The Top 8 Most Common Digital Marketing Mistakes

The Top 8 Most Common Digital Marketing Mistakes Quick fixes to improve digital marketing performance Oliver Fegan


"Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others" Otto van Bismarck

Let's face it, we would all rather be the wise man rather than the fool so we have got your back. Here are some of the most common mistakes we witness from digital marketers which for the most part can be easily rectified across the digital marketing cycle.

So here are the top 8 most common digital marketing mistakes we have seen on film campaigns:

Set up

1. Using standalone websites for specific movies

Every movie needs a digital home but creating a new home for each movie and knocking it down straight after leads to extreme waste.

Firstly, the site lacks reputation so you have to pay for every visitor.

Secondly, the traffic disappears with the release

Thirdly, with cookie policy changes it is hard to create look a like audiences off these sites in future.

Build a corporate site with 'branded movie pages' and custom URLs to get all the standalone benefits without the wasteful elements. Organic traffic will grow and marketing costs will drop. You will save time and money too!

2. Not using a UTM or tracking codes

We often see 50-100 marketing campaigns all using the same URL to send traffic to a ticketing website. A UTM is a simple way to create 50-100 individually tracked URLs which can then be measured for success.

Cut out the bad campaigns quickly. Divert spend to the best performing campaigns.

Save money & increase sales = happy days!


3. Not having a compelling call to action (CTA) for the campaign

If you put an ad on say Facebook to promote your trailer, you need a compelling call to action to get someone to your website.

Buy Tickets is solid for those who are convinced not doubt.

But think of those who are undecided but curious.

Post a review quote and a "Check out the movie reviews here"

Have fan reviews on your site and "See why fans gave this a 94/100 score"

If the movie or documentary is about an interest topic, point fans to your site to find out more.

These are great options also in the lead up to the release when no showtimes are up and you can re-target fans when the showtimes are launched.

4. Not having the web URL on marketing materials

Our biggest bug bear when we see movie posters, billboards or other movie ad formats is no destination for fans to go when they see the campaign.

This is eCommerce. Make it simple for fans who want to make a purchase decision.

Even better write something fun and engaging as the call to action to the URL. Think Superbad and 'Don't be a loser. Buy your tickets at'


5. Not having a clear idea of the consumer journey they want thought out

The best eCommerce marketing executives will understand and have mapped out a customer buying process journey from when the consumer doesn't know about their product through the decision making process up to the purchase moment.

The decision to buy a cinema ticket or purchase it at home are no different.

We are a cynical bunch so we start off with a high level of distrust for a movie we have not heard of and you want to lower a potential fans scepticism and increase their trust that the movie will deliver.

Now map out that digital journey to buying a ticket;

Step 1: See an ad

Step 2: Watch the trailer

Step 3: Like the cast or story line or read a rave review

Step 4: Find a showtime that suits

Step 5 Book

You need to test different paths and focus on promoting on the journeys that get to Step 5 quickest or most cost effectively.

Ad buying

6. Not having tested the marketing messaging in advance

We can't stress how important it is to do small 'Product/Market Fit' tests in the run up to a release.

No eCommerce company launches a new product without knowing their fit in advance.

Small tests will cut out wasteful marketing and save a huge amount of wasted expense. It will also ensure more predictability to the revenue outcomes by understanding what the likely cost per click or cost per impression will be when the movie gets launched.

7. Having set up ad campaigns for too wide an audience

Never set up ads up for an audience profile of 18-65 and male/female. In general that makes no sense from a targeting perspective but in this example you should set up 10-15 ads for

Males 18-25

Females 18-25

Males 25-35 etc

You will see immediately which groups most cost effective.

8. Underestimating the power of Google Ads

We often hear from partners, what's the point of doing Google Ads? If someone searches for my film they will buy a ticket.

What happens if the first search result is Rotten Tomatoes and they gave it a 2 star. Or an expired link from a cinema chain? Own the conversation and discovery by placing ads to get fans to your site. It is also an opportunity to get them to register on your site and you can promote your future movies to them directly.

It is also low cost!

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