Even in the ethical and mindful sector, it is baffling to see brands still neglecting their digital marketing in 2018. Whether you have budget or not, no matter how busy you are, you need to connect with your customers online (and show you care!) – because that’s where most of them are. But if there is one thing even more important than launching digital marketing campaign, it’s checking their actual performance. This takes time, purpose and marketing experience that not everyone has at hand. Directors of small enterprises and one-man bands trying to juggle all sides of their business may struggle with the results of their digital marketing without knowing the cause – and often without resources for analysis. This is especially true for small ethical brands trying to make a difference but without much budget for their marketing campaigns. They need it, but end up doing it themselves as they tend to allocate most resources to their priority list: labour, craft, quality and of course giving back (to name a few). Unfortunately these marketing efforts are often in vain as they are not optimum, and the ethos gets lost in space. If it sounds like your business, fear not. There are a few ways you can evaluate this on your own. Here are a few main areas to explore if you are wondering why your digital marketing campaign is failing:

1) Your Content is Lacking

We shouldn’t have to say it again, but content is king. It has been for years, and was officially crowned when Google declared war on poor quality content a few years back, to the detriment of rankings. This has proven to be a wise choice for users, who can now easily access good quality sites, with useful content. No matter how busy you are, always make sure the quality of the content you put out there is optimum and respectful to Google bots. Ensure you are not keyword stuffing and that you are presenting your audience with fresh copy that is not duplicated from another site. If you don’t have time, hire a marketing agency for ethical businesses or a copywriter to do the job for you. Content is not only the way to better rankings, it is also the way to your customer’s awareness, as smart, unique content can be virally shared and your business could hugely benefit from word of mouth. Content marketing, along with social media, is also one of the best ways to show your values and ethos and connect with your customers on a deeper level than advertising as you can write thought-leadership pieces to educate consumers about what your brand stands for.

2) You Don’t Have Time to Review Performance

Marketing strategy was probably one of the first things on your mind when you started your business, and you even found a team to implement it. But all these efforts are wasted if you don’t have time to review performance. Whether there have been red flags for failing campaigns or not, do not wait until bad news come up to start analysing what is working and what’s not. The key to digital marketing is testing, testing, testing. Some channels may work wonders for some businesses, some might completely flop. Either way, there is only one way to know. Make sure you dedicate a couple hours per month to look at how your digital campaigns are performing and to adapt your strategy as it comes. At the end of every quarter, take the time to fully investigate your digital marketing’s highs and lows. And while you review it, ask yourself these questions: Does this campaign reflect our mission? Did we truly connect with consumers?

3) Your Campaigns Are Not Tailored

You have invested into display advertising, PPC, social media ads or even Google RLSAs but something isn’t quite right. Have you looked into your bidding? Paid advertising is not a random channel and can really boost your sales if you spend time segmenting your audiences and even building an audience persona file to really get to know your customer. This is one of the best ways to really know how to put your product or service in front of your targeted audience – indeed modern technology and search engines allow you to grab an array of crucial information that will tell you everything you need to know about your customers. From age to location to preferred websites and Facebook likes, don’t miss on this opportunity to reach the right users, and bid accordingly. This is the perfect way to connect with consumers sharing your ethos, and who have been looking for a brand like yours all along – so don’t miss out. Knowing your audience helps you figure out which keywords to bid on. Get the help of a consultant or marketing agency for mindful businesses if you can’t allocate time to this, as your ad spend should not be played with.

4) You Forgot About Mobile

Mobile is not the latest trend anymore. Your brands could literally be between your customer’s hands all day, every day if you use it right. Did you know that mobile had surpassed desktop searches (since 2015)? Even mobile ad revenue has surpassed TV, as confirmed by AdAge last year. Digital advertising made $72.5 billion revenue in 2016 (a staggering 22% increase from the previous year) so it’s clearly time to get on the bandwagon and invest in mobile if you haven’t yet. Of course a small ethical brand may not be in the position (or even need) to launch their proprietary app, but there are several ways you can still reach your audience on mobile. Beyond making your site, campaigns and all collateral mobile-friendly, invest in tailored digital ads displayed on mobile and be where your customers are: look into social media advertising, mobile SEO and advertising through apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, Instagram and all other relevant apps for your ethical business. This is where your community is. Think about your business strategy: if your priority is your online store, make sure all campaigns reflect that, not just digital marketing. When you start a PR campaign for example, make sure your focus is on digital publications and mobile-friendly content that will lead readers directly to your e-shop. Hire someone who understands all implications of a digital marketing and PR campaign and all the steps taken by your customer on mobile, as the process needs to be as smooth as possible.

Failing digital marketing campaigns do not have to be the end of the world as long as you stop the damage early. The marketing budget of an ethical business is too precious to waste, so schedule regular meetings with your marketing team or consultant (if you are doing this alone, mark your calendar to do this at least once a month) to look into every single channel you are currently using, and investigate why you are not using the other ones. You may be missing out on something big.

Parts of this post were originally posted on the Jennifer Hakim Communications blog.