Doing marketing is an exciting job, but the challenges are at every angle and can become a source of stress. There are several ways to overcome the difficulties you can face, and we know this is a picture that a lot of professionals know even too well.
There are several of them, from picking the best strategy to make our channels grow to deal virtuously with new technologies.
Amateurs may believe that digital marketing is easy.
You only have to slap your content on your website, have a little fun with social media, send a catchy newsletter, and that’s it. A lot of clients will love you, and you will reach them only by spending your time on Facebook.
In reality, digital marketing is a complex field full of daily challenges. Every minute something new happens, but, along with it, you have to deal with several issues. Usually, those issues cover a whole set of different technicalities and skills.
We have picked ten of the top marketers’ challenges, analyzing and sharing our opinion about why we believe they are intriguing and made a list of “Do and Don’ts” to deal with them.
Have you ever faced them? Which ones were the toughest for you, and how did you react?
1. Drive Quality Traffic To Your Website
What is it. Traffic is the first step towards conversions. Once, marketers considered it as one of the fundamental metrics. During the last few years, the hype around this metric faded a lot, but, if paired with other measurements, it still is a crucial element in the general scheme.
It is the number of people that visit your website, coming from a set of different sources. Hopefully, it will lead towards the right amount of leads that you could transform into prospects and clients after a meaningful customer journey.
Why is it challenging? Traffic is challenging for two primary reasons. The first one is that you have to drive people to look at your website, and it may be hard all by itself if you do not pair it with some piece of content.
Furthermore, you have to be sure that your visitors are high-quality ones.
You need to worry about producing enough pieces of content, in terms of quantity and interest, to keep your audience engaged. You have to check what your competitors are doing.
These elements are more than enough to start worrying, especially if you consider the current amount of pieces of content that we see every day.
However, do not panic – there are a lot of things that you can do.
What to do. First of all, be sure that you know who your target audience is. A bit of skimming is essential to focus only on the high-quality visitors, that will take advantage of the things you are saying to them. Also, they may become faithful clients.
Moreover, you have to give your public a valid reason to visit your website and stay on it. Make your pieces of content easy to understand and valuable for the audience – no one will follow a link they do not find interesting. We will talk about it later.
Once they are on your website, however, do not believe that your job is done! Give them an easy-to-navigate website, user-friendly and modern. Be crystal clear about which audience’s data you are going to use and for which purposes. Design a wise customer journey. Keep it updated and adjust the ratio between useful pieces of information and aesthetic.
Use tools like Hotjar or Kissmetrics to track how people are moving and improve your user experience.
What to avoid. Do not attempt a content spree. Now more than ever, less is more – and we promise that this concept will come back in a few minutes. Do not fill your website as a sandwich with useless pieces of information.
Moreover, the worst thing you can do is have a hard-to-navigate website, because no one will believe that it is worth the effort. Do not assume that your website is perfect, and it does not need any change, because there will always be someone with better user experience.
And, most of all, do not believe that everybody is eager to know what you are going to say – you need to interest people.
2. Engage People With Social Media Marketing
What is it. Social media marketing is a definition that contains a lot of elements. You use social media platforms to reach a set of goals, from reaching your audience to build your brand identity. Every social media platform has its language and rules, and you need to know them well to use them properly for your strategies.
Why is it challenging? A lot of people underestimate social media marketing. In specific ways of viewing, as said, “SMM” is the synonym of a person that has fun on Facebook and Instagram all day long. This misconception is as far from reality as possible.
On social media marketing, you have to face many different choices. Which goals do you want to achieve? Which channels are you going to use for each brand? Which kind of content is the most engaging for your target and the most common on the platform right now?
Be prepared. You must be aware of specific dynamics, from the platforms’ rules to the psychological mechanisms of people.
You need to produce engaging, high-quality content regularly, try to keep a peaceful environment, and have a recognizable voice. Remember that you are dealing with people that may eventually become clients.
Most important, do not forget that social media platforms tend to remove filters and usual hesitations, which means that it is straightforward for a scandal to deflagrate.
What to do. Have a plan that will guide you all along your journey in social media.
SMM is a patchwork of several different elements that have to form a coherent strategy. Identify who your audience is and what you are looking for from every platform. Identify a style and topics you want to cover and stick to them with regular publications.
