With most businesses using digital marketing to target the right audience and connect with their customers, it’s more important than ever to be well-versed in the strategies and tools needed. Digital PR can hugely increase a brand’s online presence, leading to a rise in business success, but it’s not always straightforward.
Each brand should have a personalised approach to digital marketing, which can sometimes make it a challenging process – with a bit of a learning curve. Trial and error is a normal part of starting out, but to save you some time, we’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes, with tips on how to avoid making them!
Having only one story
Campaigns can take a lot of work, so when they rely on one single story being successful, they become a huge risk. Every digital pr campaign should be able to create more than one story, or at the very least, more than one headline. This gives you options so you can appeal to more journalists and publications.
Relying on the seasons
Seasonal campaigns are great digital PR opportunities, as they’re relatively guaranteed to be successful so long as they have the right hook. You know what publications are looking to publish and what audiences are thinking about, making it slightly easier. However, there are two big reasons why you shouldn’t rely on them:
- Good digital marketing strategies aim to have brand coverage throughout the year, not just during seasonal peaks.
- Seasonal campaigns aren’t always successful, especially as it’s easy for them to get lost in the volume of similar pitches.
Using the wrong format or tone
How you present your story makes a big difference. It’s vital that you use the right tone of voice for the brand and that you’re pitching in the correct format. Consider whether you’ll include infographics, images, or any brand-related logos. And what about the font and layout? The easier it is to read, the better it will perform.
Using the wrong angle
Different publications and audiences look for different things, and you must adapt your story to provide the right angle to appeal to them. This can also change depending on the time of year, relevant ongoing events and news, and more.
Targeting the wrong audience
It’s easy to assume that a broader audience will lead to more links and traction. However, targeting the wrong people ends up wasting your time and effort. It is far more efficient to target a smaller audience, which is more likely to be interested in the story. That is why getting to know your customers is a must.
Using ‘old’ news
You should always, without fail, check the news before launching a campaign. Has your idea been done before? If so, what are you adding to make it new? If your content doesn’t stand out from others, it won’t perform as well, especially if your topic has been done several times before.
Not setting targets
You can launch a marketing campaign and hope for the best, sure. But setting targets and goals will give your approach structure, so you have something to aim for. They will also help establish expectations so everyone is on the same page.
Not getting input from others
Other people will always see a different potential angle or headline where you didn’t, as stories can be interpreted and told differently. That is why getting input from other people is always beneficial. Run your digital marketing concepts past the whole team, the client, and any other people you trust.
Overcomplicating and overwriting
It can be tempting to use multiple sources of data and large amounts of research for your campaigns. However, if your methodology for reaching the conclusions in the pitch is overly complicated, it might put journalists off.
The same goes for overwriting. Your pitches should be short, concise, and straight to the point. Journalists receive large numbers of pitches daily, so anything too lengthy is likely to get skipped.
Not providing clear information
Stories need to be backed by evidence, and in the case of digital marketing, that means credible sources and methodologies. If you want to appeal to journalists, ensure your pitches have clear information on where all the data comes from and how it has been used.
Narrowing your pitches down
If you’re only pitching to the biggest publications, you’re narrowing down your opportunities by a lot. Expand your media list and pitch to a wider range of journalists, including smaller and more niche news outlets.
Being passive in your approach
Waiting to see whether you get lucky is never a good approach. In digital marketing, you need to be proactive. For example, if a journalist doesn’t reply to your pitch after a few days, send a quick follow-up. A lot of the time it’s just a case of the email getting lost in their inbox, and the reminder puts it back at the top!
You should always apply search engine optimisation to your digital marketing strategies, as it will improve online ranking, adding to the organic growth of the brand’s online presence. A simple way to ensure this is to optimise your pitches with keyword research.
Being stuck in your ways
Making a plan and establishing a methodology is essential. However, it is equally important to be flexible, so you can adapt your digital marketing strategies and campaigns to the ever-changing trends and preferences.
Digital marketing takes time, and it’s important that you are patient while you remain consistent in your efforts. Many make the mistake of assuming it’s not working, and giving up, or changing their approach before giving it a real fighting chance.
If you want more tips and insights on Digital PR, SEO, and more, you can find them in the It Works Media Blog. Alternatively, if you’re looking for professional help with your digital marketing, get in touch today.