4 Digital Marketing Misconceptions

Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, it’s time to do some Spring cleaning. No, I’m not talking about tossing out that old letterman jacket from high school, or those Nirvana records you acquired during your “grunge” phase – I’m talking about clearing out those pesky digital marketing misconceptions. You know, the ones that have been stuck in the back of your mind, shaping how you market your brand and company. With a rapidly changing digital marketing landscape, it’s time to finally bust some of these myths that may be holding you and your company back. Here are just a few digital marketing misconceptions to get rid of for good.

4 Digital Marketing Misconceptions

1. Digital Marketing Only Works for Big Companies

Actually, this is not the case at all. In fact, smaller companies can often see improvement over time a lot quicker than bigger brands can. Using Google analytics, you can monitor your marketing efforts and see real-time how your campaign is doing. It’s time to throw out the old way of thinking. It’s time to think big! No matter how big or small your company is, digital marketing can take your brand to the next level. This digital marketing misconception often will hold smaller companies back, but putting the time, money, and effort into a stellar digital marketing campaign can go a long way.

2. SEO Isn’t Important Anymore

Well…that couldn’t be any further from the truth. SEO is one of the biggest, if not the biggest aspect that drives a good digital marketing campaign. If people aren’t seeing your brand on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) then you’re not gaining viewers, and if you’re not gaining viewers, you’re not making money. Just because SEO might be a lot different than it was 10 years ago does not mean that it’s no longer important. In fact, learning how to apply proper SEO tactics are more important than ever before. With more and more domains entering the marketing game, it’s important to know how to set yourself apart from your competitors.

3. Negative Social Media Comments Can Sink My Ship

While it’s generally not a good idea to ignore negative contents, this isn’t necessarily something that will close the doors of your company. Nobody wants negative comments about their business let alone posted on social media where everyone can see them. Such comments could drive away some of your loyal fans and customers. Obviously, you should disable comments or delete any negative comments you get on social media, right? No! Social media is a great way to show transparency and show others that you’re willing to acknowledge and fix any issues. Remaining open and honest when interacting with your audience can create a sense of trust and loyalty with your viewers.

4. Digital Marketing is Expensive

Probably one of the biggest digital marketing misconceptions is that you need a big budget to create a successful digital marketing campaign. Other than some SEO and marketing tools you may want to purchase, creating a successful digital marketing campaign is relatively cheap. Perhaps the only most “expensive” cost you may spend for this is for the hiring of a marketing staff and a website. With the many smart millennials looking for employment today, you can hire a young employee that doesn’t cost too much – yet. Instead, what you really need to invest in is time. It might take a good amount of time before you see results, and many companies will give up simply because they do not see results right away.

Digital Detox | Cleansing a Technological Life

If you’re reading this, then it’s safe to assume you’ve sifted through various digital portals in order to gain access to our amazing blog — or it was just a complete accident. Either way you’re here and that would not have been possible without an easily navigated world wide web. And yet, this ease of use can just as quickly lend itself to compulsiveness, fruitless searches down the rabbit hole, and sheer addiction! Spending so much time glued to a series of screens requires a digital detox, and I’m here to lead you on my 5 step plan for reclaiming your true analog nature…Or at least setting down your phone for a bit.

Studies by Nokia really illustrate the severity of our digital addictions, reporting that the average person checks their phone every six minutes, adding up to around 150 times a day. Add that up throughout the month and you’re basically living inside your devices. This research also showed that younger Americans send nearly 110 texts per day — perhaps out doing their actual verbal communication in some cases.

Another incredible statistic comes from the University of Maryland, where the “World Unplugged” project was founded, spanning 10 countries. This research found that college students actually experienced symptoms consistent with literal addiction when denied usage of their smartphone for 24 hours. Some ways they described their abstinence included “lonely,” “depressed,” “dead,” and even “itchy.”

It’s glaringly obvious that a digital detox is something many tech users could benefit from. Luckily, you don’t have to be a doctor to recommend treatments for staring at your cellphone for too long. So, come with me now on a journey through space-time (devoid of FaceTime).

Step 1: Plan Your Digital Detox

Amazingly, living in such a digitally connected world will have people assuming they are able (almost entitled) to reach you at any given moment. Working in a heavily digital environment, this can become problematic without proper warning, so a digital detox away message might be in order. The same goes for your personal life too! We’ve all gotten the “why are you ignoring me” or “are you dead” texts after misplacing a device or losing power. Plan ahead and make sure it’s evident that you’re taking a technological break.

