Mistakes you didn't know you were making: 5 lessons learned from Digital Summit 2023

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March 21, 2023

Mistakes you didn't know you were making: 5 lessons learned from Digital Summit 2023


If you missed Digital Summit, check out our favorite lessons learned to help you set your digital marketing strategy up for success.


1. Say goodbye to pop-ups.


No, seriously. Those intrusive interstitials, or pop-ups, could be hurting your business!


This includes anything you install on your website that takes over a portion of your home screen, including automatic chat boxes, a specific promo that you want to ensure consumers see when they visit your website or even a newsletter sign-up box.


When you install these web components, it prevents Google from being able to crawl your website, learn about it and therefore recommend it. Instead, it will actively lower your Google Search ranking because it recognizes that something is blocking or covering your web content. This is because Google identifies your website as difficult to use because of what may be an intrusive or unpleasant user experience. So, since it can’t read the content that’s underneath, it marks your website as potentially being unsafe. Using pop-ups will likely push your brand down in your search rankings — often counteracting other marketing efforts.


Google does say you can use small banners that only take up a small fraction of the screen as more of a “pop out,” but nothing that covers the center of the screen or more than a small bit of content. They also recommend a bit of opacity on those so the content underneath is still legible.


2. Set up GA4 today.


Google Analytics 4 is on its way and Universal Analytics will sunset (so they say) in late 2023 or early 2024. While GA4 still has a lot of kinks to iron out, one thing won’t change — GA4 is not pulling any backdated data. That means if you want historical data in your account when you switch over, it’s time to set up your GA4 property.


Here is a step-by-step guide from Google on how to install your GA4 property on your site that already has Universal Analytics.


A lot of things are likely to change when GA4 becomes the sole analytics tracker, but in the meantime, deep breaths. Google is expected to continue making updates and smoothing out bugs before you have to totally switch over! We’ll be here for you to make that transition smooth when time comes.


3. Update your digital visuals cohesively across all channels.


This seems like a simple one, but it’s often overlooked. Your social media profiles, website, email formatting, etc. should all look like it’s coming from the same brand. We know that, but what does that mean? Your digital presence is an extension of your brand story and identity. You don’t want to have multiple versions of that out in the world. For example, if you’re updating your primary web banner, update your social banner as well for a polished, cohesive brand appearance.


4. Audit your own work. 


It’s always fun to look at our work at a high level and share our successes, but it’s equally important to acknowledge what didn’t work to help guide your strategies moving forward. It’s a great idea to audit your existing channels and the work that has been done over the past quarter or year.


The National Institute of Social Media recommends your audit includes five key pieces of information:

  • Review your social media channel performance.

This should be a broad overview of social media as an entire channel. This all-encompassing overview should take a look at how social media is used to represent your brand.

  • Look at each social media profile.

Are the profiles serving your brand mission? Have they been updated recently to be cohesive with your other marketing channels? Do you have a good engagement strategy for the channel that’s helping improve your brand affinity? Is the work you’re putting into a specific social media channel yielding the results to make the time investment worth it?

  • Analyze your content performance.

Are people engaging with your content? Is that leading to purchases, improved brand sentiment, etc.? What type of content isn’t working for you?

  • Analyze your audience.

Are you reaching the right audience? Who are you reaching? Do you need to shift content to reach your target audience or are you tapping into a new market?

  • Are you reaching your goals?

Create benchmarks and then set goals for yourself so you can come back and assess if you are reaching them. For example, you can track follower growth, impressions gained, engagement rate and even budget efficiency.


5. If the message is wrong, the channels don’t matter.


Don’t forget to invest time in deciding what you want to say, not just where you want to say it. The most important part of any campaign is going to be telling your story. What do you want to communicate? What is important for your audience to know? Make sure you’re taking time to strategically think through what message you want to communicate. Looking for an easy way to define your message? Check out one framework below.


When building a message, try filling this in.

For (people).

  • For (people).
  • Who want to (have what).
  • Yet frustrated by (what obstacle).
  • We are (what).
  • Delivering (what solution). 

For Thompson & Co., this could look something like…

  • For businesses..
  • Who want to improve brand awareness..
  • Yet are frustrated by the time it takes to create and execute a strong communication plan...
  • We are a full-service public relations agency..
  • Delivering media relations, social media support and more to uplift your brand.


It’s also important to remember cross-promoting doesn’t always work nowadays, and that’s not just on social media. Your audience is going to vary semi-dramatically from Instagram to your newsletter. Be sure you’re tailoring your message for each platform, not copy/pasting.


Digital marketing is only continuing to grow. Reports from Standard Media Index show digital ad spending continuing to grow, while traditional advertising budgets decrease. Now is the time to invest in your digital marketing plan. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, we have you covered! Reach out to our team at info@thompsonpr.com to find out how we can support or create your brand’s digital marketing plan.

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