Updated January 23, 2018
There’s a lot of bad marketing advice out there to avoid in 2018 – and we’re sharing a list of things you should take with a grain of salt, as you outperform those who instead heeded that bad advice.
Bad Advice #1 Stop ‘Doing’ SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) had got a bad name as of late, largely due to the propaganda machine at Google (and those Google pundits who repeat Google’s words as if they were carved in stone or walked on water). Sure, poorly executed optimization can lead to negative results. But, done well, search engine optimization can bring in huge profits for the company smart enough to undertake the effort.
A few years ago, the author was lucky enough to work on an ‘accounting software’ or ‘bookkeeping software’ project for a UK company called KashFlow. The SEO efforts behind this project achieved #1 rankings on those phrases for the company, despite the competition from big industry names (one of whom ended up buying KashFlow because they couldn’t beat them otherwise). It confirmed what I already knew – that an SME can outperform the biggest players in the industry in ranking tops organically.
Bad Advice #2 Publish 500 Words of Fluff Daily
If you’ve ever hired writers, or outsourced marketing, you’ve undoubted found that most of the people out there are going to try to provide you with content services based on 500 word articles that you publish every day or two. These articles are most commonly rewrites of other articles someone else has written (who in turn has rewritten the article someone else published as well). They’ll include no images, have no ordered lists/unordered lists, callout boxes, or other detailed formatting.
The great thing about fluffy 500 word ‘SEO articles’ is you don’t have to worry about how you’ll be remembered. That’s because there’s nothing ‘evergreen’ about them (they won’t endure the test of time because the contribute nothing original or worthy of recall).
Instead, publish half as often with twice the depth. While you’re at it, find your old posts that aren’t drawing traffic (by checking Google Analytics organic landing page report) and rewrite them or unpublish them. Quality over quantity – especially when it comes to humans. After all, do you really want to be known as the fluffy blogger?
Bad Advice #3 Try to Maintain a Presence on All Social Networks
It’s great to be found everywhere, but that’s not doable with a modest marketing budget. Instead of strafing along 30 seconds per network, making no real friends, no engagement, no brand notoriety, stick to 1, 2 or 3 networks where you contribute to regularly and invest significant time and energy.
You should try to syndicate your blog content onto social networks by making a teaser mention of the post, an image, a link and possibly spending a few bucks on a promoted post so that they get found, thus driving new prospects to your website – whose first impression will be that of your content contribution, not a sales rag touting your products.
Bad Advice #4 Try to Manage ALL the Data
We all know of the importance of marketing analytics in determining whether your campaigns are successful and what you need to do next. The problem people have when they come from a traditional marketing background is they try to take in all the data at once.
The best way to market in 2016 is to drop any data that isn’t directly relevant to you and your business. Just because you can track it doesn’t mean it’s useful.
Bad Advice #5 Skip Brand Development
The steps of brand development are essential for marketing professionals because they need to give their company a unique identity. Poor brand development makes it almost impossible to create positive customer relations.
Don’t make the mistake of skipping steps in brand development. People always talk about moving faster and getting more done, but this is one area where we recommend slowing down.
Bad Advice #6 Prioritize Quantity Over Quality
More is no longer better, and hasn’t been for some years. Nevertheless, people still fall victim to this damaging mind-set. You must never prioritize quantity over quality. Good content beats a hundred pieces of bad content. Take a step back and focus on creating a smaller number of truly high-quality pieces of content for your website and social media channels.
Larger companies should consider forming an auditing team to ensure quality really does reign supreme.
Bad Advice #7 Don’t Bother with Strategy
No strategy at all is the only thing worse than a bad strategy. Your marketing plan has to be targeted or how can you expect to accomplish your goals?
It all starts with your overall target. Determine whether you are aiming for more traffic, more signups, more conversions, or more revenue. From there you can begin deciding on how you are going to get there. Make sure any goal you come up with is measurable.
Bad Advice #8 Skip Personal Connections
The Internet and changes in the modern consumer have joined to create a situation where we have to make that personal connection if we are going to succeed in our goals. The faceless company is no longer going to work. You have to create a personal connection with your audience. Customers have come to expect more.
Shorter attention spans have only made the problem worse. Treat your client’s right by making conversations, adding a personal touch, and generally loosening up. Try to find that human touch to make that personal connection.
Bad Advice #9 Stop Following the Trends
One of the worst marketing habits you can have is following the trends. Just because something has worked spectacularly well for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Typically, a trend will work for a small number of people and nobody else.
The audience doesn’t change that quickly. Continue to concentrate on the tried and tested marketing principles that work year in and year out. Following the trends leads to confusion because your target market no longer knows what to expect from you.
Bad Advice #10 Talk about Yourself A LOT
You already know you need to tell a story and engage your audience, but they are not here because they are so in love with you. They want what you’re offering. Talking about yourself is going to make them switch off, and it isn’t going to help you make that personal connection.
Refrain from talking about yourself when it comes to B2C marketing. Make it all about the customer and you’re more likely to grab their attention.
If you must make it about yourself, keep it short.
Bad Advice #11 Wait Until Tomorrow to do What Could be Done Today
You can procrastinate in many ways. Making marketing plans and endless meetings are some of the ways to do it. Some amount of planning is necessary, but at some point, you need to get off your behind and actually do what you are talking about.
Start taking action as soon as you can. If you still have plans to make, make them as you go along. Take action the moment it’s possible and work from there.