Also, remember that you do not have to be on every social media platform. Choose the ones that are valuable for you, where you can find your customers and where your brand can express itself at its best.
Do not stick only to social media, but integrate them in a broader strategy that contains other elements, such as your website and email marketing – again, we will see it pretty soon when we will talk about content marketing.
What to avoid. There are a lot of “don’ts” with social media marketing, and the web is full of these examples.
For example, we suggest avoiding being everywhere. As we were saying, focus your efforts on the channels your clients are and where it is reasonable for you to be.
You need to have a proper strategy. If you take care of your channels following the inspiration of the day, think again about it.
Moreover, remember that every channel has its language. You want to avoid posting PR communications on Twitter or Instagram, for instance, or use on LinkedIn the same colloquial register you have adopted on Facebook. Pick a definite tone of voice, but do not forget to decline it according to the channel you are using.
You have to engage your community, pay attention to what they want and what they ask. Give them meaningful pieces of content that they can only find at your place. Everybody likes kittens, but you can fill your channels with them only if you are a brand of pet food that uses Facebook for awareness and engagement.
One of the most unpleasant things that could happen is that you have to face a crisis. The worst you can do is believe that this is never going to happen with you and underestimate the risk.
It may occur, and without a strategy, you will lose clients, awareness, and consideration.
Prepare a crisis strategy, and be sure you have a well-trained customer care service.
Last but not least, try not to rest on your laurels and keep up with the novelties. Today’s perfect strategy may become unsuccessful, next week. Using Facebook the same way you did five years ago will make you lose clients.
3. Defining Valuable KPIs
What is it. According to Investopedia, “Key performance indicators (KPIs) refer to a set of quantifiable measurements used to gauge a company’s overall long-term performance. KPIs specifically help determine a company’s strategic, financial, and operational achievements, especially compared to those of other businesses within the same sector.”
They are measurable values and parameters that allow marketing managers and companies to understand better how to make the business grow. KPIs are a way to have a comprehensive overview that tracks as a compass if the actions that you are doing are going in the right direction, according to what matters for you and your brand.
Measuring a KPI instead of another is extremely personal, and it changes from company to company.
Why is it challenging? The most challenging element of KPIs is to select the perfect ones for your brand. First of all, however, you have to determine which goals you want to achieve – and this can become quite challenging, too.
Which ones are perfect for your brand? How do you choose and measure them? What if you forget a crucial KPI, and you realize it when it is too late?
What to do. Start with your goals. Identify where your company wants to go and which steps it has to follow to reach its aim.
Select your KPIs by using the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) criteria.
What to avoid. There are two primary mistakes that you can make – ignoring KPIs or selecting too many of them.
We are not considering the picking of the wrong ones because, once you experiment, you can always decide to change them and adopt the ones that better suit your company at the moment.
If you select too many KPIs, you are going astray. You can not focus anymore on what is essential, leading to a loss of time, money, and resources – and no tangible result.
On the other side, if you decide to ignore KPIs and simply follow your instinct, it is like adventuring without a guide or a compass inside a jungle fraught with danger. Do you believe it is worth it?
4. Build A Referral Mechanism
What is it. Referral marketing is one of the oldest, most appreciated, and most know marketing strategies. It basically consists of “one of your existing customers raves about you in front of their friends.”
It is straightforward to achieve, but the tricky part lies in obtaining it – you only have it if you deserve it.
Why is it challenging? It is a win-win game. You have enthusiastic ambassadors, new clients come spontaneously to your store, everybody loves you, and you did not do anything.
This is the tricky part – you believe you do not have to do anything. In reality, this is one of the most challenging goals to achieve. If you want people to say marvelous things about you, you need to give them a reason to do it.
What to do. Here we have no easy way out. You have to be impeccable. Be always transparent with your customers and think about their wellness. Provide a pleasant customer journey and delightful communication. Avoid being rude or uncaring.
Make them feel special and keep your promises, both about the brand and the product. Be present when they need you (i.e., customer care) and do not obsess them with promotional content.
Give them something valuable, and they will be by your side.
