Digital Opinion South Africa

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    Five digital myths around performance media

    Digital media has been around for over 20 years, but with the rapid pace at which platforms, technology and opportunities move, you will be hard pressed to find a marketer who knows everything about digital media. It's easy to get lost in the layers of terminology and technical complexity that digital media offers.

    With that in mind I have compiled a list of five crucial digital media myths that you should watch out for when running performance-focused digital media.

    Five digital myths around performance media
    © Julien Eichinger

    1. Social media platforms are only for engagement and CRM

    Facebook and Twitter are fantastic engagement platforms (provided you have the content strategy to match) and brands have been using them to interact and converse with consumers for several years now. However that is not where it ends.

    The advanced targeting and creative opportunities that these social platforms provide are well suited for performance orientated campaigns. Making use of Facebook's custom audiences, detailed segmentation and low CPC (cost per click) can result in some great return on investment. Looking at Twitter you can make use of their lead-gen card which can also deliver very effective campaigns.

    2. Automated bidding software is all you need to manage SEM

    Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is able to deliver on various marketing objectives from brand awareness to positioning. While automated software can deliver great results for large scale operations, a dedicated resource who can optimise campaigns and tweak keywords based on real-time analysis of page rank and other factors is a much better option, with software playing a supporting role.

    3. Search is the only channel that impacts lead generation

    Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a solid channel but not all of the glory is fairly attributed. If you implement an attribution modelling system you will see the impact that other digital channels have on the end result. Often the interest is driven through a display banner and then acted upon using Search a few days later. Understanding this full funnel will help you fairly evaluate the impact of each digital channel.

    4. Achieving the lowest Cost Per Click means good performance

    Many Display Network and Ad Exchanges provide low CPC rates (Cost Per Click) which deliver cheap traffic to your website. Understanding who these users are and what they do after they click will determine the true value of the click. A website delivering a more expensive CPC, but a better quality user with a higher likeliness to buy your product is more valuable than a cheap uninterested user.

    5. Email marketing is dated and not necessary

    Email marketing was extensively used by digital marketers in the early years of the Internet marketing era and is still used by smart marketers today. Email is still a major online activity for consumers and a very cost effective one-to-one communication medium especially when combined with social CRM.

    Email also offers the ability to contextually target users through platforms such as Gmail and across mobile devices. It's a channel that is often overlooked but one that should be a part of your digital marketing mix.

    Take a look at the campaigns that you are running at the moment. Check that you haven't fallen prey to any of these performance media myths or consider evaluating some of these under-utilised channels in your next campaign.

    About Matthew Arnold

    Matthew is the Chief Connections Officer at VMLY&R South Africa. He ensures clients' properties, brands and experiences connect with audiences delivering measurable success.
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