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3 Digital Marketing Habits Your Company Should Leave Behind

cryJust like innovative technology, digital marketing is moving at the speed of light. It’s an erratic, sudden, and sometimes overwhelming function that requires a sharp eye and an insistent watch over industry trends. While brands are hopping on the content marketing train and starting to get published, they’re still getting stuck in old habits that are hurting their long-term success.

Luckily, these habits can be broken and improved with some strategic thinking. Here are the three habits marketers need to leave behind:

Habit 1: You’re skimming (or skipping) mobile optimization.

Yes, website optimization is inherently important — I’m not saying to ignore it. I’m only suggesting that you slightly shift your focus to mobile.

Chances are you’re reading this blog post on your phone. If not, you’ll soon be in the minority. According to a study by Litmus, nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets, resulting in a 500 percent increase in just four years.

As the mobile revolution continues to grow, marketers need to consider the importance of how it fits in with their overall strategy. 

First, it will affect brand perception through the usefulness and functionality of your business’s website. In fact, 54 percent of consumers believe it’s easier to find information on mobile-optimized sites, but also say they need more information. 

When it comes to the user experience, optimizing for mobile will also affect your customers’ willingness to buy. According to ABI Research, mobile commerce will account for more than 24 percent of e-commerce revenue by the end of 2017. Furthermore, studies have shown that 37 percent of customers are more likely to purchase on mobile-optimized sites.

If you fail to shift your love from desktop optimization to mobile, you’ll be left in the dust.

Habit 2: You’re underutilizing your brand advocates.  

As digital marketers, we’re pretty busy people, so streamlining the content process to alleviate your content load should be a top priority. One way your team can do this is by utilizing your best sales reps: current clients and partners. 

We all know that word of mouth may be the most important tool a marketer can have, and digital word of mouth isn’t much different. Find the advocates who love your company, and recruit them to promote your content and your brand as a whole. For example, HourlyNerd gathered the top experts on its platform and showcased them front-and-center on its “Premium Quality” page. This was a great way for our team to not only showcase these talented individuals, but also create a connection and trust. To do this effectively, follow these three easy steps:

  1. Listen. Remember when your mom said that listening is the most important part of any relationship? Well, she would’ve been a great marketer because the same goes for building brand advocates. Focus on listening to what your current clients and partners need and what their pain points are. Then, address them with thought and care to ensure you’re adding value before expecting a reference. 
  1. Help. This step is quite possibly the foundation of the partnership. Help your partners get to where they want to go, and don’t feel like you need to stay between the lines. If you’re planning on reaching out to a client or partner about referrals, ensure your team has provided value and is at a great point with that company. If there’s an area where they’re still struggling, take some extra time to help them achieve other goals so, when the time comes, they’ll gladly help you achieve yours.
  1. Ask. This is when you make your pitch. Verbally asking these individuals to become your advocates might seem forward, but if you’ve listened to what they’re struggling with and helped them achieve their goals, they should be more than willing to send qualified leads your way. As a result, your advocate base will develop much more quickly. Tell them how much they mean to your brand, and even consider proposing an advocacy partnership to formally build the relationship over time. 

Habit 3: You’re not measuring social media engagement properly.

“Does my company actively engage on social media? Yes. Do we measure social media? We’re working on it.”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that cadence, I’d retire and move to an island.

There’s no denying that digital marketers are smack-dab in the middle of an ROI microscope, and with nearly 50 percent of B2B marketers planning to increase their lead gen budgets, the ability to track campaigns is now more important than ever. If you can’t track your social media marketing’s ROI, consider it toast.

While 83 percent of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, 53 percent don’t measure their success. That discrepancy makes my hair stand up. If you and your team want to succeed in the world of social media, set up measurements that will allow you to prove your worth.

My team actively tracks its social media performance and adapts it as we see the numbers shift. Recently, we were looking to increase our engagement rates and found that different types of content perform better on different platforms. For instance, we found that Twitter is better for educating our audience with business topics and industry insights, while Facebook is better for company news involving our founding members and fun things going on within the company.

Let’s face it: Digital marketing is complex. It’s an intangible item that moves quickly — and often without any notice. But by focusing on what provides the highest return while making your life easier, you can attain digital dominance.New Call-to-action

About Todd Stewart

Marketing Manager for HourlyNerd by day, communication professor for Bryant University by night. Lover of marathon running, dogs, and Twizzler Pull 'n' Peels. Follow him on Twitter at @Todd_Stew.

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