- Online marketing is an imperative part of a company’s marketing strategy, especially in today’s competitive market with mostly digital-driven consumers.
- The sad thing is that, despite of its inevitable importance, a lot of companies may underestimate the complexity and efforts of online marketing.
- If you want your startup to have a real chance at succeeding in the digital world, learn about the remaining 6 of the biggest myths about it and, by all means, avoid them.
Welcome to part 2 of The 12 Myths About Online Marketing. In this 2 part series, I hope to unravel some of the myths that are commonly tossed around. It is easy to be led down the wrong path with misinformation about how to market online. Sadly, this misinformation can end up costing you not only dollars but also reputation and business. So, here are the final 6 myths... Oh, and if you missed the first 6, you better catch up then.
7. Social Media is not worth the effort
The “social media is not worth the effort or didn’t work for me” myth is often the result of lack of social media strategy. Social Media is worth the effort: you just need to make sure you have chosen the correct social media platform for your business and are posting on these platforms regularly and responding to comments or messages as well. Updating your cover pictures and maybe even adding seasonal covers help give the impression that your social media presence is alive and there is someone there. Yes, it’s a trust thing again. And remember to be social. If you find the whole social media thing overwhelming or time-consuming, you may need help in implementing a strategy to manage your social media or consider outsourcing to a specialised social media company.
8. Sending email newsletters does not work anymore
I get a lot of emails. That is, I have subscribed to a lot of email newsletters and while I don’t open each and every one of those emails, if theirs got a catchy heading/subject line and interests me at a time when I need that information or realise it’s an industry update, then I will have a quick read.
Email newsletters still work… You do need to ensure that you are talking to your target audience and providing them with information that interests them. Keep your emails brief and to the point and link to your website. That way, if a reader is looking over an email, they can quickly click on their area of interest and read/see more on the website. Let’s face it, scrolling down and down through an email is tedious, especially on a smartphone. So keep to the point, add a good catchy subject line and make sure you add links to your website. Also, ensure people can opt out of your newsletter easily. And don’t be offended when they do, people’s interests/jobs change and so will their email habits. And remember not to spam, people need to say yes, they want your emails, this also helps with reader retention and making sure you don’t fall foul of the anti-spam laws.
9. Get loads of traffic and your website is a success
So, the eyes of the world are on your website but loads of traffic to your website is useless if the visitors are not the intended target market. If your website is getting loads of visitors and you are not making sales, receiving enquiries or leads, you need to look at making your website content more targeted and marketing your website strategically to your target audience. You may also need to include some clear calls to action on your website. While it’s nice to be popular, without sales or enquiries your business will not grow.
10. This worked for another company, so that’s what we will do
My mum had a saying, just because “so & so” jumped off a cliff, would you? This saying crosses over to marketing. It’s easy to copy someone, however, if you are not exactly, down to the last employee or product, the same as that “other” company, chances are doing the same may not work for you. Every business is individual even though you may sell the same or similar products or services; the way you do business and are perceived by your customers is not going to be the same as any other business. So, while it’s nice to learn from what others are doing, don’t copy their marketing 100%. Take parts that may work for you and give them your own spin and add and try other forms of marketing as well.
11. I don’t need a website, I have a Social Media page
Oh my, how many times have I heard this one? A social media presence is not the same as your own website. On your own website, you can do what you want; you are not restricted or governed by someone else’s rules and regulations. While today you may be able to sell products or promote freely on a social media platform, tomorrow the rules may change and your business will go down the gurgler. Certainly, have a social media presence, but always link back to your website and let followers know you have a website and they can also deal with you there as well on social media.
12. I don’t need traditional marketing techniques anymore
Traditional marketing still has its place alongside digital/online marketing. While I ran an e-commerce store, I still had business cards, attended business functions, from time to time had flyers printed that I included with the orders. I also included a small bag of sweets and a magnet and you wouldn’t believe the number of customers who commented on what a nice personal touch that was, and yes, the magnet was put on the fridge or given to a friend (as they already had a few – repeat customers!) and the kids wanted mum to place another order so they could get more sweets. Being a product based e-commerce store, I also utilised traditional PR methods and received publicity in leading national magazines, national television, and radio. Utilising print advertising in business or trade publications is also effective in getting your name out there and gaining trust in an industry. So there is still room for traditional marketing methods to work hand in hand with online marketing.
So yes, like every industry there are myths and facts, the online marketing industry is no different.
So do your research and ask questions and find the best overall marketing mix for you and your business, but don’t forget that the web is constantly evolving, so keep an open mind and take a flexible, yet strategic approach to your digital marketing efforts.