9 Digital Marketing Mistakes Committed By Every Beginner

To err is to human. It holds good in digital marketing too. There is no learning without making mistakes. But, a wise is one who learns from others mistakes. Here are such common digital marketing mistakes committed by most of the beginners.

digital marketing mistakes


Keep this as a to-avoid checklist every time you create your digital marketing campaign.

Mistake #1: Not Focusing On Compelling Offers

Alex – a passionate bodybuilder and a proud gym owner, decides to set up an attractive website with images and photos of champion bodybuilders spread throughout the landing pages.

He later creates a Facebook and Google AdWords campaigns to promote his personal training services. He uses the message “Get Fit Like A Champion in 6 months” in his ad copies. According to Alex, he thinks, his USP of the campaign was his attractive landing page with photos of champion bodybuilders.

After a week’s campaign, Alex was disappointed with the results. Not even a single prospect signed up for his services. But, what was the reason?

The Reason:

Alex, being new to the field of marketing, focused on developing an attractive website, but failed to attract customers through compelling offers.

Though website design plays an important role; without focusing on compelling offers that customers cannot resist, the marketing efforts continue to disappoint you.

The Change:

Alex now changes the message in his ad copies to “Get Fit Like A Champion in 6 months. Pay For 6 months training, Get 2 months Free

The above message has a compelling offer.

Mistake #2: Falling In Love With Your Own Product/Service Features

Alex, a passionate bodybuilder, and a proud gym owner is very proud of his gym and its equipment. He has got a world-class infrastructure and top class equipment of world’s best brands.

Alex decides to use Facebook and Instagram marketing to drive customers to his website. Alex thinks customers would sign up for his gym membership program if his gym’s best infrastructure and equipment are showcased through the landing page.

Alex goes ahead and creates a landing page that is completely focused on the gym infrastructure. His landing page is designed to showcase the gym infrastructure and his Ad messages used phrases like – “World Class Gym Facility With High-End Equipment

After a weeks marketing efforts, Alex is disappointed, as he finds no customers signing up for his gym’s membership program. But, what was the reason?

The Reason:

Alex failed to understand the customer mindset. Just because you love and care for your gym and its equipment, customers necessarily need not to do the same. In simple words, customers don’t care about your product, rather, they care about how your product can solve their problems and make their life better.

Customers will pay you, only if you can take them out of a problem they are currently facing. In marketing terminologies, you call them “Before State” and “After State”. “Before State” is the problem state and “After State” is the solution state. Your product/service should lift customers from “Before State” and place them in the “After State”.

While Marketing, focus on how your product/service can get your customers from “Before State” to “After State”

The Change:

Alex now changes this website landing page and Ad message to completely focus on customer needs. His landing page now focuses on how his training can help reduce the fat percentage of body and his Ad message uses phrases like “Bring down your body’s fat percentage to less than 20% by registering for my personal training

The above message focuses to solve customers problems.

Mistake #3: Following Outbound Marketing Instead Of Inbound Marketing

Alex, a passionate bodybuilder, and a proud gym owner offer a comprehensive weight loss program for the overweight. He is an expert nutritionist and guarantees 100 percent weight loss naturally through diet and exercises.

Alex decides to set up Facebook and Instagram advertisements to specifically target obese men and women to offer his weight loss services. He creates a landing page where customers are required to sign up for his services and pay him via net banking to avail his training and nutrition services.

After a week’s marketing campaign, he is shocked to find no takers for his services. He is disappointed.

But, what happened? Why no purchases?

The Reason:

The missing factor in Alex’s services is ‘trust’. As in any relationship, it takes time to build trust. Expecting too much from a relationship without investing time turns out to be fatal. The same thing happened with Alex’s campaigns.

Even before building the trust factor, Alex is trying to sell his services. This will not work. This method is called ‘Outbound Marketing’. It is costly and the ROI is much lower than inbound marketing.

The Change:

Alex learned and started to follow inbound marketing methodology. In this technique, instead of proposing his paid services, he attracts customers (obese men and women) through free educative and informative fitness related articles.

In this manner, Alex tries to convince prospects to provide him with their contact information. Using this contact information he continues to provide them with relevant educative and informative content and establishes himself as an expert in the domain. This builds a trust factor among the prospects.

