6 Fairy Tales About Digital Marketing

Thousands upon thousands of digital marketing agencies and talented individuals around the world are offering advice on digital marketing.

Some offer genuine insight about the latest strategies, others are merely repeating stuff they found on the net. Some get paid by companies to promote specific products instead of offering real solutions for your problems. Almost all of them are after your money. Here are some of the most egregious misconceptions about digital marketing touted by experts around the world.

We can make any post go viral

Going viral is not so much a function of technological prowess as of a matter of content. If your content doesn’t appeal to people, if it does not evoke the right emotions, no manner of marketing trick will make it go “viral.” Not even if you pay Oprah to tweet about your gadget.

What’s more, going viral might not even be in your best interest. What if your product video really takes off, while your customer support is overwhelmed or your manufacturing plant can’t keep up? You might destroy your hard-earned reputation at the very same time your marketing team is celebrating their viral success.

Read More: There Is No Such Thing As “Going Viral”

It’s easy to get great results, you just have to know the right tricks

It is not. Success in the digital market is a combination of creativity, cunning, and competence very few people possess. Yes, there are some tricks and growth-hacking is a burgeoning field.

Yet truly great results don’t just bring you a random audience, they bring you the right audience. Building a dedicated and engaged following is not easy. You need authenticity, consistency, and patience.

Read more: Curiosity Marketing: The Ideal Solution for Digital Natives

Digital marketing is cheap

It’s definitely not. Look at the most successful accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform: those with the most followers and views are people or products which also have a big following OFFLINE. If you start online with a brand-new venture and don’t have a significant offline presence, the road to digital fame can be quite treacherous. And it’s certainly not cheap. As we say, if you offer peanuts, you get monkeys.

We can do this ourselves

Maybe you can. But digital marketing is becoming such a complex affair – from SEO/SMM and profitable PPC to creating the right content, that building up an effective in-house team is an increasingly complex affair. What’s more, many in-house teams tend to be swallowed up by the corporate culture they inherit, making them less effective when it comes to innovative strategies and disruptive marketing techniques.

Once you built a big following, the rest is easy

Again, wrong. Even accounts with a big following make mistakes, lose focus and thus followers, or simply don’t have the right offering to engage customers. Some accounts with 2000 followers have conversion rates of 30 or more percent, while others have millions of followers and negligible engagement. Digital marketing, like everything in life, is not about quantity, it’s about quality. Having a large following can also work against you. One company I know managed to get 180’000 followers who use Facebook mainly to complain about the brand’s shortcomings.

What the leading digital marketing agencies recommend is always true.

It’s not. Many agencies are pushing their own agenda, creating content to serve their clients and driving you to use software solutions from which they themselves profit. Also, a lot of digital marketing wisdom comes from the US, which is a fairly homogeneous market and very different from the rest of the world. Twitter, for example, is used for entirely different purposes in Taiwan than in the US. It’s almost impossible to generate leads on Twitter here. In China, it doesn’t even exist and you’ll have to switch to other platforms like WeChat. In other words: the digital space may be global, but your strategy must still be local.

Read also: So What is Content Marketing Anyway?

Follow the author on Twitter.

Published by Dr Martin Hiesboeck

Futurist, Marketer, Policy Advisor for Companies and Government Head of Blockchain and Crypto Research at Uphold and CEO of Alpine Blockchain Consultants Zurich - London - New York - Taipei

13 thoughts on “6 Fairy Tales About Digital Marketing

  1. Hey Martin, you nailed it with going viral on social media. Everything is all about the content. If you put the time and effort and get your content in front of the right people it will be shared. Awesome, post!


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