The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Digital Marketing by Startups


So, it appears you’ve been running a never ending marathon without getting anywhere fast. In fact, even 50 bunches of bananas and a whole pot of coffee wouldn’t give you the energy you need to continue your digital marketing tasks.

You are mentally drained in ways you couldn’t imagine possible with still so much left to complete. Even after completing pages and pages of detailed blogs, designing eye catching banner ads, writing the weekly news and responding to tweets  – the list of digital marketing tasks for your new business continues to grow the more you do.

The main problem for startups is finding the motivation to stay self-motivated when the list of leads and customers fail to keep up with the frenetic pace of your digital marketing efforts.

In order to make your efforts produce real results, you not only have to execute your digital marketing tasks the right way you have to avoid digital marketing mistakes.

With my in-depth and of course first-hand experience (once being a startup business myself) I have gathered a list of the three most common mistakes in digital marketing by startups. Fear not, all of them are avoidable and correctable and can create a substantial impact on your business as a whole.



Mistake number #1: Not focusing your digital marketing on business objectives

If you are posting on Facebook, you need to ask yourself why you are choosing to spend your time and efforts on that particular social media platform from a business perspective. You need to think about how this will lead to profit and how it will be beneficial to your business.

Just because you’re a Whizz-Kid at tech, you need to remember you are also still in a business.

Alike other businesses, your startup needs to achieve revenue and in order to achieve this, your digital marketing activities achieve or push users towards achieving concrete business objectives.

The best way to correct the mistake of having no business objectives or to avoid it in the first place is to make a marketing funnel. This will involve a series of steps with each one as a small business objective (obtaining an email address, driving a click-through etc.) which will lead to your ultimate large business objective which is usually the call to action or sale.

Once you have created and planned out your marketing funnel, you have narrowed down your mindset to focus on your digital marketing through a business perspective.  This will allow you to see exactly which marketing activities really get the ball rolling. If your activity does not drive users towards your business objective, you can either stop wasting your time on that particular activity or you can reconfigure your strategy and test to see if it’s possible to continue with the activity and achieve your goal.


Mistake number #2: Trying to market on too many channels

Many startups make the mistake of attempting to have a presence on every channel poorly rather than utilising a selection of digital marketing channels correctly.


How it happens

You join all of the social networks and frantically drop in making a raucous mess without interaction with the standards of the particular channel. Instead of creating value to the conversation, your startup appears to put customers off.

The main mistake here is that your presence on the networks is sporadic and does not give you an understanding of the community and authentically of the users. Yes you should not really be sending the same messages on Twitter as you would on email or Facebook or Instagram; however we are aware of the time consumption this would take if you were to write different messages and shoutouts differently on each platform.

The best way to correct this mistake is to begin your digital marketing with one or two channels and to spend your time and efforts becoming a strong leader on that particular channel. Once you have mastered the small selection of channels you can then look at possible expansion to other channels.


Mistake number #3: Trying to market to EVERYONE

“If you try to target everyone, you will target no one.”

Did you know that the average person is exposed to approximately five thousand marketing messages per day, meaning your digital marketing messages need to work real hard in order to stand out from the crowd by being the most tailored and specific to your audience. If you attempt to market to an audience that’s too diverse with a wide range of aspirations, you will be unable to create a marketing message that resonates with everyone.

Additionally, the larger your audience, the more competition in the pool.

The key is to target a niche and create messages that are tailored specifically to their needs, wants and aspirations. You can do this by various demographics and psychographics so you create a feeling for that audience member as though its exclusive and just for them.

Tailoring your messages can help do the following:

  • Increase PPC ad click-through rates
  • Increase the return on ad spend
  • Increase email open rates
  • Increase level of engagement on social networks


Extra piece of advice…

As a startup, you will have a very limited budget and time to perform your digital marketing tasks. Unfortunately, you will not have the financial and staff cushion like larger companies and must be especially cautious to avoid making any mistakes. If you tie your digital marketing strategies to solid business objectives, choosing your digital marketing channel specifically, and targeting a niche, you will able to avoid the three main common mistakes by startups. Take this advice on board and you may be surprised at how much your profits will begin to increase.