When it comes to marketing, the web can be a valuable tool for becoming educated and staying informed. But unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation and misconceptions on the internet. And rather than being helpful, these marketing myths can be detrimental to your efforts.
Here we’ll identify five of the most common marketing myths and reveal what you should do instead of falling for them.
Marketing Myth #1: You Don’t Need a Website or Email List
This myth takes a lot of different forms. But believers often tout that a website or email list is unnecessary if you have a social media following. After all, if everyone is already following you there, why set up elsewhere?
The Truth: Don’t Rely on Third Parties
Social media is a powerful tool for reaching new audiences. But, it is not a replacement for having your own home on the web.
Relying solely on social media means relying on third-party platforms. And this can be problematic in the fast-moving world of social media. For example, if a platform changes how it works, loses popularity, or goes under, you are liable to lose your contacts and your leads.
On the other hand, your website and email list belong to you. And your connection with your readers through them isn’t reliant on their willingness to sign up for and use a social media account.
Marketing Myth #2: SEO Is Dead
The idea that SEO is dead is one of the most damaging marketing myths that still turns up online occasionally. But when someone says SEO is over, they often mean that the techniques that worked for them before aren’t anymore.
The Truth: Bad SEO Is Dead
SEO is a constantly evolving practice. And some techniques that would have resulted in getting a top position in SERPs (search engine result pages) years ago aren’t likely to be as effective today. They might even be counterproductive.
Link building is a prime example. It used to be that search engines placed a heavy emphasis on the number of backlinks (incoming hyperlinks) a site got when ranking them on SERPs. Many websites then took advantage of this by paying for low-quality links to boost their domain authority.
Several Google algorithm updates later, however, and such practices will not only not work but may get your domain penalized. So instead, more emphasis is now placed on the quality of links a site can obtain.
Of course, that’s just one example. But the point is that SEO isn’t going anywhere. It is vital, however, that you stay up to date with the latest SEO good practices if you want to market effectively.
Marketing Myth #3: Cut Marketing When Times Are Tough
Many companies will often look at their marketing expenses first when cash needs to be conserved. The assumption is that they’ll be able to maintain their position in the marketplace and remain stable until their finances improve. But the reality is that this is not so.
The Truth: Marketing is an Investment
Marketing doesn’t just help your company grow, but it’s also vital to maintaining it. Without it, you’ll not only struggle to win new leads but also start to lose your current customers. And the result can mean permanent damage to your operations.
Of course, this is not to say that no company can ever cut marketing costs. But you must carefully assess the different elements of your marketing budget before making any changes. More specifically, you need to know what costs are unnecessary and which are critical to your long-term success.
The crucial thing here is to realize that marketing is not so much a cost as it is an investment in the future of your business. And assuming your marketing is a non-essential overhead could be a critical mistake.
Marketing Myth #4: More Traffic Equals Success
At first glance, this marketing myth seems like common sense. More people turning up on your site or sales pages can only be good, right? Well, not necessarily so.
The Truth: Traffic Needs to Be Targeted
Bringing more traffic to your site is an integral part of online marketing. But if the users coming to your site aren’t the kind who are likely to become leads, you are only wasting time, effort, and resources. So instead, it’s crucial that you target your ideal customers rather than general audiences.
The key factors to consider here are the keywords and content you use to attract visitors. And one of the most common mistakes amateur marketers make is choosing keywords that are largely irrelevant to their target audience.
For example, targeting keywords like “cars” will not likely attract the right target audience if you sell automobile parts. That’s because, while the search term is popular, it’s too general and will not likely bring in customers explicitly looking for your products.
In this example, you’d do better instead by targeting the words “automobile parts.” You’d do better still by targeting your geographic location, the make of the cars you sell automobile parts for, and the names of specific products. Doing so might not bring in as much traffic, but it will bring more quality leads.
Myth #5: Digital Marketing Requires Technical Expertise
If you are new to digital marketing, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of technical language thrown around. Not to mention all the talk about analyzing data and optimizing content. Indeed, it might leave you feeling that you can’t possibly do this yourself.
The Truth: DIY Marketing Is a Viable Solution
Marketing requires some level of skill. You do need to be able to write, read and use a computer. But contrary to how it may seem, you don’t need to be an expert if you’re just starting.
At its most basic, digital marketing involves creating content that people likely to purchase your products or services will enjoy. And thanks to the abundance of tools online, doing so has never been easier.
Need a website? Use a website builder. Need to create a newsletter? Pick any one of the many email management tools. Want to make videos? Grab your smartphone and upload one to a video hosting service like YouTube.
Of course, professionals do exist for a reason. And as your business grows, you may reach a point where you need to delegate or outsource your marketing. Or you need help to upscale your efforts, or you may find that marketing isn’t something you want to do yourself.
But if you’re just getting started, there’s often no reason you can’t make your first forays into the marketing world yourself if you take the time to learn the basics.