Spokes The top three things that businesses commonly get wrong in digital marketing are their online presence, customer engagement, and creativity. Many people marry their company’s online presence with one specific platform by relying on a third party application for everything.

Even if they avoid that problem, it’s common to find businesses talking at their customers rather than engaging with them through digital marketing. Lastly, even the best marketing departments fall victim to lacking creativity when they find templates and style guides that have worked for other in the past. Here’s how you can avoid these problems.

Hub And Spoke

One of the biggest problems made by businesses is the use of a social media account or cookie cutter website as their primary online presence. This ties the success of your business with the success of the platform you’re using and it’s a big mistake. Instead, you should have your own website which serves as the hub of your online presence.

This is the place where you are in control of the entire user experience. It’s also the place where you should direct traffic from all your social media accounts, the spokes.

Your Website

Having complete control over the user experience on your website means you can create anything you want on your website.

This could be a blog, landing page, ecommerce site, photography portfolio, or anything else you can dream up. Just like when a customer walks into a brick-and-mortar business, you should create a unique experience for your customers. This will tell them a lot about your business and they type of customer you serve.

Is your company an ASDA store with low-low prices? Perhaps you’re focused on being the top global brand for your niche like UNIQLO. Maybe, you’re somewhere in the middle like H&M or Primark which offer great value and talk up their ethical trading and responsible partners.

First impressions can tell you a lot about a business and the type of customer they cater to. Be sure that your website is giving visitor the right impression about your business.

Social Media

There are two main marketing goals with any social media platform. First, you want to engage with customers using any platform they are comfortable with.

This may mean that you need to offer customer service through Facebook. However, it could also mean that you need to drop Facebook in favour of Pinterest because more of your customers are using that platform.

The second goal of using a social media platform for marketing is to get people off the social media site and over to your website. Sure, social media is a great way to communicate with your customers. However, you are very limited in the ways you can interact with your customers on social media.

When customers are on your own website the possibilities are limitless. You can create any type of experience, application, or content needed to address your customer’s needs. This is why social media should be used as a spoke that directs traffic to the hub of your website.

Customer Engagement

The bottom line with digital marketing is customer engagement. All forms of inbound marketing seek to encourage customers to reach out and contact your company about products and services.

This means you’re not only speaking to your customers, but you need to listen as well. Many businesses are very good at talking at customers but they drop the ball on the listening part of customer engagement.

Be sure that you’re active on any social media platforms you use and that you respond to communication that comes from email and other sources.

Be Creative

Many of these activities are laid out by marketing gurus all over the web. The problem is that even the best marketing guru will not possess the same personality as you.

The culture you have at your company should shine through in your digital marketing. This cannot be achieved when you rely too heavily on design templates and copying the style used by others.

Instead, these materials should be viewed as a resource to get your own creative juices flowing. Make style guides and templates your own by adding your own creative touch.

Your customers will notice when you create a unique experience for them with your website. This will encourage them to get off your social media accounts and engage with you directly on your own site. They will appreciate your commitment to customer engagement and they will recognise your creativity.

Now It’s Your Turn

All this helps to build trust and ultimately leads to improved sales. What digital marketing advice do you have to share?

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