A good friend of mine advised that “Marketing is a bit science, and a bit art”. This was wonderful advice, though not all things that I’ve heard be told about Digital Marketing have been as wise. Because most marketers aren’t coming to me with poor advice, below are some common misconceptions I’ve heard clients repeat that I’d like to nip-in-the-butt before anyone else gets a bad surprise:
- You can DIY your marketing efforts for less cost and equal reward: I would bank that many people don’t have the time, or the desire, to learn well enough to produce at equal value to a specialist. Like many things, it’s efficient to pick and choose where you allocate your time, and work with your team to help in what’s left. Want to build your own website? Do-able, and a good DIY option with wonderful tools found with wordpress.com, squarespace.com, etc. Inbound campaigns, however, may be something to employ. Why? Because marketing, especially on social media, may look like fun and games, but it usually takes a lot of learning in technology, psychology, and economics (plus several runs of trial-and-error) before hitting your mark. Many experts work in only a single asset (Facebook Ads for example) because there is just that must to know about each marketing outlet. Also nice to know is that everything online runs using a complex algorithm, so, in other words, the world of online marketing is set-up so that you can’t win if you cut corners.
- Social media services should be inexpensive- it’s easy and not real work: There certainly was a time when many businesses had to be persuaded to invest, at all, in their social media marketing (SMM). Fortunately, most companies now recognize how influential, and important, it is to use social media to brand themselves. Social media is used majorly for entertainment, which also leads to why its not an easy space to climb to the top. Organic posts or stock photos? Funny voice or caring? Hire influencers or use unfamiliar faces? Post photos or videos? Color scheme and style? For a business, how well you represent yourself online hugely impacts how well you are received by a social audience. Customers call the shots these days, so it takes ongoing strategy, branded and captivating content, and a growing list of followers to begin building trust with your audience. As it sounds, it takes time and experience to do these things, and as we all know: time is money.
- I am paying for marketing, so my company should pop up at the top of the page when people search my industry on Google: I wish it were this easy. If you’re not referring to “ads”, then you’re likely thinking of SEO. SEO is a long game – long as in at least a few months of churning out key content, linking and keeping a very close eye on copy. Specialists have to play a Google game to keep on top, and it is a hard game to play. Measurables are a bit vague and you usually don’t track sales from this effort directly either. Another thing to keep in mind: the more saturated your industry, the more challenging it will be. For this reason, I would always advise a specialist with a proven track record. I understand that this is a tough purchase because it is one of the more costly digital marketing services, and it takes time before you see results. Sounds like you’re being hard-balled, so I would like to add that when you give it a go the results you get last longer after you stop paying than they would if you were simply paying for ads. With this in mind, the service is priced accordingly (time + longevity). SEO is an important strategy to beating out competition, yet depending on your immediate goals, one that should be looked into – patience, is a virtue.
Digital Marketing has gone from small to huge in just a decade, and continues to grow. Look into your provider, and ask questions before partnering with an expert. After a few interviews you’ll have a good feel for what prices are fair, and who is pulling your leg.