Step 2: Replace Your Behavior

Old habits don’t die instantly, so finding something to replace frequent phone usage is key to making sure your digital detox is effective. If you’re like many, then reaching for your phone first thing in the morning is part of your daily rhythm — most likely because it’s your alarm clock. Instead, you may just want to put your phone on airplane mode and avoid the flood of notifications first thing in the morning. Try waking up to:

• A newspaper or book

• Making breakfast

• Turn on the radio

• Jump in the shower

• Anything else besides scrolling through a feed.

While you may not fully forgo smartphone usage, you’ll at very least want to buffer it from capitalizing on some of your first moments each day.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Habits

If you can take a day to really unplug for your digital detox, this could be a good time to really assess how devices are affecting your daily actions. Are you neglecting your health because you’re rewarding your brain with newsfeeds instead of actual nutrition or exercise? Is there something you just “wish you had time for?” Think about how much time you’re spending using a device and consider converting that into a productive activity or hobby you’ve always wanted to do.

If there is no urgent task to be found, maybe this is just a good excuse to sit and do nothing. Meditate, stretch, or take a nap. We live in a culture where being idle is automatically considered lazy, but don’t let that stop you from quieting down and entering the void for a bit. Sometimes, your subconscious mind needs permission to unfurl itself rather than being blocked up by constant information and digital stimulation.

Step 4: Plan Your Return

So now that you’ve returned from your informational pilgrimage (maybe even a literal one) you’ll probably have to link back into the matrix. With your new found sense of digital detoxification, it’s important not to fall back to old compulsive habits. Try to remember the essential things about why your phone screen is NOT the world itself and that you are in control of your notifications, rather than it being the other way around. It’s likely that you’ll need to be connected with your phone one way or another, but avoid letting it define your connection to things. Coming back to a digital life after a detox is important to put everything in perspective after the fact.

Step 5: Set Your Boundaries

Since it’s unlikely you’ll have the ability to complete avoid digital technologies (as a professional or someone reliant on new information), it’s important to develop a sense of boundaries between you and your devices. People become addicted to the digital realm because the human need for connection is hardwired into us — and it’s much easier to achieve some sense of this with a 24-hour buffet of “interactions.” A digital detox can really help to identify how much influence you’re giving devices over your life, providing the chance to decide when it’s the right time to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer. My suggestion is this: During the most human of activities, eating, sleeping, socializing, exercising, etc. — set down the phone and focus on the moment at hand!

A digital detox can really help to identify how much influence you’re giving devices over your life, providing the chance to decide when it’s the right time to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer. My suggestion is this: During the most human of activities, eating, sleeping, socializing, exercising, etc. — set down the phone and focus on the moment at hand!

It may not be effortless, but continually reinforcing this will eventually make being “off-the-grid” feel like you’re on the right track.

Duplicate Content VS Copied Content

Just this past week, Google introduced the new 2017 Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines. Big deal right? We know about SEO and organic search and using keywords, what else is there to know? Actually, there is one piece of key info that has many SEO nerds talking. We finally can tell the difference between duplicate content and copied content. The new guidelines actually fail to even mention the term “duplicate content” and with a little research, we can finally bust the myth of the duplicate content penalty.

Duplicate Content

Prior to these guidelines, it was widely believed that duplicate content was a major red flag when Google was crawling your site. Pages with similar or identical texts were seen as grounds for penalization, so many SEO experts urged users to stay away from duplicate content. However, this put many websites in a strange situation. In some cases, it makes sense to have multiple pages of similar or exact content (think job boards or travel sites). Tweaking a few words just for the sake of avoiding penalty seemed like a very time-consuming task. To add more confusion, Google released a variety of buzzwords like “thin content” and “boilerplate content” that made it even more difficult to pin down a clear definition and guideline.

