5 Big Digital Marketing Misconceptions

In this podcast, I talk about the common Digital Marketing Misconceptions people have. With over 15 years of industry experience I share the common misconceptions that still come up online.

Transcription of Digital Marketing Misconceptions podcast:

The illusion of online marketing is fascinating. So much information is out there, which is pulling for people’s attention in different directions. It’s far too often that we hear about the next big thing and we see this wave and a trend towards it. In the process some have success and many do not. 

Why does this happen? It’s because of the marketing, the budget behind someone’s campaign, the re-targeting, the adverts, the noise that gets created around it to pull in that small percentage of people who purchase enough to make the advertiser profit. This is what marketing is, it’s a polarization of emotions, benefits, features etc,  all geared up to help you, the consumer, get the advantage over your competitor and make you a ton of money in the process.

Sometimes what you get is nonsense and sometimes it’s really good quality products that work and get results. 

Sometimes it’s the consumer themself who actually take action to carry out what it takes to make it happen and sometimes we ourselves just don’t do anything and hence it won’t work for us. No action = no results. 
But most often it just seems to be another one of those courses, software or widgets which then slowly mellows out until that next big thing.

Over the years, I’ve found there to be 5 big misconceptions that exist around success online. In the noise of it all people tend to think these 5 things are  the truth. And it’s the same few things that others keep marketing in order to get you you’re so-called success online.
So what are these 5 things ? Let me just quickly list them and then I’ll go over them in a bit, there is a lot that can be spoken about as each one of these points is an industry in its self and Topics for others blogs and podcast in the future perhaps. 

Ok so the 5 big main Digital Marketing Misconceptions are:  

1 – Having the best looking websites, designs, etc

2 – Massive Social media presence and followers 

3 – Facebook ads

4 – Funnels 

5 – Software  & Technology

 So let’s look at the first thing – Having the best looking websites, designs, and blogs

The misconception here is that if I have the best looking website and designs and blogs then I will be successful online. And in isolation this is not true. You don’t need the best-looking websites , best graphics or something that is different just because you want to be different from the others… 

Being in web design there seems to be this myth that as soon as I get my website, its all over and I will get tons of traffic and very successful, people think that just by having a website all of a sudden they will be exposed to the world and the masses will come. The truth is this does not happen. The example I use with people is to imagine an island in the sea. On its own if there are no bridges, pathways or boats to the island how will anyone get there? You have to build the bridges, pathways and boats to carry people there. In the online space that translates to quality content, seo and back links , general online and offline marketing, you need ways to direct the traffic to the site. And without these pathways how will people know in all this noise that you exist?

So in isolation having the The best looking websites, designs, etc won’t do anything for you business if people don’t see it.

If you are a new start up and/or even an existing business, you have to get active and build into your daily life ways to get people to see you online and that takes work and effort. 

Check the stats – we use to add analytics to all sites and where stunned with what we found, which sites where getting more traction and what they where doing while others where getting next to nothing because of no activity. The data will show, in isolation a website online on its own will do nothing for your business. 

Ok so the next Misconception is – this myth of having Massive Social media presence and following  –  people think if I have a massive following then its all over , I’ll have lots of leads and I’ll be rich and famous. 

So here’s the thing. Fame does not equate to money in the bank. There are plenty of people and influencers who have massive followings but no conversion mechanisms, not products or services in place to yield an ROI . Also the other thing is if you don’t have products and services that you can direct people to then frankly all your social media is a waste of time. In a business sense wouldn’t you want the traffic to actually go somewhere so people purchase a product or service? The number of follows does not equate to lots of traffic. What I mean by this is that industry averages on open/click-through rates are based around 1-3%, anything higher is decent and better the higher the conversion percentage. So basically what this means is that if we went with 4% if you posted something and 100 people saw it only 4 would click through, and then after that point its another industry average is 1-6% so you see in the end you may only have a few people who actually see your offer and if those people are not your target audience then  it’s kind of wasted. But the idea is to have targeted traffic so make sure your offer is aimed for the relevant market and solve a specific problem.

