People like to question reality, even if the reality is right in front of their faces (looking at you, flat-earthers). Perhaps unsurprisingly, people spread some misinformation about digital marketing and its efficacy. But rest assured, digital marketing is as important of an investment as ever. Here are some digital marketing facts to debunk 15 common myths we’ve seen bounced around the web and to teach you what digital marketing really is.

Myth #1: Only Large Businesses Need Digital Marketing

The Truth

While there was perhaps a grain of truth to this at the dawn of the internet era, the industry has evolved since then. Technology is now easily accessible to everyone, meaning even the smallest companies can use the same tools as industry giants use to market themselves. You should use every marketing tactic possible if you want to see your company grow and gain qualified leads, and that includes implementing a digital marketing plan.

Myth #2: Content Marketing Isn’t Very Important

The Truth

Some people believe creating a website is all you need to do. “If you build it, they will come.” While this advice proved helpful for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, it is objectively terrible advice for literally everyone else. It’s not enough to grind out a creation, you have to nurture an audience with content. 

This content will help you get found on search engines when you use proper SEO strategies and can convey a positive and helpful message to your target audience. In fact, companies that use content marketing see nearly six times better conversion rates than companies that don’t use content marketing.

Myth #3: You’ll Always See Instant Results

The Truth

Digital marketing can generate some seriously impressive results, but it takes time. Some people make the mistake of thinking their campaign isn’t working, because they aren’t seeing same-day results. And while some do see awesome results from a viral marketing campaign, those are the exception, not the standard. Good digital marketing involves steady and consistent effort to see increasing and long-term results.

Myth #4: You Need to Target Every Social Media Platform

The Truth

You want to be everywhere your target audience is, but some people only hear the “you want to be everywhere” part. Each social media platform has a certain demographic associated with it. For example, the majority of 45-60-year-old men aren’t very present on Instagram. So if that’s your target audience, Instagram wouldn’t be very effective, and you wouldn’t see a very good return on investment. You want to inject your energy into the channels that matter most, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

Myth #5: PPC Is More Powerful Than SEO

The Truth

Speaking of spreading yourself too thin, investing all of your time and effort into PPC will do just that. PPC, or pay-per-click, is a marketing model where you pay for ads and clicks to drive more traffic to your webpages. PPC does provide immediate results that will have your team hooting and hollering in the short-term, but it won’t give you the consistent results you need to stay ahead. 

With SEO, you’re investing in a long-term strategy to attract more qualified leads; better yet, every visitor and conversion you get is free aka pure profit for your business. Seventy percent of marketers report seeing more traffic, leads, and sales from SEO than pay-per-click (PPC) methods. 

And sure, SEO might take longer than PPC, but as we mentioned earlier, good marketing involves consistent effort to win lasting results. Besides, 70 to 80 percent of users ignore paid advertisements! So investing in SEO will not only save you more money, but it will also give you the long-term viability your business deserves. 

Myth #6: Retargeting Ads Will Freak People Out

The Truth

Ad retargeting is the practice of continuing to show your ads to potential customers after they’ve visited your website. Some customers feel like this is a tad creepy, as if your company is following their every move. But retargeting works. It’s actually one of the best ways to encourage people to stay on your website, increasing conversions by 43 percent. 

Myth #7: Keywords Are All That’s Important for Good Content

The Truth

While keywords are incredibly important, content requires so much more to be truly effective. Keywords help your content be easily discoverable, but an overemphasis of keywords can lead to keyword stuffing, which is a bad SEO strategy that will get you flagged by Google and incur hefty penalties. So yes, keywords are important for good content, but so is writing something that will be genuinely useful for your audience.

Myth #8: You Should Target as Many People as Possible In Your Ads

The Truth

If you make a Facebook banner ad, it should appeal to everyone who’s on Facebook, right? That will get you more customers, right? Wrong. So very wrong. When you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. There’s no target in your messaging, which results in a watered-down ad that no one can relate to. Plus, if you’re not sure who you’re trying to talk to, you can’t expect anyone else to either.

So, instead, pick a target audience and figure out what messaging would resonate with them. A sharp focus on a smaller group is much better than a muddled focus on a larger group.

Myth #9: People Think Email Marketing Is Just Spam

The Truth

Maybe people think this way, because they personally haven’t clicked on many emails in their lifetime. And it’s true, email has relatively low click-through rates when compared to Facebook Messenger ads. But email marketing actually still has one of the highest return-on-investment (ROI) in marketing. On average, you’ll see a $42 return for every dollar spent. Neglecting that kind of cash would be a major loss.

Myth #10: Digital Marketing Won’t Help Storefront Sales

The Truth

The logic behind this myth is that digital marketing will be much more effective for getting traffic to an eCommerce website. But with today’s technology, it’s just as easy to compare the effect of a digital marketing campaign to the sales of a brick and mortar location. 

Myth #11: You Can Only Get More Traffic By Spending More Money

The Truth

More of one thing does not always guarantee more of another thing. Like any investment, you want to put your money where you’ll see the highest return on investment. So while you can pay $1 million on a hilarious ad campaign and see $2 million in return, this is still only a 2:1 return. That’s dwarfed when compared to that email marketing figure we mentioned earlier (42:1).

But this shouldn’t deter you from spending next to nothing on marketing and advertising. You definitely need to spend some money, but take time to decide what will be the most worthwhile investment.

Myth #12: You Don’t Need to Be Online If Your Competition Isn’t Either

The Truth

You shouldn’t see this as an excuse, but instead an opportunity to get a competitive edge on your competition. Think of it like this: if you were the first sandwich shop to open in a new neighborhood, you’ll have a much better time getting customers simply because you’re the only game in town. The same goes for the internet. And going online with a marketing strategy already in place will only accelerate your results .

Myth #13: Mobile Customers Don’t Convert

The Truth

This myth has some heavy truth to it; mobile users convert much less than desktop users. The trend is attributed to a number of factors, from blaming the small size of the screen to the checkout interface. 

No matter the reason, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize your website for mobile users. Chances are, internet users who first visit your webpage on mobile will then convert on a desktop. But if your website looks awful on mobile, their journey will end there, and you’ll never see the conversion.

Myth #14: Reputation Management Is Only Necessary During Company Crises

The Truth

Reputation management and PR strategies should be a constant presence for your company. They manage the minute complaints and public perception of your brand, like dealing with negative online reviews and tailoring your brand image to be more positive. While the scandalous affairs get more media attention, it’s the small and simple changes that make reputation management so effective.

Myth #15: Marketing Automation Takes the Humanity Out Of Marketing

The Truth

People tend to have this perception that automation will make your marketing messages sound robotic or impersonal. But the only “human” thing marketing automation takes out of marketing is human error. Automation will help keep all of your marketing plans in order, making it easier to notice discrepancies. If anything, automation makes it easier to personalize  your marketing, because you no longer have to spend time on repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

Be a Mythbuster

Hopefully this was enough proof to tell you the facts about digital marketing. You can just take our word for it, but the best way to prove these myths wrong is to experience the reality firsthand. By putting these marketing initiatives to the test, you’ll see lasting results that will make you a proponent of  digital marketing.

Of course, it’s useful to have a guide through this process. Big Leap can help with that. Contact us today to get a tailored marketing plan that is right for your business needs and prove all of these myths wrong.

Jack Greaves