Copied Content

Similar to duplicate content, copied content is widely known to be a reason to penalize sites. Copied content is any content that is copied from another domain. According to the guidelines, this is considered copied content:

  • Content copied exactly from an identifiable source. Sometimes an entire page is copied, and sometimes just parts of the page are copied. Sometimes multiple pages are copied and then pasted together into a single page. Text that has been copied exactly is usually the easiest type of copied content to identify.
  • Content which is copied, but changed slightly from the original. This type of copying makes it difficult to find the exact matching original source. Sometimes just a few words are changed, or whole sentences are changed, or a “find and replace” modification is made, where one word is replaced with another throughout the text. These types of changes are deliberately done to make it difficult to find the original source of the content. We call this kind of content “copied with minimal alteration.”
  • Content copied from a changing source, such as a search results page or news feed. You often will not be able to find an exact matching original source if it is a copy of “dynamic” content (content which changes frequently). However, we will still consider this to be copied content. Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source. (Search Guidelines)

New Guideline

Under the new guideline, as long as your site is the original source of the content, you will be able to have the same content on multiple pages without being penalized. While you still don’t want to have the same content across your entire site, this busts the myths that duplicate content can lead to heavy penalties. For SEO experts, this might finally settle a long-time debate and provide more clarity for all who are engaging in online marketing.

Micro-moments | Mapping the Customer Journey

As smartphone users, we’re accustomed to finding information where we need it, when we need it. The ability to express an immediate action allows us to act on our impulses, whether that means learning something new, finding a location, or buying products. Not only that, but the demand for relevant search results is a critical ingredient in meeting the expectations of search engine users. Simply put, expectations are getting higher as consumer patience continually diminishes.

With quick, relevant searches that provide consistent results, you’ll eventually earn the customer loyalty you’re after — just not before you’ve met your audience’s needs through a series of quality micro-moments.

But what exactly are micro-moments and how can brands utilize them for success? For this, we turn to Google’s recent guide on the matter.

Honing in on Micro-Moments

Living in a world connected by mobile apps and smartphone accessibility, consumer behavior is quickening at a similar pace. With 82% of people reporting that they use their devices to make buying decisions in stores, the ability to optimize every moment is a target for many mobile marketers.

The study by Google goes on to show that in-the-moment:


62% of people use their phones to solve unexpected problems

90% of people pursue long-term goals in short periods of time with mobile devices

91% of people try new things during their routines by searching for information


micro-moments

The consumer journey is constantly evolving, and micro-moments are part of that!

Essentially, micro-moments constitute a new way to think about mobile marketing — by understanding the consumer journey is fractured into hundreds of “real-time, intent-driven micro-moments,” brands gain critical opportunities to shape preferences and decisions.

While I realize that this post is already filled with lots of hyphenated phrases, Google’s way of presenting this information is streamlined and straight to the point as usual. Types of micro moments can include:

  • Is-it-worth-it-moments
  • Show-me-how moments
  • Didn’t-plan-for-this moments
  • Ready-for-change moments

And so on and so forth!

When it comes to integrating this framework into your own marketing efforts it can be broken down between 5 basic ideas that cover the cycle.


1. Make a Moments Map

The first step to gaining the most out of your brands micro-moments is identifying all of the small interactions with consumers that you want to win or can’t afford to lose. You’ll want to examine the phases of a customer’s journey to find what inspires people to learn about your products, make the purchase, and everything in between.

2. Understand Customer Needs

Like most behavioral observations, a useful technique is putting yourself in the shoes of whoever you’re trying to learn about. Going through the cycle, try to think of ways to make the process easier, faster, or more relevant. Ask questions like “what content or features would be most helpful for this moment?”

3. Deliver the Right Experience in Context

Drawing from contextual signs like the location of someone’s search, or even the time of day they were seeking a product or information, you’ll be able to tailor messages for those micro-moments. One great suggestion Google made was to let customers searching nearby your store know whether the product they’re viewing is in-stock.

4. Optimize the Entire Journey

It’s no secret that people move across various screens and platforms, expecting to receive the same seamless experience wherever they go. When it comes to optimizing each micro-moment, the key is ensuring that the consumer journey is tailored to the platform or device they’re using. According to the Google study, “to account for today’s complex, fractured journeys, anchor completely on the consumer and organize around moments.”

5. Measure the Moments that Matter

Underserving customers while dealing with gaps in your measurement is one way to waste time and money. Although the return on your investment for certain moments isn’t always able to be measured directly, learning ways to use credible analytical methods will help to ensure you’re not missing anything.

Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!

So there you sit — staring at a glowing screen, a blank word document stealing the oxygen out of the room. You have just a thousand more words before the end of the day and it’s already an hour to closing time. Maybe the week got away from you or the ideas just haven’t leapt to the page as usual. Whatever the case, writer’s block is something that can be as enigmatic as it is obvious to cure!

