We live in the age of information and misinformation, which means the world of digital marketing is always evolving. Some marketing strategies and facts that were true a few years ago might no longer be applicable.
Let’s be candid. As marketers, we are bombarded with boatloads of advice, hacks, tips, statistics, and whatnot. This can be either a curse or a blessing, depending on where you are sitting.
On the one hand, sound marketing advice can help you promote and take your business to the next level. On the other hand, some misconceptions and myths being peddled online can doom your marketing to epic failure.
That’s why we are going all myth busters to help debunk 8 nonsense facts about marketing you probably think are true. Learn to see them for what they – untrue nonsense – so you become a more effective and better marketer.
1) Digital Marketing is Practically Cost-Free
This is a “fact” that is often sold to small businesses and brands on lean budgets. They are told that they don’t need to set aside money to develop an actionable digital marketing strategy.
Some so-called “experts” try to convince small business owners that all they need do is create basic social media profiles and a website – and voila! They are ready to connect with their target audience.
It used to be that having a website was enough of an online presence. That is no longer true. Many tasks go into reaching your online target audience at the right time, which means you need to budget accordingly.
Yes, digital marketing is much more affordable than traditional marketing, but it is not exactly free of cost. According to HubSpot, digital marketing-heavy organizations enjoy 62 percent lower costs. That doesn’t mean that they are on a free ride.
Savvy digital marketers and companies are aware of this fact. That is why they increased their 2019 digital marketing budgets by an average of 35 percent. Some have even gone as far as to cut their advertising budgets to help fuel their digital marketing efforts.
The bottom line is that although digital marketing is cost-effective, it is never cost-free. If you don’t create an ample budget for your digital strategy, you will most certainly lose your competitive advantage.
Last year alone, 27 percent of B2B marketers said they failed to reach their success goals because of digital marketing budget cuts and inadequate budget issues, according to Digital Authority Partners.
Don’t fall for this myth. Instead, review your marketing analytics and see which areas of your digital marketing need more boost. Ideally, you need a separate budget for each aspect, from content and social media to email and SEO.
2) SEO Is Dead (or a Dying Strategy)
You have probably come across this ‘fact’ several times. Search engine optimization best practices are always changing, which helps breed misconceptions and myths about SEO.
Don’t let anyone fool you; SEO is very much alive and kicking in 2019. If one factor is certain, it is that SEO is stronger than ever.
Of course, many gray-hat and black-hat SEO techniques are long gone and buried. What worked in 2010, for instance, will most likely not get you anywhere near page 1 of a Google search today. That doesn’t mean SEO as discipline and strategy is dead.
In the past, all you had to do was stuff your content with proper keywords and perhaps optimize your site architecture (technical SEO). That was almost always enough to get your site ranked. Today, you have to do much more to rank above the fold on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Thin content won’t cut it. Google has sworn against thin, duplicate and overstuffed content that offers little or no value to the reader. To get on the good side of search engines, you have to craft, optimize and strategically position long-form articles. It is generally accepted that 2000+ word long articles are in-depth and therefore tend to rank faster and higher.
You also need to get on top of UX factors like mobile responsiveness, site loading speed, navigability, and aesthetics. Your site must be credible, valuable, accessible, desirable, findable, usable and useful to offer optimal user experiences.
3) Email Marketing is No Longer Reliable
Here’s another myth that can genuinely derail your marketing strategy. Like SEO, email is more important than ever to marketers.
Regardless of what you might have heard, email is nowhere near dead. Like everything else in the digital space, it’s just evolving to better meet the demands, needs, and lifestyles of users. Your email marketing should do the same.
Some naysayers even claim that people hate marketing emails. On the contrary, research has shown that users actually don’t mind being marketing via email. They rather enjoy this approach as long as the emails are specific, interesting and relevant to them.
Still think email is not worth your attention and money? Here are a few stats that clearly show email is still one of the most reliable marketing channels:
For starters, people send and receive nearly 103 trillion emails each year, and that’s anticipated to reach close to 127 trillion by 2022. That means the rise of social media, mobile apps, and other channels hasn’t robbed email of its luster.
Another survey found that 58 percent of internet users check their emails first thing in the morning. Only 14 percent said social media was their first check of the day, while 20 percent begin with searches, 5 percent read the news and 3 percent check company intranet.
Emails enjoy an average open rate of about 23 percent and a CTR of 3.71 percent. These interaction rates are way higher than social media’s engagement rate which staggers at 0.58 percent.
The bottom line is that email is still an excellent way to reach an audience. Emails get the message in front of most of the people they to whom they are aimed. It remains a crucial part of any marketing strategy.
4) Social Media Doesn’t Work for B2B Marketers
Social media is the preferred top-of-funnel channel for most B2C marketers. It’s a great way to attract the attention of your target audience, as well as engage and delight them. For the most part, social media has done wonders for B2C marketing.
