Over the last few decades the evolution of technology and the internet has hugely changed the world we live in. When it comes to business, the impact of those changes is evident in the explosion of new ways to engage and communicate with customers. Technologies such as the web, smartphones, social media and customer relationship management systems have significantly affected businesses with many now fully embracing digital marketing.
With more and more people migrating online, digital marketing has become more relevant and vital than ever before.
Digital marketing has many invaluable and exciting qualities, such as the speed at which you can implement a campaign and analyse the results. For beginners it can seem exciting yet confusing, especially when there are so many articles on best practices available online. To help you get to grips with it all we’ve picked out three common misconceptions about digital marketing and how to avoid making them.
1. More content means more traffic
Creating engaging content is essential to your digital strategy: the more useful and inspiring the content the better. Yet, you can’t just upload videos or blog posts and expect people to come flocking. The digital space is bursting with content, which means the modern consumer will more often than not skim-read until something catches their eye.
In order to be seen you need to ask yourself if your content is attention grabbing, relevant, concise and shareable. You should also make sure you are utilising any assets available to boost the visibility of your content. Social media, search engine optimisation, pay-per-click advertising and web banners can all be used to your advantage. You can read more about these methods in our Benefits of Digital Marketing blog.
Web design expert Paul Clarke from cloudignite.uk has helped small businesses understand the importance of website content for the past 11 years: “You’d be surprised at how many new businesses with new websites think they can plonk a great looking website on the internet and it will magically generate business.
If you need to drive traffic to your website then I would say that more content is a very good thing, as long as it’s relevant. More pages, with content relating to a broad range of products and services, will provide you with the opportunity to target a wider range of traffic.
Good quality content, not just the volume of it, on a well-structured page is the foundation of any marketing campaign. But that’s all it is – a foundation. The next step is to give it a good push, especially to your target market. Hit the social media channels with teaser posts about your content. If you have a newsletter include information about it in your emails with a direct link to the page. Write a press release with an eye-catching hook outlining why journalists should take notice of your content and direct them to it. Just make lots of noise aimed at driving traffic to your website.”
2. It’s impossible to be heard above the noise on social media
Yes, there is a lot of noise on social media. On Twitter alone, thousands of tweets are posted every second. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from social media. It means you have to ensure you have a well-thought-out strategy behind your efforts. The important thing to remember with social media is that you get what you give. If you tweet intermittently and don’t engage with others it’s more likely that your tweets will disappear into a black hole.
Social media expert and MD at shakesocial.co.uk, Kate Tyler, shares her top three tips for planning your strategy so that you can be heard above the noise: “First and foremost you need to know who your audience is. When writing content you must remember that it’s less about you and more about them. Ask yourself, ‘What do my customers want to hear about?’
Secondly, think about value. What can you do to add value to your posts? Try to move away from the temptation to be sales-led; your audience won’t appreciate this approach. It’s not just about understanding what resonates with your customers, you should also think about how they can learn from what you’re posting. Can you give them any advice or tips relevant to your industry?
Thirdly, I would say being timely is vital. Keep an eye on what topics are trending online but also be careful not to be too opportunistic. There’s nothing worse than seeing a business jump onto a trend that isn’t relevant to them so ensure you are being sensitive. Being timely also applies to working out the best times to post – is it in the morning, at weekends or in the evening? For example, if you are a restaurant your optimal posting times will be different to those of an accountant as you are more likely to post in the evenings.”
3. Mobile optimisation isn’t necessary
More and more customers now use their mobile devices to browse the internet and buy online. This is a trend that isn’t going to disappear; as smart devices get even smarter the trend will continue to gain momentum. So if your site isn’t set up to work on mobile devices you could be losing customers. Simple things like the time it takes to load your webpage on a smartphone or being unable to access all features on different devices can turn customers off and send them to your competitors.
Alex Walker, founder and designer at geekdesigns.uk, specialises in small business web design and explains why mobile optimisation is so important: “Mobile internet usage is on the rise with around 1 in 7 people now owning a smartphone worldwide. Statistics have also shown that 57% of users wouldn’t recommend a company if they felt their mobile site didn’t match up to their desktop site².
Smartphones have become more and more widely accessible, and the advancements in mobile technology make it easier than ever to get online, wherever you are. People are even starting to talk to their phones like they would talk to another person, using voice-activated services like Siri to search online for them.
If you are not sure if your website is mobile friendly then you can check by viewing your website on your own smart phone or tablet. If your website doesn’t fully download, needs to be shrunk with your fingers or is even too small to read as the website shrinks to fit the screen then you should look into having your website made to be mobile responsive.”
With more and more people migrating online, digital marketing has become more relevant and vital than ever before. Common sense and careful research can help you debunk any digital marketing myths and give yourself and your business the best platform with which to prosper and reach your customers.
(1) Source: http://www.clicky.co.uk
(2) Source: http://www.clicky.co.uk