— March 9, 2019
I had this opportunity to meet with a new client, and their main goal was they wanted to increase their social media presence. I got to meet with them face-to-face, along with their social media team. I started talking about their website and their email marketing, and the look on their faces was puzzled; it just didn’t make a lot of sense to them. What I want to talk today about is five myths about online marketing that need to be busted.
During this conversation, we started talking about their website and the fact that social media and their email exists to drive traffic back to their website so they can measure it and do things. They tried to explain to me they had it down to a science. They would send out one email to their entire list every Thursday because they were told that Thursday is the best day for open rates. Well yeah, it can be, but actually, if consumers are trying to do something over the weekend, they would have a much better open rate on Friday night or Friday afternoon. So ultimately, it really depends on who you’re speaking to, and who the audience is.
Next, I told them their eight-page emails, which they’d been sending out on Thursdays, needed to be broken down into three targeted emails. They came back and said, “Well, I heard that mailing too frequently would cost us our list, that they would kill it and people would unsubscribe.” And I went, “Great,” I told them, “That’s what you want. You want people to unsubscribe.” I personally would rather you have a list of a hundred people with 15 buyers than a list of 10,000 people with 15 buyers. The reason isn’t because a smaller list is easier to maintain and update; the bottom line is that all you really care about is how many buyers you’re getting, right? Not how many people. This isn’t a competition.
People tend to get these little factoids in their heads, and they stick with it. But there are a lot of myths and misinformation out there that people tend to take as gospel, and they keep going with it. They act like this is the way it’s supposed to be. But every business has different circumstances with different audiences. I have to assume that your audiences have specific needs and wants. So you need to have a holistic approach based on what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, and what your audience is responding to.
I like to say that 86.9% of all statistics are made up to benefit the statistician, and 63.2% are made up on the spot. Get my point? Anybody can make up any statistic if they want to prove a point. You can follow the latest posts and trends, but ultimately it boils down to what’s really happening in YOUR business right now! Let’s look at the bigger picture.
So here are the five myths that I want to talk about.
Websites Are Dead
The first one is websites are dead. Are they? Well, the first question I’m going to ask you is this: have you asked Google this lately? By the way, they make a lot of money on a search engine to get people to websites, and they sell a lot of ads to those websites, plus they have Google Business and Google Analytics all around websites. Even as of last year, in 2018. Yet a lot of people are starting to leave websites because they think social media is the way of the future and that it’s all we need, that we don’t need a website.
Well, guess what? Domain registrations went up 3.5% last year. So people were leaving, but there still was an increase in the number of names registered. And over 50% of those are dot-coms (or URLs ending in .com). There are a ton of other options around domain names out there. Other domain extensions include .me, .live, and many other options, but .com is still the prevalent thing that’s out there. Everybody knows it, everybody likes it, everybody trusts it, and they understand it.
Mobile Is The Future
The second myth is that mobile is overtaking the world, and also that mobile-ready equals mobile responsive. That is not necessarily true. Responsive means that the website’s server modifies the content based on the device, which means that if you have a wide page, it’ll shrink it down and make it look okay, but it’s not readjusting all of your content. A true mobile-friendly website actually readjusts all the content on that website, and puts it in a column, and puts it in one row. That’s the difference between responsive and mobile-ready.
Now, 50% of website traffic is mobile, and you should design for both of those. You should make sure that the content that’s most important to your audience shows up well at the top of the page on a mobile platform, as well as shows up on your desktop. Who is looking at your website where really depends on your audience. In the case of certain medical companies that I work with for analytics, we noticed that people who tend to have desk jobs use desktop computers. People that tend to be out in the field moving around tend to use mobile devices. The bottom line becomes if you can look at your analytics and determine where the audience is, you can design and maintain exactly the kind of website that they want.
Social Media Rules
The third myth is that social media is going to replace the need for email and websites. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of friends because of political things that have been blocked lately. Here’s the deal. Social media drives traffic to websites, but if you try to build a business solely on playing on other people’s platforms that you don’t own, you could find yourself really upset, and really broke, really quick. The bottom line is you don’t own it, and more importantly, you do not control what people see. On your own website, you can change the content; you can drive people to specific pages with specific answers. On social media, they show what is going to get them the most money through ads. That’s it. Pretty simple.
The forth myth is video is going to take over the Internet. I had somebody send me something that said, “This company is really pushy, but they want me to do this video business card.” Well, it really depends. Video is popular, but what you want to do is create scroll-stopping content, so the quality really matters. If you have a really good quality video versus a bad image, then it might help. If you have a bad quality video versus a really good image — nah, not so much.
The other thing is there is this “death to the talking head.” Everybody starts seeing talking heads and say, “Scroll past.” Because you know they’re there to talk about themselves and pitch something. If you’re going to do video, put up something that is moving, but still looks like an image. The other thing about it is that people buy more to emotion. So an image that sparks more emotion is going to be much more effective than a motion image with no emotion.
The Money’s In The List
The fifth and final myth is the money is in the list, and bigger is better. This goes back to what I was talking about earlier. Are you in the business of collecting names, or are you in the business of communicating with your target audience? 56% of all traffic on the Internet is spam. That includes email, web traffic, and everything else. There are a lot of spam, scam, and spoof emails out there. When I do a webinar, a bunch of registrants use dummy and dead email accounts so they don’t get contacted or added to a list afterwards. The ultimate thing that you can do is have a very targeted list that you respond to with very targeted messages. The more targeted you can make that, the smaller your list needs to be.
So, those are the five myths:
- Websites are not dead.
- Mobile is not necessarily the only game.
- Social media is not going to kill websites.
- Video may take over the Internet, but not quite yet.
- The money is in the list, but only if it’s targeted to your audience.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?