Digital marketing is a mix of intuition, hard work and a willingness to listen to what is being said about your brand. If these points are not given the right amount of attention at the right time, even the most perfect marketing campaigns can still fail to hit the mark. Out of all of these factors, the last one, listening to what is being said about your brand, is particularly important in designing effective marketing strategies. What exactly are you listening for? Metrics.

But too often, the data is put on the back burner and instead CEOs and executives spend too much time and resources perfecting a post or infographic (sometimes doing up to 40 different revisions). Stop doing this.

Here are some pointers on what to avoid and how to execute your digital marketing strategy in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Stop Over Analyzing Every Detail

Look at metrics that matter the most. Some small businesses, in an effort to keep marketing costs low, choose an employee with some knowledge of digital marketing and hand him the responsibility of taking care of everything pertaining to the digital marketing space. The problem begins when these digital marketing managers start over analyzing everything they do without looking at the real metrics: conversions, purchases, creation of new customers or other key-performance indicators Whether it’s lead conversion rates, direct and organic traffic channels, average transaction amount or some other metric, make sure it pushed the needle and is measured accurately.

Creating a Perfect Piece of Content is Not Enough

The main aim of content should be to inform, engage, educate, and build relationships with customers. But companies that know the ins and outs of content marketing understand there is more to it than just churning out flawless content. In fact, creating the content is only half the work, and I dare say, the easier part of it. The reach, relevance, and connection to the audience are more important in determining the success of your content marketing efforts. Not perfect, but perfectly marketed content adds to the bottom line of your business.

How Small Businesses Can Improve Their Digital Efforts

Cover the basics. Everyone wants their posts to be perfect or their first video to go viral but chances are you’ll do neither right away. Instead shoot to consistently put out content and social updates that are on target for your audience.

Consider your personnel. I know your son or daughter is home for the summer and they love to tweet but that doesn’t mean they should manage your social media. Given that social is a huge influence in purchase decisions across many industries, we need people that understand not just how to use the channels but what the messages should be on each channel and how to connect with customers through social efforts. This goes for content creation and other digital efforts as well.

Measure. If you aren’t actually measuring marketing (of all kinds) against some business goals then you are wasting your time and energy. I believe marketing has two overarching purposes: to create customers and to keep them. If your goal is lead generation then measure that. If your goal is customer satisfaction, then measure that as well. Whatever you do, don’t just aimlessly market and hope for success. After all, hope is not a strategy.

Evolve. Marketing is more dynamic than ever. Technology, social and digital spaces are changing on a daily basis. What you are doing today may need to change sooner than you think. And just because it did work, doesn’t mean it will again. Keep this in mind: Great marketers are thinking about what is around the corner, rather than what is in plain view.

What do you think? Are you making these same mistakes with your marketing? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article originally published on entrepreneur.com.

Additional Resources on this Topic:

Six Reasons Your Marketing Strategy is Failing [and How to Fix It]
The 9 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Big Companies Make
10 Quick Things You Can Do Today To Refresh Your Digital Marketing

Photo Credit: JAFdez1973 via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman
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Daniel Newman

Founder and President at Broadsuite, Inc.
After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.
Daniel Newman
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