In a fast-paced, technological society that is saturated with online apps and social media, it is expected that we cannot still pursue the same marketing strategies that we did twenty years ago.
However, while the way consumers shop has changed dramatically, many entrepreneurs haven’t changed the way they approach their marketing strategy.
Paid advertising still has a very important role to play in promoting your company, but do not disregard the wealth of online opportunities that are freely available to help you make your company known.
Myth 1: Having logos means you have branding
Branding is more about your overall company image and less about just having a logo. Anybody can throw together a quick logo with little thought or talent, but you need to always consider the long-term plan of your company. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? Will your company have outgrown your logo? Creating an overall brand image that conveys your vision, talent, expertise and core fundamentals is very important. Your brand will resonate through every area of your company as well as through all of your marketing strategies.
Myth 2: Social media doesn’t deliver results
Social media is often used to remain updated with current news topics and for personal connections. So why then is the same methodology not applied to business? Last year, a study conducted with more than 3,000 marketers showed that social media accounted for 14% of their total lead pipeline. Social media is not just for social interactions; customers, prospects, and leads are all using social media so it is necessary for your company to have an active presence on at least a few of the most prominent social media networks. Post relevant articles that will inform customers and re-direct them back to your website. This will increase your searchability on Google and effectively increase your marketing without any effort at all.
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Myth 3: Good marketing is based on rules
‘You should spend x percent of your revenues on marketing’.
‘Strategic direct mail generates an x percent response rate’.
While these short and snappy rules seem fruitful, it is impossible to apply a universal formula to all types of companies across all sectors and services. What works isn’t necessarily what everyone else is doing, and what works today is definitely not going to be the same method that worked 20 years ago. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who discarded all the rules and created a new direction for their advertising campaigns.
Myth 4: Pay-per-click advertising is the best solutions
Pay-per-click advertising can be advantageous, but it’s also expensive and hard to gain leverage from over time. Eighty percent of the links that web searchers click on are organic – not paid – so without a solid keyword strategy for organic search, a company could miss out on the vast majority of traffic.
Instead of investing massive amounts of money in pay-per-click advertising, invest the time and effort into developing remarkable content around a few select keywords that are really important to the company’s audience. Once that’s accomplished, pay-per-click marketing can become an additional tool if required.
Blogging is often perceived as something that only bored housewives do. But there’s no better way to tell the company’s story than with blogging. Allocate time every week to update the blog with a new informative article that is either directly or indirectly linked to your company. Blogs attract people to your site and also generate cross-collateralisation between your various online platforms.
And yes, your company can definitely earn money from blogging! That’s one of its greatest appeals – it is free to use, but it generates income. View our article How Do Bloggers Make Money for additional tips.
At the end of the day, the biggest myth of all is believing that marketing is not an ongoing exercise. Many entrepreneurs believe that once they have promoted their company and created a sufficient client base that their work is done. This is a futile notion for any company. Always keep your online presence current, updated, and innovative. Constantly be seeking new ways to gain more ‘Likes’, followers and inquiries. Marketing does not have to be expensive and time consuming in order to work; all it requires is constant nurturing and direction.