Did you know the Great Wall of China actually isn’t visible from space? At least not to the naked eye.
Also: bats aren’t blind, Viking helmets didn’t have horns, and toilet water in the Southern hemisphere does NOT rotate the other direction.
We love busting myths.
So, in this article, we’re going to take 7 of the most commonly held beliefs about digital marketing and hold them up to the light.
And then, taking a cue from the show MythBusters, we’ll proclaim whether each one is BUSTED (yes, it’s a myth), PLAUSIBLE (there’s some truth to it), or CONFIRMED (totally true).
Ready? It’s gonna be fun.
Digital Marketing Myth #1: More Traffic = More Money
Want to get more sales? All you need to do is get more traffic to your website.
Don’t get us wrong. Here at DM, we love us some traffic (the website kind, not the car kind).
But, not all traffic is created equal, and remember—you can’t take any of it to the bank. For traffic to be valuable, it has to actually convert to leads and sales.
Realize that “traffic” is more than just a number on a dashboard. It’s a collection of living, breathing human beings with hopes, dreams, problems, and fears.
And to convince those people to convert on your website, you need to communicate the value of your product or service strongly and frequently enough that they’re persuaded to buy from you.
(Want to learn how to do that? Try our Customer Value Optimization system)
So, what’s the status of this myth? We’re going to go middle-of-the-road on this one and label it PLAUSIBLE, rather than “Busted,” for one simple reason: it’s kinda, sorta true-ish.
All other things being equal, and assuming the traffic is of high quality, then more traffic does mean more sales.
But the truth is that not all traffic is equally valuable. So, when you’re crafting your digital marketing strategy, you need to focus on the quality and quantity of traffic.
And that leads us nicely onto Myth #2…
Digital Marketing Myth #2: Your Ads Should Appeal to As Many People As Possible
This myth has a lot in common with Myth #1: More Traffic = More Money. The common thread between them is the idea that more = better.
A lot of marketers will take this mindset when creating a new ad, and try to make that ad appeal to the widest possible audience.
They assume more people means more potential customers, which means more sales—right?
The problem with this approach is that when you try to appeal to everybody, you end up having to water down your message so much that you don’t really appeal to anyone that strongly. As a result, your broad-appeal ad gets totally ignored.
(We know, we know. People can be so rude.)
So what should you do instead? Well, take a look at this ad:
This ad for a waterproof firestarter definitely does NOT appeal to the widest possible audience. There are millions upon millions of people in the world who could see this ad and not be the least bit interested.
But that’s OK, because this ad isn’t for them.
This ad works because it speaks to a very specific group of people—survival enthusiasts. It appeals to their hopes, dreams, and fears. So when they see this ad, it grabs their attention and compels them to convert.
And that’s why you should not try to make your ad appeal to the biggest possible audience. Instead, nail down your customer avatars, write an ad that appeals to those specific groups of people, and watch your conversions skyrocket.
That said, we’re going to declare Myth #2 BUSTED.
Digital Marketing Myth #3: Email Is Dead
Every few years or so, someone will declare that “Email Is Dead.” Most recently, it’s been the rise of Facebook Messenger ads that has sparked criticism of email and its declining engagement metrics.
And it’s true. Compared to Messenger ads, email does have low open and click-through rates. But that doesn’t mean email is dead—not by a long shot.
The click-through rates might be low, but email still generates sales. Lots and lots of ‘em.
The DMA reported that for every $1 spent on email marketing, $38 is generated in revenue. That’s a pretty respectable ROI.
And according to Campaign Monitor, email is 40x more effective than Facebook or Twitter at generating new customers.
Plus, consider the fact that everyone and their momma uses email:
When you look at the data, it’s overwhelmingly obvious. Email isn’t dying…
Just look at this chart from Statista. The number of emails sent and received is around 300 billion (with a B) annually, and still increasing every year:
People wouldn’t be sending hundreds of billions of emails a year if they didn’t work.
Safe to say we can call this myth officially BUSTED.
Digital Marketing Myth #4: All You Need Is 1 Great Ad (Or Campaign, Or Landing Page…)
A lot of marketers make the mistake of trying to hit a home run every time they go up to bat. They seem to think that if they can put together the exact right combination of words and pictures, it will result in a profitable campaign that basically prints money.
If only that were true.
The problem with this mindset is that it neglects to take into consideration the fact that becoming a customer isn’t a quick, one-time decision. Instead, there’s an 8-step process that people go through when making the ascension from “stranger” to “customer.”
When you understand this, then you can understand why you can never build a business on 1 great ad campaign. Because 1 campaign is almost never sufficient to take a person through the entire CVJ.
