Even Big Businesses Make Digital Marketing Mistakes

Kristopher B. Jones is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Kris is the Founder of 2020 SEO Agency of the Year Finalist LSEO.com.

Digital marketing can be a difficult problem to solve, even for large companies. The Internet is a landscape of ever-changing applications and algorithms, a Wild West of endless opportunities, but also endless challenges.

Even though things are changing, there are a few pitfalls that remain ubiquitous threats no matter the size of your business. But with persistent problems come some persistent solutions.

Here are some of the biggest digital marketing mistakes that even big companies make and what you can do to avoid them.

Not having a game plan

If you want to succeed, you must have a game plan. Period.

This is true for any type of business engaged in digital marketing, but it’s especially important for businesses. The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make when approaching their digital marketing strategy is assuming that “if you build it, they will come”.

The truth is, if you just build it, it will sit there and do nothing. Maybe a few people will come, but, in the end, no one will notice and no one will care unless you figure out how to generate brand awareness.

So ask yourself: how are you going to do it? What is your marketing budget? What are your long term plans? What image do you want to shape for yourself? What audience do you want to address? Last but not least, how do you reach this audience? Answering these questions is how you begin to develop your game plan.

Deletion of old content

In 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay whose title has since become the unofficial motto of digital marketing professionals: “Content is king.” In it, Gates said this:

If people are expected to turn on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with in-depth and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They must have audio and possibly video.

He was right then, and he is still right today. What sets digital content apart from traditional marketing formats is its interactivity and multimedia capabilities. Creating influential content requires the use of hyperlinks, images, and timely information. Otherwise, it’s just not up to par.

However, that doesn’t mean you should start deleting outdated or underperforming content, which could wreak havoc on your SEO.

Think of your digital marketing strategy as a building, with your content being the beams and bricks that hold it together. Just because a part is rusty or cracked doesn’t mean you should just remove it; it only harms the integrity of the whole structure.

Instead, update its information. Re-adapt your keywords. Add multimedia elements. Think of ways to refresh your old content to give it new life.

Prioritize quantity over quality

Along with my previous point, let’s talk about quantity versus quality when it comes to digital marketing content. If your business grows, your digital marketing should grow too. If your online presence is declining, such as by reducing your content production, it’s a sign that something is probably wrong.

That said, more content doesn’t automatically equate to better marketing. Especially not if this content is of poor quality.

The biggest thing that low-quality content gives up, however, is relevance. Too many new businesses try to game the system by flooding the internet with offsite content that has lots of backlinks but nothing else. They think having more backlinks with no substance behind them will help them move up the search rankings, so they cut corners to create as much content as possible.

The idea that links trump content is a common SEO myth. Search engines not only note how many times your website is linked, but also the context in which that link appears. This includes the credibility of the site/page on which the link is located, the relevance for users to find the information and the naturalness or unnaturalness of the placement of the link in the content.

As with so many things in life, striking the right balance between quality and and amount.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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