Let’s face it: no one likes advertising. In fact, a cursory Google search yielded the fact that a whopping 96% of consumers – at least according to the surveyors, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA…and yes, that’s how the topic of this write-up makes us feel) – don’t trust advertisers. As digital marketers ourselves, we feel that a big reason for this mistrust is the sleaziness that many find inherent in the very act of advertising. “If your product’s so good, why do you need to advertise it? Let it sell itself!” We can already hear you say, even though letting said product “sell itself” in an Indian market of well over 1.43 million businesses (according to the Statista Research Department) is…not exactly the walk in the park that you think it is. In addition, we’d imagine that there was only a miniscule fraction of such businesses in ancient Greece, and yet some of the earliest examples of (papyrus-)written advertising hail from there.
However, clearing consumer misconceptions about advertising (at least in a world where capitalism is a given) is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Instead, this write-up is going to focus on a slightly more worthy topic: the misconceptions that are often held by businesses themselves, particularly those related to the relatively-new and always-changing field of digital advertising.
Yes, we know you put a lot of hope and effort into that one shiny Facebook page. In the literal Age of Social Media, however, honing your presence on just one platform is akin to putting a single ad in a local newspaper and hoping your business booms. Building a presence on other major social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and even YouTube (yes, the video-sharing giant is effectively a social media website) is downright imperative if you want your business to reach a far wider audience.
At this point, all readers of our blog should be aware of the term Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Well, given the rapid pace of progress in the sphere of digital technology, you might have heard that this tried-and-true – not to mention highly effective – method of gaining your desired online traction is currently “threatened” by major developments such as Google’s zero-click searches (OK, if you’re still lost at this point, then we suggest taking a detour here). However, not only is that not true, but there are several ways in which you can workaround these issues, such as:
Don’t get it twisted though: they are bad for business, but only if they are not properly addressed when they pop up. In fact, ensuring your customers the best kind of experience with your services – or in a word their satisfaction – should be a no-brainer when it comes to creating your business’ reputation. Not addressing these reviews, and by that we also include responding to and following up with these customers, opens up the risk of the kind of bad word-of-mouth that can do far more damage to your company than said reviews.
When seen this way, negative reviews are actually a net positive for your business. “But what if potential customers see these reviews get dissuaded?” Well, not having any negative online reviews of your business whatsoever is fishy to say the least. No matter how good you are, you can’t possibly please everyone.
Creating a website for your business is certainly an important step when it comes to establishing your presence online for your potential customers. However, you’d be naïve to think your digital campaign stops there. Leaving aside social media, your website also needs to have content relevant to your customer base. This regularly-uploaded content – which can range from blogs like this one to videos to even relevant and succinct FAQs – can not only help create value for your customers but can also make it easier for them to trust you, thus helping in establishing brand loyalty.
We know you see the plug coming, but bear with us for just a moment: as easy as digital marketing seems on paper, it’s an entirely different beast in practice – requiring a significant amount of research and planning in order to yield the desired return on investment (and it is an investment of both money and time, seriously). Why not leave it to the pros instead?