As an industry, digital marketing has always been plagued by rumors and myths about what works and what doesn’t. With a wide array of approaches and strategies available to implement (and each of them with their own diehard advocates), it’s not surprising that there’s confusion about what businesses need to do in order to achieve success with digital marketing.
2019 is no different than any other year in that there are plenty of digital marketing myths making the rounds. Below we’re debunking some of the most common myths about digital marketing that we hear again and again.
MYTH #1: Content marketing is the only thing you need to worry about
Content marketing is a cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy, but its importance has taken on a mythical quality in the past few years. Our understanding of what content marketing is and how it can operate within a strategy is often grossly over-simplified, reduced to the basic recommendation: “Just write more content!”
A better way to think about content marketing is through the metaphor of a wheel, where content is the hub and the digital marketing techniques that support and amplify the content are the spokes. Every effective strategy relies on having quality content at its core, but it needs support from other marketing channels to achieve its purpose.
MYTH #2: SEO is dead
SEO has undergone some massive changes since the early part of this decade, and that level of change has prompted many predictions of SEO’s ultimate demise.
It’s true that SEO as we once understood it (keyword repetition, quantity over quality of backlinks, etc.) is no longer with us. However, the true spirit of SEO—creating unique, valuable content and optimizing it so search engines can crawl and interpret it properly—is still alive and well.
MYTH #3: Facebook is dead
No one can deny that it’s been a rough few years for Facebook. The tech giant has been plagued by bad press, leaks of embarrassing information, and privacy scandals. This, in addition to competition from younger social media platforms, has led to a lot of bold statements that Facebook is dead or, at the very least, dying.
The truth for many businesses is that Facebook still generates the most solid returns of all the social networks on which they maintain an active presence. Facebook remains the largest social network, and while it’s important to be aware of changing market forces and not invest all your resources in a single channel, we’re certainly not ready to declare it obsolete yet.
MYTH #4: More content is always better
Another myth that springs from content marketing’s meteoric rise as digital marketing darling of the moment. Because we tend to hear about the importance of content marketing over and over again, we are sometimes led to believe that we have to generate heaps of content at any cost. With new channels for content cropping up all the time (live streaming, social media stories, and more), it’s all too easy to stretch yourself too thin trying to be present everywhere all the time.
The truth is that very few businesses have the resources to create such a tremendous volume of content while simultaneously maintaining a high level of quality. It’s usually a far better strategy to focus on creating quality content for a select number of channels, rather than spray more low quality content across the web just to say your brand is everywhere.
MYTH #5: Digital marketing can’t generate quick, near-term results
A lot of digital marketing tactics (content marketing, organic social media marketing) take time to generate results. These tactics do not deliver overnight results because the benefits tend to accumulate the longer you invest in them. This has created a myth that digital marketing is not capable of generating results in the near-term.
In fact there are many tactics at your disposal that can generate traffic and awareness very quickly. Paid channels are particularly useful for this purpose. Paid ads in search and social, influencer marketing, and even email marketing can very quickly deliver impressions, traffic, and conversions. It’s still important to optimize these channels, however, as you will be make campaigns more efficient with time.
MYTH #6: The best investment is more martech
The right tools can be a boon for your digital marketing efforts. Effective tools that are strategically implemented as part of a digital marketing plan will help employees work smarter and make better decisions.
However, layering in new technologies on top of your existing marketing stack can quickly become prohibitively costly. Too much tech can overwhelm marketing managers, and tech that hasn’t been appropriately vetted and thoughtfully incorporated into operations won’t be used to its full potential. Don’t be distracted by shiny objects. It’s always better to be strategic about which new technologies you choose to take on.
An abundance of myths about what works and where you should invest your resources will always be a fact of life when it comes to digital marketing. Grand predictions about the future are common in this industry. If you don’t want to be led down the garden path, focus on what you know works for your business and make marketing decisions based on available evidence