Common Digital Marketing Misconceptions

By Elin Enrooth

No matter what industry a business is in, digital marketing is absolutely necessary.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for marketing efforts that involve the internet, including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), pay-per-click ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing, and video.

Common Digital Marketing Misconceptions

Digital marketing isn’t all that different from traditional marketing; it just requires different tools. Marketing has always been about finding and connecting with your audience, meaning you need to meet them where they already are. Today, there are over 4.33 billion active internet users worldwide, so your customers are most likely online.

Digital marketing is an extremely profitable practice, however, there are many misconceptions that hold small business owners back. Those that are slow to adopt digital are missing out on vast opportunities for growth, exposure, and revenue.

One common marketing misconception is that digital marketing won't help small businesses.

Digital marketing is irrelevant to small businesses

Digital marketing is probably the most effective method for a small business to grow. While large companies were able to dedicate more resources to advertising in the past, small businesses are now able to compete with the advantages that large companies traditionally held over them.

Digital marketing allows businesses to grow internationally
Digital platforms allow small businesses to grow their network and reach customers on a larger scale.

Small businesses are also able to compete for quality results on a small advertising budget. When managed effectively, businesses can control exactly where and how money is spent within their digital marketing strategy.

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is trackable. Through tools like Google Analytics, social analytics tools, and more, businesses are able to gather analytical data and use it to make better-informed decisions. With this accessible data, small businesses can gather important insights about consumer behavior without performing traditional market research. This allows businesses to experiment with different tools to find what works.

One common marketing misconception is that digital marketing shouldn't be part of a business strategy.

Digital marketing isn’t part of a business strategy

With the rise of the online consumer, digital marketing has become a necessity for any business strategy. It is a brand’s main point of interaction with consumers and vital for brand awareness. Most consumers form their first impressions of brands on the internet. According to the Pew Research Center, three in 10 American adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online, and 81% say they go online on a daily basis.

If customers will most likely first find your brand on the internet, your online presence needs to seamlessly represent your brand and message. The most effective digital marketing strategies are those created with the overall business strategy in mind.

Consumers expect digital content as a way to learn about brands. Digital marketing is necessary to raise brand awareness, share your message, and aid in the consumer journey. Without effective digital marketing strategies in place, businesses will miss out on exposure, leads, and sales.

Many small business owners don’t recognize the power of digital marketing. During harder times, they often make the mistake of cutting marketing budgets first. This will not only decrease sales, but keep revenue low. A strong marketing campaign is the reason for the sales in the first place.

One common marketing misconception is that you don't have to have an online presence.

You don’t have to be online if your competitors aren’t

Chances are, if your competitors aren’t online, they will be soon. Stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of the digital space. It will only benefit you to capitalize on their mistake and take advantage of the opportunity to convert consumers without the threat of competition.

Also, your digital competitors may not be who you think they are. Most times, there's a disconnect between traditional competition and digital competition. Even if your traditional competitors aren’t online, you may not realize that the real digital competition is.

Some people mistakenly think that their customers just aren’t online. Rest assured that no matter what industry your business is in, your customers are online. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your product or service is “too boring” to profit from digital marketing. When the right message is targeted to the right audience, it will be received. It’s only a matter of figuring out how to reach your audience.

One common marketing misconception is that mobile optimization isn't necessary.

Mobile optimization is unnecessary

Mobile optimization is the process of optimizing your website for visitors on all devices. It factors in site design, site structure, page speed, and more to account for different screen sizes and load times.

Optimizing your site for mobile is necessary to make sure you aren’t turning mobile visitors away and losing out on sales. Today, the number of smartphone users worldwide is over three billion and is forecast to grow by several hundred million in the next few years.

Ultimately, it all comes down to friction. Friction occurs when there is a barrier to conversion, such as slow page speed. The more friction on a website, the more likely a user is to leave. According to research by Google, 53% of mobile users will leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.

One common marketing misconception is that digital marketing is only necessary if you have a busy website.

Digital marketing only works if you have a lot of website traffic

The goal of digital marketing is to attract quality leads, not as many visitors as possible. A digital marketing campaign should be focused and targeted to the specific consumers interested in your products or services. While you can work to attract hundreds of visitors to your site each day, they won’t convert if they aren’t looking for your products or services.

Granted, the number of visitors to a given website can be a significant indicator of potential customers, but only if it’s the right traffic. More traffic doesn’t mean that you’ll generate more leads. Instead, the right kind of traffic generates more leads.

No matter the amount of website traffic you receive, your goal should always be to reach the users that are more likely to convert.

One common marketing misconception is that SEO only has to be done once.

SEO is a one-time project

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines will recognize it as authoritative and relevant to users. It’s vital for a website’s success, but it’s still somewhat of a foreign concept to many business owners.

Like any other business strategy, SEO requires more than just maintenance. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, competitors are coming and going, and changes must be made to make sure you don’t miss out on ranking opportunities.

Google uses Googlebot, a web crawling software, to find and collect information on the internet to add to its index. This information is used to update its search results. How often Google crawls your site is based on links, page rank, and crawling constraints. These regular crawls result in changes to the search engine results pages (SERPs), which display soon after the index is updated. Sites with high-quality content will get crawled more frequently, so if your site gets few visitors, Googlebot won’t crawl your site as often.

Because Google is constantly crawling the web to update its SERPs, you have to keep your site content up-to-date to make sure you maintain your SEO ranking.

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