What to avoid. Do not be unreliable, inaccessible, unfaithful, and rude. If you behave unpleasantly with your customers, have an unorganized website and channels, can not handle a crisis, or do not keep your promises, you have a problem. It is a challenge to always be up to date, but it is not an excuse for an awful reputation.
Some of the most unforgivable mistakes are not considering the customers’ point of view and start too late with caring about them – if you do not do it when you have a few clients, it will be useless if and when you will have a million of them.
5. Analyze Your Competitors
What is it. Competitors are something you can not hope to avoid when you start a business.
It does not matter the field you are playing in or the kind of service you provide – if you have a company, you have competitors. If not, you have another list of problems to face, more regarding business.
Why is it challenging? Having someone that fights to reach your same prospects’ and target’s attention, love, and money is hard enough.
However, it is challenging also because you have to monitor your competitors’ actions to analyze what they are doing and how you could take inspiration from them – or batten down the hatches.
What to do. Study your competitors, analyze them – also with the help of Artificial Intellligence – and see what inspiration you can take from them.
Well-done research can also be useful to highlight your strengths and flaws. Having competitors and playing in a field with a lot of them can be intimidating, but it is also full of stimuli.
What to avoid. There are two things that, amongst others, are better to avoid when it comes to competitors. The first one is to believe that you have no competitors; the second one is to be afraid of them and try to do whatever they do.
The first one is one of the most fatal mistakes you can commit. First of all, if you have no competition, there are two options: you can be the next, genial, smart, unique Steve Jobs of the new decade, or your idea will never have a future.
If you only believe that you have no competition, we suggest you do your search better and deeper again. There will be for sure someone that had an idea at least similar to yours. It is a great chance to learn from others with the same issues.
If the excess of complacency will lead you to ruin, the same will do the lack of personality and strategy. If you copy everything that other players do, your customers will never know which are your ideas and plans. You will project an image of an insecure brand without any added value.
6. Use SEO To Catch Google’s Attention
What is it. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a series of techniques that marketers can use to make Google like their pieces of content. SEO matches a lot of different elements that can change according to Google algorithms’ updates.
Why is it challenging? Part of the challenge of SEO techniques is due to the variability of Google and its algorithms, but it is not the only reason.
SEO is so complex to achieve appropriately because of a lot of competitors and the refining job that you have to do. It is not enough to fill your webpages with a bunch of keywords. You have to build an easy to use architecture for your website, with coherent text and user-friendly settings.
What to do. Here, the key to success is never to take for granted the pieces of information you already have or your top position of a year ago. Keep studying the latest news, adapt your website to the upcoming techniques, and see SEO as a dear friend that, if you take care of it, will lead you towards the best positioning ever.
What to avoid. Don’t believe that you can do SEO once for all because you will be highly disappointed. You will have to keep up, or you will be lost.
Remember that Google has implemented semantic research, which means that it can read and understand full sentences. The time for keywords stuffing is over! The new BERT algorithm will put your website in the most forgotten realm of the web (somebody says it is on Google’s Page 2…).
Last but not least, you should not believe that SEO is only feeding Google with keywords. To make it work at its best, you have to carefully plan your website and your communication in every detail. The more authoritative, valuable, and user-friendly you are, the more Google will like you.
7. Measure Your ROI
What is it. ROI is the acronym for Return On Investment. Investopedia defines it as “a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of several different investments. ROI tries to directly measure the amount of return on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost.”
Why is it challenging? Measuring ROI is one of the toughest challenges for marketers, but it still is a vital parameter. It requires collaboration between sales and marketing departments that have to decide how to track the metrics and which ones to pick.
What to do. Select the most important values. Communicate with your colleagues and partners. Always keep an eye on what is going on.
What to avoid. The worst thing you can do is ignore the ROI. Measure to have an idea of what is going on in your company and what to do next.
8. Craft A Content Marketing Strategy For Your Audience
What is it. Content marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Why is it challenging? Content marketing is one of the most exciting yet complex kinds of marketing you can think of. Its variety makes it fascinating, yet paralyzing at times.
Which type of platforms do you need to use? Which pieces of content do you want to produce? Who is your target audience? How often do you have to publish content, and which way? How do you keep up with all the new features, technologies, and updates?
You may think that if you spend your time studying the latest news, there will be no more to apply them.
