10 Digital Marketing Myths You Need to Forget

Common digital marketing myths to discard include the notions that email is outdated, social media suits only certain businesses, content must go viral to be effective, and SEO is a one-time task. Other misconceptions include the irrelevance of websites in the social media era, the necessity of a large budget for effective marketing, and the idea that all traffic converts.

The world of digital marketing is vast and, well, a bit confusing if you’re a newcomer or startup. Millions of tools claim they’re just the ticket to help you win subscribers, grow your sales, and boost your strategies, but do they all really do what they claim? Not even close. In fact, some of the information you read on your journey to becoming a guru is questionable as heck — including these myths.

You Need Multiple Martech Tools

Ok, you need marketing technology tools. You need not use dozens to get the job done, at least if you choose the right tool.

According to Forbes, there were over 5,000 Martech tools available to digital marketers in 2017; that number continues to grow. You’re likely spending more time playing with the tools and their functions than you are coming up with a strong digital marketing strategy. The strategy should come first. Only once you’re settled on the strategy should you choose supplemental tech tools.

You Only Need to Be Online if You’re a Big Business

Nope! Digital marketing is for business of all sizes, whether they’re small, large, local, national, or global. A web presence allows for better communication, more opportunity for sale, and a whole new level of insight in analyzing customer buying habits and preferences. Even better? Your internal marketing team can gather and analyze this data without hiring a research firm to help you out.

You Need a Mobile App

Not really. Your customers don’t need you to have one, either. Apps work best when they fulfill actual needs. Can a customer buy and receive a service through your app? Receive 24/7 customer service? Place a fast-food order? Access medical records or  other data? If there’s no serviceable value, don’t jump to apps immediately.

Apps are marketing tools, not an extension of your brand. Don’t waste your money developing one unless you are certain you are offering something useful and actionable. Being perceived as bloatware isn’t a good look.

You Need More Website Traffic

Everyone wants more website traffic. In reality, quality over quantity is important in digital marketing. What if you could make more sales with less traffic? It’s possible if you’re narrowing your audiences and targeting the right people. Spend more time reviewing your customer persona and figuring out where your target demographic hangs out online. Targeting your efforts will improve the quality of your leads.

SEO is Insignificant

People have been saying search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t matter for years, and they have also been incorrect for the same number of years. Or, at least they’re terribly misinformed. SEO may evolve, but it sure as heck isn’t dead!

Are you still using SEO techniques that worked well a couple of years ago? If so, they may not be working as effectively for you. That doesn’t mean SEO is dead. It means your strategy needs an overhaul, which is just part and parcel of being involved in marketing in 2019.

You Have to Redesign Your Website Regularly

Not exactly. Can you design your site and forget about it? No. Can you test your landing pages and layouts to see which are giving you the best results? Absolutely. This doesn’t mean your entire website needs a full makeover every other month. It means you need to make regular updates to images and text while testing minor tweaks here and there.

Maybe the homepage needs a little bit of an uplift. Maybe your internal link structure needs work. And yes, maybe your entire website needs to be re-created, but that’s rarer than just needing a few tweaks here and there.

Bad Reviews Will Crush Your Business

The occasional negative review isn’t going to kill your business. Most people looking at online reviews find businesses with a lot of positive reviews but nothing negative or below five stars to be somewhat questionable. They can also smell irrational negative reviews from a mile away.

What does matter? The way you reply to your reviews. Politely commenting with an invitation to talk or to find out how you can resolve an issue will show you are paying attention and are engaged. Ignoring negative reviews completely will make potential customers wonder if you’re paying attention. Responding emotionally will make you look unprofessional.

But the reviews themselves? They’re not going to hurt you nearly as much as you’ve been led to believe. If you get a bad review, don’t panic. Do your best to resolve it. If you get 20 in a row, something bigger may be wrong.

Mobile Doesn’t Matter

Okay, it’s not that it doesn’t matter. You need to understand what type of conversions happen on mobile. People are more likely to click on a coupon they can show in a store or sign up for information when they’re on a smaller mobile screen. They are slightly less likely to click on a product (or several products), fill out all of their billing and shipping info on a tiny screen, and then enter payment information. You need to know what result to aim for to ensure your mobile port works with your goals.

People Hate Retargeting

Okay, again…this is a more complex truth than just saying people hate retargeting. It’s an undeniably creepy feeling to search for socks on Google and then suddenly see Facebook advertisers want to sell you socks.

The problem is that most people don’t understand retargeting and they don’t like feeling like their right to privacy is being violated. They do respond to this marketing method when marketers use it in the right way. Make sure you are following best practices when retargeting. Cap your impressions, offer an opt-out feature, and make sure your website is user-friendly.

Additionally, consider the message and medium. If someone searches for at-home STI testing on Google, advertising them at-home tests on Facebook via retargeting may be an insensitive choice. The reality is that personal issues like these are often stigmatized, and if they don’t understand that others can’t see the ad, they may feel anxious and unwilling to interact out of fear others will see it like a regular share. Worse yet, they may even report it.

You Don’t Need to Be On Social

Lies – all lies. Mostly. Most brands should be on social media with the exception of sensitive brands and those that are prohibited by law. For example, people who are looking for hemorrhoid cream aren’t talking about it online, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a presence. You just won’t get the type of on-site engagement you’d hoped for and will have to be more creative about sending people directly to your website.

You need to be on as many social media platforms as your team can efficiently handle. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — they’re all major players and you are missing out on huge opportunities for engagement and growth.

That said, no two channels are alike. Your strategies need to be different and should evolve as the platforms change and update.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make, small or large, is listening to too many digital marketing “gurus.” They end up lost in a sea of misinformation and conflicting opinions — and there sure are a lot of them out there. Choose a couple of strategies to implement and move on to the next as you become more comfortable with how each ebbs and flows.

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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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