By now, I’m sure you’re no stranger to digital marketing. It’s the wave of the future—and it’s everywhere. But let’s face it: it’s still a relatively new discipline—one that’s not easily mastered. In fact, I’ve spoken to many colleagues and business professionals who’ve expressed frustration over the confusing nature of it all.
One way to remove some of the complexity out of the gate is to separate the fact from the fiction. Below five common misconceptions to keep in mind as you develop your own digital marketing strategy:
MYTH #1: Posting creates new sales engagement. Many believe that the more you post, the more followers you’ll get and the more sales engagement you’ll get. But it’s the other way around. According to a recent Harvard Sales Business Review study, most people will LIKE your Facebook page AFTER they purchase from you. And from my standpoint, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, post-sales LIKES are quality LIKES. By staying top-of-mind with your customers, you create repeat engagement—and there is tremendous business value to be realized in your current customer base.
MYTH #2: If I follow my customers and repost their content, the competition will notice and try to grab my customers. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The benefits of posting and engaging with customers are far-reaching. It has zero bearing on what your competitors are doing—and it’s nothing they wouldn’t be able to gather from the public domain anyway. Even if a competitor is looking that closely, the only information they’ll get is that you’re reposting and engaging with companies. Sure they can look up any company, but without company contact names and other contact information, they likely won’t be further engaging the way you are. There is really no downside to engaging with customers on social media—so go for it.
MYTH #3: A social media tool means you can remove the human factor from the equation. Wrong. Sure, automating your posting and monitoring may save you time and hassle, but without the personal touch, your social media tools will quickly lose their value. Today’s online audience can smell an automated message a mile away. So keep it human. Keep it unique. A personal message to a customer or even a mention goes a long way in nurturing relationships.
MYTH #4: Posting blogs and videos on digital sites are best left to the company marketing team. While the marketing team may have ownership over the overall brand and company messaging, when it comes to spreading the word, your employees are your best assets. So how do you reconcile the two? Simple. Establish a process and guidelines that allow and encourage employees to share posts on sites such as YouTube with their own networks. It might be as simple as an email that announces the new post. The end result: exponentially greater reach than you’d get with just your own staff participation.
MYTH #5: Start a library of expert content or a video or blog library and it’ll get noticed and read. Nope. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, if you’re not promoting it in some way it will never be read by the masses. “If you build it they will come” does not apply here. Granted, maybe you’ll get a following and readership from your own community of customers, employees and partners—but eventually it will top off and max out. Instead, give your content exposure through social advertising. It’s easy: set the budget, pick a day then identify your target audience—which can be based on everything from location to personal likes and dislikes. This is an affordable and effective way to drive traffic to your expert content.
No one said navigating the online world was easy. But by keeping the above pointers in mind, you’ll be well on your way to digital marketing success.
[Leadarati helps IT firms drive value and increase opportunities through social, digital and online communications. To subscribe to Anita O'Malley's monthly social business tips news, SocialBiz 411, visit this website.]