In an era when the internet has taken over almost every aspect of our lives, the marketing industry has evolved into several different mediums. We now have various online marketing tools such as social media, emails, websites, videos and search engines that have provided us with new ways to connect with our consumers.
Whether you have an in-house marketing team or outsource marketing to an agency, navigating your way around the digital space can be overwhelming. Finding the best way to showcase your business through digital marketing comes with some myths and misconceptions of the digital marketing world.
But first, what is digital marketing and why is it crucial for your businesses’ success?
What is digital marketing?
According to MailChimp, digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media and web-based advertising, but also text and multimedia messages as marketing channels. It is crucial to your business because it helps you connect with your existing customers and potential prospects on platforms that they are already using in their daily lives.
Every business benefits from different digital marketing strategies, what might work for some might not work for others. Learning how to test your digital marketing and measure results of each campaign is important to understand your audience and what channels work for your business needs. To help you find the best digital marketing solutions, we’ve debunked some common marketing myths.
1. MYTH: Email marketing is dead
There’s a rumor going around that email marketing is outdated. The majority of marketers (78%) say that email is important to overall company success. Many successful small businesses also consider email marketing the best way to reach out to potential and existing customers. Want to brush up your email marketing game? Here are a few things you can do to create impactful emails:
- Research your audience. Before sending out any emails, do research on your audience. Learn who your audience is based on age, location, gender and behavioral factors. This will help you understand what tone of voice and imagery you want to use.
- Determine your goals. Next step is to determine what you want to achieve through your email campaign. Do you want sales? More email signups? Event registrations? Setting a plan for attack will increase your chances in creating a successful campaign.
- Engaging copy. Create engaging subject lines, strong email copy and an action driven call to action. Short, digestible copy works well for email; be considerate of people’s time (and how many other emails they get in their inboxes each day).
- Track success. Lastly, measure your success. Identify your open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, conversion rate and successful send times. This will help you set goals for improvement and track your progress.
For additional resources in building a successful email campaign, check out the article “Email marketing: Providing quality not spam”.
2. MYTH: You need to use every social media platform
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers but not all platforms are worth it for all business types. Analyze the requirements for your business and understand which social media channels can provide you with maximum exposure and audience interaction. Focus your attention on platforms that work best with your business and where it’s most likely your customers will engage with you. Different demographics and audiences will be responsive to different marketing efforts –- it is important to be creating content that reaches all of these groups.
How to determine the best social media platform for your business:
- Talk to your consumers. Ask your customers what platforms they use the most. This could be done through online surveys, in-person conversations or “how did you hear about us” questions within customer communications.
- Build your personas. Building marketing personas can help you understand your consumers, their buying trends and who (and which channels) they trust to get information.
- Build a strategy. Review your metrics across the platforms you are using. The numbers do not lie. Take a look at each platform and identify where your return is the highest. Once you’ve determined your best performing social platforms, start building a strategy that will achieve your goals.
- Content creation. Determine what kind of content will resonate most with your customers and where that content will be most successful. For example, LinkedIn is a heavy B2B audience and mainly used for informational content such as articles or business updates. For Instagram, the focus is on visual appeal and unique captions.
3. MYTH: Having a website is enough
Overloading your website with content doesn’t give you a pass from marketing your services. Work still needs to happen to create traffic to your website. If you don’t develop a solid distribution strategy (e.g., promote your website through digital marketing), you won’t get enough eyeballs on your content that you worked so hard to produce. Remember that an unseen website does nothing for your business.
Some ways to draw attention to your website is through social platforms, email marketing, paid media and a focus on SEO. For example, using email as part of your distribution strategy can send customers to your website, making them aware of special offers or news updates. Find ways to show people that you’re more than just a website but a company dedicated to building a community. Business News Daily shared 12 tips for building an effective business website that follow best practices for your website structure.
- SEO and keywords. Keywords connect your target audience with your website. This will help improve your Google algorithm rankings.
- Gated content. Creating gated content helps you capture your readers email and contact information and offer additional information that showcases your industry knowledge.
- Email sign-ups. Use your website as a place where customers can sign-up to get more information and become a regular on your email list.
- Regularly updating content. Updating your website content increases brand exposure, boosts your SEO and keeps your readers informed.
- Distribution calendar. Utilize a content calendar to maintain all content—emails, blog, social media—to keep your distribution dates in check and set a content cadence for reaching your audiences.
4. MYTH: Marketing strategies are only for big business
Every business needs a marketing plan. This is where all the pieces work together—digital marketing and traditional marketing—to support your overall business goals. Having a marketing strategy also helps keep you on track to create high-quality and unique content. The most efficient way of building your marketing strategy is by understanding your metrics, building your goals and developing a process. When you have a clear understanding of your marketing strategy, every action you take leads towards helping your customers. Developing a marketing strategy builds brand loyalty and a clear path to follow for continuously building your business. Here are some benefits of a written marketing strategy:
- Coordinates company goals and objectives. Reminds you to stick to your plan and not veer away from your original business goals.
- With a structured plan, deadlines and responsibilities are easily tracked.
- Attract new prospects. Create a pathway on how to create awareness that converts into sales.
5. MYTH: Negative reviews are bad for business
Let’s be honest, a negative review is a punch to the gut. No one likes to receive negative feedback. But the good news is that it shows potential customers that you are a real business and your reviews come from real customers. With that said, you should always remember to address negative reviews in a public way. This will show that you care about customer satisfaction. It also creates trust and shows that you are transparent. When customers can see negative comments, it shows that you are a business that can be trusted.
Negative reviews also shed light on issues you can fix. For example, if you’re selling a product that customers complain about easy wear and tear, that is feedback you can share with your manufacturer to improve how the item is being made. Using negative feedback to improve your products can also be a marketing opportunity to show your consumers that you care about their feedback and you have taken action.
If you’re new to business reviews, here are some ways to gather reviews:
- Ask your employees. Who better to ask then your staff! Have them share what it’s like working for your business and what their favorite services or products are.
- Send out an email. Create a campaign specific to gathering reviews. Offer a discounted service or prize for anyone that shares a review.
- Send a letter. Thank a past customer for their business by sending a personal letter in the mail and inviting them to share a review on Google.
- Add a QR code or URL on receipts. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, let customers know how and where they can leave reviews for you online.
Putting effort into your digital marketing is a way to reach new customers and help you retain current customers. It can increase your reach and grow your business! Need some help on content ideas? Download our 50 content ideas for small business or contact us to learn about how we can help grow your business through marketing.