With so much misinformation online regarding digital marketing, it can be extremely challenging for a marketer to know what to believe, let alone develop a smart strategy.
The fact that there are very few barriers to entry in the digital marketing field does not help, meaning anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can claim to be an expert.
Below, we explore — and bust — some of the biggest digital marketing myths we have heard over the years.
Myth #1: You need a dozen martech tools to succeed in digital marketing.
In 2011, there were approximately 150 martech tools for digital marketers to track and optimize their efforts. In 2017, that number grew to more than 5,000.
With so much emphasis placed on these tools, many marketers neglect the importance of having an actual digital marketing strategy. It is one thing to have a car, but if you do not know your destination or have a map, it is going to be difficult.
To optimize a martech stack, marketers should develop a strategy, determine tactics to execute on that strategy and identify what technological capabilities are needed. Finally, marketers should test and experiment with the tech stack to see if it is delivering results.
Myth #2: With word-of-mouth referrals, there’s no need for digital marketing.
Word-of-mouth marketing is great. But tapping into digital marketing to maximize word-of-mouth can help boost brand awareness, drive online traffic and spark new leads.
For example, one of our mixed-use development clients asked us to help bring awareness to its lifestyle retailers. The goal was to generate positive word-of-mouth and drive traffic to the retail center.
We used word-of-mouth referrals via a social media campaign to achieve this goal. The campaign encouraged consumers to visit the client’s retailers and share their moments with a customized hashtag. Whether they were eating sushi, getting a manicure, working up a sweat at the gym or shopping at the local grocery store, we wanted to collect and share these moments. The campaign not only resulted in more foot traffic and engaged residents but also an increase in website traffic and Facebook followers.
Through this campaign, we discovered that tapping into user-generated content from local influencers or visitors can be an excellent method to increase engagement and build brand awareness. Ultimately, the key to the campaign’s success was regularly engaging with followers and being highly responsive to commentary.
Myth #3: Backlinks to your site matter most for SEO and rankings.
Backlinks were once an integral tactic for SEO. In fact, many businesses took advantage of this tactic by link-scheming their way to the top of search results. Purchasing links was a common practice, which caused the quality of search results to suffer. In today’s digital environment, Google actually penalizes sites that carry out these tactics, potentially even removing them from its index entirely.
So, what does matter the most for SEO and rankings? The truth is, Google changes its algorithm 500-600 times per year. What matters most for rankings today is not guaranteed to be what matters most tomorrow. Our advice? Create valuable, relevant content around the keywords and phrases your potential customers are searching to find your products and services.
Myth #4: Blogging is just a hobby.
A major misconception about blogging is that it is just a hobby, not for business. However, blogging has transformed over the years into an affordable, low-cost lead generation tool.
For example, Marcus Sheridan, one of earliest proponents of content marketing, generated $2 million for his company, River Pool & Spas, after publishing a blog post on its website about how much a fiberglass pool costs.
While content marketing seems simple, like any successful marketing campaign, it’s important to develop a strategy around content that will drive your marketing funnel.
Blogging is not just a hobby, and we recommend marketers create a fleshed-out content campaign, assign specific due dates and stick to a consistent publishing schedule. Do not sporadically publish blogs here and there; adhere to a consistent content strategy so that you can connect with your customers and build brand trust.
Myth #5: You must post several times a day to be successful on social media.
Many social media marketing guidelines are focused on things like how many times a day, or what time of the day, to post to be successful. But what constitutes success?
The ROI of social media is constantly in question. Out of all the digital marketing channels, it is often the most misunderstood. To us, the value of social media is not measured in leads; it’s measured through customer experience.
More and more companies are using their social media channels as extensions of their customer service departments. Both negative and positive commentary from consumers is commonly found online via social media and online review sites. Thus, it’s not about how many social posts you publish each day, but how you engage and inspire your customers through online customer service. We recommend that brands respond quickly, keep responses short and sweet, and move the conversation offline if needed.
In terms of social media posting, less can equal more. Marketers should prioritize quality over quantity, focusing on posts that will boost engagement and attract their followers’ attention. Test out a new posting schedule by shifting from publishing posts at different times and sometimes skipping a day or two. After experimenting, marketers will soon find what type of content resonates most with their audience, as well as how often they should post.
Ultimately, digital marketing has more power than you think. If you neglect to focus on your digital marketing methods, you could be missing out on great returns on investment, low-cost campaigns and better brand engagement.
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