A hand writing "what to expect" on a whiteboard

As a digital marketing agency, we talk to many entrepreneurs and SMB owners who are interested in using digital marketing to grow their brand or business. They always have valuable questions about the process and the results, but oftentimes they have a few common misconceptions or unrealistic expectations as well. These misconceptions mainly exist because there are unprofessional and untrustworthy digital marketing “experts” that have guaranteed instant and massive results for very little effort, or attempted to sell quick fixes that simply don’t work.

In order to make the most of your digital marketing investment, it’s important to have realistic and healthy expectations. These expectations can help you choose the right digital marketing agency, create the right campaigns, implement the right tools, and eventually see the right results for your business. So, here are three common digital marketing misconceptions and what to realistically expect…

Misconception #1: You will see immediate results.

One of the most common misconceptions about digital marketing is that you will see immediate results with any strategy or campaign. But digital marketing is not a one-time action or effort that delivers overnight results.

The best digital marketing strategies focus on long-term results instead of trying to create quick fixes. Digital marketing is an investment, but when it’s done professionally, the ROI is worth the wait.

The exact amount of time it takes to see digital marketing results depends on several factors, such as your industry, competitors, and budget, and also depends on what tools and strategies you use. 

A healthy and realistic expectation for most digital marketing efforts is six to twelve months before you begin to see significant growth and results. Depending on how you have invested in all areas of your online presence and digital marketing, you may see satisfying results sooner. (Or, if you’re neglecting important areas of your digital marketing, this may impact your efforts and further delay the results.)

For any healthy and professional digital marketing effort, results will take time, but the investment and the results are worth it.

Misconception #2: More traffic guarantees more conversions. 

Another common misconception about digital marketing (especially with paid ads or social media campaigns) is that you are guaranteed to increase your conversion rates. While conversions are incredibly valuable and are usually the digital marketing end-goal for any business, that is not the only digital marketing objective that you should be focusing on—it’s important to understand the necessity and value of impressions and clicks.

While impressions and clicks don’t guarantee conversions, they increase brand awareness. For startups and newer SMBs, brand awareness has to come first and should be the main objective in your digital marketing. Impressions and clicks increase brand awareness and brand credibility, and open the door for you to facilitate connections and relationships with prospects. The conversions may not come immediately, but they will increase with time as the awareness of (and the trust in) your brand grows.

Misconception #3: You can set it and forget it.

The misconception that you can set and forget your digital marketing efforts is one of the most common and one of the most dangerous.

Paid ads, social campaigns, and other digital marketing strategies cannot just be created, launched, and then ignored. They need to be monitored, managed, and occasionally adjusted for better results. This process should be handled by a professional agency who can collect, analyze, and interpret the right data on a regular basis, to maintain the health of the campaign and make any necessary adjustments. Most digital marketing agencies perform this campaign management for a monthly fee, and it is worth it, as it greatly improves the likelihood of a satisfying ROI.

Attempting to monitor and manage your digital marketing campaigns without the right experience or setting and forgetting them risks a loss of investment, a misuse of ad spend, and failed initiatives. Understanding that campaigns become and remain healthy through on-going management and are never one-and-done, and hiring a professional agency to create, launch, and manage your campaigns will ensure that your investment is being used to its fullest potential and ensures the best possible ROI.

Not sure what else to expect?

As a digital marketing agency, we are here to increase your business’ online visibility, brand awareness, and bottom line, and to help you reach your target audience. We expertly develop and implement paid advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and other online marketing strategies to grow your business and help you reach your full online potential.

In this process, we are committed to setting healthy and realistic expectations with each step and phase. If you’re not sure what else to expect, not sure where to begin, or not sure what you can do to improve your current digital marketing, contact us today. Our team will be happy to discuss your objectives and how our digital marketing packages can help you reach your goals.