DIY digital marketing hasn’t been around for long. It’s the result of the internet becoming an extensive resource where anyone can learn anything. People from every profession share their knowledge and expertise daily on platforms like YouTube and how-to blogs. If you want to learn how to do something, it’s only a search away.
The internet is rich with marketing how-to videos and downloadable “power” strategies presented by experts, but there are two things you can never download: experience and wisdom. If you want to achieve ultimate success, you need experience and wisdom on your side.
Although you can learn how to perform tasks once reserved for marketing professionals, those tasks will be learned in isolation unless guided by a professional. Contrary to what Google may tell you, marketing professionals aren’t obsolete. In fact, they’re more necessary than ever.
1. DIY marketing is a learning opportunity – not a money-saving strategy
Doing your own marketing is a great way to experiment and learn, but by itself, it’s not a good strategy for success.
The main reason people do their own marketing is to save money; many businesses are on a tight marketing budget. The general perception is that hiring a full-service digital marketing agency costs too much, but that’s not true. It does cost money, but paying for marketing services is an investment with a direct and measurable return. The purpose of hiring a digital marketing agency is to bring you more leads and close more sales. You’ll always see the results reflected in your bottom line.
Mistakes are more likely when saving money is a priority
When saving money is your top priority, you’re more likely to make mistakes in your digital marketing efforts. Active Web Group describes five of the most common DIY digital marketing mistakes:
- Not testing your email marketing
- Not targeting your social media posts
- Not thinking enough about SEO
- Ignoring conversion optimization
- Running your own PPC campaign
When saving money is your priority, you’ll settle for mediocre results running your own experimental PPC campaign. You’ll get lost in the plethora of optimization guides that tell you to tweak your button colors and web form titles. You might even fall for an SEO scam.
All of these mistakes are avoided by hiring a professional.
2. Don’t mistake outsourcing tasks for having a marketing strategy
Perhaps the most dangerous trap a DIY marketer can fall into is mistaking the outsourcing of multiple tasks for a marketing strategy. Without experience in the industry, it can seem like a marketing strategy consists of multiple tasks that are performed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For example, engaging with fans on social media, posting videos, checking review sites for complaints, sending out email blasts, collecting new leads through a web form, and mailing out direct mail pieces. All of these are components of a marketing strategy but aren’t the actual strategy.
The reason 66% of video marketers get more qualified leads is that their videos are part of an overall strategy. Videos posted randomly, not tied to a strategy, don’t produce big results.
A marketing strategy is the master plan for how all components fit together to achieve one end goal. If you’re performing tasks without a master plan, you don’t have a strategy; you have a task list.
You can hire anyone from Craigslist to perform individual tasks, but an experienced industry expert will create a master plan that frames all of your tasks to align with your main goals.
Doing your own marketing is a great way to learn the art and gain experience, but you need help from a professional to be successful.
3. Recognize when you need help
The best space to be in is the ability to say, “I don’t know.” This is true across all areas of life. When you can acknowledge that you don’t know something, you create the space for a solution. When you already know everything, no new information can come through.
Keep learning and connect with a professional
You don’t need to ditch your DIY marketing efforts altogether. Keep learning and take in as much expert advice as you can. At the same time, connect with a professional and ask for help. It’s a blessing to have an expert analyze your existing strategies and tear down what doesn’t work because they’ll help you rebuild a strategy that does work.