Make
1. Missing the concept of brand consistency
Let’s get right to it. Brand matters. A good brand is so embedded in how a human brain recognises and feels about a business that you’d be crazy not to use it in every single thing you do.
We often engage with business owners who think a brand is just a logo (it’s not) or who only use their logo and have no idea what brand guidelines, assets, fonts, or stylesheets are. Some even admit to having them but have never using them!
A brand should encompass every part of your business; especially your comms and marketing (online or off!). It’s more than a logo; it’s your theme, colours, elements, values, and the way you talk, walk and act. A brand should direct everything from email signatures to your website design.
To give you an idea, here’s a list of everything we could think of (until we got bored) that we have ‘on brand’ ie: everything that follows our brand guidelines:
- Email welcome, signature, and sign off
- Dropbox folder names
- Office wall art
- Office lighting
- Office toilet soap dispenser (yes, it’s a cactus)
- Office towels
- Office coasters
- Office decorations
- OK, for ease.. most of the office is on-brand, OK!
- Staff uniform
- Laptop bags
- Jo’s car
- Todd’s voicemail and ringtone
- Our marketing emails
- Our transactional emails (thank you, success, booking, reminders, Zoom)
- All eBooks and free content
- YouTube video intros
- Social media banners and LinkedIn profile pictures
- Our Facebook Group
- We have branded gifs for social media (Search ‘Send the cow’ for a laugh or ‘Spaghetti Agency’ to see for yourself on Facebook etc..)
- Business cards
- Exhibition banners
- Postcards with services
- Exhibition game (cactus-shaped buzz wire)
- When we launched the brand, we had pistols (in a shooting range) American food and beer, and 7 matching wild west characters. Everyone who came to the launch wore checked shirts
- Our call booking page is named Call the Cowboy and Call the Cowgirl and is… on brand
- Gifts to clients. On brand.
- Christmas cards. On brand.
- Birthday cards. On brand.
- Thank you cards. On brand.
… you get the point, right?!
And we could go on.
Every. Single. Touchpoint in your business needs to be brand-focused. Go and find those hidden automated things that are likely to be generic and not on brand, and make them right.
“Is this marketing though, Todd?”
“YES!” Everything you do to communicate and present your company with is marketing. Make sure it’s on-brand. Ok?
2. Only selling
This mistake is one I’m very grateful for. It’s why I started a business.
It’s the reason I got annoyed and said “Screw it, let’s start a business”. Many businesses (back then and now) see marketing as purely selling. But it’s not. Years ago, as a tweeting van driver, I made this mistake. But eventually (after zero sales) I began to tell stories and share value and tips. Only then did social media start to work.
It’s not just social either; blogs, emails, videos, websites – they all need to entice with value and trust-building content.
If you’re ‘sell and no tell’ then you’re in the trap of ‘push not pull’. You have to pull people towards you now. That’s what digital marketing does, and it’s why social media is so great. Or can be so great, when done properly.
Don’t sell, tell. (Extra points for being yourself when you do!)
3. Hiding their secret sauce
And to continue the point above, the reason so many businesses just sell isn’t always down to ignorance and lack of education or understanding of digital marketing. No, some simply don’t want to share all their secrets. Why…? It’s already out there on Google!
Years ago, sharing your secret sauce or recipe was a no-no. Keep it to yourself and people will buy from you.
Now? Now we have the internet we have access to all information. Now we can just Google the recipe for those amazing roast potatoes.
So, what does Jamie Oliver do? He creates a tonne of free content and gives it all away for free. Does it work? You bet, his books sell, and he gets TV gigs and a mass of raving fans.
In our world, we share all this stuff on the website because we work with companies who don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to do online marketing. They see we know what we’re doing and ask us to work with them.
Also, when you’re giving so much free value, loads of people read it, use it, and get value from it. You naturally build a posse of followers who love you and then refer you. You’re creating a marketing army who are out there in the world in the right place at the right time when someone says, “You don’t happen to know a company who does XYZ, do you?”.
Most of our business is referrals from followers who love and use our free content.
AND ALSO… Google loves content! So you’ll get better ranking, more views, better ranking, more views, and so on. When somebody searches for what you do, thanks to all that content, you’re more likely to be found.
Win, win, win, win!
4. Expecting a website to generate leads
We get it, a website is online, and we all search for stuff online (even though we should hit the high street and buy local!). Websites generate a lot of money. In 2019 BC (Before Covid) UK websites took £693B in sales according to Statista. There’s a lot of shopping on the web, and a lot of credit cards being tapped into smartphones.
But… just having a website doesn’t bring sales. No, you need to optimise it, create content for it, increase the speed of it, make sure it’s mobile optimised, and send people to it. Those people might arrive from anywhere from expos through to social media posts through paid ads.
Websites are hungry, and you need to feed them! Leave them starved of content, SEO, and social media and you’ll soon have a sales funnel as dry as a camel’s foot!
One of the best ways to help your website get seen is to blog and then share that blog content elsewhere. I love that you’re reading this blog (thanks for being awesome and getting this far!), and I really hope it’s helping you. I also created this content to help Spaghetti Agency rank on Google so I can give more work to the team here and grow the business.
Blogs help your SEO, so if nothing else, create and share some useful ones. Some blog ideas for you right here.
5. Only running paid ads for a week or so
Right, here’s the deal with PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising and Facebook and Instagram Ads. You can’t just do them for a few weeks. In the first instance, you have to leave them running for a few weeks unchanged to get a good handle on whether or not they’re going to work, and then you’ll be ready to adjust and tweak. And even then you’ll need to keep them running.
These big tech platforms are all run by AI now. Those algorithms need time to monitor your ads, the reaction to them from the end-users, and many other metrics too. It takes time, but most advertisers put in a small budget with little time to flourish and then pull the plug when they end up in a blind panic when it doesn’t work instantly. They throw their hands in the hair and profess that “Facebook Ads don’t work!”.
Well, they don’t work like that, so you’re right. Give them time, build up some touchpoints with your audiences, and of course – do your research before you begin!
Bonus… (being consistent!)
I recently gave up drinking, changed my approach to my health, and started eating and drinking better. Like most things, good health needs a consistent approach. You have to plan to make food, exercise, rest, and you must water nearby so you can’t forget to drink it. *sips 2-litre bottle of water which is blue… because it’s on-brand. See point #1*
Consistency wins the game. It’s not complicated at all.
Online/digital marketing is the same. We don’t do much for ourselves; it just looks like it.
Here’s what we do (consistently) every month:
- Blog weekly and share it on email and social media
- Run a simple retargeting ad on Facebook with the blog content and workshops
- Email weekly to our list (Join the Friday Digital Roundup here)
- Update our Facebook group daily
- Update our Instagram a few times a week
- Post on LinkedIn almost daily
That’s about it. But if you’re connected to us, you’ll see loads of it (making it seem like more) as the consistency means you’ll keep seeing it. Because it’s all on-brand it’s even more powerful, too!
These five mistakes and the bonus are EVERYWHERE in digital marketing.
Take a look at your content and ask yourself, “Am I guilty!?”.
Chances are… you are. The good news is, it’s really simple to fix and the other good news is it’s likely that your competitors are probably missing the same tricks.
Need more help? Comment below and we’ll do our best to reply and guide you in the right direction.
Want to work with us and save yourself the hassle? Contact the team right here.
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