There is a large amount of small business digital marketing advice available online. Unfortunately, some of the advice is misleading, or even completely incorrect! In fact, one of the key challenges of digital marketing is determining which tips are useful for your business, and which could be harmful. To help you to discern fact from fiction, this article will highlight 12 digital marketing misconceptions that have been touted on the internet in the past few years.
1) Digital marketing is not important for small businesses
There is a long standing myth in the small business community that digital marketing is only important for the big players. The reality is, digital marketing can open up many new avenues to success for small businesses including:
- New tools for finding potential customers
- Ways to sell directly to customers with little overheads
- Ways to learn more about your customer’s preferences
- Better tools for supporting customers
- Incredible new opportunities for customer engagement (social media)
- Cheaper forms of advertising
- The ability to reach customers in geographically diverse locations and much more.
Digital marketing can be complex for some small business owners, which is why they often hire an online marketing virtual assistant to help them implement their marketing plan.
2) Digital marketing is separate to other marketing strategies
Because digital marketing is such a new field, many business owners have kept it separate from their traditional marketing strategies. However, it should be as natural to your business as putting a new sign in the window at your traditional storefront. Even though the mechanics of digital marketing are unfamiliar to many small businesses, they can be used in a similar way to other marketing strategies.
3) The phrase digital marketing just refers to social media
While social media is becoming an increasingly important aspect of digital marketing, there is much more involved. Digital marketing includes tasks such as managing email campaigns, designing advertising campaigns, A/B testing websites, SEO and much more.
4) Social media marketing is pointless for my company
Some business owners mistakenly believe that social media marketing is pointless for their business because they have a very specific niche target market. There are actually digital marketing services and social media channels to help market a business of any type.
For example, many B2B clients can develop a successful digital marketing strategy on LinkedIn or Twitter. It is simply a matter of carefully tailoring your digital marketing strategy to your business.
5) Negative comments on social media are always a bad thing
Some small businesses are very concerned about having profiles on social media because it gives disgruntled customers a new way to voice negative opinions. In fact, businesses should actively seek out negative opinions of their company online and address them with great customer support.
Having an active social media profile sends a great signal to other customers that you care about customer satisfaction and want to engage with your customer base. If you can turn disgruntled customers into fans of your business and other customers see you do this, it is a huge win!
6) SEO is no longer useful
Dozens of bloggers have been making the claim that SEO is dead in recent years. Sure, some specific SEO techniques are no longer worthwhile, but they have been replaced with dozens of new strategies including social media marketing and content marketing management.
7) Once setup, most SEO campaigns can run on their own
Many people mistakenly believe that once an SEO campaign has been established and is proven to be successful, it will be viable for a long time. They continue to put the same level of resources into the campaign and assume it will continue to achieve great results.
The reality is, most factors relating to search engine optimisation are in constant flux. Search engine algorithms change, your competitors put more resources into their campaigns, new competitors start their businesses, and so on. SEO campaigns should be revisited on a regular basis to ensure they are still effective.
8) I can use a digital marketing tool to do the work for me
While there are some tools that can automate specific digital marketing tasks, they cannot organise a campaign like a professional digital marketing coordinator. You should be extremely wary of any software tool that claims to handle every digital marketing task.
9) It’s pointless to optimise a website for mobile
This is a common myth that many small business owners believe. The reality is that the market share for desktop computers has shrunk rapidly in recent years and mobile will soon be the dominant platform. Users are already accessing information and buying heavily on mobile devices and if they aren’t converting on your website, it’s your fault. An additional bonus to optimising for mobile is that Google now uses mobile-friendliness as a search engine ranking factor. So if you don’t improve the mobile optimisation of your website, customers may use a competitor’s website instead.
10) It can be difficult to gauge the success of digital marketing
Many business owners are wary about spending money on digital marketing because they don’t believe they can gauge the success of their actions. There are actually some very comprehensive and powerful software tools which make tracking the results of digital marketing campaigns easy.
Google Analytics is one of the most useful tools and is capable of tracking where website traffic has come from and how well marketing campaigns are converting. It has become simple to track the results of digital marketing and your return on investment.
11) Making your business stand out online is impossible
While there are a lot of competitors online, there are still plenty of ways you can make your business stand out with digital marketing. By researching your competitors, developing an online strategy, focusing on customer engagement and promoting the best attributes of your business, you will stand out from the pack and do well online.
12) Digital marketing does not work on older people
Some businesses that are specifically marketing to older customers have the mistaken belief that digital marketing is not effective with this demographic. The reality is that most older people love to use the Internet and are flocking to social media. Research from 2014 indicates that 56% of online adults who are 65 and older use Facebook. Business Insider reports that 35% of all adults older than 65 are using some form of social media.
These users are exposed to your digital marketing campaigns and are interested in engaging with your business via social media. You have a fantastic opportunity to communicate with your customers and gain an advantage on your competitors.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these 12 digital marketing misconceptions! If you think you might need virtual assistant marketing support for your business or would like to learn more about our entire executive virtual assistant service call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.