Digital Marketing

Five Digital Marketing Myths that are Leading You Astray

December 2016
Che Stevenson

There is no shortage of misguided assumptions when it comes to digital marketing. Don’t let misconceptions guide your business down the wrong path! Ignore the BS and take advantage of the many opportunities digital marketing offers.

Myth #1: Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work For Us

Busted: Digital marketing is always worthwhile if implemented correctly.

This myth can be said in a number of different ways:

·      “My competitors aren’t doing it, why would I?”

·      “It’s only for small/big business.”

·      “It isn’t for B2B.”

But really what these misconceptions come down to is that you have probably had a crack at digital marketing and it hasn’t worked.

A good example is how many B2B businesses see online platforms, like social media, as exclusively for consumer markets. But the reality is that it doesn’t matter if you’re in B2C or B2B; all buyers turn to online sources to investigate businesses before committing to a purchase. This means if you have a poor or no online presence, you are hurting your chances of attaining new customers, and forgoing an opportunity to strengthen relationships with existing customers.

Digital marketing allows you to deliver to a wide targeted audience and communicate and engage with customers. All of this can be achieved on a global scale, without a physical shop.

However for this to work for your business, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of your target audience. As well as this, further research can be done on analysing your competition to see whether there is an online market, and which platforms are best to implement.  

Myth #2: Digital Marketing is Free

Busted: Digital marketing is rarely free, and will cost both money and time.

Firstly, we can all agree that marketing your business is a necessity. We can also agree that to make money, you need to spend money. Despite this, there are still businesses that believe they can attain the benefits of digital marketing for free.

However the truth is most marketing is not free. If you do utilise a digital marketing technique that doesn’t cost money, it will still cost your time. And digital marketing needs both. How much you spend will usually depend on the ROI and the lifetime value of a new customer, but most SMEs should be investing 7-8 per cent of their turnover on marketing.  

The truth of the matter is that digital marketing costs money. It isn’t free to write and publish content, or to manage a successful social media account. Successful companies invest a lot of money online because it is extremely effective. It allows a business to simultaneously reach a targeted audience, increase their brand awareness and customer base.  

Myth #3: Digital Marketing is Easy

Busted: Successful digital marketing requires skills, time and knowledge.

It feels like if people aren’t claiming that digital marketing is too complicated, they are grossly underestimating how hard it actually is. Many businesses that DIY their digital marketing achieve poor to middling results, leading them to believe that digital marketing doesn’t work (see myth 2).

As a general rule, doing your own digital marketing is like doing your own tax; you can do it, but unless you commit significant time and effort, you will produce a poor result. And at the end of the day, you don’t know what you don’t know; you never really know what are you missing.

When it comes to digital marketing, there is definitely a certain extent you can do it yourself. No-one knows your industry, customer base and target audience like you do; you must remain active in all of your digital marketing.

You might say we’re biased, but we truly believe if you want the best outcome for your investment, like anything, you should get help from professionals.

Myth #4: There Are Too Many Social Platforms To Keep Up With

Busted: You don’t need to keep up with all of the social channels.

On a basic level this one is true. There are more social platforms than ever before. Actually, there are over 200 active social media sites and this number is growing all the time.

But how many have you actually heard of, let alone used? One or two, less than five? Most of us only use a handful of social media platforms, and we’re usually most active on just one (Facebook anyone?). Just because social media platforms exist, doesn’t mean you need to have be on them.

When deciding which platform to use, you must look at your target audience. Your audience is already on social media, and a social media profile is a great way to bring them back to your website. You just need to find which ones they are on.

Once you have chosen your platform, you need to remember to adapt your message to each platform and ensure you are active in providing useful and interesting content. However, not all social channels are created equal. Therefore the challenge isn’t that there are too many, it is keeping up to date with which ones are relevant, and which ones are on their way out.

Think about MySpace. Giants can fall.

Myth #5: Digital Marketing is New and Risky

Busted: Digital marketing has been around for over 20 years and has been constantly tried and tested.

The ability to use online channels to promote your business has been around since the early 90s. Despite this, people still perceive digital marketing as unchartered waters. Even in 2015, many digital marketers still have to educate people on its benefits. This is mainly due to the fact that businesses view digital marketing as an alternative to traditional, not something that can be complementary to it.

Sure, digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be hard to keep up with these changes. But digital marketing offers distinct benefits over traditional. It’s cost effective, offers accurate targeting, and comes with real time data to analyse. Yet somehow it is still an under-utilised resource. The truth of the matter is that the digital space isn’t something that businesses can continue to ignore.

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