Marketers have long relied on following their gut to make decisions. Unfortunately, it is common for assumptions to exist among marketers from one generation to the next long after they’ve outlived their value.
To prevent you from being fooled this April, we’ve highlighted four digital marketing beliefs that should no longer be assumed.
Digital Marketing Assumption #1:
High-Volume Keywords Best Support My SEO Strategy
SEO strategy used to focus on identifying high-volume keywords and achieving targeted keyword density within content. But search engines have changed, and SEO strategy must evolve too.
Especially with the rise in popularity and quantity of search bots (like Alexa and Cortana) in the marketplace, searchers are asking questions more conversationally. One-word queries are used less frequently, which means multi-word (or long-tail) answers are increasingly appropriate.
Keywords are still an essential part of optimization, but the focus must now be more toward content relevance and less about specific keyword usage.
If you’re too focused on single keywords, start your shift toward long-tails by listing out all the possible questions customers may be thinking as they navigate toward your site. Consider both what they may type, but also the words they use when speaking the question. A verbal search is less likely to be a combination of chopped keywords. Usually, people talk with a more conversational tone than they use in type. Marketers are now encouraged to use conversational (typically long-tail) keywords including detailed phrases and sentences to thoroughly describe your products and services.
Do long-tail keywords achieve the same level of volume as short-tail keywords? Often not. But typically they convert better because they are more targeted to what your audience wants and how your products or services meet their needs. In the end, ranking for some low-volume keywords may have more value than one highly searched keyword. What the long-tail approach lacks in volume, it will make up with conversions.
Digital Marketing Assumption #2:
Last-Click Attribution Is the Only Way to Accurately Evaluate Marketing Performance
When tracking the last click of a customer journey, it is easy to prove the value of media channels that are active inquiry generators. Because top-of-the-funnel media channels do not appear to perform as well through last-click attribution, many marketers applying only last-click attribution boosted their conversion drivers at the expense of brand awareness generators. The lift provided by the omitted channels was never measured. In fact, the cross-channel campaign suffered after cutting those channels.
Cross-channel, multi-touch attribution is far superior to last-click attribution tracking because it allows marketers to demonstrate the value of everything they do. By providing timely, insightful and actionable data with which marketing campaigns can be holistically (versus channel-by-channel) optimized, attribution tracking also assists in the optimization of marketing efforts.
With a realistic attribution model in place, marketers can understand how well a holistic marketing program is achieving its objectives plus how significantly each component is contributing to the success. This information allows for successful campaign optimization and the achievement of better results with less time and effort.
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Digital Marketing Assumption #3:
It’s Not Worth Reinvesting in Leads that Do Not Convert the First Time Around
A visitor came to your homepage and didn’t submit a lead. Or a lead was submitted, but the conversion never happened. Maybe it just isn’t meant to be.
Or maybe it is. If you work for it.
Successful marketers know they need to remarket and retarget their prospective customers. If you’ve already invested effort or media dollars into growing brand familiarity, don’t give up easily. Hit this audience from every angle ― paid search, social, email. Stay in front of them. Getting someone with brand awareness to take the next step is often way easier and less expensive than starting from scratch.
Digital Marketing Assumption #4:
First-Channel Leads Always Perform Better than Third-Party Leads
Without a doubt, the average conversion rate for first-party leads is solidly higher than the average conversion rate for third-party leads. According to the recently published DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review, first-party inquiries averaged a 13.8% conversion rate in Q4 2017 while third-party inquiries achieved only 4.8%.
End of story? Far from it.
Below are six media channels, ranked by their 2017 average conversion rate.
• Internal Website: 20.2% average conversion rate in 2017
• Affiliate Hot Transfers: 15.5% (third-party source)
• PPC: 9.9%
• Affiliate PPC: 8.6% (third-party source)
• Social Media: 3.9%
• Affiliate Data Leads: 3.4% (third-party source)
As expected, the top channel is a first-party source, and the bottom channel is a third-party source. But the affiliate hot transfers channel, a third-party source, is near the top of the list. And social media, a first-party channel, is near the bottom of the list.
Stop Fooling Yourself with Yesterday’s Assumptions.
Digital Media Solutions is orchestrating the win by maximizing the marketing solutions of tomorrow. We invite you to join us. Click here to have someone from Team DMS contact you.