The 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing

Author: johnathantan
Est. Reading: 8 minutes

Have you just taken on a digital marketing role and are tasked to promote the company's brand, market all available products and build a community on social media? Or perhaps you are a solopreneur and are the one-man army of your business.  

No matter which situation you are in, digital marketing is a great way to reach your target audience in a timely manner. If you are equipped with the knowledge of online marketing, you can grow your business and create happy customers rapidly. However, there are 7 deadly sins that marketers make that halt their success. Digital marketing is a broad subject and it can get overwhelming, so it's important to know what the common pitfalls are and how to avoid them.

What are the 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing? 

Below we highlight the 7 sins and relate them to the most common mistakes in digital marketing. Avoiding them can help to grow your business, however ignoring them can prove detrimental as we will see below.

Digital Marketing Sin 1: Lust - A thirst for success without strategy   

The sin of lust in digital marketing is not a sin of the flesh, but instead a hunger for success without having a strategy. It is the desire to be successful with any means possible, even if it requires bending some rules.

It is wanting to be good at digital marketing and advertising without even knowing the basics of how they work, nor taking the time or effort to actually become competent at them.

The natural human desire for success and achievement can be dangerous. If left unchecked, it can make you lust for success. You want your business to grow and to be seen as a success. The dilemma comes when you forget to put a strategy in place to get yourself there. 

You may be able to achieve great things, but if you don’t have a strategy in place, then you’ll never be able to sustain it. You can’t just want success. You have to work for it. You have to have a plan and achieve success one step at a time. 

The easiest way to overcome this sin is to have a well thought out marketing strategy that aligns with the company's business plan. Break down your strategy into smaller tasks that are executable and manageable. Then work through the tasks and make sure you complete each of them successfully. Each small success will eventually accumulate into the success of your master strategy.

Digital Marketing Sin 2: Envy - Comparing yourself to others

It's hard for marketers to resist the urge of comparing themselves with others. With social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, it is much easier than ever before to see what everyone else is doing.

Hence, marketers often succumb to envy as they compare their efforts, failures and success with others. You may feel anger and resentment when you see a competitor do well, or when someone else does something better than you. Envy is a negative form of competition that will eventually pull you down and break your confidence if you are not strong enough.

Envy can be a pretty big sin for some businesses, but a small one for others. Many businesses are in the same funnel and industry, so it’s only natural to want to compare yourself to your competitors. 

However, you should never compare the size of your business to the size of your competitors. This is usually not a valid comparison and will cause you to make assumptions about your business that aren’t necessarily true. 

Here are a few ways that you can overcome this digital marketing sin of envy:

  • Be patient: It takes time to get the results you want in business. If you're patient, success will eventually be achieved
  • Have the right mindset: The best thing you can is to manage your expectations. Don't be too hard on yourself if you do not meet them initially. That way, you won't feel like a failure when things don't always turn out the way you expect them to
  • Don't compare yourself with others: As we mentioned above, do not compare with others, especially those who have been in the industry longer than you. This is because it will be very challenging to keep up with someone who has been in the industry far longer than you have and has had achieved long-term success.

Digital Marketing Sin 3: Gluttony - Focusing on quantity instead of quality 

There's a common problem among small-medium enterprises - the lack of understanding of the power of content. They either do not publish any content at all or try to publish as much content as possible. The temptation to get as much content as possible published is strong. But, quantity does not equal quality.

Trying to cover all topics and keywords in your content with very little or no focus will lead to content that is less than useful to your target audience. Instead, try to focus on publishing a few pieces of high-quality content, rather than a bunch of mediocre ones. Also, keep in mind that posting to social media does not equate to reaching a large audience. If your content holds no value for your target audience, then it will in turn attract no one.

Successful businesses know the importance of quality over quantity. Only publish content when it is necessary to satisfy customer needs or answer burning questions. You should not publish an article just because you feel pressured by your peers or just because it is deemed as marketing. 

You can easily overcome the digital marketing sin of gluttony by focusing on quality instead of quantity. Publishing quality content can help you business succeed for the following reasons:

  • Quality content is better for SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Quality content leads to an increase in organic traffic
  • Quality content leads to longer dwell time on a site
  • Quality content generates more social shares
  • Quality content attracts more customers

Digital Marketing Sin 4: Greed - Expecting quick and immediate results   

The rise of digital marketing has given rise to more greed today. More and more people are expecting to see quick and immediate results from digital marketing. People have become impatient and as a result greedy for instant results.

