Like every industry or methodology, digital marketing myths exist that cause small business owners to believe it’s not for them.  These myths run throughout startup, local business, and even some medium-sized businesses.

I know I won’t change the mind of the true hard-liners that believe they don’t need digital marketing.  But for those business owners and CEOs trying to decide what, if any, digital marketing they should use, there exist important digital marketing myths that need to be exposed.

Before we jump into the 5 digital marketing myths, let’s see why this is important.  Current data shows that anywhere from 46% to 75% of small businesses don’t have a website.

Do these figures shock you?   While that statistical spread is large, regardless of where reality lies this is a very large number of businesses without a digital presence.  Especially since 84% or more of consumers and buyers expect a business to have a real website.

The bottom line is, consumers expect you to have a website and digital presence.  If your business doesn’t, then you effectively ignore 84% or more of your market.  Can you really afford to ignore them?

With this understanding, before you dive into digital marketing strategies, it’s important to understand what a digital marketing myth is and what it isn’t…

5 Digital Marketing Myths Business Owners Must Ignore

1. Digital Marketing Is Too Expensive and Complex So It’s Not Really for Small Business

When you look around the web at digital marketing methods – some being tactics, some being strategies, some being just gimmicks – you find literally a mess of options.  Many of them are just like you think, very complicated and very expensive.  However, no startup, small business or medium business really needs all this complication to be effective.  What’s needed is to know what you really need, and focus on that.  When you do this, you find that digital marketing is highly affordable, with high ROIs.  There are many ways to start digital marketing campaigns for your store or professional service without breaking the bank.  You’ll find many excellent strategies exist that will lead to market domination when you use them properly.

2.  You Get Instant Results – Huge Among Digital Marketing Myths

I think every business owner or CEO would love instant results at everything they do.  In most cases, it’s understood results won’t be instant.  In the case of digital marketing, startups and local business expectations still focus too often on instant results.  While you can start a digital campaign today and even get clicks on that ad the same day, this doesn’t mean you get sales as a result, instantly.  Like any marketing or ad campaign, some testing is required to get the results you seek.   Digital marketing is easier to test and therefore will get quicker results, but optimum outcomes still is not instant.

3.  Email Marketing Doesn’t Work and is SPAM

This one is so wrong in both aspects, I almost don’t want to even touch it.  The believers in this myth will always believe it, regardless of how much proof they get shown.  The fact is, a single email to anyone is not SPAM as defined by law.  More importantly, when a company obtains an email by delivering what a potential buyer wants in the form of information, services, special offers, or discounts, the email is welcome.  In fact, 73% of millennials say they prefer to receive communication from businesses via email and over half rely on email to make buying decisions online.  Email marketing remains a low cost, high ROI digital marketing method.

4.  Can’t Control My Online Reputation and Reviews – Most Misguided Among Digital Marketing Myths

In the past 5 years, services like reputation management became big, and became expensive.  Thus, the myth that a small, medium or local business can’t control their online reputation has become perceived fact for many.  While we do believe reputation management is a waste of your time and money, we also know that your online reputation can be controlled legitimately and rather easily when a reputation marketing strategy is used instead of management tactics.   The prices vary, but the ROI is high when you actively involve your business in creating a 5-star reputation online.

5.  More Web Traffic Means More Sales

Probably one of the biggest myths there is online.  There’s three aspects of this myth that will steal money right out of your pocket.  The fact is, you can get as much traffic as you want at a very low price.  However, if it is not from a highly targeted audience, you likely won’t see much results regarding appointments made, calls coming in, visits to your office or store, or sales. 

Low amounts of highly qualified, targeted traffic are leaps and bounds more ROI effective. 

Second, your website may be the problem.  When your website is not presenting the right marketing messages, even highly qualified and targeted visitors will leave. 

Third, the lack of a easily found online reputation, especially when your competitors have a good reputation online, will have customers leaving your website and offers even if your marketing message is spot on.  Eighty-six to 92% of potential buyers seek your online reputation before making a buying decision.

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