Smashing Your Writer’s Block

Whether you’re in marketing, journalism, or you just write for fun, we all have those moments (or maybe many excruciating series of moments) when capturing the right words and ideas is as easy as holding smoke in your hands. It doesn’t help when there are a series of other assignments ready to present a similar struggle — writer’s block is never fun…Or maybe it is?

writer's block

“Creativity is a soft, winged cicada.”

Over time, you’ll have hopefully divined a way to break out of your itchy uninspiring exoskeleton and expose your fleshy creativity to the rush of writing — if that’s a viable metaphor. Nonetheless, that leads me to my first technique for eliminating writer’s block:

1. Indulge in Nonsense

Sure, you’re not going to want this to transfer into the ultimate execution of your work, but sometimes it helps to simply write the first thing that comes to mind. It may not (and will likely not) be related to the serious topic you’ve been tasked to cover, although it may unfurl your subconscious mind enough to expose your real ideas.

writer's block

Words are hard, but nonsense is simple!

Whether it’s just a matter of clearing away unwanted mental baggage or generating a false sense of accomplishment, writing nonsense is something that can be a quick solution to shifting your thoughts into the right gear. While I can see this working for the more nebulously minded of us, maybe you’re the type of person who just goes deeper into the self-doubt writer’s block produces.

2. Get Up and Move

Sometimes it just takes a bit of physical movement to redistribute the blood and really get those mental facilities up and running. If you have the ability, go for a brief walk, run, or do some light cardiovascular exercise to convince your body that things are different now and the masterpiece can ensue.

writer's block

Believe me, staring forcefully into your computer monitor until words appear is rarely the best way to produce something you’ll be happy with. You may want to just get a little sunlight and breathe deeply into the void of existence before sitting down to write your problematic piece of work. Hopefully, that’s enough to let you reach the fruit of your creativity-orchard, but if not you may need a more directed approach.

3. Find an Uncanny Influence

If you’re inspired by music, find something you’ve never heard before. Into the visual arts? Go glimpse interesting imagery just until the point where your mind’s eye is ready to see those words hitting the page! The point is this — find something to help you break out of your regular thought-patterns and stir up new ideas. Writer’s block may feel like you’re turning to stone at the bottom of the ocean, but if it never left anyone then humanity would have exhausted just about every great thought available. So far so good!

writer's block

Waste time with the Magic iPod at your own risk…

While it’s important not to waste time being a whimsical dandy just floating about, finding things you wouldn’t normally draw inspiration from can inform what you’d like to create, in addition to what you’ll want to avoid. The answers are out there, regardless of how elusive they are at this very moment. More or less, just take to mediums which aren’t your usual cup of tea and swallow them whole or smash the mug entirely — whichever is a more applicable metaphor.

4. What Would You Want to Read?

So up until this point, my advice has probably been pretty subjective — perhaps you’re looking for that actionable, completely obvious way to destroy your writer’s block the “just say it already” takeaway point. And really that’s just it! Write exactly what it is you’d like to read yourself. People can take entirely boring subjects, and through some alchemical wizardry, produce a relatively engaging piece because they’re genuinely interested in the content.

writer's block

You are your most critical audience member, and simultaneously the performer!

This can also translate to the fact that sometimes you’ll need a jump start on figuring out the exact content you’ll be writing. For this, I’d essentially recommend finding similar pieces and writing your own take on the matter, taking care not to lift anything directly. Plagiarism is still alive and well in our digital age! Think about who your ideal reader is and write for them — the worst case scenario is that you write too narrowly, but that’s fine if it gets the job done!

5. Time is Your Friend!

Sometimes you can use your deadlines to leverage your creative mind! I know what you’re thinking “that’s what has gotten us here in the first place,” but maybe setting small incremental goals is just what you need to break down a larger task at hand. Give yourself an hour to get the topic or focus of your piece, another to develop the outline, and before you know it you’re adding that final punctuation mark and punching out for the day! (Side note: Time is an illusion of consciousness designed to present order in a relatively chaotic universe.)

writer's block

The most difficult part for many with writer’s block is taking that first step into the unknown — that swirling semantic tornado of uncertainty devouring the trailer parks and open prairies of your mind until inspiration is pulled from the rubble! Hopefully, this blog has been your mental vacation needed to erupt with that next great piece of content! If not, you’re on your own — but I’m glad I temporarily convinced you otherwise!

