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Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2020


Digital marketing has been a key component of business growth and promotion for the last few years. It’s going to be even more important in 2020, though. In fact, businesses around the globe are expected to spend $605 billion on digital ads next year. 

You may not have the budget to make major increases to your digital marketing spending in the upcoming year. However, if you want to stay competitive with other businesses in your industry, you need to make sure you’re placing a greater emphasis on digital marketing overall. This includes avoiding common mistakes that could derail your business’s growth and progress.

Not sure what you should or shouldn’t be doing when it comes to digital marketing for your ecommerce business? Read on to learn about some digital marketing mistakes that you need to do your best to avoid going into 2020.

Publishing Without Goal-Setting

A common mistake in the digital marketing world is publishing online content (it could be a blog post, a video, web content, a social media post, etc.) without having a clear goal in mind. Many business owners and marketers focus too much on creating content without first taking the time to figure out what they want the content to help them accomplish.

Whenever you’re creating digital marketing content, figure out what purpose it’s serving. How is it going to help your customers and your business? Will it get them to sign up for your email list? Will it get them excited about a new product your launching?

The more specific you can get with your goals, the easier it’ll be to tailor your content to ensure you’re reaching those goals and using your time and resources in the most cost-effective and productive way.

Forgetting to Tell a Story

People are much more inclined to buy products or services from a particular ecommerce brand if they feel they can relate on a more personal level. One way you can relate to your audience and earn their trust is to tell a story with your content.

Help people get to know the people behind the business so they can develop a relationship with you. When you share your story or tell stories of other people who have utilized and benefited from your products or services, it’s easier to capture and retain people’s attention.

It’s also easier for them to trust your business and see themselves using what you have to offer.

Not Varying Your Content Forms

In 2020, it won’t be good enough for your business to create just one type of online marketing content.

Blog posts are great, but if that’s all you’re publishing, you’re going to get left behind. Look into branching out beyond your comfort zone and tapping into other modes of digital marketing. This might mean video, podcasting, or social media ads.

There are tons of ways to promote your business online these days, and you can’t rely on just one method to help you grow. You’ll reach way more people if they can find your business on multiple platforms and learn about what you do in multiple ways.

Ignoring the Data

If you have an unlimited digital marketing budget, you could, in theory, get away with just throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. If you’re like most businesses, though, you have a strict budget that you need to follow. 

If this is the case for you, you can’t afford to guess and pray that your digital marketing techniques work. No, you need to look at the data and figure out which approaches are going to yield the greatest results for you.

Pay attention to your website traffic and figure out how people are finding you online. Measure the effectiveness of different advertising styles, too, and see which ones are attracting the greatest number of visitors.

You can still experiment with other techniques, of course, but you should also make informed decisions to avoid wasting money on fruitless endeavours.

Not Knowing Your Audience

When it comes to doing research and looking at the data, don’t forget to pay attention to your audience. Think about the type of person you’re trying to target with your content and advertisements. Be as specific as you can about their age, gender, occupation, income, etc.

Pay attention to the type of people you’re attracting, too, and consider whether or not they align with your target customer. If there’s a disparity there, you may need to shift your expectations and work on targeting a different type of person. Or, you may need to adjust your message and approach so that it better aligns with your target demographic.

Forgetting to Engage

When it comes to digital marketing, engagement is key.

There are lots of different ways to engage with your audience, from responding to online reviews and blog comments to sharing and retweeting social media posts from people who are talking about your brand. However you practice it, engagement with your online audience will help people to establish a connection with your brand, and it’s a great way to show your customers you care.

Ecommerce businesses that engage with their audience online are often rewarded by search engine algorithms, too. This can help you attract more organic traffic to your website and further boost your bottom line.

Underestimating Influencer Marketing

For several years, influencer marketing has helped tons of brands, from small businesses to major companies like Wal-Mart and Target, to grow their audience and relate to their ideal customers in a new way.

If you’ve been sleeping on the influencer marketing trend, now is the time to take advantage of it. Social media influencers have spent a lot of time and energy building trust with their audiences. If they recommend your products to the followers, they’re going to be much more inclined to make a purchase than they would if you were trying to target them on your own.

Start doing research today to learn more about influencers who are promoting products and services that align with what you have to offer and reach out to them to see whether or not they’re interested in working with you.

