We like to think of mistakes made as lessons learnt, but now that 2016 has really set in, there are a few action items that we think it’s about time all digital marketers addressed. Run through our list of digital marketing sins and cross-check it against your digital strategy, the less double up, the more we all win.
1. Bad ads
Bad online advertising practices have been getting a lot of attention of late. If the download rates of ad-blocking software is anything to go by, it means advertisers have been getting things really wrong. According to a report by Adobe and PageFair, ad-blocking cost the ad industry $22 billion in 2015, up by 41% in comparison to 2014. The report also found that one in three internet users have installed ad-blocking software.
The losers out of this are the publishers who rely on advertising clicks to generate income and digital marketers who have limited their audience reach. So, how do we fix this? It comes down to better ad creative (ditching flash, spammy, too frequent, overly text-based ads), good landing pages and understanding the importance of user privacy.
2. Low-quality images
Image is everything, especially online. We all know that teaming up a witty caption with a great image on social media improves engagement, click-through rates and shareability. Using good quality images across the board, including for your display ads and your website is a must. Make sure your images are hitting a decent resolution (aim for 150dpi), ditch the blurry, grainy and/or busy images for a cleaner one, optimise your images for the platform you’re posting to by finding out the maximum dimensions, and importantly, make sure your images aren’t so large that they’re impacting on loading times. If you’re stuck for inspiration, don’t have access to a good camera or just don’t have the time for photography then jump onto free (and good) stock image sites like Canva – your audience will thank you for it.
3. Non-mobile responsive site
This was a hot topic in 2015 with Google leading the battle against non-mobile responsive sites and releasing a sleuth of features to penalise them. ‘Mobilegeddon’ ensued with Google launching the mobile-friendly label to differentiate responsive sites from non-responsive sites in search results, plus they released an update to their search algorithm which would favour responsive sites. Just this week, Google launched the AMP Project, an open source initiative to make it easier for publishers to present mobile compatible content. We know there will be more to come so watch this space.
4. Slow loading site
A first impression is made within the first three seconds of meeting someone. This is also runs true for your site. Users have high expectations and low patience for slow loading sites, in fact anything more than three seconds and most users will opt out of waiting. There are a bevy of tools to help you determine where you're going wrong (and right) with your website loading time. Large image files, poor code, Flash & Java are all time killers.
Must use tools for speed testing:
5. Not using video content
Video killed the radio star and continues to do so in 2016. Over one billion users are on YouTube, or one third of the internet population. Facebook and Twitter have made major investments in video including live video streaming through Periscope and Livestream on Facebook. Not to mention the success of bite-sized video content on Snapchat & Vine. Apps like Hyperlapse, Boomerang, Adobe Premiere Clip, GifX and DSCO by VSCO are all cost-free options for video capture and editing.
6. Not seeing the value of visual social
By visual social we're referring to the creative darlings of social media, predominantly-visual-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. These platforms are underutilised, overlooked and the best part: they attract great levels of engagement. Instagram's home feed algorithm remains unrestricted with all your followers shown your post (unlike Facebook’s Newsfeed which restricts organic reach). We’ve also had great success on our Loves Data Pinterest with many of our posts being ‘repinned’ thousands of times.
Resources for Instagram management:
- Examples of Aussie businesses doing well on Instagram
- 8 Instagram Tips For Business
- Video series on using Instagram for Business
7. Stop learning
The industry we love and work in is one of the fastest growing and changing. It's hard to keep up with changes at the best of times. The great thing is that we're a very connected industry and there are a ton of influencers out there who give away free information, best practice tips and show new and innovative ways of getting more out of digital constantly. See our back to school special for a list of our favourite resources to make sure learning never stops. By the way, our training course are a good start too!
What other mistakes are you tired of seeing digital marketers make? Vent your frustration in the comments.