Track5Takes: What’s Your Favorite Podcast

It’s about time for another installment of the self-proclaimed “Coolest Series Around” we like to call Track5Takes. Throughout the week, we come across a variety of interesting subjects dealing with marketing, social media, and technology among other things. Our staff often discusses these articles or videos, with each of us forming our own opinions. We’d like to not only inform you about what’s going on in the web-marketing and technological world, but we want to show a little personality by giving our own “takes” on various issues.

Last week, I wrote about marketing using podcasting. With almost a quarter of the population listening to at least one podcast per month, it’s no surprise that many companies are choosing the medium as a marketing tool. In fact, we here at Track5Media are happy to announce that we’ve just debuted our own trucking podcast that will partner with our website, AllTruckJobs.com. The podcast titled BigRigBanter will cover the latest and greatest in the trucking industry and will provide info and entertainment to all truckers nationwide.

So, this got us thinking about which podcasts we prefer to listen to, so below I present Track5Takes: What’s Your Favorite Podcast?

Troy Diffenderfer, Marketing Specialist

I got into the podcasting realm about a few years ago actually. As someone who’s an avid reader, I’m always trying to absorb as much knowledge as I can. A few years after listening to my first podcast, I can admit that I’m a full-fledged podcast junkie. On average, I listen to about six to eight podcasts per week, for a total of about 10 hours. One of my favorite things about podcasts is that I can listen to them at work or while I’m driving home. I feel productive while gaining a vast variety of knowledge from various shows. But enough gushing, you want to know my favorite podcast.

favorite podcast

Criminal’s unique journalism and subject-matter make this a favorite podcast for many

While it is very hard to choose, I’d say that my favorite podcast to currently listen to is Criminal. Episodes are typically about 30 minutes long so they’re easy to digest. Hosted by Phoebe Judge, this podcast looks at various stories in the criminal realm. While you might assume this is just an audio version of something you’d see on Dateline; that’s not the case at all. Take, for example, the most recent episode, “Vanish” where a Judge interviews a variety of people on the best way to fake your own death. Yes, you heard that right; she digs into the best ways to disappear without a trace. So readers, if you don’t hear from me for a while, just assume that I got lost in the wilderness, never to be heard from again.

Sarah Yoder, Marketing Intern

I have multiple favorite podcasts for different moods I’m in, but one that always appeals to me is All Songs Considered. Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton host the show and play new music from emerging artists as well as musical icons. I’m always getting sick of my playlists and wanting new music, but don’t feel like searching on Spotify. I like to believe I’m a person that can listen to almost any genre of music and be fine with it, so it’s a great show for me.

Sometimes I’m in the mood for some completely random music to be thrown at me, but other times I’d like to at least know what’s going on. Each episode title/description includes the names of the artists, so you know what you’re in for. They even have a 24/7 music channel that plays every song that’s ever been featured on the show. It’s especially great for longer road trips when you get to the point that you’ve heard the same songs about 9 times each.

tiny desk concert segment

The show’s Tiny Desk Concert segment features a variety of artists like Macklemore (above).

Abbie Erickson, Marketing Intern

I’m not one to listen to an extreme amount of Podcasts, but I am one who loves anything pop-culture. Movies, music, TV – you name it, I’ll watch it. So when I found the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour by NPR, I was in heaven. When I can’t actually plop down and scroll through Netflix or search the internet for the top trending topics, or I find myself on the treadmill, this podcast is a really fun roundtable discussion about all my favorite subjects. The podcast brings in a handful of different speakers to talk about the next big thing or scandal to hit the entertainment industry. It’s also really helpful for staying up-to-date with any current news for trivia night with my friends. 

Connor Smith, Marketing Specialist

I’m not much for podcasts, but one I do like is the Joe Rogan Experience. The show has been running since 2009 and has remained consistent in its approach to bringing cutting edge and fringe thinkers into the same conversation. While it isn’t always the most PG-rated show, Rogan maintains a relatively objective and engaging perspective on the topics presented by his guests. His wide-range of guests also make reach a broad audience. In one week he will have MMA Fighter Dominic Cruz, Actress Whitney Cummings, and renowned scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson all on his show. He’s never really trying to push any one viewpoint or rhetoric, except the fact that we’re talking primates on a living space rock hurdling through space-time — something that really contextualizes just how ridiculous and mysterious the world can be. Overall, the Joe Rogan experience takes full advantage of what podcasts should strive to be, just free-form pseudo-journalistic interviews with an emphasis on curiosity and conversation.

joe rogan podcast

The Joe Rogan Experience hosts a variety of guests, including Neil Degrasse Tyson (above).