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The 5 biggest online marketing myths

June 14, 2016

Things to look out for

Wikipedia defines "myth" in 2 different ways. The term either refers to ancient stories passed down from generation to generation or to collective (and irrational) ideas offering false explanations or promises.

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Some myths do not contain any grains of truth.

Myth #1: Social media, search engine optimization and online advertising are separate fields

Google’s overwhelming success has put the leading search engine in a difficult position: While the whole world is doing their best to improve their website's ranking by using legitimate or questionable methods, Google now has to constantly find new strategies in order to keep the SERPs (search result pages) at a high level of quality.

Google has long stopped solely relying on 1 single factor. While the famous page-rank-algorithm still plays an important part, many other factors come into play as well. Personalized search factors have gained a lot of influence, and Google is looking at so called "social signals" as well. The distribution of corporate content via various social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others is intertwined with SEO results. Therefore, effective marketing requires an overall strategy which incorporates all channels.

Myth #2: Online marketing can and should be outsourced

Some tasks usually do require experts: Setting up a content management system, designing a homepage, managing an AdWords campaign – these are jobs for specialists which can be done by external folks. Yet real-time online communication and dialogue with current and potential customers are best handled in-house by employees. Customers value helpful, competent information a lot more than “technical” perfection.

Myth #3: The number of homepage visitors says it all

The mere number of visitors is not a quality indicator at all – unless you are running an online media platform based on selling banners. All other online businesses should also take a look at traffic quality and not just traffic quantity. A solid online marketing strategy will drive targeted traffic to your homepage – potential customers, who are actually interested in your products or services. Comparing indicators such as bounce rate, time-on-page, number of visited pages and conversion rate leads to more important insights than the mere number of visitors.

Myth #4: In 2016, nobody is reading newsletters any more

More and more users feel overwhelmed by a flood of information. Yet crowded mailboxes do not mean that newsletters are a thing of the past – given that some of these messages include things which make readers say "Wow!"

It’s all about the value proposition: Getting someone to subscribe to a newsletter is just the beginning. The importance of the first messages sent to a new subscriber can’t be stressed enough: Bore a user once, and s/he will ignore your newsletters forever.

Myth #5: Viral success is reproducible

For each successful viral campaign there are 20 others that fail completely. There is no blueprint, but a set of requirements. Viral campaigns require outstanding, remarkable content (read: expensive), a solid seeding strategy and a fair share of luck.

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