The 2 Most Common Reasons Online Marketing Campaigns Fail

Published On:

As artist and writer Austin Kleon said, “If your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” Having an online presence is a must in today’s economy. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a local business, your customers are searching online for products and services they need. Unfortunately, many online marketing campaigns fall short of their desired results leaving business owners frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. In this episode of the SMA Marketing Minute, we will look at the two most common reasons online marketing campaigns fail and what you can do to ensure your success!

Video Transcript:

Hey, what’s up, everybody? I’m Ryan Shelley, and you’re watching the SMA marketing minute. With more and more businesses continuing to go online to try online marketing, many of them have failed. Some have struggled to get over the hump and get any traction with their marketing. Over the years of being in this industry, there are two things I’ve run across that stop people in their tracks more than any other. It’s not a tactic; it’s not a tool. It’s not a resource. There is no magical formula to making online marketing happen because every business is unique, every customer base is unique, and every individual you come across online is unique and has their own biases and world views. What are the two main issues with succeeding in online marketing?


The first is the focus. A lack of focus, a lack of clear strategy, or a clear plan just has you doing tactic after tactic after tactic, praying that something will work. A lot of people refer to this as spray and pray. In the link-building world, where we just kind of launch a bunch of stuff out, hopefully, somebody gives us a link or interaction back. Very rarely do these tactics work because they’re not scalable. There is no way to truly measure their effectiveness because you’re just grabbing from one to another repeatedly, just hoping something will go viral. This idea of viral is not what we should be shooting for. What we should be shooting for is long-term scalable growth. The only way that happens is to focus, understanding your goals and what you are trying to achieve, and then put into place tactics and strategies to help you achieve that goal and stay focused on the plan.

When you put a strategy together, when you put a plan together, you need to focus on that plan and give it some time to work, primarily online. We typically say it takes 3 to 6 and even up to 9 months to see something work. Here at our agency, we ensure we do things in quarters. That way, we have enough data to understand if our actions are helping us achieve our desired outcome. If we’re not hitting the targets we want to see, we can make minor tweaks, stay focused on the goal, and hit what we want to hit in the end for ourselves and our clients. Focus is key.


Commitment is the second thing that deters us from reaching our marketing goals online. We have to stay committed to the process, committed to our purposes, and committed to the strategy that we have in place. As we read about in these articles, it’s very easy to get weary and tired of doing things repeatedly and not seeing that giant bump in traffic. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. If you talk to anybody who had overnight success, it took years and years and years of working with commitment to make that happen. The same goes for your online marketing. Just because you tried something once and it didn’t work doesn’t mean it won’t. It just means you may have pulled out too early before you started to see the fruit of your labor.

For over a year, I blogged three times a week as a one-man agency. It was hard. It took an extreme amount of consistency on my part. Determination. I had to get up and write, even when I didn’t feel like it. Why? Because I knew, one, that I had something to say. Two, that content would be a massive part of my strategy. If I was going to be able to be seen as an authority leader, somebody that others want to interact with and to learn from and even hire, I had to be doing the same things that I wanted to be doing with them. It wasn’t until after over a year of being consistent in my content, getting better as a writer, and putting my ideas down on paper that we started slowly seeing our traffic grow.

I want you guys to know I’m a procrastinator by nature. I procrastinate a ton. I’m also sanguine when it comes to personality type; it means I’m all over the place. Getting me to sit down and write was very hard and still challenging, but I realize it’s an essential part of my business. I get to share my thoughts and ideas with those who subscribe to my blog or visit my site to learn with my clients and myself. It helps my marketing get better; it helps my clients’ marketing get better. It also allowed me to be a better writer, but I had to stay consistent. If I had just given up one or two months in, I would never have reaped the benefits of the hard work. Month after month, I saw my traffic not grow as much as I wanted, and it was frustrating. I was tired. I was angry, but I said, “You know what? I’m sticking with this.” I told myself I’d do it for a year; I needed to hit this goal. I need to stay focused. I need to stay committed.

After a year, I started to see the results. I’m in the marketing industry, so obviously, it’s very competitive. There are a lot of people writing a lot of content that has to do with a lot of the similar things that I talk about, but I wanted to give my spin on it. I wanted to create a personal connection and show that marketing doesn’t have just to be so ambiguous. We can talk to each other as human beings, learn from each other as human beings, and contextualize and personalize the conversation. As I began to write, I started to find my style. Now, I realize that writing is not only something that I like to do for my business, it’s therapeutic in that, but it is also just therapeutic for me mentally to get my ideas out, to test things, to try things, and to start doing something that I may have never done before.

To achieve your goals online, you need to do two things. You need to stay focused. You need to have a clear plan of action, and you need to have a strategy that can point you in the right direction. You need to check that strategy every so often to ensure you’re still headed toward your goal. The second thing you need to do, is you need to stay committed. Don’t jump ship before you reap the benefits. Keep at it, keep writing, and keep putting one foot in front of the other, day after day. Keep serving your clients because we must do that while doing everything else. Yes, it takes work.

Here’s another thing that you need to do. Take a break. It is so important. When we work so hard to grow our businesses and strive to be the companies we want to create, we can work too much. That can hurt our marketing. It can damage our sales. It can hurt our customer service. While doing all this hard work, make sure you take a break every once in a while. Relax. Read a book. Watch some TV. Whatever you need to do to chill so that when it comes time to put in that hard work and effort, you’re ready to go, be focused, and stay committed.

There you go. That wraps up this episode of the SMA marketing minute. Two things that can deter us from achieving our online marketing goals. We would love to connect with you guys. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to our blog. We’ve got tons of great resources and content on there for you. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. We would love to continue the conversation. Have an awesome week, and happy marketing.

New call-to-action

About the Author: