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How to Overcome 6 Obstacles Facing Every Online Marketer The Internet offers a vastly bigger marketing opportunity than ever existed. You're not the only one who finds it overwhelming sometimes.

By Firas Kittaneh Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The frenetic pace of change in the media landscape today is confronting marketers with challenges and setbacks they never faced before. With all of the moving parts associated with developing and implementing a solid market strategy, marketers are tasked with taming and managing a fierce, multi-headed beast.

Feeling lost and overwhelmed? Not to worry. Here are six common obstacles marketers face and tips on how to overcome them.

1. Advertising nobody sees.

According to programmatic advertising company Infectious Media, 54 percent of digital advertising goes unseen. Reasons why range from lack of plug-in support to ad-blocking browser extensions to miscellaneous loading problems. That means that more than half of the budget allocated to digital advertising is used ineffectively.

To combat this tough issue, buy advertising from companies that assure your ads will be seen. Millennial Media boasts a 100 percent viewability guarantee on its mobile ads, where your creatives are perfectly visible to audiences or else you do not pay for them. By prioritizing viewability, you can easily boost the effectiveness of your campaign.

Related: Don't Waste Money on These 4 Types of Marketing

2. Google's changing SEO algorithm.

In May, Google quietly and unexpectedly changed its SEO algorithm and caused quite a stir in the marketing community. The move was made to favor mobile-friendly sites in search results to enhance the user experience. However, it also caused reduced traffic and revenue for most sites and required creative and timely solutions by companies to adapt to the change.

The fundamental way to make Google's new SEO algorithm work for your company is to prioritize responsive web design with a mobile-friendly site. That will bump your site up to the top of the search results for all users, regardless of what device they are using. Always practice "white hat" SEO tactics focused on original, relevant and in-depth content to keep your audience delighted and coming back for more.

3. Ineffective consumer targeting.

Targeting is absolutely required for garnering a following and making sales. However, if performed incorrectly, your content won't match up with the interests or needs of your audience, and there will be a disconnect between your brand and your prospective customers.

Before creating any content or nailing down your message, devote the time and effort to researching and constructing a detailed picture of your ideal buyer. One simple way to understand and flesh out what your best client would look like is to create buyer personas, which are fictional, generalized representations of your target customers. Each persona should fit distinct demographic categories, have unique needs and have fully-realized behavioral profiles. Knowing your audience will help you promote your content more effectively to those who will most likely be your loyal fans and evangelists.

Related: The Science of Building Buyer Personas (Infographic)

4. Outdated technology and irrelevance.

If you don't have your finger on the pulse of the newest developments in technology and social media, you have a high likelihood of driving your brand into irrelevance. The good news is, it is easier than ever to keep track of what is new and effective. Resources like HubSpot and Moz provide in-depth, digestible articles and guides that will help you understand the ins and outs of marketing as well as how to incorporate the best value-adding techniques into your marketing strategy.

5. Poor email growth.

Growing your email list growth should be your top priority. According to Litmus, email marketing drives 20x more ROI than banner ads. The ability to contact your customers directly is a hugely underestimated asset, especially since email has a higher conversion rate than Facebook and Twitter. Poor or stunted email growth is detrimental to your marketing efforts.

Thankfully, there are several tactics you can use to quickly expand your email list. First, only offer quality content. If you pique your readers' interest with unique articles, blog posts and white papers, they will be eager to sign up for your newsletter. Services such as SumoMe's List Builder also help seamlessly convert website visitors into loyal email subscribers. For more tips on how to grow your email list, read Buffer's first-hand account of how it doubled its email signups in just one month.

6. Lack of video and visual skills.

When we think of marketers, we tend to imagine folks who are great at writing and communication and who also have a knack for networking and strategy-building. But the truth is, visual consumption is not just a fad, and marketers need to gain the skills necessary to thrive in this new world of infographics, gifs and Vines.

Brush up on your favorite image and video editing software, or take classes for the first time on Then, observe how other brands are utilizing high-quality images and videos on their websites and social media. Later, incorporate lessons learned into your marketing materials. Take a look at this page on Amerisleep's website, which melds several types of visual elements with words to explain the history and design of our mattresses. For platform-specific tips on how to succeed in visual marketing, check out my article on how to best leverage Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube to make your audience go wild for your brand.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Vine and Instagram Videos Are Great for Your Business

Firas Kittaneh

Serial Entrepreneur • CEO at Amerisleep • CEO at OCLU

Firas Kittaneh is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of amerisleep. Most recently, he launched OCLU to improve how we record our most memorable moments.

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