There are many myths surrounding digital marketing solutions. It’s rare to find a CMO in the digital trenches with a full understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Let’s review these 15 digital marketing myths and their corresponding truths:
1. SEO Can Be Set It And Forget It
“The idea that SEO is a one-time project, or a project that requires the same amount of resources over regular intervals, is a faulty one. Like any other channel, it requires more than just maintenance; it must involve a cycle of testing and re-strategizing that can dig up reasons to increase (or decrease) resources.
Search algorithms change all the time — content and SEO strategies have to be revisited at least yearly to make sure they’re still effective.”
2. I Can Buy A Tool For My In-House SEO Team, And They’ll Be Golden
Marketing tools make your life more efficient and automated. But tools can never “replace human talent, intuition or foresight.”
When you put all your eggs in the tools basket, you can “become pigeon-holed in a vertical, which actually leads to a narrow perspective and lost understanding of the overall space.”
3. SEO Is Dead
As with any other function of marketing, SEO is constantly evolving. Naturally, it’s going to look different today than it did a few years ago. “It’s much more interdisciplinary, and mere keyword optimization and proper site architecture won’t get you as far as it used to. But it’s also grown to incorporate hugely important initiatives like UX, conversion rate optimization and CTR optimization.”
4. Social Is A Top-Of-Funnel Channel
This was the truth before social evolved. Today, platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn allow marketers to target ads and collect prospect data which have turned social into a more bottom-of-the-funnel direct response channel. “For many brands, social is the largest driver of new customer acquisitions and customer retention.
Social is all about people-based marketing; it allows you to reach the right people at the right time with the right message.
5. Social Can Only Work For A Few Select Industries
Social can be an efficient channel for just about any industry. With that said, not all social channels are created equal, and you shouldn’t put equal emphasis on each channel.
B2B companies should focus more on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, while B2C companies are better served on Instagram and Pinterest.
6. Negative Comments On Social Are Bad For Business
Legitimate customer concerns around your product or service should be addressed head-on and considered golden opportunities for education and for allowing your customer service to shine.
Do not hide legitimate concerns or comments; instead, provide a very thoughtful response with the option to call or email customer service for further assistance, and make sure someone is following up internally to solve those issues before they become widespread.
Is it emotionally hard to see critical feedback? Of course it is. But you can turn it into a useful source of information and goodwill for your business.
7. Once You’ve Done A Cycle Of Creative Testing, You’re Done
Testing is an ongoing process; it’s not something you should ever stop doing. “You should constantly be iterating on your pages, no matter how awesome the first wave of results might have been.
But don’t test just to check off a box on your to-do list. Base your testing on a hypothesis.
8. You Should Constantly Be Redesigning Your Pages/Site
Only redesign when it makes sense to redesign. This means you need to be constantly testings your landing pages and website to determine if and where a redesign should take place.
All of your decisions need to be based on data that back up the decision.
9. All Creative Needs To Be Flawless
The axiom ‘never let the perfect get in the way of the good’ is wisdom you should live by where creative is concerned. Get it good, then test it.
Don’t lose time; get data
10. SEM Is Not Good For Branding
It’s true that a channel based on intent is not the right choice to acquire new customers; if they haven’t heard of you, they won’t search for you.
That said, bidding on competitor terms is absolutely fair game, and there are ways to make big non-brand head terms more affordable than you think.
Beyond all that, SEM is critical in preserving brand reputation; you can reinforce brand messaging and keep your competitors at bay by dominating the SERPs for your brand terms, for instance.
11. You Can’t Afford To Buy Big Head Terms On SEM
If your team is doing its job, you know the people who have already been to your site.
With search retargeting, you can buy head terms for just those users — who will generally be more familiar with your brand and therefore closer to conversion.
12. Attribution Is Overwhelmin
Attribution technology is absolutely overwhelming. Attribution options (last click, first click, Time Delay, game theory and so on) can be overwhelming
But there’s a lot you can accomplish just by setting up conversion pixels and Google Analytics accounts correctly — and if you’re a B2B, making sure your CRM is integrated with your marketing efforts.
13. Last-Click Attribution Is Best
“Well, it’s certainly the easiest to track, but last-click attribution gives inordinate weight to direct-response channels (SEM, Facebook) and completely devalues upper-funnel channels that introduced you to users in the first place.
You can make an argument for (or against) any attribution models, but if you go with last-click attribution, make sure you have some proxies to gauge the value of your upstream channels — otherwise, you risk cutting off the flow of discovery and shrinking the funnel itself.”
14. People Don’t Convert On Mobile
The mobile experience is very different from the desktop experience. The device displays are completely different sizes for starters. That being said, mobile users need simpler forms and experiences than desktop users. “Asking them to replicate the desktop process on their mobile phones is aiming for the wrong conversions.
15. Retargeting Is Creepy
If you’re not following best practices and etiquette for retargeting, you’re definitely going to make some potential customers uncomfortable. “But done right, retargeting (or remarketing, as Google calls it) simply re-engages people who are already familiar with your brand.
Glenn Gow is an expert in marketing performance, Coach, Board Advisor, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host and Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. To get a free copy of Crimson’s One-Page Marketing Metrics Funnel, visit here.