As a result, many marketers would move on to the next thing if they did not see immediate results. They just couldn't stick to a plan or strategy long enough for it to bear the fruits of their labor. 

Also, many people are jumping into digital marketing to try to cash-in on the trend. This results in a huge drop in quality in digital marketing as you can often find digital marketers who are delivering less than mediocre content. In fact, don't be surprised if you find some digital marketers who don't even know what a keyword or SERP is, much less how SEO works.

The digital marketing industry has completely lost sight of the fact that digital marketing is a process and an art form. Try to avoid this sin by being modest and realistic with your expectations. Take the time to learn the relevant skills and knowledge, and don't ever think that digital marketing can yield immediate success.

Digital marketing takes time to nurture before results can be seen; and just as how a baby needs to learn how to walk before they can run, digital marketers too need to build a strong foundation in digital marketing before being able to generate successful results.

Digital Marketing Sin 5: Sloth - Not willing to learn new things

Digital marketing is very dynamic space that changes quickly. A good digital marketer should always be looking for new ways to expand, and grow their digital marketing knowledge and skills in order to keep up with the frequent changes.

This may mean having to learn new tools, tactics, trends, platforms, and strategies in order to unleash the full potential of digital marketing.

However, there are many situations in life when you don't want to make a change because you're comfortable with what you know, and even if it's not working out for you. The sin of sloth can be fatal for digital marketers who succumb to laziness and unwillingness to learn and upgrade their knowledge.

You can easily overcome this deadly sin by making a self-learning plan, keeping track of your progress and set goals to be met. For example, you could set aside 30 minutes every day for reading up on the latest digital marketing trends to stay abreast of the latest developments in the space.

As and when you find new technology, tools or even a new course, you may then set aside more time to for self-study. It's really a matter of optimizing how you use your time.

Digital Marketing Sin 6: Wrath - A thirst for destruction of your competition       

Sometimes having a great marketing strategy is not enough to give you a competitive edge. You may then succumb to wrath and blame your competitor for your lackluster performance. 

The fact is that you will always have competitors. If you are not able to beat your competitor in the market, it simply means that you are not providing enough value to your market. Thinking of ways to destroy your competition with underhanded tactics will only end in a lose-lose-lose situation for yourself, your competitor and possibly the entire market.

Instead of feeling angry at your failing strategies, or successful competitors, you should take it positively as a challenge that you will overcome. Do not lash out negatively on social media towards your competitor, or publish biased content. This would do more harm than good for yourself and for your company.

Instead, take a deep breath, expel the anger you are feeling and rethink your strategy when your mind is calm. Focus on adding more value to your market, no on destroying your competitors and not only overcome the sin of wrath, but will also emerge successful over time.

Digital Marketing Sin 7: Pride - Thinking you're better than your competition.   

As you start running more digital marketing campaigns that are successful, you can often get too full of yourself and succumb to the sin of pride. You may start thinking that you are better than the rest of your competitors and start losing your edge quickly.

The digital marketing sin of pride is a deadly one because it leads to the assumption that your products or services are better than your competitors'. This false sense of superiority will quickly lead to customer dissatisfaction and eventually failure if left unchecked.

What you should be doing instead is to stay humble and remember that people are not interested in you. It may be hard to swallow, but your customers don't care about you as much as they care about what's in it for them.

In order to overcome the sin of pride, you need to listen to the feedback and then make changes. Being a business owner is not for the faint of heart. You have to be tough and you have to be fearless. You need to face up to the truth and make changes when the truth hurts, and you can be damn sure that the truth never fails to hurt.

So, get rid of feelings of self-importance and stop making decisions based on your own desires. Instead, start seeking out solutions that is best for everyone. You will see your business flourish once you rid yourself of pride.

The success of any digital marketing strategy rides on your ability to avoid the above 7 deadly sins of digital marketing. In today's hyper-competitive market, it is easy for anyone to give into any of the deadly sins. 

However, if you can keep your head down and focus on delivering value to your target audience, your brand will stay strong and your customers will keep coming back for more. 

What are your thoughts? Do you notice any of the deadly sins manifesting in your digital marketing efforts? Reach out to us if you require assistance in quelling any uncertainties you have about digital marketing. We are happy to help.

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