The beginning of the new year is prime time to reevaluate corporate strategies across the board. As marketing trends and technologies change at a rapid rate, a company’s marketing strategy must be regularly assessed, and updated to meet current norms. When reviewing your current marketing practices, in terms of how well they serve your company’s strategy, vision and goals, take a good look at your marketing mix itself. Do your marketing tactics suit your target market? Are these tactics still relevant for the upcoming period?
There are a number of practices that are slipping into marketing oblivion and for good reason. Check out these 6 marketing practices that need to disappear this year:
#1 Turning your content into a novel
In order to ensure your target audience is reading your content, you must provide them with added value. No one wants to read long, self-promotion articles, or browse content rich web pages. Microsoft’s 2015 report found that people have an 8 second attention span, down from 12 seconds in 2000, and lower than that of a goldfish. Analyze your bounce rate metrics and the time spent on your pages against the length of the content. Are users spending enough time on the page to read what is written? If not, your content is driving them away. Make sure to create a content strategy that promotes brand awareness while engaging your target audience, without overwhelming them with novel-worthy wordcounts.
#2 Overusing keywords and buzzwords
Admittedly, one of the goals of content creation is search engine optimization. Keywords can certainly increase exposure, but oversaturating your content with keywords is counterproductive. It turns away your valuable readers. The same is true for whatever buzzword is currently trending in your vertical. Use keywords and buzzwords sparingly, always keeping the goal of your content creation efforts in mind (point 1). Readers will share quality content, which will then generate trust within your target audience.
#3 Enough with the intrusive ads
The average click through rates on banner ads are only 0.05%. Regardless, these ads, especially intrusive pop ups, can harm your brand, instead of promoting it. Ad blocking program usage grew 30% in 2016, with 29% of users citing interruptions as their key motivation for using these programs. Choose your display advertising carefully, and respect your audience’s right to an interruption-free browsing experience. Perform an audit to ascertain where your followers and target audience are, and focus your display advertising efforts on social media ads. Invest in Adwords and SEO to promote click through rates, and keep intrusive advertising to a minimum.
#4 Don’t Always Be ‘On’
Social media is one of the leading marketing channels for reaching your targeted audience. Revenues from social media advertising are projected to increase by 194% in 2018 in the US to reach $15 billion. Yet, despite the importance of investing time and resources in social media efforts, overly extending yourself on social won’t work out in your favor. An overdose of “in your face” social media activity will harm you in the long run, with annoyed patrons clicking or tapping that unfollow button. Posts should be entertaining or of specific interest to the reader. Your aim? To generate comments and shares. Avoid continually self-promoting and advertising your products, and commit to creating relationships and working towards brand awareness.
#5 A Lack of personalization will cost you
Automated email campaigns, also known as drip campaigns are immediately discernable. When done correctly, drip campaigns are effective, with comparably high click through rates. When these emails are overly standardized and impersonal, however, recipients are likely to delete them without even opening the mail. As email campaigns should nurture leads, it’s important to adapt the content to fit the target. Create separate content and drip strategies for specific buyer personas. Use the demographics of the lead to choose which content they should receive. Personalize messages with the contact’s names and when possible tailor the content of the message itself. Take time zones into account, and set up auto-sends accordingly.
#6 Ignoring your mobile audience
Mobile and tablet browsing overtook desktop in November 2016, with a 51.3% market share. The majority of emails are opened on a mobile device. If you haven’t yet optimized your websites and emails for mobile, there is clearly no time like the present to do so, thereby expanding your reach and improving the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Make 2018 a Customer-Centric Year
The common thread to these outdated marketing tactics is fostering an increased move towards customer-centric marketing. Marketers must stop focusing on self-promotion tactics, which are often overkill, anyway whether it’s the length of content, the number of times a keyword appears, the types of advertisements or frequency of social media posts. Marketing efforts should focus on customer acquisition, brand awareness and of course retention. Create your 2018 marketing mix with the above guidelines in mind, and bask in the benefits of satisfied followers and an increasingly recognizable brand.