What about B2B marketing, can’t it use some of that social juice? You have probably heard that B2B brands don’t need a social media strategy. That’s far-fetched and untrue.
Social media can be a great channel for pretty much any industry, especially employing reliable social marketing resources to grow and engage a loyal audience.
It doesn’t matter if you market to other businesses or directly to consumers, you need to have an active social media presence. Why?
If you aren’t on social media, you are missing out on a massive opportunity to connect with other businesses, gain crucial insights and cultivate relationships for your B2B brand. After all, 80 percent of adults are on social media, according to the Pew Research Center. More importantly, 86 percent of key business decision-makers (read: B2B buyers) are active on social media for professional purposes, as per Forrester.
Of course, not all social sites are created the same. For instance, Instagram, Reddit, and Pinterest won’t do much for a B2B brand that offers technical services or products. For that, you probably want to turn your attention to LinkedIn and Twitter where you can mingle and share ideas with potential business customers.
5) Negative Social Media Comments are always bad for Marketing
Online reputation management is important for every business. However, non-positive comments on social media aren’t exactly bad news for your business, as many people say.
Genuine complaints and concerns made by customers about your company, service or product shouldn’t be taken lightly.
You should address them promptly and take the opportunity to showcase the best side of your customer service. Some marketers are too quick to delete or hide negative comments on social media. That’s a big no-no.
Instead, you should use the comments as a prime opportunity to educate your customers, and show that you truly care about them. If you handle the situation intelligently and emphatically, the whole process can paint your business in a good light. Even better, how you approach it can turn the disgruntled user into a loyal customer.
This is also where brand evangelists, employee advocates, and loyalists can come in handy. They can defend your business and turn the comment into a positive discussion about your brand.
Getting a negative comment on social media can be emotionally draining. However, it’s not always bad for business. Remember there is a way you can turn it into helpful goodwill for your brand, if you act wisely.
6) Digital Marketing Only Applies to the Younger Generation
We often come across this “fact”. Some people claim that online marketing works only when targeting digital natives or the younger generation (usually those younger than 25). That’s balderdash.
Did you know that nearly 30 percent of all active Facebook users fall within the 25-34 age bracket? A recent report from IBT shows that users aged between 25 and 55 make up the vast majority of social media users, especially on Twitter and Facebook. As a marketer, you know that this age group has enormous purchasing power.
Digital marketing works for just about any generation, not just the younger age demographic. The trick is to do thorough market research. This way, you can tailor-fit your digital marketing channels like content, social media and email to better target your audience.
That is also why you need a clear-cut marketing plan. This will help you assess and anticipate your target market, as well as prepare and develop your strategy. Healthcare Weekly has a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that can help you create an actionable marketing plan from the ground up.
7) Mobile Users Don’t Convert
Mobile platforms have come a long way. It is estimated that people now spend an average of 5 hours on their small screens, which is why mobile marketing is all the rage. Mobile devices are increasingly being used for work.
Despite all these amazing facts, some people wrongly say mobile users don’t convert into sales. This is a huge misconception that is only true for those businesses that have not created mobile-friendly digital assets.
A mobile user, for instance, is not likely to go through a long checkout process. Most will not go through the torturous process of filling out small form fields meant for desktop users. That’s why some sites have sinfully low mobile conversions.
If you are an e-commerce marketer, you need to tie your marketing efforts to phone calls, cross-device checkouts, and mobile-friendly content. Avoid slow-loading pages, scripts, plugin-ins and anything that would otherwise ruin the UX.
8) PR is only for when you’re in Trouble
In an increasingly connected world, Public Relations (PR) management has become more important than ever. A small negative comment on Facebook can spiral into a huge mess. That is when your brand or business is in trouble. But that isn’t the only time you need PR.
In other words, PR is not only for crisis management. You can also use a PR push to build more awareness and recognition for your brand online. Instead of using it to put out “fires”, take advantage of public relations to cultivate more rapport with your target audience.
Getting in front of your target audience for the right reasons and promoting a positive brand image should be the core of your PR strategy.
These are just but a few marketing myths everyone seems to think are true. There are many more marketing misconceptions and untrue facts that need to be quashed. Here, we have only addressed the most common misconceptions.
For instance, some people think that content works only for certain types of businesses and brands. That is untrue because content can be tailored to help promote any brand, whether that’s a B2B or B2C company. The most important thing to do is to research and learn a bit about your target audience and optimize your content for them.
Do high-placement websites link in intelligent ways? Are testimonials and case studies important to marketers? There is much information out there, and it pays to stay abreast of what’s tried-and-true.
Social media can be a great channel for pretty much any industry, especially employing reliable social marketing resource (https://instagrowing.net/buy-instagram-views/) to grow and engage a loyal audience.