The world of digital marketing changes very quickly, and marketers need to keep their finger on the pulse of consumer expectations and technological advances to launch the most effective campaigns. Sometimes, in order to remain effective, marketing professionals need to let go of the tactics that have worked well for them in the past. After all, consumers can be very fickle, and they influence trends just as much as technological changes. Some of the tactics that were once cornerstones of digital marketing campaigns but no longer have the same traction include the following:
Relying on Twitter as a primary platform.
Twitter is far from dead, and individuals should not ignore the platform. However, marketers should not automatically put Twitter at the heart of a digital marketing campaign without first researching how the platform helps them connect with customers. Twitter saw a dip in users going into 2016, but the use of platform has peaked recently, likely due to its use by President Donald Trump. However, Twitter has had other problems—most notably the hacking of high-profile accounts—that have caused its stock prices to suffer.
One of the biggest issues surrounding Twitter, however, is how marketers use it. People are tired of lack of engagement with brands and marketers who over- or under-sell products. Rather than thinking of Twitter as a pure marketing tool, individuals need to start viewing it is a niche platform for networking with potential customers by engaging with people who fall into certain target demographics. A personable approach is much more effective than a purely marketing-based one.
Selling products through blast e-mails.
For many years, companies were able to send out engaging e-mail templates with a few hundred words of text to all of their subscribers to boost sales. Unfortunately, this strategy is unlikely to provide high returns today, perhaps because so many organizations have adopted the strategy and consumers are feeling inundated. Marketing research firm Return Path has stated that 70 percent of spam complaints come from people who have opted into a subscriber list but then become displeased by the type or amount of content they receive.
Much of the displeasure with blast e-mails comes from millennials, who expect a more personal marketing experience. A good example of a new way of interacting with consumers is Pinterest’s website, which gathers a lot of data about what users view and like so the company can send consumers completely customized e-mails based on the things they are most likely to enjoy.
Bringing in business through coupon sites.
When Groupon launched, it caused a frenzy among marketers who wanted to get in on this new platform to appeal to potential customers. Groupon, Living Social, and similar sites were able to generate a strong spike in revenue, particularly during large shopping holidays. At the time, research has also shown that coupon sites tend to give deals to existing customers rather than attract new ones, so businesses could end up losing money in the long run. This fact is especially true for businesses that create coupons that tilt heavily in favor of the customer, especially since many new customers don’t return after using the coupon.
Using Facebook primarily for promotion.
Facebook is maintaining its position as the king of social networks, and this is true even for marketers. However, organizations need to change the ways in which they use Facebook to promote their products. Organizations used to simply create a Facebook page, drive users to it, and post various deals to promote products and services. Today, however, customers expect more.
Customers want engaging content that is not all about selling a product. Companies that offer valuable information that people can actually use will gain exponentially more followers than those that continue to focus on self-promotion. The other key to the equation involves interaction with potential customers. People increasingly expect interaction at every level, from customer service to responses to compliments.
Using technical search engine optimization (SEO) tricks.
Not long ago, SEO was a largely unchartered frontier where people could rely on technical tricks to achieve higher Google rankings. However, these tricks are becoming less effective as Google continues to update its search algorithm to weed out unfair tactics. Today, using these tactics can actually penalize a website.
Keyword stuffing used to help boost content rankings, but repetition of a keyword now flags content as low quality. While keywords are important, they need to be strategically added rather than randomly stuffed into content. The Google algorithm is also starting to penalize sites that republishing content and engage in various linking schemes. Some other tactics that could raise red flags include linking to something other than what was promised (known as cloaking); using automated content spinning, including software that promises “basic” content production; and making text and links invisible or very small.