Seven Marketing Tricks Everyone Should Avoid!
Every business person needs to know how to market their business. These days, if you are selling something, then you definitely need to know how to maximize the internet to generate leads and ultimately sales. It always amazes me to see the number of people who market their businesses in the most inefficient ways. I think the reason people engage in useless marketing efforts is because they are either too lazy to do it right or too naïve to realize their offer is not as uniquely compelling as they think.
When we speak of marketing, we often hear the terms inbound and outbound, but what does that really mean? The easiest way to explain it is to tell you that inbound marketing is permission based and designed to pull people in, whereas outbound marketing is more about pushing a message out and interrupting people. The problem is, nobody will tolerate being interrupted anymore. Time is a valuable commodity. We skip past television commercials, hang up on telemarketers and delete unsolicited emails. This means that inbound marketing efforts are what businesses need to be focused on and in case you don’t believe me, there are plenty of studies published on the internet which reveal the effectiveness of inbound marketing over outbound marketing.
Here is a list of a few things people do to promote their businesses via the internet that smart marketers avoid at all costs!
Spam: Spam comes in many forms. We tend to think of unsolicited email as spam, but direct messages via Twitter and LinkedIn for example, can also be spam, even if the product you are selling is really good! Someone once said to me, “Tellin’ ain’t sellin’; askin’ is!” If you’re not asking questions to learn about your prospect’s needs and desires before you actually tell them anything about your business, then you are sending spam. If you are intruding on someone’s time to talk about your business, then you are spamming. If you don’t want to spam people, then offer something unconditionally, to people who actually ask to receive it.
Advertising: Traditional advertising such as radio, television, direct mail and billboards are a complete waste of money in terms of how much revenue they actually generate versus inbound efforts. Internet advertising can also be a waste of money. The trick with successful internet advertising is that it must be inbound in nature (i.e. offer something instead of sell something) and highly targeted to the demographic that will most likely be interested in your offer.
Blanket marketing: I just made this term up because I don't know a better way to describe it. It happens to me all the time; especially on Twitter and the biggest offenders are network marketers. They never look at my profile and simply assume that I am interested in being a network marketer. Then they offer me irrelevant content like their free network marketing tips or they try to sell me their network marketing lessons. I hate that. I am all over the internet and there is absolutely nothing in any of my profiles or on my website that indicates that I have even the slightest interest in network marketing. These people are either misusing their auto responders or just cutting and pasting the same response to anyone who follows them. “Hi, I see you’re into network marketing…” Really? Lately I have been responding by sending them my Social Media Marketing Tip # 16 meme.
Over posting on social media: Every platform you use in social media is unique. There are optimal times to publish and types of content that are not suited to all platforms. Bombarding people with content all at once might seem like a great way to let everyone know you exist, but too much content in places like Facebook and LinkedIn can cause you to lose followers. I often see people posting the same thing on Twitter ten consecutive times (within three seconds). It’s aggravating but it is only going to appear in my feed for about fifteen minutes and then I won’t likely see it again. So what did that accomplish? It is a short lived result that only annoys people. Any time you annoy people you hurt your business. Try to space out your posts throughout the day and if you must publish several times in a row, then vary the content and limit it to three posts within 15 minutes.
Using an offer as click bait: I hate these. Making an offer that is not an offer at all doesn't make you more desirable! In this case, the marketer asks you to click on something to get something for free but when you do, you discover it doesn’t even exist. There are lots of offers of things to purchase, lots of flashy ads and no compelling reason to want to stay on the site. People don’t like to be duped and they don’t like to be sold to. Besides, you can’t sell to people if you haven’t established any trust. If you lie to me from the beginning, I am certainly not going to spend any money on your products or services.
The lure and pitch webinar: People in the self-help arena use this one all the time. They get you signed up for a free webinar that will take up an hour or two of your valuable time to learn how to empower yourself in some way. The main purpose is to sell you something like a video series or tickets to an event in some wonderful American city. I have trouble with the lure and pitch when the pitch is an hour long. No real information is given, but there is a lot of selling. One of these guys even had a young woman tell her story about how she didn’t pay her bills one month in favour of purchasing a $1000 video series. Of course she watched all her videos and followed the program and became an overnight success. This is unconscionable to me. Slime marketing at its finest. I clicked off the webinar and lost all respect for this person. I am sure several people purchased something, but how many did he completely turn off? I am guessing many more.
Email marketing: Sometimes email marketing is good. Done correctly it can be very helpful to your business, but more often than not it becomes spam. The key is to first get permission, then give, build trust, keep giving and gently offer something to buy. To get permission, offer something to help build an opt-in email list. Don't ever email without permission. Never export your LinkedIn contacts and send out random emails to people who are not interested in you. I know, you are connected, but this is not always because you are so gosh darn amazing. People who have thousands of LinkedIn contacts won’t know anything about you so if you send them a newsletter or advertise a course you are giving, they will delete your email or worse, report you, if you are both Canadian. Besides, bothering people will harm your reputation and it really won’t make you very much money.
Here is an important thing to remember. Anything you do that creates the perception that you are a bit slimy is bad for business. All of the marketing mistakes listed in this article can lead people to believe that you are either not very clever or not very trustworthy. I know there will be people who will probably tell me they are making money doing these things, but I contend that they would make a lot more money through smarter marketing efforts.
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Few public relations & communications specialists have as diverse a background as Renée Cormier. Add published author, employee engagement specialist, sales and marketing strategist, entrepreneur and educator to her list of accomplishments. In her career Renée has held leadership roles in sales and marketing, developed and implemented national marketing strategies and was responsible for teams as large as 28 strong. She brings a wide range of experience and talent to her work.
Renée really shines in marketing communications. She is known for developing and implementing comprehensive communications strategies and generating results through flawless implementation. With such strong business acumen, passion for her work and a natural talent for business strategy, Renée is definitely considered an important resource for her clients. Do you need help with your communications or public relations efforts? Contact Renée through her website.
It is hard to find PR people with the business acumen and the valuable varied experience that I have. If you are serious about growing your business and raising your public profile, then you should talk to me.
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