What to do. Content marketing is a fun world, but you have to approach it with a plan. Blogging, email marketing, and social media scheduling can be entertaining activities – for real! -, but only if you do them with criteria.
You have to understand who your target audience is and how do you want to talk to it, selecting the right tone of voice. Next, you have to choose the right channels, mixing your own and social media.
Yes, it is complicated, but it is one of the most amazing digital marketing experiences you can have.
What to avoid. The way to rock content marketing is one: having a plan and a perspective and being adaptable. If you don’t want to keep up and believe that you can use social media as you did in 2012, this is not for you.
Do not flatten your communication by using the same piece of content on all your channels, because every platform has its own rules. The result will not be professional and will look weird.
Do not pick all the channels only because everyone is on Facebook or TikTok: if your audience does not like that platform, you are losing time and money. Also, remember never to lose patience with your customers and not change your tone of voice every day – they will believe you have multiple personalities.
Do not follow trends only to be in fashion, primarily if not related to your brand in any way – the failure is just around the corner, and the web does not forget.
9. Work On Your Brand Image
What is it. The brand image is the ID of your brand. It “corresponds to the intent behind the branding and the way a company does the following—all to cultivate a certain image in consumers’ minds:
Chooses its name
Designs its logo
Uses colors, shapes, and other visual elements in its products and promotions
Crafts the language in its advertisements
Trains employees to interact with customers
Brand image is the actual result of these efforts, successful or unsuccessful.”
Why is it challenging? Selecting and developing a brand image is challenging because it includes so many elements. It is not a simple logo, a few colors, and a funny shape.
Think about your brand as a real human being with its style, characteristics, flaws, and goals. You have to communicate a precise idea and promise to your brand and stick to it, keep everything coherent – from the tone of voice you use to the causes you support, to your aesthetic.
What to do. The simpler, the better. A brand with a complex personality is tricky. Customers may hardly like it. Analyze your market and your own company, focus your target, and the messages you want to send. Identify your core values and stick to them.
However, do not be too stiff: have the courage to change when something does not work anymore, or if you feel you need a restyling.
What to avoid. Do not believe that you do not need any preliminary study and that your customers will love you. More importantly, do not think that you will never have to change sometimes.
If you do not study your surroundings and you fall in love with your idea of brand image, without supporting data, the risk is to have a weak brand. The same will happen if you have not crystal clear in your mind your brand’s ID.
The worst mistake you could do is not being coherent with your brand. If your image and your values say that you are against the violence on animals, and then you support furs’ brands, people will not like them.
Another thing that will cost you a lot is being afraid of change. If you do not listen to your customers, to the market, and the world, you will not be up to date – and you will not appreciate the consequences.
10. Do Not Be Afraid Of Technology, But Embrace The Right Ones
What it is. in this case, we mean technology in the marketing way. “Marketing technology are tools that make life simpler for marketers to market. they automate difficult, time-consuming and repetitive manual tasks to surface customer insight. Built by technologists, used by marketers. Marketing technology should aim to remove or significantly reduce the need for it involvement. In short, to keep marketing in marketing.”
Why is it challenging? We are not talking about technologies in general, but you need to choose the ones that work best for you. the current world has an outstanding offer that grows and grows every single day.
You may wonder which technologies are beneficial to you and have no clue which one to pick. and, most of all, do you need it?
What to do. First of all, ask yourself which are your goals and what do you want for your business. Next, think about which processes would be more valuable if you automatize them.
do you need to know more about your audience? Here it is our Ghostwriter.ai. do you want to find out influencers? Try Buzzsumo. are you not sure about the text you have written? Grammarly can help.
There are a lot of different services that can help you make your routine leaner and smoother. you only have to find out what fits your needs.
What to avoid. there are two opposite, adverse reactions that you can have.
The first one is denial. You may be afraid of technology, or simply you don’t know it so well, and you believe you will never need it. We understand your fears, but please, give it a try – once you will see how much time you save, you will not come back!
The second one is an over-enthusiastic approach, in which you start using every single service that you can find. We appreciate this passion, but hold on a second and rethink about the reasons why you need technology.
Tech and services are a tool to make tasks more comfortable and faster, not to complicate your routine.