Did you know that 74% of people on Facebook are there for “professional purposes?” Did you know that SEO is officially dead? Spoiler alert: this isn’t a quiz about what you know—it’s a quiz about what you think you know.
The first statement about Facebook is true, for example. The second about SEO is most assuredly not true. And that’s the problem with what you know about online marketing. How do know fact from fiction?
Let’s us help you debunk myths about online marketing!
What you need to know about online marketing!
Digital is still in its relative infancy, so there’s a lot of information out there, and that information is constantly changing—which means, of course, that there’s also a ton of misinformation out there. The success or failure of your marketing strategy hinges to a large extent on your ability to distinguish the one from the other.
Time to Shed a Little Sunlight
That can be a challenge. If you Google “digital marketing myths,” for example, you’ll see no fewer than 786,000 results. That’s a lot of stuff that sounds at first blush true, but which doesn’t stand up to solid analysis. So, choosing the most pervasive myths is also a challenge. That said, here are 6 of the more common myths about online marketing:
1. If You Want to Succeed with Online Sales, just Offer the Lowest Price
If you open a restaurant in the middle of a forest…Well, you know the rest. It’s not enough to offer prices cheaper than those of your competitors. People still need to know about your products, and that means you need a sound strategy to bring them to your website, like using paid search or doing some robust search engine optimization.
Wait, there’s more. Even if you get people to your site, and even if you go 10% or 20% lower than Amazon, it doesn’t necessarily follow that people will choose you over them. Amazon is a known—and trusted—ecommerce giant. You’re not. So, in addition to getting people to your site, you still need to build trust and credibility. Finally, you’re going to need to factor the cost of that inbound marketing into your price.
2. The Real Trick of Digital Is Getting the Maximum Number of People to Your Website
No—the trick is to get targeted traffic to your site, people who are predisposed to buy your products and services. What good does it do your business to increase website traffic by two or threefold if none of those visitors is interested in what you sell?
For example, it’s relatively easy to create PPC ads that get lots of clicks. You just make specious promises you can’t possibly fulfill. And, by the way, that tactic is going to waste you a lot of money. What’s more challenging is create PPC ads that accurately reflect what you offer, and to take people to landing pages that match what’s in your ad. When it comes to site traffic, quality trumps quantity every time.
Not all traffic is good traffic! Stop believing that myth about online marketing…. please?!?!
3. We’ve Got a Killer Product: So, Who Needs Marketing?
The Apple iPhone is a great product, right? Does that mean Apple doesn’t spend money on marketing? Of course not. Creating a market-ready product is step 1. Step 2 is creating awareness to generate leads. Step 3 is nurturing those leads through the sales pipeline, so you can complete step 4—making a sale.
Remember, your product, no matter how good, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Odds are you have scores if not hundreds of competitors, and guess what—they’re all telling the customers you want that their product, not yours, is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Simply stated, marketing is the sine qua non of online sales.
4. People Don’t Like Promotional Emails
This myth about online marketing hurts your bottom line A LOT! We had a client tell us last week that email marketing doesn’t work.
The truth is, according to WordStream, 77% of consumers prefer to get promotional messages (assuming, of course, they’re permission-based) through email vs. direct mail, text, phone or social media. It’s one of the reasons email marketing has a 4,800% ROI (Search Engine Journal).
Email marketing remains perhaps the most effective way to generate new customers and should be part of a holistic online strategy.
5. We’ve Got a Killer Website: Done and Done
No, you’re not done. Your website, even if it looks great and works well, is just one component of a comprehensive online marketing strategy. You also need effective strategies to bring people to your site, whether it’s email, social media or guest blogs. You also need to work with a strong analytics package (like Google Analytics) to know what works, and what doesn’t, on your site so you can continually improve it.
6. If You Need Some Help, Just Hire Some Unrelated Freelancers
Why is this one of the most dangerous myths about online marketing? Because it completely misunderstands what online marketing is. You marketing strategy needs to speak with a single voice, one that guides prospective buyers through a rational, step-wise process—identifying and generating high-quality leads, nurturing those leads with relevant content, converting them over time from window shoppers to loyal customers.
Ever hear the old standard that a camel is a horse created by committee? If you want a horse, which is to say, a holistic and effective online marketing strategy, you need to work with a full-service digital marketing agency, not some combination of individuals who will have you going in every direction but forward.
“Alternative facts” might have their place in politics, but they don’t belong anywhere near your marketing strategy. To separate fact from fiction, you need to work with an agency which has deep knowledge and experience in creating comprehensive online strategies.
Remember believing all these myths about online marketing hurts your business growth AND your bottom line.
To learn more about the ways our SEO, social media, web design, web audit and PPC services can help you boost sales and grow your business, contact us today.
Jonathan Perea is a Business Development Manager at ThinkFlame. He started his career as a professional baseball player and continues to enjoy teaching kids through his elite coaching program. This experience has given him the ability to really listen to our customer’s needs, understand their business challenges and help coach them through a plan to achieve their goals.