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With new businesses implementing online marketing and blogging strategies every day, more and more business owners are now  taking on the daunting task of online marketing, and they’re looking online for help on where to start. This can be a seemingly great tactic, albeit dangerous.  The danger lies with the massive amount misinformation floating around. Because of that, I wanted to clear up five popular myths in order to help you avoid unrealistic expectations, expectations created by new businesses about the wonderful world of online marketing.

Thanks to Marketo for sparking my idea to take the opposite approach of their post.

And now, without any further ado, the list…

1. If You Build It, They Will Come

This common mistake is the inherent weakness of the “Content is King” argument. Creating content by publishing blog posts and articles does not mean search engines nor visitors will find your content. The truth is that even the best and most deserving content usually does not win because “Content + Marketing = King”. This is where search engine optimization and social media marketing have an effect on your success.

2. Creating a Twitter and Facebook Account Will Help Your Marketing Strategy

I’ve seen it a hundred times. A business wants to ‘get social’ and start focusing on social media marketing and interacting with their customers. So, they setup a Facebook profile page and a Twitter account and phew… that was hard. And now the traffic, customers and comments should come rolling in…yes?  Wrong.

Leveraging social media for B2B sales and marketing success takes time, effort and some strategy. Expect it to take a little time, some research and learning on your end and a lot of tweets and updates to really get going (unless you’re a big brand). If done correctly, it can be a huge benefit to your marketing goals, sales objectives and your customer service.

3. Reading Online Tips and Techniques is a Substitute for Professional Help from Experts

The Internet is a large, large place full of great information. The problem is the percentage of content that is trusted, referenced, truthful and written by credible experts is particularly small. The fact is, what you read online is mostly opinion, made-up, you name it and should not be substituted for real facts or expert advice. Think of any medical website or advertisement and the message they throw in the fine print “This information is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional.” If you understand and follow that methodology to keep your body healthy, do the same for the health of your business and its marketing strategy!

4. Automate Everything You Can to Save Time

This is yet another classic mistake caused by efficiency overload. Some things can be automated. Other things should never be automated. Lead scoring, company research and sales intelligence, tracking search engine rankings are a few examples of aspects that automation can save a great deal of time. However, other aspects like search engine optimization, demand generation and conversion optimization to name a few should always be manual. Sure, there are tools you can use to help, but these tasks are more of an art than a science where automation has no place.

5. Being Successful Online Is Easy

Probably the biggest oversight that companies fall prey to is the misunderstanding that being successful online is easy. What may have worked in 1998 definitely does not work in 2010 and success is much, much harder now-a-days. Search engines and stiff competition have taken away most “fast-track” online marketing efforts. Yet, companies are still misinformed and, just to name a few, still:

…think that a “set it and forget” approach will work (Not so much. It takes real work!)

…want to spend as little as possible to get great results (When has this ever worked?)

…want #1 rankings in less than a month (LOL! Really?)

…give IT departments more control than they do marketing departments and SEOs

By: Christopher Kelly

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