Successful digital marketing places the "marketing" above the "digital."
There are a lot of people out there who think that it is the other way around. That all a business needs to do is to set up a snazzy website, perhaps a Facebook page, and then the power of the Internet will help rake in the moolah.
It is not that simple. Nothing in business ever is. If a company wants to actually get the most out of social media and effectively market over the Internet, here are some important ideas which need to be debunked for any small business's sake.
Myth #1: Businesses need a Facebook page
Businesses may like to forget this, but people do not go on Facebook to conduct business. They go on Facebook to look at silly cat photos and to find out what their friends and family are doing.
This sort of atmosphere means that as large as Facebook is, it is not actually a great platform to advertise with. Social@Oglivy showed that only 6 percent of top brands' posts reach their followers, and less than one percent of those followers interact with those posts.
This does not mean that a business should delete their Facebook page. But having an active Facebook page should be a lesser priority compared to other social avenues. Companies should instead focus on a well-designed website as well as e-mails.
Myth #2: Commercial e-mails are useless
Yes, e-mails. Remember that 91 percent of Americans use e-mail daily, while just 71 percent have a Facebook account at all. And e-mail is much more effective at prompting purchases compared to Facebook or Twitter posts.
Of course, businesses must tailor their e-mails so that they can hit the right customers. One key is to not be too personal in sent e-mails. In a time when people are more concerned about their security, addressing them with their name can feel like an unwelcome intrusion of their privacy.
Personalizing an e-mail should rely on appealing to the recipient's interests, not by pretending that the business is his pal. Doing the latter can scare him off.
Myth #3: A successful business social media strategy should have a large amount of clicks
As noted above with e-mail, businesses must personalize their e-mails. This means they have to find a target audience and send e-mails and social media messages to customers who have a good chance of being interested.
This same principle applies for business websites or social media pages. It's an area research has shown many companies are lacking in. If 10,000 people click on a business's website, that is only a good thing if people decide to buy the business's product. Otherwise, all those clicks are worthless.
A business social media strategy that personalizes its website to get the right kind of customers will be much more successful than one that tries to be funny to everyone.
Myth #4: Certain businesses are not appealing enough to merit going online
One successful example of a business which has attracted customers almost exclusively online is the Dollar Shave Club. The company sends razors throughout the country and world via mail, and has attracted attention with some terrific advertisement through YouTube and podcasts.
Who would have thought beforehand that a razor company could succeed online? Not many. But Dollar Shave Club spotted an avenue through which they could appeal to individuals across the country tired of overpriced razor blades, and they have become a major business through it.
It does not matter whether a business sells razors or even cleans toilets. No business should think to themselves that people would not be interested in their service online. This is a trick many businesses are still missing. Steve Brownlie, Consulting Director at Palladous, says, "Ask a litigation lawyer what they would use a magic wand for, and the common answer is - get me more clients - but many fail to actually do the basics right online, enabling those clients to find them."
Just like the regular market, there is a niche for almost any product or service which you can think of.
Myth #5: Traditional marketing is outdated
Digital marketing is growing in importance, but it should be just one part of an overall marketing strategy for your product.
Traditional marketing has plenty of advantages. While it is more expensive than digital marketing, it generally takes up less time, freeing a business up for other opportunities. It can also last longer compared to digital marketing which at times can be swallowed up by the vastness of the Internet.
And no matter how many e-mails or television ads a business makes, no form of advertising is better at convincing a single person than simple word of mouth.
Digital marketing is not the panacea for small businesses that some may pretend it to be. It can take a lot of time, the number of social media platforms can be confusing, and sometimes the reception can be disappointing.
Nevertheless, digital marketing remains vital in the Internet age, and every business should think about how they will transition to this new era and how it fits with their overall marketing strategy. It does not matter whether it is big or small. What matters is that it fits with the audience that a business wants.