As professionals, we love the opportunity to learn and grow from other surrounding firms and agencies. After all, exchanging marketing advice is one of the best ways to push yourself to the next level in any career path!
Unfortunately, not everyone who is in our field is in it for the right reasons. Below, we will share some of the red flag comments that we have either heard ourselves or a client has told us they have been given the advice.
***DISCLAIMER: If someone gave you this advice, it DOES NOT mean that they were sharing with malicious intent. Someone may have just misinformed them. This post is meant to serve as a resource to businesspeople that have questions about marketing their organization. It’s intent is to help them go down the right communications path for their organization.
Without further ado, here are three common misconceptions we hear about digital marketing…
“Once you get your website up with the right keywords, the leads will start rolling in.”
You might have heard this or something similar from a website developer or a salesperson trying to convince you to buy a new website for your company. Here’s what’s wrong with this sentence: 99.99% of the time, marketing your business is not a “get rich quick scheme.”
Particularly not with websites.
In reality, here’s what happens when your new website goes live:
It will take Google anywhere from 4 days to a month to properly index your new website. This means you might not even be regularly showing up in those organic search results until four weeks after your launch date.
Generating leads from your website takes more effort than just plugging in the “right keywords” to your content. You have to be sure to do your research on who will be using your website, what “paths” they are likely to take on your site, and what it will take for someone to submit their information to you.
Also, be careful when someone mentions the “right keywords.” Which leads us into the next red flag comment…
“You have to write your content for SEO first, and then for your audience.”
There are basically two schools of thought on SEO. There are the diehards that only optimize for SEO; and also the ones that completely disregard the principles because they want to be “authentic.”
But any good marketer knows that there IS a middle ground – and it’s where you want to be.
According to Google (the largest search engine in the world) the most important tool you have to rank well organically and in digital ads is the relevance of your content for your audience.
Sometimes, web developers, content writers, and clients are so held up in making the site optimized for SEO, that they forget who they are building the site for in the first place: the organization’s audience!
So, we’re not saying you shouldn’t take keyword research, meta descriptions, and alt text into account. In fact, these are all great things to include after you have written the initial content for your site.
What we are saying is to write your site’s content for the actual end user FIRST. This will, most importantly, create a happy audience base. It will secondly make organic and paid rankings easier in the long-run since you will be starting with real, authentic content.
“You just need to focus on social media for your marketing, and that will sustain you.”
This advice has thankfully started to die down in the last 18 months or so, but you may still come across it or heard it before.
At Holmes, we are BIG fans of social media for organizations to connect with their audience on a more personal and authentic level. But there is more to reaching your customers than posting funny pictures or personal videos on Facebook.
If you’ve ever taken a finance class or spoken with a financial advisor, you have probably heard the idea of diversifying your income. It basically means you shouldn’t just rely on one source for your income. You should invest in stock, in property, etc. By diversifying where your income comes in from, if one of those streams falters, you know you will be okay.
The same is true with your marketing.
Now, we’re not saying you should be on every single social media platform. Or use every type of physical marketing, network at every event, and spend twelve hours on your website every day.
But what we do recommend is taking the time to research. Find out which channels are most likely to do the best for your organization – and then hit those hard.
For example, if you are a small bakery, you might only have a Facebook business page. But what happens if Facebook is having a glitch or if it were to shut down completely? Fun fact: If Facebook were to shut down for good tomorrow, the do NOT owe you your followers list, your messenger conversations, your pictures, your video, or anything else.
So what’s your backup plan?
We recommend every business at least start with a website for their organization. Think of your site like a “home base” for your organization’s digital presence. From there, based off your audience, product/service, and a whole bunch of other factors, you can determine what social media to utilize, what CRM to adopt, your email marketing strategy, and more!