Discrediting the Most Common Misconceptions

With the help of technological change, digital marketing has greatly altered the way businesses can reach new and existing customers today. Digital marketing allows businesses to not only target niche markets, in real time, but to foster relationships and manage reputation. However, there are a ton of misconceptions about digital marketing out there that you may be questioning. You may also be wondering how you can specifically use digital marketing for your particular business. If digital marketing overwhelms you, don’t worry! We’re here to go over some of these misconceptions and give you the lowdown on what’s really true.

Misconception 1: “Digital Marketing isn’t accessible for my small business.”

Truth: It’s a pretty common misconception that only big businesses can afford and truly benefit from the use of digital marketing – but that’s just not the case. It can actually be very cost efficient for small companies, as it doesn’t always require large investments, and there are plenty of platforms and options that are small-business friendly. Plus, whatever you put into digital marketing, you’re very likely to get back (and then some). In fact, brands that use omnichannel marketing (a tactic that highly utilizes digital) retain 89% of their customers. Additionally, 72% of customers say they’d rather be contacted by brands through multichannel marketing – another tactic on several print and digital mediums.

51% of companies today use at least eight channels to interact with customers, and, according to a recent study, Americans now spend over 11 hours per day on electronic media. So, if you’re a small company that’s only using one or two channels (none of which are digital) there’s likely – almost definitely – a revenue loss.

Digital marketing also helps with conversions. How so? For example, companies that use social media as part of their digital marketing strategy produce 78% more business than those not using social media. And, digital welcome emails (emails aimed towards new customers, welcoming them and usually offering discounts, coupons, and so on) convert 51.94% of customers.

When it comes to digital marketing for small businesses, it all comes down to targeting the right audience with the right digital tactics. Thankfully, most digital marketing tools give you the chance to hone in on those who would be most receptive to your digital ads, email campaigns, social posts, and so on. With digital tools, you can manage consumer data and engagement and can highly personalize your communication. In turn, this helps you improve customer relationships among those who matter, which for small businesses is really all that matters.

Misconception 2: “My digital marketing plan is putting up a website. That’s enough right?”

Truth: We’ve heard it before, and it pains us to see it! Designing a website – or any digital marketing component, for that matter – and never looking at it again, is almost worse than not having it at all. Why? For most potential and current consumers, a company’s website is the first place they look for information. If the website hasn’t been regularly updated with new branding, products, content, and more, you run the risk of looking like you don’t care, don’t operate well, are out of date, or worse – are no longer open. Digital marketing is all about being present and staying on trend. It’s important to be aware of the impact your website has and how it is not a standalone piece, but a piece of the larger digital puzzle.

Not only is it essential for you to always update your site, but to create and have a social media presence. Similarly, you don’t want this digital tool to go stale. If you do have social, you should be responding and engaging with customers and showing that you’re active and available. Social media can be an excellent marketing tool to reach, nurture, and engage with customers – if used correctly. By engaging with your customers, you add humility to your brand rather than just feeling like a flat business with products and services but no personality.

Both your website and social media can help your company create and keep a good reputation. Creating social media and Google accounts for your business gives customers the space to leave comments and reviews and gives you and other potential customers higher visibility. While word of mouth marketing is great, and customers are more likely to trust other customers and their reviews about a product, service, or company rather than the company itself, we live in a highly digital world. 90% of customers will choose a product that comes with a person’s recommendation (even if they don’t know that person).

Lastly, if your company happens to receive a bad review on one of these platforms, you now have the opportunity to reach out and mend the issue in a professional way – for the world to see. This scenario is a whole lot better than negative reviews through word of mouth, because with digital, you get the chance to respond and recover.

Overall, companies should be accessible on multiple platforms and continue to update those platforms. In doing so, you’re given the ability to reach more customers, leading to higher conversion rates, revenue, and customer loyalty.

Misconception 3: “I can just stick to traditional, non-digital marketing only.”

Truth: While traditional marketing is great and works well for a ton of companies, it primarily works well if it’s dusted with digital tactics and touchpoints. Digital marketing and digital touchpoints (such as QR codes, links, and personalized links) can add to any campaign by providing direct and more accurate results and data.

