What Marketers Misunderstand About Online Marketing

Santiago Sanches


Despite the prevalence of online marketing, there are still misconceptions about it. Some marketers tend to misunderstand key points about online marketing, and that has a detrimental effect on both the client and the marketer themselves. Statistics prove that online marketing has become more popular: for example, according to the CMO Council (CMOC), 71% of “internet users” are more likely to purchase a product from a brand that they follow on social media. Marketers are also spending more time on social media, with the CMOC stating that 59% of marketers are on social media for six hours or more each week.

With this popularity increase, it is vital that any misinterpretation is cleared up.

Misconception #1: “Popularity and performance are the same thing.”

While your site may have increased in terms of year-to-year traffic, don’t use that as a benchmark for how the site is actually, realistically, performing. While increases and decreases in traffic and site/blog visits are important to note, you need to make sure that you are fully exploring your site’s performance metrics. Some marketers misunderstand the fact that traffic doesn’t always equal success, although it is a useful indicator of popularity.

Misconception #2: “The SEO formula is tried, true, and (therefore) immutable—there’s no need to change.”

Certainly, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has an algorithm that can stay consistent for several months, and achieving optimal results with SEO doesn’t require day-to-day change. But be aware that SEO is always changing and evolving. The strategic placement of SEO content, the frequency, the ways in which you exercise it across your website—all of that must periodically be re-evaluated and adjusted for maximum performance.

Misconception #3: “SEO is no longer useful in this day and age.”

This misconception is along the same lines as the second one. SEO content has been around for a while (the term was coined in 1995, less than a decade after the internet was “invented”), and there is a misunderstanding that when something is more than a decade old, it is no longer useful. This is patently untrue, particularly when it comes to SEO, and foregoing the marketing strategy based on this misperception will not bode well for your business. According to Search Engine Journal, 75% of internet users do not look past the first page of search engine results. They want to find what they’re looking for without having to click to the next page. SEO will help you get you on that first page of search results, keeping you competitive with other marketers.

Misconception #4: “Social media is only workable for large companies.”

This is another common misunderstanding. Any business in any industry can benefit from social media usage. Social media alerts people to your company and the product you sell. Goods and services are not relegated to just large companies; small businesses matter too, and, in fact, they account for 54% of all the sales conducted in the USA. Social media helps a business compete, and marketers, who are all about competition with rival businesses, need to know that that competitiveness is not just for big companies.

Misconception #5: “Negative comments ruin a business.”

This idea that receiving negative feedback means you should throw in the towel is not viable. Negative comments can be very constructive in helping a business figure out what they’ve done wrong, either in terms of their product or service or in reference to their social media strategy. Use the feedback as a way to improve upon problems consumers are seeing.

As marketers, it is important to understand the value of social media, SEO content, and other forms of online marketing. Achieving optimal results for a business and making it competitive with others is the key, and hopefully this article has helped eliminate some misunderstandings that serve as a barrier to successful marketing.


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