So, you launched your business. Congrats. Someone is going to rub some of these Digital marketing Myths on you.
Perhaps your business has been on for a while (the digital marketing myths, surprisingly, still apply).
Hopefully, you have a site that’s built for speed, designed for success, and looks fabulous to boot. You worried about every pixel, you spent every dime on making sure that your website is securely hosted, and you are dancing on your toes waiting for your first clients to show up.
I get it, and I am just like you.
Maybe, I am guilty of showing more enthusiasm than it’s due. In fact, I wouldn’t sleep well before launch, I’d worry about every visitor, click, ad, words on blog posts, comments, and every signup on my email list.
For businesses, startups, and bloggers, it’s hard to dance and show a happy puppy face when your credit card gets billed for Facebook ads or Google ads.
Soon, the excitement wears off.
If you aren’t constantly checking your Google Analytics stats, Mouseflow recordings, or GoSquared/Cyfe dashboard, I am pretty sure you are constantly doing something else:
Worrying that all that traffic is coming in but isn’t doing a thing — like signing up for your newsletter, eating up your free trial, or munching on your crunchy giveaways.
Worrying that you are draining your capital on ads relentlessly.
Worrying that you have nothing to show for all these months (or God forbid years) of work.
Worrying if your product is even worth the dollar tag it wraps around itself.
Worrying if you’ll ever make it.
Here’s the thing: You will make it. We’ll all make it. Only if we persist and if we follow a set path.
You don’t have to believe, like, or get enthusiastic about the “path” itself; just feel good about the journey, the ebbs and flows, and the destination.
But before you do anything, you owe it to yourself to avoid these digital marketing myths like plague:
I know what I am doing
Honestly, you don’t. I’ve been in business 16+ years and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible. And how can it be? Everything changes every single day and when each aspect of digital marketing itself changes all the time.
Facebook ads — changes all the time.
Blogging — the tips, tricks, the strategy, the execution, the debates, and the changes (and did I mention Google’s Updates).
Social Media — SnapChat came up just when you wanted to wear your fancy pants and look good on Facebook.
PPC? Don’t even get me started as I might fall somewhere in the mess between landing pages, ads, tracking, and analytics. Hello? Did I mention Marketing Automation?
But that’s just about digital marketing.
Guess what’s a bigger problem since you asked that question? It’s you.
You are a huge problem with your digital marketing efforts because:
- You might be cheap and hence not do justice to what you’d really need to.
- You insist on doing digital marketing on a “whim”, or because your “competitor” does it, or because you think it’s cool instead of actually treating it as partly science and partly art.
- You don’t have the right team.
- Or you have the wrong people on your team.
- Finally, because “you thought you knew what you were doing”.
I’ll blog and they’ll come
In the year 2006, 7, 8, or 9, this could have been true. Plenty of bloggers who started then now see upwards of 50,000 to 300,000+ page views each month and all they have is content out there. It was possible once upon a time. Just not anymore, as Brian Clark and Chris Brogan rightly talk about in their podcast.
Rand Fishkin of Moz, Neil Patel, and many others started early, did side hustles for as long as their blogs didn’t make them any money, and they did manage to succeed.
But this is not to say blogging won’t work. It can’t be because that’s a completely absurd thing to say:
- Moz.com is what it is only because Rand’s relentless blogging while maintaining a military-grade level of quality.
- Unbounce.com is successful because for blogging.
- Neil Patel kills it with KissMetrics & QuickSprout only because he blogs like a machine.
There are lots of examples. Blogging works. It’s just not as easy as you’d think. It won’t work if you just focus on contracting someone for $2 for every hundred words, and it won’t work if you don’t promote your own content well enough.
Today, it’ll take a lot more — more than the usual pillar content, consistent blogging, promote blogs cycle of advice — for every blogger or every small business to succeed with content marketing.
One piece of advice: don’t think for a moment that just you’d escape the grip of the hustle and avoid having to do kind of “marketing” just because you are blogging.
I Spend & Conversions will Roll
No, they won’t. Sorry to rain on your parade but just by making that statement, you are bypassing basics of business.
For conversions to happen, there are so many parameters that have to fall into place. Together, working to nudge customers towards that funnel (but I hope you don’t make it sound like a funnel funnel).
Because it’s digital marketing that we are talking about, there are hundreds of moving parts that you’d have to stitch together:
— Blogs, parallel content (like infographics, videos, podcasts), social media, and emails
— The offers, the ads, the landing page, autoresponders, more emails, shopping carts.
— The retargeting, those special ads, the matching landing pages, and then those custom autoresponders.
— All the tracking and analytics which’ll lead you to make little changes that will eventually roll into a huge change one day.
Even if a spectacular digital agency or a great team in place, you’d still not be able to crack it if your business, the products, and services are not positioned properly.
Traffic? Who the hell wants that?
There’s an Internet-wide obsession on traffic. Take a cursory look at Flippa and you’ll see some website being sold just on the “traffic” parameter alone. This obsession on traffic is crap.