Now, with enough trust built, he pitches in his premium services. This methodology is called Inbound Marketing Methodology.

Important Read: A Beginner’s Guide To Inbound Marketing To Increase Online Sales

Mistake #4: Depending Solely On Organic Traffic

Alex, a professional nutritionist, has designed a personal nutrition program for weight-loss for obese men and women. He wishes to reach more people to offer his services.

He freely advertises and shares his websites links on relevant Facebook groups and expects customers to call him up. He is completely dependent on word of mouth publicity for his services.

Along with social media channels, he has also done SEO on his website and expects organic traffic to flow onto this website. He is completely against paid advertisement.

With all the above activities, Alex is unable to generate more leads to his business and he is disappointed.

But, What is the reason?

The Reason:

With more competition in the market, competitors are acquiring more leads and customers through strategic paid campaigns. Competitors have realized that to generate more leads and customers, businesses have to reach more people beyond the organic traffic.

Competitors have clearly understood, that, paying for traffic is the best way to reach more customers and have a steady business growth.

Whereas, Alex, is giving away his customers to his competitors by not being present in front of them when they needed his services. Competitors are taking advantage of Alex’s organic mindset to build their businesses.

The Change:

Alex has now realized the power of paid advertisement. He started investing in social media marketing and search engine marketing based on a calculated budget.  He also understood the power of inbound marketing and how to acquire leads through paid digital marketing campaigns.

His business started to bloom.

Mistake #5: Not Setting Up  And Tracking Analytics

Alex, a professional nutritionist, has designed a personal nutrition program for weight-loss for obese men and women. Having realized the power of digital marketing, he decides to set up Facebook and Google campaigns to advertise

He has targeted random audience for both Facebook and Google campaigns. He has a decent landing page and focused on solving customer problems in his ad copies. But, still, there are no aggressive signups for his service.

But, What could be the reason?

The Reason:

Failing to set up analytics is the main reason.

With random targeting in the campaigns, Alex’s ad is not reaching the right audience. Initially, to start with, it is ok to target customers randomly; this intact is necessary to identify the right audience.

But, continuing to invest money in ads that randomly target customers is a poor strategy. To identify the right audience, you have to integrate analytics with your website.

Google Analytics (A free tool) can be used for small businesses. Google analytics will give to the webmaster, the entire information about audience behavior, demographics, average time spent on the website, conversion tracking and so on.

The Change:

Alex decides to integrate his website with Google Analytics.

Having your website integrated with analytics software will help you identify, the right set of audience who have shown more affinity towards your services.

Alex can use this information and fine tune his audience targeting, to show ads to a specific set of prospects, which in turn can drive more sales.

For example, people within the age group of 35-40 may be more interested in Alex’s services. Therefore, using this information, Alex can skip the ad targeting for people outside this age group. This reduces to ad spend and increases ROI (return on investment)

Mistake #6: Not Building An Email List

Alex, a nutrition expert, providing online nutritional services decides to set up an online community of fitness enthusiasts. His idea is to use nurture those community members through relevant information and later convert them into paid customers.

He decides to create a Facebook group and set up advertisements on Facebook and Google to drive visitors to join his Facebook group. 

With this strategic planning, he was able to create an online community of around 1 million people in the group. One fine morning, he wakes up to see his online group has been deleted by Facebook. (Just an assumption). His entire efforts go in vain. He is now unable to contact those 1 million people. He is disappointed and sad.

What happened? How to overcome such a big problem?

The Reason:

Creating an online community is an asset. But, creating assets on somebody else’s land is a blunder. Facebook is not owned by you. You used their free group creating a feature to create an online community.

One fine day, Facebook decides to delete the Facebook group feature. And you lose your asset, unable to get in touch with members of your community. You lost your hard earned asset.

The Change:

Alex decided to create his own email database of subscribers and build his own online community platform. This time he knew that he is not affected by third party’ software’s feature changes. He can get in touch with his community members anytime through email.

Mistake #7: Focusing on Quantity Over Quality

Alex, the nutrition expert, providing online nutritional services is very much impressed with the concept of ‘content marketing’. He decides to implement a ‘content marketing’ strategy for his online business.

