George Washington’s wooden teeth. Christopher Columbus discovering America. The Earth’s flat surface. A multitude of the greatest myths throughout history have since been debunked thanks to advancements in science and technology over the past few decades. However, no matter how intelligent modern technology has become, there are still several common misconceptions about marketing that have yet to be left in the past. Before you develop a marketing strategy of your own, make sure you can separate the facts from the fiction behind some of the greatest marketing myths still infiltrating the digital sphere.
Myth: My business should have a presence on every social media platform.
Being on every form of social media is a sure fire way to maximize the number of people who check out your business, right? Not exactly. While your business might technically be seen by more users this way, you probably aren’t engaging with your target audience to your fullest potential by spreading yourself too thin on an overabundance of social media sites.
When it comes to creating a social media strategy, your time and marketing budget would be best spent choosing the platforms that both fit your brand and provide you with the greatest opportunity to reach your customer base. For instance, a B2B software company would have a far higher likelihood of reaching tech minded CEOs on a business-focused platform such as LinkedIn than they would on Pinterest. Alternately, Instagram’s focus on photos and “tap to shop” functionality lend themselves perfectly to a visual company such as a clothing brand.
Prior to starting a social marketing campaign, do some preliminary research to determine the 2-4 social media platforms best fit for your business. Identify your target audience, determine where they are active online, and create a unified look and voice for your brand that will resonate on each of your chosen social media platforms.
Myth: The more keywords I add, the higher my page will rank on Google.
This might have been the case for SEO practices of the past, but keyword stuffers today will certainly suffer repercussions at the hand of Google’s ranking algorithm. Keyword stuffing occurs when someone inserts an overabundance of the same keyword in the copy of one page in an attempt to rank higher for that term or phrase (ie – “Are you looking for NJ video marketing? NJ video marketing is our specialty, and we offer a variety of NJ video marketing services! Want to learn more about NJ video marketing?”). Needless to say, this causes the copy to look cluttered, robotic and anything but user friendly. In an effort to manipulate Google’s ranking algorithm while still maintaining their copy’s integrity, it is also common for businesses to include a hidden body of text where the text color matches the background color in order to stuff their keywords in a less obvious way.
Today, Google’s algorithm is less concerned with how often you use a certain keyword and puts a greater emphasis on how effectively you use said keyword. If Google’s algorithm senses a web page has been keyword stuffed, its page ranking will automatically decline. Instead, include keywords using a strategy that resonates well with both human and computer readers. Spread out the keyword you are trying to rank for throughout your page, including it in titles, subheadings, alt text and the body of your text. Not only is this far more readable to visitors, but you will also reap the SEO benefits from adhering to Google’s best practices.
Myth: The internet works fast, so I should start seeing results almost instantly.
Starting any marketing campaign with this mindset is setting yourself up for disappointment. Overnight success stories are extraordinarily uncommon in any market, and rarely do these stories take into account the months or even years of effort and hardship that company faced before receiving their sudden boom of business.
Like all good things in life, patience is a key component to your company’s digital success. Rather than expecting results at the start of your campaign, focus on setting both long term and short term goals. Establish an overarching goal for where you expect your business to be a year from now (or further), along with checkpoints every few months to ensure you are staying on track. Rather than simply waiting for your overnight success to strike, utilize time as a tool in your marketing arsenal to measure your results and assess how to adjust moving forward in order to reach that long term goal.
Myth: My type of business wouldn’t benefit from digital marketing.
It’s 2018 – if your company is not marketing online by now, you’re probably missing a huge potential customer base. Just how huge, exactly? Approximately 80% of consumers conduct online research prior to making a purchase. If your business does not have an online presence, you could be missing out on as many as 4 out of 5 potential sales.
No industry is above digital marketing in this day and age, and businesses ranging from Mom & Pop shops to mega corporations should aim to expand their digital footprint in order to maximize their reach. While it might not be necessary to employ every digital marketing strategy for your specific business, a beautifully optimized website design, Google My Business profile and a social media presence will set you on the right track towards raising brand awareness and increasing your customer base.
Myth: There’s no reason to invest in a website when there are plenty of templates online.
You’ve probably seen, heard of, or maybe even considered using one of the many online programs that allow you to build your own website in a matter of minutes for little to no cost. This might seem like the perfect solution at first glance – after all, saving time and money is ideal for any new business owner. However, a templated website does little to showcase what makes your business unique and can lead to a host of complicated technical problems down the line.
A website built specifically for your business, on the other hand, provides you with nearly limitless opportunities for customization. This allows you to add more intricate customer experience elements to your website – such as a chatbot – that might not be supported by a more limited template. Additionally, having full control over your website will save you many headaches if something were to go awry. Should a page break, an image format incorrectly or a textbox misalign when viewed on a mobile device, it could take hours to identify and solve a problem that could be fixed quickly in the backend of a website you control fully. Simply put: your business is worth more than a template. It’s worthwhile to invest in a custom built website in order to stand out and provide the greatest customer experience possible.
Myth: Web designers and IT specialists are the same thing.
It makes sense in theory – the person who designed your website would be the most likely person to fix it should something malfunction. However, this typically isn’t the case. A web designer is very different from an IT specialist, and to complicate things further, neither of them are a web developer.
It might seem confusing initially, but there are several key differences that make it easier to tell these roles apart. Your web designer handles all of the aesthetic choices on your website, such as the layout, fonts, color scheme and logo. The web developer then handles the coding, hosting, security and maintenance needed to keep that website running smoothly. The IT specialist typically manages the software keeping that website live, in addition to handling any email issues, hardware failures or website migrations. Web designers and IT specialists might share the tasks of the web developer depending on the size of the organization, but rarely will you see a designer working on IT and vice versa.
Fact: These marketing myths should be forgotten immediately in order to set your business up for success.
It’s important to note that many of these myths were once true in the digital marketing world of the past, and many of the facts presented could change as algorithms continue to shift across various digital platforms. For this reason, it is crucial to keep yourself and your business updated on the latest news in design, social media, SEO and more in order to comply with emerging trends and best practices. If your business has fallen victim to any of the many marketing myths that could be hurting your digital success, it’s never too late to overhaul your strategy. Contact our team today to revamp your business’ digital presence using innovative, modern solutions with proven results.
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