By Helen Armour
There are a number of ideas surrounding digital marketing that are distortive of its essence and purely misguided. And this comes as no surprise. Ever since businesses started promoting themselves online, stories of what works, what doesn’t, and what you should be doing were bound to propel into the vast digital space. But, if there’s one rule about the digital space itself, it would be: Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.
What we like to refer to as digital marketing myths are completely misguided ideas and biased opinions that are often promoted as legitimate marketing strategies. Being able to differentiate between these myths and established marketing ideas is crucial when trying to develop a viable marketing approach for your business. In light of that, let’s go over a few of the most common myths you’ll come across.
You don’t have to be online if your competition isn’t there
You’ll hear this one often from local business owners and small B2B enterprises. Naturally, it’s easier to go down the path of least resistance rather than get to work on building a sound digital marketing strategy – but in today’s marketplace, regardless of the industry, it’s really not a matter of choice anymore.
While you could get away with that kind of thinking about a decade ago, modern-day consumers have come to expect at least a well-functioning website to deem a business respectable and trustworthy in the least.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter whether your competition is online or not – what matters is that your audience is there. In other words, if your competition doesn’t have a serious online presence, building one for yourself is the easiest way to get far ahead of them.
It’s all about traffic
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding digital marketing is that website traffic is its sole purpose and ultimate goal. It’s easy to see how this idea came to be – after all, the more traffic you get your way, the more customers/subscribers you stand to gain. But that’s an overly simplified view, since there’s so much more to marketing than just getting your audience’s attention.
Traffic comes and goes, especially in today’s digital space, where people are used to jumping from one page to another, always in search of the next best thing. No matter how many people visit your site, if they’re not interested in what you offer or your website isn’t optimized to encourage conversions, you don’t have much going on.
Furthermore, your digital strategy won’t only be focused on targeting the right audience and boosting conversions, but also on encouraging repeat business and brand loyalty. All these things play into the bigger picture, seamlessly connecting with sales and customer service as well. That’s why it’s crucial for B2B enterprises to make sure that their CRM is appropriately integrated with their digital marketing strategies.
There is only one conversion
I talked a bit about conversions in the previous point, and instantly realized that the topic begs for another myth debunked.
People mostly think that what constitutes a conversion is essentially that last click – the one that seals the deal. That may be finalizing a purchase or subscribing to an email list. When it comes to requesting a quote or sending out the “Contact us” form, most people misguidedly won’t even consider these as legitimate conversions, although they’re extremely important steps within the marketing funnel.
But there are even less obvious types of conversions, and it’s important to be aware of them when planning your digital strategy. Some examples of these “preliminary” conversions include clicking the “learn more” button to engage with multiple pages on your site or downloading material you offer.
In simple terms, when a visitor clicks on any given call to action, that’s a conversion. The purpose of them all is to lead up to a sale, which is why it’s important to pay attention to them and include them in your reporting to help you optimize your strategy.
Social media marketing doesn’t concern B2B
If someone tells you this with conviction, rest assured that they wouldn’t be thinking that if they knew how diverse the social landscape is. Admittedly, a B2B enterprise that’s just starting out won’t channel all their marketing efforts into social. Whereas, for example, a retail clothing business will create an Instagram page and post content before they even launch.
But that doesn’t mean that B2B companies should overlook social media marketing altogether. Every industry can leverage social, and the key is finding the appropriate channel. And that’s easy – your platform of choice is the one where the majority of your target audience is. For B2B companies, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most obvious choice. They’re great tools for establishing authority within your industry, staying up to date on industry events, and connecting with relevant professionals. But you don’t have to limit yourself. You can also creatively use other platforms in your social media strategy to help humanize your brand.
SEO is a one-time affair
You’ll likely run into novel entrepreneurs who approach search engine optimization as a set-and-forget endeavour. Put an SEO strategy in motion, sit back, and relax as you watch your website’s rankings gradually go up. Well, it would certainly be great if it was that easy, but SEO involves so much more work than it might be immediately obvious – and it is a continuous process.
It’s understandable how someone who’s entirely new to digital marketing would make this assumption, but even if you are aware that your SEO strategy will take more than that, make sure you pay attention – it’s an ever-evolving practice. As search algorithms become increasingly sophisticated and competition tightens, your SEO strategy will require constant attention and frequent adjustments.
Lastly, keep in mind that as the digital landscapes shifts and evolves, so do marketing practices within it. That’s why it’s important to keep up with digital marketing trends and use trusted resources to stay informed. Being aware of the basic principles of digital marketing will help you create comprehensive campaigns and get the most out of your efforts.