He sets up a nutrition-related blog and writes twenty blog posts in it within a week. He decides to market his blog through paid Facebook campaigns and ask people to signup for his regular newsletters.

After a week’s campaign, he is shocked to see zero subscriptions to his newsletters. Added to this, his bounce rate of the blog shot up. He realized there could be a serious problem.

But, what could it be?

The Reason:

Poor quality content that fails to engage blog readers is the reason behind zero newsletter subscriptions and increase bounce rate. Writing twenty blog posts in seven days is a bad idea. Writing quality content that is relevant and engaging takes time.

Readers subscribe to only those blogs that have had a lasting impression on them. It means people subscribe, only if blog posts are exceptional. Low-quality blog posts always risk their reputation. Once your blog loses trust, it is very hard to gain readers interests again.

The Change:

Alex, realized his mistake and scrapped the entire blog that he had set up earlier. He decided to weigh quality over quantity. He started to rewrite blog posts that are rich in information and engaging enough to ignite a spark in the minds of the readers to take immediate action.

Instead of writing twenty blog posts in seven days, he wrote only 2 blog posts. Before publishing his articles, he spent most of the time in polishing his blog posts to make his work stand out in the crowd.

As a result, he could get more subscribers to his newsletters. With engaging content, the bounce rate too reduced.

Mistake #8: Not Having A User-Friendly Website

Alex, the nutrition expert, sells food supplements online. His business has a website and decides to drive traffic to the website through Facebook Marketing. After a week’s aggressive campaign, the sales were well below the expectations.

To check for clues that could have resulted in poor sales, he opens his analytics tool. He notices in the tool that, 90 percent of the visitors spent less than 10 seconds on the website and took no specific action.

What could be the reason?

The Reason:

Poor website design with no proper navigation structure, slow page load speed, broken links, low-quality content, poor mobile design etc. contributes to high bounce rate. This resulted in people abandoning the website as soon as they land on it.

The Change:

Alex hired a professional website developer and redesigned and developed a user-friendly website. He took care of all the nitty-gritty details of the website to make it as easy as possible for customers to do online shopping.

As a result, he noticed a drastic decrease in the bounce rate and increase in the sales.

Mistake #9: Choosing The Wrong Marketing Channels For Your Goals

Alex, an expert nutritionist, running an online food supplement store wanted to drive brand awareness campaign for his business. Having known about digital marketing, he uses Google’s Search Marketing Campaign (Google AdWords – Search) to let customers know about his online store. He wanted to drive more visitors to his website. 

Alex was shocked to see the results after a couple of days. He had no visitors to his site. But, what happened? Google is the giant with 50,000 searches per second and why didn’t even a single visitor make it to the website.

The Reason:

Usage of wrong marketing channel. Google is suitable for “Demand Fulfilment”. To fulfill customer demand when they search for you online. It means, people, search for you, when they know you exist. For a new brand like Alex’s, there is no way, people can search for you. They do not know you exist.

For brand awareness, the best platform could be Facebook. Facebook is used for “Demand Generation” to let people know about you and your business.

The Change:

Alex changed his marketing channel from Google to Facebook. He now sees a consistent flow of traffic to his website.

[Note: Google Display Network can also be used for Brand Awareness]


Digital Marketing campaigns executed through inbound marketing methodology gives the best return on investment. But, if poorly executed can ruin your brands’ reputation beyond anyone’s imagination.

So, avoid the above said – 9 Deadly Mistakes Committed by every newbie Digital Marketer

Want To Learn Digital Marketing In Depth?

Join Subhash Digital Academy to take up Digital Marketing Course

Subhash.K.U is a Professional Programmer turned Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He is the most sought marketing consultants for small and medium scale businesses. He founded Subhash Digital Academy to teach professional digital marketing skills to students, entrepreneurs, and working professionals. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is an Oracle Certified Programmer. He also holds certificates of Google AdWords, Facebook Blueprint and Hubspot Marketing. He is the co-author of the best selling book – Cracking The C, C++ and Java Interview published by McGraw Hill. He is now penning another book on the subject of marketing and entrepreneurship.

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