It’s incredibly hard to succeed in the realm of digital marketing. At first, you might think that it shouldn’t be hard since almost everyone uses the internet and you can reach a nearly infinite number of people. However, the internet’s vastness also means that you have hundreds of other competitors who want the same amount of traffic.
Regrettably, many digital marketers aren’t very well-equipped to compete with their current strategies. These marketers spend an endless amount of time on efforts that waste their resources. Here are just a few common misconceptions that too many marketers still believe:
Myth #1: We should just follow what these other companies are doing.
In many cases, marketers want to copy what major companies are doing. Sometimes, this might work. For example, Sears is currently in its death throes because it can’t compete with Amazon’s digital marketplace. Borders had to shut its doors because it didn’t adopt the e-reader technology quickly enough. Blockbuster died because Netflix’s on-demand DVDs made things incredibly convenient for movie lovers at home.
On the other hand, these strategies can backfire. Amazon tried releasing their smartphone. This effort was short-lived and ended up wasting millions of dollars. This unpractical phone didn’t have apps like Google Maps or Starbucks. In fact, the only thing it seemed to be good for was shopping on Amazon.
Each company has a different market segment, audience, strategy, and product. You should pay attention to what your competitors are doing, but you don’t need to copy their every move.
Myth #2: All negative comments are bad for business.
If Yelp has taught us anything, it’s that today’s internet age puts the power in the consumer’s hands. We’ve seen businesses like Amy’s Baking Company fall to a flood of negative reviews. The practice has become so bad that Yelp now actively monitors any company that has been recently featured in the media to purge trolls and troublemakers.
However, some bad comments may be helpful. Sure, it’s easy to flinch at every review below four stars, but it also provides a learning opportunity. You can reply to negative reviews and find out what the customer didn’t like about your company. Offer a solution to show that you care about their well-being and satisfaction. Additionally, it’ll give you some insight as to what needs to be improved.
Soon enough, you’ll have legions of brand loyalists who will defend your company against naysayers. Fix your flaws now and create a better business for the future.
Myth #3: I need to stuff keywords to rank highly in SEO.
SEO is one of the biggest headaches for digital marketers. Internet marketing is difficult enough by itself, but SEO introduces entirely new levels of frustration.
Most online marketers know how to utilise short tail keywords. For example, if someone types in “board games” into Google, they’ll find endless results. However, many digital marketers overlook long tail keywords, which are more specific and comprehensive. Over 70% of Google searches are from long tail keywords. Customers who use these keywords are far more likely to buy too.
Let’s say that someone is shopping for board games. They’re probably not going to just enter “board games” into their search engine. They might enter phrases like “board games for kids,” “board games for adults,” “board games for Christmas gifts,” “board games for parties,” or “board games for large groups.” In each instance, the shopper has a specific goal in mind. They might want to bring a new game to their group or find something for a Christmas gift for their child.
Myth #4: Nobody needs email marketing anymore.
Nearly everyone checks their email daily. Millions of people are connected to their smartphones and are continually looking at their inbox. A McKinsey & Company study discovered that emails help companies acquire new customers 40 times more than both Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, customers are three times more likely to buy something when persuaded through email rather than social media.
Currently, 205 messages are sent across the world on a daily basis, and that number is only projected to grow. Radicati’s 2016 Email Statistics report suggested that 3 billion people will be using email by 2020. It’s no wonder that four-fifths of digital marketing professionals claim that email marketing helps grow their business.
To ensure the highest quality impact, you must follow best practices. Always personalise an email when possible. Services like MailChimp can automatically customise each message to include the recipient’s first name. You should always add an “unsubscribe” button or risk being reported as spam.
Myth #5: We just need to generate a lot of traffic.
While it is true that getting a lot of eyes on your website is generally a good thing, this shouldn’t be your only metric for success. Your site doesn’t just need a lot of people – it needs the right kinds of people.
Your company probably doesn’t appeal to everyone, and that’s okay. But you need to be sure that you’re bringing people who have an interest in your website and will come back for your products, services, or content. If someone just looks for a few seconds and leaves, what good will it have done? Maybe you got a few fractions of a cent from digital advertisements, but that’s it. You want people to keep returning to your website.
Myth #6: My homepage is my most important page.
Vamping up your company website’s homepage makes sense. After all, it’s supposed to be the very first page that anyone clicks on when they visit your site. However, changes in browsing behavior and SEO have made it that inner pages sometimes receive more traffic than home pages.
However, data shows that homepage views went from 39% in 2003 to about 5% in 2010. That’s not to say that your homepage isn’t essential, but internet marketers should heed mind to the rest of their website as well.
Myth #7: We need a presence on all the major social media sites.
Your digital marketing team only has so much time on their hands. Trying to keep up with every single social media platform desperately can be quite an exhausting task. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest all have different audience members with unique interests. What works for one website won’t necessarily work for each other social media platform.
For example, would a website about cat videos be able to advertise on a professional platform such as LinkedIn successfully? Do you think a wordy advertisement about life insurance would capture the attention of a Snapchat audience?
Do your research on which demographics use which platforms. Make sure to customise each advertisement for its respective audience. Remember that pictures work well on websites like Pinterest and Instagram and that wordy posts have no place on Twitter.
Digital marketing isn’t an easy feat by any means, but it can be incredibly rewarding. You can use social media and email to grow your audience like never before. You’ll win new customers and expand your marketing efforts in ways you can’t even imagine. Just remember to take it one step at a time and not to buy into these silly misconceptions that too many online marketers believe.