Today, digital marketing is an essential part of every marketing effort. As Hubspot says, “Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place at the right time.’ Today, that means you need to meet people where they’re already spending time: on the Internet. Marketo says, “Google marketing insights found that 48% of consumers start their inquiries on search engines, while 33% look to the brand website and 26% search with mobile applications.”

If you aren’t thinking about your digital marketing with the right mindset, you’re likely to make the following mistakes, which will cost you business.

1. Selling, Selling, Selling

No matter what you post, if you’re selling your product or service and not focusing on your potential customers’ needs, you’re making a big mistake. Selling turns people off, not on. Anything that turns consumers away from you is detrimental because there are too many alternatives out there competing for their business.

How to avoid this: Remember the 80/20 rule. Make sure that 80% of what you post is about the customer. Talk to that person, that one ideal client you want. Share stories and information. Remember, your aim is all about creating an emotional connection with the person. Then, 20% of what you post can be about your product or service.

2. Buying Followers

There is no way buying followers will create a connection with people. For starters, you have no idea whether each person fits the profile of your ideal client. Second, when a potential customer engages with your digital content on whatever platform you’re using, it’s because that person found something in your content that offers value to him or her. Your message resonates with the person. Buying followers does the exact opposite.

How to avoid this: Sit with and strategize the problems your ideal clients have. Then post content that connects with those particular people. Make your content shareable. Find out what it will take to create a piece of digital marketing that will go viral and build it. Let your followers find you.

3. Leaving a Potential Customer Hanging

Have you ever been enthusiastic about a product or service you saw advertised and responded, but got no response in return? Maybe you got one email or the link to download the freebie the business offered, but that’s it. Nothing more. The dud experience severed any connection you potentially could grow.

How to avoid this: Set up your customer pipeline or funnel so you continue engaging with potential customers right up until the time they are ready to buy. Remember to consider where they are in their buying journey. We’ve offered different insights for how to do this via email or through your website content.

4. Posting Whenever You Feel Like It

All the social media platforms and email marketing platforms and website builders have analytics readily available. Even the Internet and Google provide excellent insights into what your customers are searching for when they interact with your content and data on how many times they visit your site.

You’re making a big mistake if you aren’t using these insights to continually improve your digital marketing efforts.

How to avoid this: Do your research. Understand when your potential customers visit each of the social media platforms you use, and post during those times. Review your website analytics to understand which content they find and read the most, and post more related content. Use your email marketing platform statistics and A/B test your email newsletters so you’re improving your open rate and click-through rate.

5. Posting the Wrong Content for the Platform

With so many digital marketing platforms to choose from when you first get started, you might inadvertently post inappropriate content for the platform you’re using. For example, if you’re using Instagram and not posting graphics, you’re far less likely to engage your audience. Likewise, posting material that is not business-focused on LinkedIn will be just as ineffective.

How to avoid this: Ensure you understand the best way to engage with users on each digital platform. Post content that best suits the medium. Remember to keep your brand message consistent across the platforms you use so any user seeing your content will recognize it, no matter what the platform is. And think of it this way, if each digital platform was the equivalent of a social gathering or networking event, how would you engage with people at each event, based on the type of people who would show up and what their interests would be.

6. Not Focusing on the Best Channel for Your Brand, Product, or Service

You might have tried the scattershot approach regarding your digital marketing efforts…and likely found it doesn’t work to give you the most engaged audience. Where are your ideal clients? What are they reading or engaging with, and on which platform? Using LinkedIn to talk to older retirees, for example, won’t get you the audience you want and will likely waste a lot of your time and money if you’re paying for advertising.

How to avoid this: Do your research and know where your ideal audience finds its information. Put your effort into engaging and growing that audience on one or two platforms—the ones that hold the most prospective ideal clients for you. That way, you save yourself time and money and get better return for your efforts.

7. Inconsistent Branding and Messaging

Being inconsistent with your branding and messaging is very confusing for potential customers. For example, suppose your sales team uses one set of phrases or words in its advertising, and you choose different words and messages for your digital content. In that case, you create confusion—something you don’t want any potential customers to experience.

How to avoid this: Ensure your marketing and sales teams work together to provide consistency across your messaging and branding. This offers your business/organization the best visibility and ensures the customer is clear on precisely what they’re being offered.

With a little savvy and strategy, you can avoid each of these digital marketing mistakes and gain more engaged potential customers.