Not Using Social Media

Speaking of social media influencers, before you dive into the influencer marketing world, make sure you have an established social media presence.

Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it’s important for you to be active on these platforms (especially the major ones like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) if you want to reach a wider audience and spread the word about your business.

Remember, being “active” is about more than just having a profile. You need to post often and engage with your followers, too.

Back-Up Your Claims

Not too long ago, businesses could get away with making any kind of claims they wanted online. Now, though, internet users are much savvier than they used to be. Search engines are more savvy, too, and they’re cracking down on sites that are publishing false information.

If you’re going to share statistics or research related to your products or services, you owe it to your business and your customers to ensure that information is accurate. Whenever you share statistics or scientific information, include a link to your sources. Double-check that your sources are accurate, too.

This does require more work on your end, but it’s worth it if it helps you establish yourself as an authority and helps you build trust with your audience.

Failing to Work with Professionals

The digital marketing landscape is changing all the time, and it can be hard to keep up, especially when you’re running a small ecommerce business without a lot of manpower behind it.

If you’re having a hard time keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends, working with a consultant or agency can help you save a lot of time and money. It’s their job to research and learn about the most recent trends, tools, and technologies.

When you hire them, they can do the heavy lifting for you and free you up to work on other important aspects of your business. Don’t let things fall by the wayside because you’re struggling to understand the ins and outs of digital marketing.

Lack of Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that is always relevant. For years after it’s publication, the information remains true and beneficial to your audience. An example might be a blog post that contains a recipe or a how-to video.

Not all of your content needs to be evergreen. However, if you’re not publishing some evergreen content on a regular basis, you could be hurting your business and creating more work for yourself later on.

Remember, evergreen content can be republished and refreshed to boost your search engine rankings and attract new customers. The same isn’t always true for other types of content.

Not Using Calls to Action

When you’re publishing content online, whether it’s a blog post, a social media ad, or a video, make sure you include a call-to-action.

Don’t leave it up to your audience to decide what they should do after coming in contact with a piece of your content. Tell them how you want them to proceed.

Do they need to click on your ad to claim a special offer? Should they sign up for your email newsletter to learn about upcoming deals?

Whatever you want them to do, include that in your call-to-action, and make sure they can see it.

Not Having an Email List

Speaking of email newsletters, if you don’t have an email list already, now is the time to create one.

An email list gives you direct access to the people who are most likely to be interested in buying what you’re selling. It helps you stay in touch and engage in a more personal way.

It also helps to protect you against the ebbs and flows of social media.

Algorithms change all the time, and you might find that you don’t always reach as many people as you once did. With an email list, though, you can always reach your audience and keep your business in their minds.

Being Inconsistent

As with anything in business, consistency with your digital marketing strategy is key.

If you’re not posting on a consistent basis, or if there’s a lack of consistency with your branding, it’s going to be hard for people to trust and develop positive associations with your business. They’ll be less likely to recognize you online, especially since they’re bombarded with so many other ads and types of content each day, and they’ll also be less inclined to buy what you’re selling.

The more consistent you are, the easier it’ll be for you to establish a sense of trust and keep people interested in your business.

Focusing on Quantity Instead of Quality

These days, digital content creation is a full-time job (that’s why so many businesses are hiring agencies and consultants to help them keep up with the demand for constant content). That being said, it’s not enough just to pump out low-quality content all day long. Your target audience will see right through that and stop taking an interest in what you’re producing.

It’s true that you do need to make sure you’re publishing content on a consistent basis. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, though. Ensure that every piece you publish on your website or on social media helps you work toward accomplishing a particular goal and provides some kind of value to your audience.

Start Working on Your 2020 Digital Marketing Strategy Today

As you can see, there are a lot of digital marketing mistakes you need to avoid in 2020 if you want your ecommerce business to grow throughout the year.

You might feel a bit intimidated at first when it comes to levelling up your digital marketing game, especially now that you’re aware of all the ways it could go wrong. Don’t panic, though.

Instead, use this information to guide you as you begin planning out your 2020 digital marketing strategy. Armed with the details on the most common and serious digital marketing mistakes, you’ll know what not to do and where to focus your energy.

Remember these tips and you’ll have no trouble putting together an impressive marketing plan for the upcoming year.