The next Misconception is Facebook adverts. Lots of people do end up wasting tonnes of money if they don’t do this properly. It’s not easy to get an advert that works in a massive way as a lot of split testing and multiple adverts have to be shown in-order to find the ones that convert the best. You have to test it, in-order as simple as that. But if you have a solution to a problem and you know your target audience inside out, then putting something together becomes that little bit easier to make sure your ads are delivered to the relevant person. 

A lot of research and testing is needed in order to get this right. So in isolation facebook ads are not recommended until you have a solution to problems that’s been tested and you are at a phase in your business where you should be using adverts to help drive traffic. For example in my Digital S.I.M.A.C method I have 12 steps. And in that paid advertising come under step 8. Which means there are a 7 other business aspects which should be in place before you get to the paid adverts a whole heap of other things which you should have in play before you work on paid advertisements. 

The fourth Misconception is funnels. People think that if they have a funnel then they will smash it online. This misconception is partially true. Again in isolation and without the right offer for the right target then its a waste. Just having a fancy funnel or system does not mean success online. It has to be crafted in a way that resonates with your target audience. At the core to all of this the key is to have a solution to a specific problem that you can help solve. If you can solve a problem then you can have success online. In isolation a funnel which as not been thought through is again just a waste of time a money. When we work with clients a funnel is step 6. So as you can see there is a lot of ground work that should be looked into like what problem do you solve, how do you solve this , who is it for and what do they get. 

The fifth Digital Marketing misconception is software and technology  – so many times I get clients talk who say, “Oh I just saw this funnel thing , we must use it, oh I saw this and we must use it, this new soft does x etc” . And my question to them each time is why do you need it and do you really need it now?

 In business people sometimes think they need the latest greatest software. And I always say to them do you need it at the moment? If you are a start up can you afford to use this now or is it something that can be looked at later when you actually have a business that is making  you money? 

There are may ways to do many things. And realistically it all depends where you are on your journey in business. For example if you just started up, it’s madness to be spending 300£/$ on a software without an ROI from your business to cover that cost. I mean look at it 300  / month is 3600 over the year, that’s a huge amount if you have not got your business off the ground. 

One of my mentors says as soon as you have made your first sale you are now in business. Rinse and repeat this process to reach a certain target and then look at what the next step is to grow your business further. If you don’t need it, don’t wast your time and money. If you are in a position to get the software because it actually now saves you money then it’s worth getting. 

It was a few years in to my web design business where I got to a stage that I needed a way to manage clients. Up until this point we where doing this manually, maning domains , hosting , web projects. Until one day we came across a software that was designed for web agencies. That initial thought that crosses a business owner’s mind, oh I have to spend money. But it was the best money I ever spent, it allowed me to grow as I had a system in place to manage clients.

It’s important to see where you are in business and if what you are about to purchase will benefit you at this current stage of your journey. Will it be an investment that helps you serve your clients better. And look at where you currently are. Only spend on things which will get you a return on investment. My dad says only spend money on tools you need. He’s a builder so he’s always getting some tool but only when he needs it to help him. This sound advice as has served me well.

Getting caught up in the digital noise is what takes us away from what’s important. Your end goal should be to a problem solver. Help your target audience solve their problem, listen to the market and then deliver on that. 
I’ve seen these misconceptions come into play time and time again. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many people go down a path because they thought it will get them more results, they have jumped ship because of false expectation in the noise. Jumping from one software to another, one provider to another, from this thing to that thing when they simply have not given them self ample time to make something work. 

When the truth is they have not focused on what is working in their business now and looked at how best to expand and scale on that. The truth is that there are some key things that need to be in place before you shift your attention on working on these misconceptions for your advantage with the bigger picture in mind. 

In simple terms know the problem you solve, know your target market and then give them the solution that helps them get out from a frustrated state to into a liberated state/place.

If stuck get a coach or mentor to help you. We have to keep learning and growing in order to help others. Get focused and disciplined to work on making your business work and take off and not waste time from jumping from one thing to another in isolation and without a complete business strategy. 

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