Beware Of The Digital Marketing Trap

If you run a business, you’re bound to receive some sort of marketing solicitations from random reps and sales agents.

One of the most common marketing pitches is for social media advertising, designed to increase sales by reaching new shoppers through social media channels. A salesperson will reach out claiming to have skills with Facebook, Google, and Instagram advertising, which could, hypothetically, be used to lift sales by X percent or Y dollars.

While more than three-quarters of businesses use social media marketing for key business purposes, it remains a blind spot for several business owners who would rather focus on other commercial needs, such as recruiting and operations. So, business owners are all too eager to outsource social media advertising to “specialists” who claim to leverage social media effectively while the business owners tend to other needs.


Tread carefully. There are countless social media marketing traps out there, so you need to be careful. If you’re subcontracting social media advertising, it is vital for your business to be on the same step as the agency.

Create talking points, timelines, and stick to them.

Your key marketing messages and the agency’s key marketing messages should be one and the same, so your business has one voice. The goals and purposes, in addition to the online marketing strategies and campaigns that execute them, should be the same as well.

When you get to the implementation stage, you need to track ROI. There is no better metric for achievement. In digital marketing language, conversion is king. I can’t repeat it enough: Conversion, conversion, conversions. What are your social media marketing and advertising campaigns actually getting you?

At the end of the day, what matters for any business is sales, income, profits.

So, make sure you track it. If you spend $100 on boosting or geofencing a social media post and it brings you $3 in income, you have lost $97 for your business.

If you gain a customer, it’s important to calculate that consumer’s lifetime spending, supposing a certain attrition rate.

Let’s say the buyer spends $3 a year: Given the original $100 advertising investment, it would take you 33 years just to break even.

Put it this way, you don’t want your consumer acquisition costs to be too high. You want your social media-based shopper acquisition costs to be as low as possible while presenting your business to high-quality consumers (i.e., repeat shoppers). That way, you are increasing sales without spending excessive amounts of money on digital ads.

Find marketing and advertising campaigns that bring those expenses down, guaranteeing a high ROI.

If you have $100 to spend and it costs $20 to obtain a shopper, ask yourself: Is that consumer worth it? Does getting five consumers for $100 make sense? Depending on your business and the significance of a typical sale, it may be sensible. But, on the other hand, you may be wasting your money.

You should also be cautious of digital marketing pitches that suggest it takes months for advertising or marketing to become effective. The “branding” catchphrase is often thrown around as a way for marketers to validate themselves by roping you in long term.

Of course, branding is essential. If you have the resources, you should brand your product or service across multiple digital channels, from blogs and media outlets to Instagram. This is called an “integrated marketing approach,” and it does actually work. But vague “branding” offers from agencies can divert you from the task at hand.

So, if you get sold by an actual marketer, have that person explain ROI and conversion in detailed terms. There is too much at stake for unclear generalities. You deserve to know the anticipated sales boost if you target a certain demographic or advertise to a particular geographic space.

Beware the online marketing trap. Don’t be the easy sell, and do your due diligence.

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