With its continually evolving and shifting landscape, digital marketing keeps us all on our toes. Not least because of the fact that digital marketing is in its own right an extremely broad category. One that comprises social media, content marketing, SEO, PPC and so much more besides.
So it’s hardly surprising that not everything you hear about digital marketing turns out to be accurate. Even in the case of some stellar snippets that used to hold water, the truths of yesterday are the myths of the present.
Which is precisely what we’ll be taking a look at today – some of the longest-standing digital marketing myths that should be done away with for good. Completely misleading presumptions and falsehoods that stand to do you and your business nothing but harm.
So for the time being at least – until the goalposts decide to go shifting once again – here’s a brief overview of 12 highly prevalent marketing myths it’s time to be confined to the history books:
- The benefits of digital marketing are exclusive to certain industries
First up, there are thousands of business owners on a global basis who genuinely believe that digital marketing isn’t for their niche. That their products, services and industry in general aren’t nearly exciting enough to gain anything of value from a foray into digital. But here’s the thing – it actually doesn’t matter how boring or otherwise your industry or niche happens to be. When you think about it, you and your business have something to sell. Which means you have a target audience to sell it to. And given the fact that most of your target audience members will spend a fair amount of their lives online, why would you not reach out to them? Digital marketing is broad, dynamic and versatile to be of value across all industries and niches, without exception.
- SEO has had its day
Nope…not the case at all. The confusion in this instance originates from the somewhat more accurate point that traditional SEO may have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Or to put it another way, the kind of SEO that guaranteed top-level rankings just a few years ago would probably do little today other than land you in a world of trouble. In any case, search engine optimisation is as alive and important as it has ever been. In fact, it’s getting more important all the time. More competition combined with greater reliance on Google means less room at the top than ever before. Which in turn means even bigger rewards for those who top the table. Just because you can’t get away with spammy black-hat SEO these days doesn’t mean SEO is dead. It simply means lazy SEO won’t get you very far.
- This is how you make content go viral…
The ultimate example of a facepalm statement flouted by far too many marketers. The thing to remember about viral content is this – content goes viral because it’s completely unexpected. Random. Not to mention, something that beats the odds by being in the right place at the right time. You cannot and will not successfully engineer content that’s guaranteed to go viral. And nor should you be focusing any of your precious time, money or resources on doing so. Unless you’re happy to let it go to waste, of course.
- Some businesses needn’t bother with blogs
Simply refer back to the arguments outlined in Myth #1 for an explanation as to why this isn’t the case. Once again, regardless of your industry, niche, products, services etc., you are out to sell something to someone. Meaning you need to win the trust, respect and ideally the loyalty of your target audience. For which a high-quality business blog really can make all the difference in the world. Instructional guides, tutorial videos, industry news, opinions, personal musings and so on – all the kinds of things that keep them coming back for more. While at the same time, establishing and furthering your position as a leader in your field.
- More traffic means guaranteed results
A common presumption and the basis of countless digital marketing strategies. Unfortunately, it’s also way off the mark. Think of it this way – take a group of 1,000 teenage girls and place them in shop that sells hearing aids and mobility scooters. How many are liable to make a purchase? How many are even likely to stick around for more than a few seconds? The answer is none in both instances, meaning that all efforts made to attract them in the first place were a waste of time, money and resources. Traffic has absolutely no value whatsoever, unless it is the kind of targeted traffic that generates conversions. Hence it being perfectly possible to experience a significant decline in traffic volumes while actually increasing revenues and profitability.
- Email marketing is annoying and doesn’t work
Whatever your personal opinions on e-mail marketing, it works. Or at least, it has the potential to work if handled strategically. Believe it or not, research has shown that e-mail can be up to 40 times more effective at winning new customers for your business than even the biggest social media platforms like Facebook. What’s more, e-mail has a surprisingly high industry average conversion rate of 66%. As is the case with most elements that contribute to a wider digital marketing strategy, e-mail marketing is only annoying and ineffective when you get it completely wrong.
- If you build it, they will come
Your website represents your biggest and most important digital marketing tool in its own right. Back in the day when the Internet was still finding its feet, owning and operating a semi-decent website was indeed more than enough to pull in the punters. These days however, pretty much every business (and millions of hobbyists alike) on the face of the earth has a website. This means that in order to attract customers in the first place, you have to spread the word. You have to use every marketing tool and strategy at your disposal to market your brand’s primary marketing tool…if you follow. In turn, it’s always a good idea to factor total digital marketing spending into your web design and development budget, given its importance in validating your website.
- Digital marketing brings rapid results
In reality, the only digital marketing strategies that can deliver near-immediate results are PPC campaigns and paid ads. The problem being that in most such instances, the benefits are short-lived. On the other side of the fence, most types of digital marketing are geared towards long-term returns and on-going benefits for your business. This means that while they may take some time to begin bearing fruit, you’ll ultimately be looking at a better and more reliable ROI. SEO in particular taking its sweet time to pay off, but often proving to be worth its weight in gold.
- With content marketing, more is better
It’s natural to assume that in order for a content marketing strategy to hit its stride, you need to produce and publish biblical quantities of the stuff. On one hand, more content can be a good thing – especially if it is all of equally outstanding quality. On the other, a relatively modest contingency of superior quality content is far better than vast stockpiles of content of absolutely no value or relevance to anyone. Successful content marketing achieves two things – better customer engagement and stronger SEO performance. Armed with reams of low-grade content, nobody’s going to bother reading it and Google will take note of the fact that it is going ignored. By contrast, produce content at a more modest pace that attracts a consistently strong audience and everybody wins. Quality and quantity go hand in hand, though it’s always the former of the two you need to focus on primarily.
- One Social Media Profile Is Enough
Last up, this common misunderstanding stems from the fact that it is in fact highly inadvisable to spread yourself too thinly across every single social media platform out there. Just because each of the biggest social media platforms has its own spectacularly large audience doesn’t mean you need to go fishing for all of them. But at the same time, putting all of your proverbial eggs in the same proverbial basket is equally inadvisable. Exactly which social media platforms you should have in your crosshairs will vary in accordance with your niche, your target audience and your primary objectives. It’s then simply a case of vying for a happy medium – not too many social media platforms, not too few.
So that’s about the shape of things in 2018, though it’s inevitable the next 12-month period will once again rewrite the rulebook in ways we can only imagine. The upshot being that it’s always worth considering and reconsidering the digital marketing standards you’ve come to expect, as some might not hold nearly as much water as you think!
For more information on any aspect of digital marketing by 2018 standards, get in touch today for an obligation-free consultation.