With just “push” marketing alone (ex: billboards, tv/radio ads, cold calling, etc.), without any digital touchpoints, it can be hard for businesses to measure the effect each campaign has on conversions and brand awareness. It can also be difficult to really know the demographic that’s most receptive to your traditional marketing (or if people even see, read, or hear it in the first place!).

Marketing strategies that incorporate digital tactics and touchpoints make it much easier to figure out what campaign components (for example, email, display ads, banner ads, social media, direct mail, print ads, etc.) get the most exposure and clicks. With the help of tools like Google Analytics and CRM platforms, you can see metrics such as website visits, click-throughs, time spent on a component, and more. And with this information, you can focus your attention on running campaign components that produce results.

Overall, with a combination of digital and print marketing, you can receive higher ROI, reach a broader and more diverse audience, or oppositely, reach a very niche, target audience, and get high campaign exposure through multiple devices and mediums. Even if you do get exposure through traditional mediums, using digital touchpoints like QR codes, PURLs, personalization, and more, is always better and more measurable.

Misconception 4: “All my digital marketing has been tested on my computer screen and looks good. I’m good to go, right?”

Truth: With the increasing amount of time people spend on their phones – websites, ads, emails, videos, and other digital marketing tactics need to be just as accessible, and fit just as well, on a smartphone screen. We call this the mobile-first perspective. These days, ensuring your content fits to the mobile screen is first and foremost.

Why’s this important? Let’s go through a couple examples. Let’s say someone is new to your neighborhood, looking for a doctor, and happens to drive by one. They might be interested in learning more. The likelihood that they wait until they get home to search on their desktop computer or laptop is minimal. Instead, they’ll use their phone. If they look up your business and your website is not fit for mobile use, they’ll get confused and/or frustrated and close out of it, causing you to lose their business. Plus, when they close out of your website, they’re likely to end up at the business of your competitor somewhere down the line. Another example – someone has just joined your company’s email newsletter. They get their first email and open it up on their phone, only to be unable to read the small text and to see that some images are distorted, too large, or cut off the screen. Why is this? You forgot to design for mobile. If this customer gets frustrated enough to unsubscribe, you could miss out on a long-term consumer relationship, referrals, opportunities, and who knows what else!

Today’s consumers are all about speed, personalization, price, and getting help fast. After all, mobile devices drove 61% of visits to U.S. websites in 2020, up from 57% in 2019. Improve your potential customers’ overall experience before they even talk to you by making a good mobile impression, first. This is not to say that “desktop is dead”, because depending on your demographic, desktop could be your customer’s go-to search tool. We’re just saying that mobile is always something to highly consider, as it’s rapidly becoming more and more used for search.

While you could create an app for mobile use instead of a website, most customers are simply visiting your site to do preliminary research on your brand. More than likely, they’ll see downloading the app and creating an account as too much work, and could ultimately, again, rule your business out. So, your best bet? – mobile-first.

Now that you can see how crucial digital is to marketing success, and are aware of the many common misconceptions and the truth behind them, it’s time to figure out the best path for you and your business. If you’re unsure where to start, feel free to give us a call so we can help you find the starting point of your digital marketing journey!

How to Attract Your Audience

Video ads aren’t anything new, but keeping up with the rise of their increasing online presence is. Most of us don’t even realize how often we come across video ads. With so many different apps and sites, it’s important to get your company’s video ads out there, in the right places, and noticed. The key is to look beyond traditional practices and dig deeper into the variety of different ways and places you can utilize them. Follow along as we take you through best practices for video ads.

Rise of Video

With the rise of social media and its many marketing uses; video advertisements have been more popular than ever before. So popular that, in the past 30 days, more video content has been uploaded than video created by major U.S. television networks in the past 30 years. Moreover, it’s estimated that the average person currently spends 100 minutes every day watching online videos. This is a 19% increase compared to daily viewing minutes in 2019, which stood at 84. What all of this means is that it’s not just that people are watching more video than ever before, but that competition for this space is on the rise. Stay on top of new trends and ways to engage your audience over your competitors with our five tips and tricks, below.

