There is no doubt that a ton of hype exists around digital marketing. With regard to marketing strategies, it is the “way of the future” and with over $100 billion ad dollars put towards it last year alone, it’s easy to see why everyone wants a part of it. But digital marketing is more than just a 100 billion dollar industry; it’s a fundamental change in the way advertising and marketing plans are created, executed, and converted.
So What Is Digital Marketing Anyways?
Business Dictionary summarizes it well. They say, digital marketing is “the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. For example, advertising mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards, as well as via digital and television and radio channels.”
So Why All The Confusion?
Have you ever played “telephone”, the game where one statement gets whispered to a string of people? Eventually the message gets confused, added to, and changed along the way. In some regard, the same thing has happened with digital marketing. With so many people talking about it, information gets distorted, built upon and sometimes is flat out false.
5 Common Misconceptions About Digital Marketing
1.) Digital Marketing Is Social Media- One thing that drives me crazy is when people use digital marketing and social media interchangeably. Let’s make one thing clear; social media is a form of digital marketing. Period.
2.) Digital Marketing Should Be A Separate Strategy- NO! Digital marketing should be a seamless continuation of a company’s overall marketing plan. Just as a company creates a message that they convey on TV, in magazines, billboards etc, that same message should be present when sending out tweets, posting blogs, or placing display ads. The client doesn’t distinguish marketing efforts; they associate content with the brand regardless of where they saw it. Key take-away: keep everything consistent.
3.) Digital Marketing Is For Large Budgets Only- Actually, digital marketing can be the most cost effective way to advertise. Online display ads are typically sold at a rate that is 3 times lower than their print ad counterparts. When looking at TV ads, the national average cost per 30 second spot ranges from $35,000- $2 million. With digital advertising, a business can have a professional video created for a few thousand dollars and then distribute it pro bono with social media and other digital outlets or pay a low CPM cost for video pre-roll or other types of paid video promotion.
4.) Digital Marketing Is Hard To Track – Aside from the obvious, that any banner ads running on the internet (like IAB standard ads or other display ads) are trackable through cookies, other forms of digital advertising, like social media posts and content creation are now nearly just as trackable. Because of platforms like google analytics or facebook’s built in analytics panel, digital content has become remarkably easy to track. There are even tons of apps like Birst, Yellowfin, Bime, Tableau Software and countless others that report on and track data for you. So when taken as a whole, I would argue that digital marketing is the most targeted and trackable form of marketing available.
5.) Digital Marketing Only Targets A Young Audience- According to a recent ETC study, over half of all seniors already use the internet. As our world continues to become more digital (bills, medical records, communication, news) more and more seniors will migrate to the online space. What this means is that businesses targeting seniors will have just as much success with digital marketing as businesses targeting a younger crowd. What it comes down to, is not avoiding digital marketing altogether, but understanding where in the digital space to send your message.