by Mark Ditteaux, President and COO of Mark-it-Smart
When you are first starting a business, your marketing strategy is crucial. It can make or break your future, and you want to get it right. So how do you know what the right marketing moves are? You turn to your trusty pal Google to figure out. That’s when you discover that the Web is laden with marketing advice, and it’s not always easy to decipher which of it is the real deal and which of it is from people that have no idea what they’re talking about.
To help you sort it out, here is a collection of some of the worst marketing advice on the Web. Don’t listen to it.
1. “You need to spend a lot of time on social media.”
Social media is undoubtedly a non-negotiable it today’s online world. That being said, Brown Creative Group points out that it should not be a full-time job, and you do not have to be on every single site. Each social network has a different target audience (e.g., Pinterest for stay-at-home moms or LinkedIn for business professionals). If your target market is men, you probably don’t need to spend time on Pinterest. Your valuable minutes are better spent on the sites that will get you ROI.
Usually, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are good starting points. If you can spend a few minutes per day on each of these platforms, posting valuable content and interacting with your followers, then you will be good to go.
2. “You can save time by automating your social media updates.”
Speaking of social media, it can be tempting to use one of the many automation tools that make the process easier. While Hubspot says automation does have its place, it’s important that you don’t rely on it to do all of your work. Why? Because social media is about being social, and it will be obvious to your followers that you aren’t writing your updates in real time — some sites even let readers know the update was posted using an automation tool.
But that’s not the most serious issue. In times of a crisis, you don’t want to be acting like nothing is going on, which is exactly what it will look like if you have a Facebook post with a funny meme while everyone else is posting condolences.
3. “Keywords don’t matter anymore.”
It is true that you don’t need to mention keywords at certain densities in order to show up high on the search engine results pages (SERPs); however, you still have to give Google some kind of indication of what you are talking about. Your keywords should still be the most frequently used phrase on the page so that it’s clear. The good news is that keywords will usually fit into your content naturally, so you really don’t need to spend too much time thinking about them.
The important thing is that the completed content is well written, unique, informative and engaging. If you can do that, Google is sure to take notice.
4. “Make sure you delete any negative reviews.”
Whether they are on your own social media sites or through third-party resources, it can be tempting to try to remove anything bad ever said about you. In fact, a lot of people make a lot of money managing online reputations. However, these negative reviews let people know that all of the reviews are genuine. If nothing negative is ever said, your average reader will question if any of the reviews are legit. Your time is better spent responding to these reviews to try to rectify any wrongdoings, and as a bonus it will gain you respect from other readers for owning up to your mistakes. You should also take these negative reviews to heart to understand where your company can improve. Your customers are the best critics and can provide valuable insight into your daily operations that you can’t gain any other way.
Starting a business is stressful, expensive and time consuming, and the last thing you need is to waste all of your resources on marketing tactics that don’t even work. If you can keep the above tips in mind, you will be well on your way to becoming the next big thing.
Mark Ditteaux is the President and COO of Mark-it-Smart, Inc. Bag Warehouse, a subsidiary, supplies promotional and conference bags to businesses based on their unique promotional needs.