Common Misconceptions in Digital Marketing
Marketing isn’t for everyone, but thanks to digital marketing, its message reaches almost all. The ease of using digital marketing strategies may tempt many newbies into thinking that they’re know-it-all marketing punters.
As professional marketers know all too well, it’s never that straightforward.
We’ll get straight to the point – the biggest misconception about digital marketing is that it can be flawlessly pulled off with little to no direction.
The second biggest myth is that it’s far too difficult.
And many marketers have been found to be guilty of believing in either one of these myths.
The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between. A successful digital marketing campaign hinges on two crucial aspects: planning and execution.
In other words, without an elaborate, thoughtful strategy, your marketing efforts can flounder.
But, when you let misconceptions guide the way, they certainly will.
34% of B2B marketers believe that their company has very sophisticated content marketing (ContentMarketingInstitute).
Here are 14 common marketing myths you need to avoid before planning your marketing strategies:
- Digital marketing isn’t for my business
- I already cater to my customers’ needs
- A friend will help me with marketing
- Good marketing delivers immediate results
- Content creation= Blogging
- Sales are down, I need to cut my marketing budget
- Digital marketing is not for the B2B industry
- Digital marketing is too expensive
- There is no such thing as SEO
- Too challenging to quantify and measure
- Marketing is only needed to acquire new leads
- The Industry is too dull for digital marketing
- Digital marketing is for technical people only
- Our buyer persona is not online
1. “Digital Marketing isn’t for my business”
There is a common misconception that only the big brands get good returns through digital marketing. There is also a common notion that marketing does not work for small businesses.
No such thing!
In fact, small businesses stand to gain more from digital marketing than big companies. Thanks to social media and micro-influencers, you can cultivate a loyal base of customers.
The foundation of digital marketing is word of mouth.
Digital marketing only provides you with a platform to spread the word.
How viral your ideas and products become depend on your business strategies alone. The size of your business isn’t as important as the quality of your strategies.
While some companies will have to work harder than others, it isn’t impossible to receive ample returns by marketing your products and services.
All you must do is express interest in showcasing your product. At some point, people will show interest in buying it.
2. “I already cater to my customers’ needs”
It’s tempting to believe you already know all about your customers. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Customers, like the products made for them, change and evolve. Their current needs and demands shape the products of the future. Just because you’ve solved their problems once doesn’t mean you’re their only option.
Regardless of loyalty, if your competitor offers a better deal than you, don’t be surprised when your once loyal customers switch sides.
It would behoove your business’ interests to keep your loyal customers engaged so that they remain busy with your products and services. Understand your market and its shortcomings, so that you can cater to specific needs.
Never make the mistake of assuming your customers’ needs are constant and are already met – just like businesses, their needs change with time.
3. “A friend will help me with marketing”
Sure, you might know colleagues who are well acquainted with everything there is to know about digital marketing. But, banking on them to help you boost your business can be detrimental.
No doubt, they might be expert marketers. But do they know your audience as well as you?
Do they know their pain points, ambitions, and the specific problems your business resolves for them?
Humans are emotional beings first, rational next. That truth sets the foundation for all marketing efforts, both inbound and outbound.
Effective marketing is all about striking the right emotional chords. While your marketing acquaintances might do it by the book, they’ll may find it hard to connect with your audience.
Marketing isn’t a lifeless procedure or process as much as an emotional journey that means something.
4. “Good marketing delivers immediate results”
This is, by far, the most common myth.
There is nothing instantaneous about marketing, no matter which industry you belong to.
The axiom that good things take time holds particularly true for digital marketing.
The truth is, response time varies from medium to medium. Things tend to take its own course of development; results in marketing are never instantaneous. It’s important to remain patient at every stage of your journey.
Sometimes, even with a great campaign, your sales and figures won’t match what you hoped for. But it’s necessary to remember the bigger picture in the long run. If you keep trying, eventually you will break even.
Remember the story of the rabbit and the tortoise? We all know who won that race.
Patience pays off in the long run.
You do have various tools to examine your real-time reach, but for your content to strike a chord with your prospects, it can take longer than expected. But remember that’s completely normal.
5. Content Creation = Blogging
Blogging is a part of content creation. Another extremely widespread notion is that content creation ends with blogging.
Digital content marketing is much more than blogs, snippets and articles.
If you thought they were it, you haven’t been paying attention to the other forms of content that users consume.
Content can be auditory, visual, and written expressions. From webpages, tweets, and live tweets to whitepapers, eBooks and podcasts, there are plenty of options available for you to dabble with.
Learn and understand how your customers like to consume their content. This information should form the basis of your future content strategies.
According to a report from HootSuite, 3.48 billion people use social media. That’s 45% of the world’s population!
And you thought it would be possible to cater to their needs through blogs alone?
6. “Sales are down, we need to cut the marketing budget”
In a small business, budgets are usually limited. During harder times, it isn’t uncommon to see budgets get slashed just to sustain the business.
But a very common mistake that business owners continue to make is to slash marketing budgets when sales suffer.
This is a very short-sighted and deadly mistake to make. Your marketing efforts are the reason your business has any sales in the first place.
Cutting your marketing budget short in the event of low sales is akin to uprooting an entire plant when just a few flowers have withered.
Without a solid marketing campaign to back you up, your sales will stay low. Cutting marketing budgets will make that much likelier to happen.
It’s a much better idea to focus solely on the departments that are under-performing. Pay enough attention towards the symptoms, and you’ll ensure it doesn’t become a disease.