1. Choose the Right Video & Placement

The right video placement can be the determining factor for your video advertising success. Before anything else, make sure your company has a clear idea of where you want these ads to be – and where they’ll best meet your potential customers. Here are four highly successful video ad placements to keep in mind as you’re getting started.

Skippable in-Stream Ads: Skippable, in-stream ads play before, during, or after other videos. After five seconds, the viewer has the option to skip the ad.

Non-Skippable in-Stream Ads: Non-skippable in-stream ads are 15 seconds (or shorter) and play before, during, or after other videos. Viewers don’t have the option to skip the ad. 

Native Video Ads: This video ad format blends in with the website’s layout for a seamless interaction.

In-Banner Video Ads: In-banner video ads are videos built inside a banner ads.

Knowing these four placements can allow for your brand and message to be properly delivered the way you’d like it to be within your diverse video ads.

2. Captivate

When we say captivate, we mean make a good first impression. It’s best to keep your videos around 15-60 seconds, because most of your audience may drop off if your ad drags on too long. The message may begin to get drawn out and blurry, causing the viewer to forget it. Short and sweet is the rule of thumb, and grabbing their attention in those first 3-5 seconds is key. You really don’t have much time before the viewer may click “skip ad” or exit out completely. Keep users engaged by using upbeat music, compelling questions, humor and more, based on your brand voice. Once you have your general ad idea ready, figure out the best place to position the ad. 79% of the people say a video ad has convinced them to buy a product or software – so make sure its length and creative makes it memorable. Not sure where to start? Take a look at one of our personal video ads below for inspiration.

3. Personalize

Online video ads tend to differ heavily from traditional television ads. This is primarily due to the personalization of online ads. Using personalization tactics can give you an impactful advantage over your competitors, so take advantage of this and research and study your customer demographics to better understand their behavior and buying patterns to properly place your ads in the right places. For example, if one of your demographic audiences viewed your services and clicked through the contact us page, but didn’t submit any information, you can infer that they got the chance and had the time to go through your website (showing some interest) and look over your services, but weren’t ready to take any next steps. In this case, a video ad with personalization could be used to help them progress, reading something like, “Learn more and get in contact with xyz to see how x company can help you with…” This way, you’re serving as an outlet and solution to their unanswered questions, and gently pushing them make that next step, instead of placing an ad for them to see that doesn’t apply to their current situation. The same goes for the placement of the video ad. If you find that the majority of your audience is viewing your content on Facebook or Instagram, place an ad within these platforms. Similarly, if you’re communicating a lot through email with potential customers, place a video ad in an email. An initial email with a video ad can receive an increased click-through rate of 96%. And, using the word “video” in your email’s subject line can increase open rates by 19%, click through rates by 65%, and cut the number of unsubscribes by 26%.

4. Make it Relevant

Make sure your ads are relevant. Don’t just interrupt your viewer in the middle of their browsing or shopping – add value to their day. Make them do a double take when scrolling to keep your company top of mind for your high performing audiences. The best way to do this is by empathizing with their needs and pain points, especially right off the bat (like we said, in that first 3-5 second). It’s helpful to create different or slightly different versions of the same video ad to ensure they fit seamlessly into whatever page they are placed on.

5. Represent Your Brand

Be sure, possibly above anything else, that each video is a good representation of your brand. Add a logo into the corner of the ad, or place it strategically within the video on certain frames. 3X more people are engaged with an ad when a brand name and message is presented in the first 10 seconds. Also be sure to include a clear & concise call to action (CTA), and use ad copy space to provide additional information about your product or service that didn’t make it into the video. You can even try adding a short teaser phrase or question to the video that compels people to view longer or check out your website, blog, landing page, or other platforms.

Reach Your Target Audience

Lastly, partner with advertising creatives to get your video ads done efficiently and in a timely manner. Having captivating, personalized, relevant information that’s positioned correctly will ultimately put your company in the best position possible to reach your target audience. If you’re looking to learn more about video ads, feel free to contact our skilled creative marketing team, here.