A digital marketing strategy is only as good as the information that was used to develop that strategy. Unfortunately, too many digital marketing strategies are built around delusions and myths, not fact. The result is implementing strategy that doesn’t work. If you are a CMO or a person in position to influence a CMO, you must read this before sitting down to plan your digital marketing strategy for the next quarter. Here are 15 myths that could be causing you to fail at digital marketing. #1. Using Social Media is a Strategy Social media does not constitute a marketing strategy. It is simply one of many tools that can be part of a digital marketing strategy. Too many CMOs believe that if they authorize the creation of a few social media pages and give a staffer the job of posting updates every day or so, they’re good to go. #2. Paid Internet Advertising is a Waste of Time and Money Smart, targeted internet advertising is still an excellent investment. This is thanks in a large part to social media retargeting as well as search engine marketing. Other methods of targeting customers may result in you reducing the amount of money you spend on paid advertising, but there is no compelling reason to eliminate it as long as it is fruitful. #3. Any Content is Good Content This is untrue, and it can cause problems for CMOs who do not properly vet out the content that they share, or who insist that content be created too quickly and without quality standards. High quality content, that is customized, and that uses a variety of media is what results in both engagement and optimization. #4. To Succeed in Digital Marketing You Must Outsource to a Pro This is an absolute myth. If you have the willingness to learn who your customers are, and are willing to find out where your audience is online, you can plan and implement your own digital marketing strategy without paying a consultant who could takes ages getting past the learning curve. #5. Tracking ROI is the ‘Be All End All’ To put it simply, if you are using diversified marketing tactics, traditional ROI can be misleading. Let’s take Google advertising as an example. Just because a customer clicks your ad, you have no way of knowing that it was really the ad that drove them to your company. A piece of print advertising could have prompted them to Google the name of your company, and clicking the ad may simply be that they didn’t notice they weren’t clicking directly on your website URL. In this case, it is your print advertising that resulted in the sale, not the ad. This is why it is important to consider shares, increased comments, retweets, and other elements that don’t tie directly to sales when measuring success. #6. Retargeting Drives People Away If you don’t follow a few basic guidelines, then yes retargeting can skeeve people out. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to learn and follow retargeting best practices such as: Giving customers the ability to opt out Only target a customer a handful of times Optimizing your landing page Create a variety of ads #7. A Decent Suite of Tools is All You Need for SEO Search engine optimization tools have their place. You can use them to measure the results of optimization, and to get any idea of what may or may not be optimized on your website. It takes a person with knowledge of your business, however, to truly optimize your website. This is because there is no optimization formula that can be plugged into a piece of software. #8. Social Media Only Works for B2C You may need to approach it differently, but you can absolutely engage on social media if you are a B2B enterprise. For example, you probably won’t receive much play on Tumblr or Snapchat, but you can almost certainly make connections on Facebook and Twitter. #9. Mobile Conversions Don’t Happen Mobile conversions absolutely happen. The process just needs to be optimized for mobile. This means shorter forms and a simpler checkout process. In other words, if you have optimized your content for mobile, but have done nothing to optimize your processes for mobile, you cannot say that you are truly mobile friendly. #10. Negative Commentary is Bad for Business If you respond professionally and appropriately to negative comments, you won’t have any issues. It is better to have your audience see you communicate, acknowledge, apologize, and fix quality or service issues that are brought up in comments than it is to see you defend, deflect, ignore, or delete. #11. The Only Place for Social Media is at The Top of the Funnel The top of the funnel is awareness. This is certainly a great place for social, but it isn’t the only place. Social media also has great value in the middle of the funnel where customer engagement exposure occurs. If you can turn one time visitors/consumers into regular visitors, you’ve turned social media into a mid-funnel channel. #12. Once SEO is Done it is Done Search engine algorithms are a moving target. These changes are made to insure that quality content receives higher search engine rankings than spam laden content that is stuffed with keywords. These changes also take into consideration changing preferences among users. #13. When Optimizing There is No Reason to Think Beyond Google It would certainly be foolish not to make Google’s optimization guidelines a focal point of your optimization strategy. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about anything else. As more users go directly to their favored social media sites before they begin searching, it’s important to focus on social media optimization as well as search engine optimization. #14. Companies with an Older Customer Base Shouldn’t Bother With Social This may have been true a few years ago, but this is definitely not the case today. Not only are customers aged 40 and older active on social media, their numbers are increasing on specific sites, while the younger demographic’s numbers are decreasing. This is important information no matter who you are trying to reach. #15. Social Media only Works if You are in a Fun or Creative Business Space Don’t make the mistake of believing that social media is only for brands that are fashionable, creative, youth-oriented, athletic, etc. can benefit from social media participation. The fact is that any business in any industry can increase their internet presence, and engage more customers by using social media. The key is using common sense when selecting which channels to use. 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