Being an emerging field therefore makes digital marketing susceptible to misinformation and myths; these pose a problem when they lead businesses to make wrong decisions and take ineffective, or downright harmful steps in their marketing strategy. If you want to do your digital marketing right and get results, these myths need to be dispelled once and for all. For your convenience I’ve made a list of 8 common myths about digital marketing which you can stop believing – right now. Test yourselves: is one of the myths on this list keeping your business behind when it could be on its way to conquer the market?
Myth #1: The More Traffic the Website Gets – the Better
Traffic is important, no doubt; but what’s more important is getting the righttraffic. Theoretically, it’s true that the more traffic to the website, the more leads and conversions it gets. However, the purpose of digital marketing isn’t to bring maximum traffic to the website – it’s to bring well-targeted traffic. Otherwise, the website might get 2000 random visitors, only 5 of whom become leads; while it could have been much better if it got only 200 visitors, but 30 of them became leads. This is why it’s so important to research your demographics and understand who your audience is – and how you can reach it. Sometimes, it is better to get a mention from a small website in your niche than to publish an article in a website which has bigger audience, only a few of whom would be interested in your product or service. Not to mention all the time, money and energy that go into attracting large traffic.
Myth #2: My Business isn’t Attractive Enough for Digital Marketing
Newsflash: everyone who is looking for any product or service will most likely look for it online. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re selling smartphones or toilet brushes – people will search for it on Google. In today’s digital world, marketing your product or service online isn’t simply recommended – it’s a must. If you need proof of this, I highly recommend you read one of my previous posts on this blog, about the art of marketing boring products. Here’s a little teaser – a video by Charmin, a toilet paper brand I wrote about in that post:
Myth #3: Bad Comments Online Harm Your Business
Some businesses hesitate to market themselves online, fearing they’d have to deal with shaming, low ratings and negative comments from displeased customers. But this kind of thinking should be reversed: the fact the Web is public place where existing and potential clients can give you feedback easily, only means you have the opportunity to address this feedback appropriately in real time, and provide stellar customer service. If you are facing negative feedback or being shamed, don’t get angry, block the user of shut your Facebook page indefinitely. Instead, provide a courteous, extensive and useful response and leave your contact details; then address the problem ASAP and make sure that the customer is satisfied. This will usually effectively block nasty rumors about your business from spreading. Remember, a coin has two sides: sure, there will always be those who complain, but then you will also have the satisfied customers who will happily rave about you to all their friends. And this should be the primary objective for doing digital marketing: spreading the circle of satisfied customers who believe in you. I love this example from the Bed Bath & Beyond Facebook page. Not only did they provide helpful tips, they also gave timely responses to the questions asked on the post:
Myth #4: Most People Click on Display and Banner Ads
When was the last time you clicked on a mobile ad or a sponsored link on Google? Yup, that’s what I thought. According to HubSpot, most consumers don’t really trust these types of ads, and in many occasions find them irrelevant, out of context or simply annoying. Only 16 percent of users click on ads; and 60 percent of clicks on mobile ads are accidental. It’s not that paid ads are useless – they do have a slight edge over organic marketing in converting leads, and they get results faster – but you must know how to do them right, and invest quite a bit of money in the process. Therefore, in most cases paid ads aren’t enough, and other digital marketing channels should also be used.
Myth #5: My Business Must Be on Every Social Platform!
The last few years demonstrate how powerful social media has become; and new social networks with marketing potential just keep popping up everywhere. This trend, coupled with the many examples of brands who’ve achieved great success with social media marketing, makes many business owners think that their business must have accounts on Facebooks, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat and basically, every social platform out there. While it’s very true that being on social media is important and can push your brand forward, you should always keep these points in mind:
- Your target audience isn’t necessarily on the social platform you’ve chosen. So you’ve decide to start marketing on Snapchat because it’s very cool and trendy, but what if your target audience is high tech professionals, who are most likely to be found on LinkedIn? This is why you should always perform preliminary demographic research: it’ll help you understand which social platforms are relevant for your audience.
- Every account you create on social media equals time and money. Do you have the resources to update all these accounts with fresh, relevant content on a regular basis? It’s better to concentrate your efforts on 2-3 relevant social platforms, than to keep track of many platforms that might not even give you results.
A nice example comes from the current US presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton must have wanted to appeal to young voters when she joined Snapchat a little more than a year ago:
Myth #6: Who Needs a Website When There’s Social Media?
In line with the previous myth, social media is a great marketing tool, but it can’t replace your website. Some businesses get so excited about social media that they put all or most of their efforts into it, and neglect their website in the process. However, a high-quality website must be the focus of your digital marketing efforts. That’s where people come to purchase your product or service. If your website is slow, isn’t updated often, looks unattractive, has broken links, etc., that’s just bad for your business. Not to mention that Google punishes such websites by ranking them lower in the search results. To really face the competition out there, you can’t rely on social media alone. You must have a website that’s well-designed, user-friendly, fast, and continuously optimized and updated.
Myth #7: Email Marketing is Dead
The next time you think email marketing is outdated and superfluous, try thinking about the last time you communicated with a business or an organization via email. You get most of your bills by email, as well your bank and credit card updates; you get emails from your kids’ school; and you’ve even signed up to some brands’ newsletters to get updates about sales and new products. According to this graph, which was featured on Business Insider a year ago, most Americans check their mailbox at least 1-3 times a day:
And here are some more numbers:
- In 2015, email marketing accounted for the largest share (25.1 percent) of transactions on Black Friday.
- 61 percent of consumers like receiving promotional emails weekly and 28 percent would rather receive them more than once a week.
- 95 percent of people who open emails from brands find them useful.
Businesses are often afraid that if they engage in email marketing, their customers would treat their emails as spam. But if you take care to only send emails with real value (which include new, interesting information, sales and coupons or important updates), stick to a reasonable mailing frequency, and give recipients the option of unsubscribing, then you shouldn’t hesitate so much. Email marketing is usually a safe bet: it has the highest ROI of all digital marketing channels and it’s more effective in acquiring customers than social media.
Myth #8: Traditional Marketing is a Thing of the Past
In the 21st century, digital marketing is a must; but that doesn’t mean one must give up on old-time methods of marketing such as TV and radio commercials, billboards, newspaper ads, etc. Traditional marketing still has quite a few advantages – while it’s usually more expensive than digital marketing, it is less time-consuming, it lasts longer and it’s more conspicuous (digital marketing efforts often run the risk of being swallowed up by the internet). Ideally, any business that wishes to stand out should combine both digital marketing and traditional marketing in its strategy.
To make the most of digital marketing, it is best find out the most effective methods to reach your audience without letting myths stand in your way. Are you familiar with any other myths surrounding digital marketing? Tell us in the comments!