Most of the times, your understanding about digital marketing, digital ads, social media and search engines has already been built based on your experience. In fact, you know more than you think you do. This is the case simply because you use digital all the time. We spend more than 10 hours a day on average in front of an electronic device. That seems crazy until you realize that your phone, your computer at work, the tv, your ipad and your laptop all counts. When you want to buy something, most likely you research it. First you open a browser, you search then you look at reviews or media that helps you choose. If you don’t find it on the first page, more than 90% of the time you just search again until you do. This is exactly how the vast majority of consumers search for everything. So if you want to know what works well in digital, just imagine what works on you. This is where it actually becomes easier to explain why these 3 digital marketing ideas are lies:
1. Having a website means you’ll get traffic.
You can have the best, most fluid and engaging website but unless people know it’s there, it won’t help you. On the flip side, having a terrible or difficult website to use will really hurt your traffic and sales. There are many variables that go into the creation of a good website. Most of the time, our potential clients consider the building part of the site to be 95% of the process and reason for the cost. Planning, testing, setting up connections (like analytics, Google Search Console, retargeting scripts, DNS, SEO, etc) and deployment can take a significant amount of time as well. Missing any of these key components can cause large losses of conversions over the long haul. It is important to note that having a good website is CRITICAL but that doesn’t mean having a good website is ALL you need. Digital marketing needs to be regarded as a tool with many elements, not just a couple that you can choose and ignore the rest. If you don’t have a lot of extra cash to invest into a website, it’s totally OK to use a free or low cost solution to get you through until you do. The most important element is having strong descriptive elements about who you are, why you exist and what you want potential clients to do (call to action).
2. More impressions, clicks, CTR, conversions, back-links etc is better.
I can’t tell you how many times we get new clients specifically from this conversation. The digital marketing industry has changed so dramatically in the last few years that we constantly even have other older digital professionals using terminology that is not longer correct. On the surface it seems like getting more impressions would be better. The problem with that is without context there’s no way to know who the impressions were served to. If you were selling lawnmowers and had 1,000,000 impressions all to people who live in apartment communities then you’ve just wasted your budget. The problem with just looking at impressions is that you have no associated quality value. Google now gives us tools like the keyword planner tool that allows us to have a good understanding not of what we hope people search, but what they actually search. We have setup small wide base campaigns just to see how many impressions we can get for how low of a cost. During these “experiments” we were able to get impressions for a CPM (cost per thousand) of around .45. So for $450 we could provide 1,000,000 impressions on that account. Imagine how amazing that would sound if I promised you 1 million impressions for $450. The problem is, all the impressions were useless. The same goes for all of the other digital metrics as well, clicks, conversions, back-links, site visits, etc. Without some way to make sure that you are reaching your target audience (the actual people who will buy from you) you are wasting your marketing money. Make sure that your agency is giving you the reasons why your numbers are strong. Overall, well positioned marketing will improve the overall bottom line of your business. Just because you had a lot of impressions or clicks doesn’t mean you had more sales.
3. You can just post often on social media and grow your customer base.
This is another wildly under and overestimated part of your digital identity. First, out of all of the digital services that we provide, consistent strong social media management is the one that the majority of clients simply do not have the time to do on their own. First, lets discuss how social platforms are overestimated. You can get someone to post on your page for very cheap on places like Fiverr and such. The quality of these posts will be really low and you will be getting the same post as many other businesses across the world. Just because you are consistently posting on your page, doesn’t mean you’ll have increased sales or community. Look at this in-depth post on CXL about real photos vs stock photography , it’s long but interesting. Essentially what you will find is that society has become so accustomed to seeing things digitally that we know when someone is trying to play us. Here’s an example:
Look at this stock photo and the hilarious title of the picture. First no one will believe this is actually people from your office. Second, do you really feel like this conveys a “portrait of friendly business team standing in isolation”? No, you know that it’s a stock. The article linked from CXL goes on to explain why that happens. So if you think that posting in itself gets you more clients, then you’ll be disappointed. Even when posting daily, unless it’s real, no one will care.
On the other side, social platforms are often underestimated as well. Not posting on your accounts shouts that you aren’t doing anything exciting or relevant. So if you can’t use stock imagery, and you can’t just post for posting sake, what should you do? The answer to that question is to understand why your business even exists. We manage many social accounts and by far the most commonly engaged posts are authentic, real and personal. Your clients and potential clients all want to know more about you. They want to know how they can journey with you and become part of your community. If you don’t let them in to do that, they will move on to a place where they can. Don’t underestimate how much impact both not posting at all or posting authentic media will have on how you are perceived and how your community will grow. This means that often time, the best posts will take you a little out of your comfort zone.
Without some direction there is almost no way to understand all of the aspects of digital marketing and how they all play together. Don’t disregard your instincts when it comes to your business. You understand what led you to be there and you understand what your company is trying to create. A good agency is only there to help you amplify the strong pieces of your business to the people who are already waiting to see it. I often tell new clients that what we offer isn’t just marketing, it’s a way to reduce your stress so that your business can be more successful.