7. “Digital Marketing is not for the B2B industry”
Several businesses (especially startups) in the B2B industry are staunch believers that digital marketing cannot help them. They believe digital marketing is only effective with B2C, and that they’re wasting their time by trying to use it.
They couldn’t be more wrong. And by believing in it, they’ve lost out on a lot of time.
With so many companies online, both big and small, it’s a big mistake to believe that businesses don’t use digital marketing strategies. Plenty do.
Just check out Hootsuite, HubSpot, or IBM’s social media for example.
Digital marketing can help every type of business grow, be it from a B2B or B2C industry.
LinkedIn is a great place to start if you’re looking to target key decision-makers. And if you’re targeting smaller businesses, Facebook is the way to go.
8. “Digital marketing is too expensive”
Several companies don’t invest in digital marketing because they assume that it is too expensive.
It used to be, when it was just starting out. But as it found more acceptance and popularity, that changed.
Today, digital marketing is an affordable strategy with guaranteed benefits. Depending on your strategies, there are so many options for you today.
It is not difficult to get marketing assistance. There are tons of digital marketing agencies out there today that are ready to provide unique strategies built around your business requirements.
Even platforms like Google, Instagram, and Facebook offer financial support to startups to increase their brand visibility.
9. “There is no such thing as SEO”
The assumption that SEO does not exist or play a vital role in marketing is utterly ludicrous!
In fact, it’s probably the most dangerous myth of all.
SEO has always been important. If anything, its significance has only grown in recent times.
Everything that gets published on the internet needs to go through Google’s complex, ever-changing algorithms before it can rank on the search engine.
And to rank high, you need to know how they work better than your competition.
Ensure that your content which goes up online has enough keywords, and that it creates a positive user experience.
Doing this will ensures that the pages of your website are optimized, and your site’s response improves.
Also Read: 5 reasons why your ranking has dropped
10. “Too challenging to quantify and measure”
This is often the case when businesses are unaware of how things work.
When a company dives into digital marketing, it’s likely that analytics will overwhelm it initially.
And analytics can be extremely confusing if you’re not used to them.
But it’s just the sheer volume of data that can be discouraging. Once you actually get into the finer details, data becomes a storyteller.
But once you’re familiar with them, analytics can be your best friend. They give you valuable insights into a lot of aspects of your marketing campaigns.
Analytics help you check the response of its users, and if your content is effective enough. Based on your analytics, you can tweak your business strategies and implement them.
With each passing day, new applications are surfacing, providing better real-time data analysis.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram even share information on how many people have viewed and reacted to your posts.
11. “Marketing is only needed to acquire new leads”
The main reason most businesses initiate a marketing campaign is to generate new leads.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only reason.
When the number of leads you generate takes a dip, most businesses assume their marketing campaigns are ineffective.
Again, it’s a generalized solution to a specific problem.
What businesses fail to realize is that they need to work on lead nurturing campaigns as much as their marketing efforts in order to convert leads.
While they are independent parts of the same process, they are not mutually exclusive.
It is a good idea to craft strategies that cater to your long-term customers. This is where the 80/20 rule comes into place.
These are the customers who will market your products and services by recommending your brand to others. Focus on them, and take care of them.
12. “The Industry is too dull for digital marketing”
Content marketing is often associated (erroneously) with entertainment.
While some forms of content marketing do have entertainment value, it’s an inaccurate generalization to make.
Content marketing is not just for entertainment. It is used to share valuable industry knowledge as well. The only difference is that it does so with conversational, simplified language.
The death of jargon and buzzwords are not a slight on academic rigor. If anything, content marketing has made information easier to access and understand.
Start by curating content that your customers want to know about.
Start off by answering questions that your clients may probably have. Start thinking like them, and what information they might need in the future?
And remember at the end of the day: even B2B interactions are not between businesses but people. While they are certainly more formal, they don’t mandate that you stifle your creativity.
13. “Digital marketing is for technical people only”
This is another misconception that arises out of sheer ignorance.
One myth believes that digital marketing is too informal, the other that it is too technical.
Both are equally dangerous to believe in.
Being a digital marketer does not mean you need to be a technical expert. While familiarity is certainly a plus, it’s not something that can’t be learned with experience.
All that matters is how you cater to your audience and keep them engaged.
The need for technical knowledge is very limited in digital marketing. With time, your understanding of the technical aspects will grow. Don’t put yourself off it by thinking it’s impossible to learn!
What do you do when you don’t have an audience to reconnect with? You start from scratch. Get to know your audience, target your market, cater to their needs, and start your marketing efforts.
14. “Our buyer persona is not online”
Ten years ago, this statement might have been true. But as we can see, a lot can change in ten years.
The very suggestion that your buyer persona isn’t online is a laughable one now. Given the increase in digital and social media usage, the likelihood your buyer persona isn’t online is very slim.
As more people turn to mobile, the internet has become much more accessible. As a result, more clients who are looking for organizations to meet their specific needs.
In fact, the balance has tilted towards the customer. Customers no longer need to search for the business to fit their requirements. Instead, thanks to digital marketing, businesses look for customers whose needs they can fulfill.
In such a scenario, do you really think you can’t find your buyer persona online?
If you’re a marketer, ignorance certainly isn’t bliss. Yet, many marketers have fallen victim to half-baked facts and it has cost them precious revenue and customers.
It’s only fitting that we sign off with a truth: Digital marketing is a nascent subject that even seasoned experts are still learning about. Its acceptance and growth have been exponential in recent years, and that’s a trend that looks set to remain constant. It will form the backbone of marketing in the future, and we’re truly witnessing the start of something special.
So take your chance, and become a participant, instead of an onlooker!