Traffic means nothing for your business unless you need ego along with oxygen to live. As if this wasn’t enough, you already have meaningless, irrelevant, and fake traffic polluting your analytics.
All this focus on traffic could hurt your business. As Jake Baadsgaard of Optimizely points out,
“All traffic is not created equal”
In one of his experiments, his blog post 6 Killer PPC branding Tactics Even Freddy Krueger Loves got 50-200 clicks per day.
This obsession for traffic also spills into PPC territory. Jake also points to an observation he made auditing more than 2000 adwords accounts. He discovered that an average Ad Words account wastes 76% of its budget.
Over 800,000 people visiting your blog or website only massages your ego. It makes you feel good.
Meanwhile, your servers can crash.
Unless you were relying on Google Adsense or some other popular monetization tactic (which isn’t much to write home about either), none of this means a thing if that traffic doesn’t convert.
My Sales funnel Is a Piece of Art
Earlier, I wrote that you should never point an advertisement at a landing page with a “Buy Now” button on it.
Stop it. They won’t buy
I just want to be clear: you can point if you like to, or if you don’t care enough.
If you do care, here’s how the sequence or funnel or whatever you want to call it should be like:
Ads/Offer — Landing Pages That Match the ad/offer — Give something of value on that landing page — collect leads — nurture leads with care, love, and respect — make a pitch — upsell
People resist. They don’t like to be in you pipeline. Getting into your funnel is already a huge thing for them.
You either make it easy for them to buy from you or prepare to lose them forever.
Take it easy on those Upsells and big yellow buttons.
You can make it classy instead. Smooth autoresponders written with strong, persuasive, smooth, and trusty copy — that can do a better job and help sell more “tomorrow” than the measly $49 you were hoping for today.
Makes sense, right?
Technology is not the Point
Technology helps you run your business better. It levels the playground and gives you just as much rope that Amazon has.
If Amazon can send out smart emails, so can you.
If Shopify can do Facebook ads, you are just a few clicks away from launching your own campaign.
If the big daddy company with the big shiny glass building situated at CBD can do marketing automation, you are just a signup away from using it too.
Obsessing, worrying, and fussing over technology, the SaaS tools is meaningless.
The hundred odd options available for your Social media management, CRM, social brand monitoring, email marketing, membership plugins, and more — these will only distract you from running your business.
Pick one, run with it. You can always change later.
Fuss over technology too much and your competition with a free MailChimp account will kick your butt.
PPC & Retargeting: it’s not this or that
What’s the point in spending on clicks, getting visitors (potential customers), and then not spending on retargeting?
Retargeting is not an option; it’s a mandate.
More than 80% of your traffic leaves your landing pages or website (are you still pointing ads to your website?Stop that too).
Retargeting is almost always profitable. You don’t even need any extra budget for retargeting.
Just split your regular budget depending on how you plan your campaigns, your business, and your target audience.
Assuming that you’d want to focus on both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, split your budget as you need to between all the three.
Or maybe just Facebook ads and retargeting. Or Adwords + retargeting.
Or Adwords + retargeting.
Organic Digital Marketing Is not Easy
I hear this from clients all the time: Blogging is easy, right? Just write on SEO keywords, publish, and we get to dig gold.
You’ll only dig your grave.
It’s only getting harder to do high-quality content marketing.
Content marketing efforts do start with your blog but it won’t end there.
You’d then need to promote your blogs relentlessly. So, you’ll go social.
Social isn’t limited to sharing updates on social networks; you’d want a presence on Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn Publishing.
You’ll want to focus on SEO as a part of your blogging and content marketing efforts. You’ll want to do Guest posting too, all though I personally think that Guest posting it sucks.
All of the above, relentlessly, over and over again.
Plus, did I mention that the writing has to be top-notch?
Shit won’t do.
Digital Marketing Is Inexpensive
With all that work that goes in (above), did you honestly think it’d be inexpensive?
A single blog post worth 600 words might cost you anywhere from $15 to $250 — depending on who you hire.
To make an impact, you’d need to publish on schedule.
Social media management (organic) is about sharing updates, sharing others’ updates, networking, connecting, and being real. Not easy, is it?
What about managing email marketing, managing PPC & retargeting campaigns, building landing pages, and doing marketing automation?
Please do yourself a favor: don’t insult the good people who put in all this for you by making a $50 per month offer. Ok?
Which of these digital marketing myths are killing your business? Did I miss any that you’d like me to add?
2 thoughts on “Digital Marketing Myths: Avoid These”
How are you doing? You’ll be surprised to know just how many medium and large companies do these mistakes and dwell on myths. I get inbound requests all the time — most of those requests have something to do with those myths 🙂
Conversions happen but just like you said, businesses should work on trust, authority, and expertise. Not traffic. I only wish some businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs understand this before they crash and burn.
Great guidance for all bloggers, especially the newbies.
The whole idea is to get conversions. Most of that happens, as you point out, in your email list, or perhaps a bit deeper into your blogging structure.
It almost never happens on sales pages.
Market you content consistently and broadly… not to get traffic so much, but to build trust in your authority and expertise.