Instead, you’ll most likely need to create multiple campaigns to do that. Maybe you have a campaign that generates Awareness and Engagement. Then, another campaign that gets those people to Subscribe, and a third campaign that gets them to Convert.
And so on.
I think we can call it. Myth status: BUSTED.
Digital Marketing Myth #5: Retargeting Is Creepy
Depending on who you’re talking to, retargeting ads can be a divisive topic of conversation.
Some people shy away from retargeting because they’re afraid people might be creeped out by ads that “follow them around” on the Internet.
But are they really?
According to data from Wishpond, consumer reaction to retargeting ads is much more positive than negative:
Savvy digital marketers, on the other hand, LOVE retargeting.
Because it works.
It’s a fact: retargeting is one of the most efficient ways to bring people back to your site and turn more of your visitors into customers.
In that same report, Wishpond reveals that almost half of search engine marketing professionals consider retargeting to be the single most underused marketing channel:
Myth status? BUSTED. Totally busted.
Don’t be the marketer who misses out on the huge customer and revenue generating potential of retargeting ads. Set them up and watch your bottom line rise to the top.
Digital Marketing Myth #6: Content Is King
Unless this is your first time on the internet, you’ve almost certainly heard this phrase before: “Content is King.”
(And if it is your first time online, welcome! We’re so glad you chose DigitalMarketer for your first foray onto the interwebs.)
But is content still king? Or should the crown be handed off to someone else?
Haters will point out the fact that the supply of online content is rapidly exceeding the demand. For any question someone can type into Google, there’s already a wealth of relevant replies.
But this critique of content marketing misses the boat.
What you need to understand is that a true content marketing strategy includes much more than just blogging. Perfect content marketing is actually full-funnel.
That is, it helps lead your prospects from Awareness through Evaluation and all the way to Conversion.
(RELATED: How to develop a content marketing strategy)
When done right, content is what educates your prospects on what they need to know to fully appreciate the value of your product or service. And frankly, there’s no other way to provide this education; it has to be delivered through content—whether that’s a blog post, a video, a podcast, a lead magnet, a webinar, etc.
So when you look at it that way, content starts to look pretty freaking important. You might even call it absolutely essential for every company online.
Myth status on this one? CONFIRMED.
Content is, indeed, king.
Digital Marketing Myth #7: SEO Is All About Keywords
Once upon a time, in the early days of search engines, SEO was extremely straightforward. All you had to do was pick a keyword, then proceed to stuff that sucker onto your page as many times as it took to reach the first page of search results. And if you didn’t want it to look like you were keyword stuffing, you could just use hidden text (white text on a white background) with no penalty whatsoever.
Today, believe it or not, this approach actually does not work (actually…we really hope you don’t believe that).
And yet many marketers still treat SEO as if it’s all about the keywords.
Now, don’t get us wrong. Keywords are still important.
But if you want to win at SEO, you need to consider more than just the words people are typing into Google.
More specifically, you need to consider the intent behind the search. And make sure your page is written toward that intent.
Here’s the thing: Google’s one of the biggest companies in the world. And they kinda want to keep it that way. So, as a result they want to make sure people have a good experience whenever they perform a Google search.
In other words, they want their search results to give the searcher the thing they’re looking for.
So if the searcher is asking a question, your page needs to provide the answer.
If the searcher is trying to decide between multiple products, your page needs to give a helpful comparison.
If the searcher is looking for a product, your page needs to offer it.
The good news is, if you can make sure your page DOES provide what the searcher is looking for, then Google will see a low bounce rate when they click on your page—and reward you with better rankings.
Myth status: PLAUSIBLE. Keywords are still extremely important for SEO…but they’re only one piece of the puzzle. You have to consider many other things as well (like search intent).
What These Myths Have In Common
Most of the myths in this article were BUSTED, meaning that they weren’t actually true.
But just about every myth we’ve discussed has at least a seed of truth, which is where the myth came from in the first place.
And it pays to understand that.
For instance, take Myth #5. Retargeting is not creepy, if you do it right. But if people are seeing your retargeting ads 50 times a day for 6 months straight, that might start to get a little off-putting.
Or Myth #1: More traffic does not necessarily equal more sales. But more high-quality traffic almost always does.
Myth #3? Email isn’t dead by any means. But it’s getting more and more competitive every year, which is the real reason why open and click-through rates are dropping (And why it’s a good idea to leverage new platforms, like Messenger Ads, to stay ahead of the game as much as you can).
If there’s one thing we can say for sure about digital marketing, it’s that the landscape is always changing. What was true last year might just be a myth next year. So keep up with the latest in digital marketing by visiting your friendly neighborhood DigitalMarketer on a regular basis. 🙂