Digital marketing unicorns – like some a kind of glittery plague of elusive, magical ferals, they’re everywhere.
Now, I hate to come across as an old curmudgeon but it’s time to turn those damned unicorns into pet food and glue. Or if that freaks you out, let’s at least put a few out to pasture once and for all.
Here’s a few that I have firmly in my high powered unicorn-rifle sights…
1. “Create Compelling Content – that’s the key to success online”
Seriously, I think I come across this one about twice a week and every time I do it is a signal for me to stop reading whatever stupid marketing blog post I was reading and go and do something more worthwhile with my time, like read the comments under YouTube music videos.
You can create ‘compelling’ content until the cows come home but if that’s all you’re doing it won’t be enough. And your content? It’s probably not that compelling, by the way.
Anyway (he ranted) what kind of advice is that? Telling someone to “just create compelling content” is as helpful as the advice Pomplamoose were given that the secret to the music business success is “hit songs”).
2. “SEO isn’t about backlinks anymore”
Errr … yes it is. Go and analyse the competitors who are beating you in any contested SEO space and you will see that, all content factors being more or less equal, the number one differentiator is backlinks. Google don’t want us to think that because it stuffs up their whole thang. Yes, they’ve made it harder to game with obviously-rubbish-backlinks but no, backlinks are not dead.
3. “You don’t need a website, just a Facebook page – it’s free!”
Facebook is fine as long as you understand how it works. It is NOT free. It’s a paid channel. That means it is geared to make you pay to build an audience and then pay repeatedly to engage with this audience. That’s fine but it gets expensive – and people are not bumping around Facebook looking to solve problems by buying something, they are there for the most part to socialise and to be entertained. So driving sales directly from Facebook is a bit of a digital marketing unicorn itself in my experience.
What’s worse is that you have no control over your Facebook page. They can change the rules at any time (and they do) and they can shut you down whenever they like.
Your website on the other hand, is yours, and so is your database of prospects and customers.
4. “You need a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and 23 Other Social Media Platforms”
No you don’t. You need a presence on the platforms your prospects and customers use, and that you can commit resources (money/time) to. Starting any social media platform without committing to it is a worse look than not starting it. I ought to know, I have TOTALLY done that more than once 🙂
5. “You have to have a blog”
No you don’t. Again you should only have a blog if you are prepared to spend your valuable time, like yours truly, banging away on a keyword writing on a wet and rainy Easter Saturday in the vain hope it will achieve something or, as in my case, you enjoy writing more than watching cartoons with the kids.
6. “You need to be number one on Google – that’s the magic bullet”
Actually for the right keywords, being number one on Google is certainly desirable, but as I have pointed out before, good luck with that. And anyway, it’s not that simple. Ranking high on Google for the keywords that matter to your business, if possible for you, is an important factor but then you need to think about some other factors also.
What are you going to say in the headline and in the snippet (the couple of sentences that show under your headline in the search engine results pages) that will entice the right people to click? And then what will you do on your website to get these website visitors to do the things you want them to do? Is it clear what you’re offering? Is it clear what your website visitors should do next if they like the cut of your jib? Google rankings are not a panacea for all your lead generation ills, it is not that simple.
Are there any “digital marketing unicorns” that annoy you? Get it out of your system in the comments below!