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This article was originally published in Inc. To read that version, click here.

In these uncertain times, many business owners are looking to leverage digital channels to keep their businesses relevant; this often means shifting marketing efforts online. It might not come as a surprise, but the quality of digital marketing efforts has a massive impact on the end results.

In this article, we’ll look at five common mistakes that businesses should avoid in order to increase their digital marketing results.


1. Not Communicating How You Solve a Visitor’s Problem

When someone visits your landing page, they’ve done so because they are interested in how you can help solve their problem. I know it’s tempting to talk about how great your business is, but the reality is that you have a matter of seconds to effectively communicate how you are going to solve the problem the prospect has.

Try imagining the visitor’s mindset and the type of content and messaging they’d expect to see. Remember this is not about you; it’s about how you can help each person who comes to your site.

2. Selling Too Early

Especially today, there is a tendency to want to make revenue fast. As a result, I’ve seen many businesses that are new to online marketing pushing for a sale the very first time they interact with a customer. This is a huge mistake that is causing businesses to miss out on new customers.

Spend the time required to nurture prospective buyers. Create a digital funnel with clear intentions at each stage. Make sure the prospect is comfortable with your brand and service and also understands the value you offer before going in for the sell.

3. Not Appearing Authentic

For a prospect to buy your product or service, they need to trust you. Trust is a combination of many things, but plastering messaging all over your site that says “100% guarantee” or “Safe and secure” could actually have the opposite effect of what you want.

I’m not recommending that you avoid making these statements; rather, they should be used sparingly. Instead, try adding things like social proof and testimonials to your site. Seeing feedback from real people is a great to win a prospect’s trust.

4. Being Lazy With Words

It’s easy to write ad, landing page and website copy that is wordy and doesn’t inspire or persuade, but you’re not going to get good results. Spend the time required to say more with less. Establish your brand’s tone, and avoid sounding like an infomercial ad. It takes time to write good copy, but it can be the difference between someone wanting to know more about your product or service and bouncing.

5. Leveraging Pop-Ups

I have a love-hate relationship with pop-ups. They can be great for upselling and building a mailing list, but on a personal level, I find it incredibly frustrating when I go to a website for the first time and a pop-up appears on the screen asking me for something before I’ve even viewed the site’s content. Until you offer real value to a prospect, they are not going to opt in to any kind of mailing list. To make matters worse, many popups aren’t optimized for mobile, which can make it challenging for a prospect to exit the pop-up if they don’t opt in.

Consider user experience, and make sure you’re offering value before trying to collect data. This could mean that instead of showing a pop-up when your site loads, it displays when someone has an exit intent and is leaving your site. That way, you know they’ve had time to understand your value proposition.

There are always improvements you can make to your digital marketing efforts. Hopefully this list of common mistakes will help you avoid them.

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