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My ears are bleeding! The top 5 worst pieces of marketing advice I’ve ever heard


written by Chris Bourne

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Today I’ve been thinking (it was a challenge but there’s no headache yet so bear with me) about the amount of generic ‘marketing advice’ that’s littered across the Internet. Most advice usually says we’re missing out by not being on a new up and coming social platform or that you have to create a gazillion (I’m not sure if that’s a real number) blog posts a day to have any success at SEO and so forth.

Taking a step back, I thought I would share with you the top five worst pieces of marketing advice I have received from my ten years as a marketing professional.

Bad marketing advice

1. Why is your business not on [add random social networking site here]? You simply must be!

Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great channel for marketing and you should be active on some platforms… but you don’t need to be on every single one. Pick a few or even just one and concentrate your time on it.

2. You won’t get any search rankings unless you stuff in X amount of keywords per page.

Keyword stuffing, stuffing in keywords and making sure you get that keyword stuffed into website copy as many times as possible won’t help with search rankings. There are lots of elements to SEO and keyword density is just one factor.

What’s more, search engines now look to only have about 6 percent of the copy to be keywords. Instead of worrying about keyword density use your time to research good page titles and promote your content through high page ranking sites.

3. Writing good is everything.

I can’t stress enough about how wrong this statement is. You could get J.K. Rowling to write articles for you but that alone won’t bring in huge amounts of traffic to your website.

Have you ever noticed the tons of poorly written, spammy, crappy content floating around on the web that gets shared endlessly on LinkedIn? It’s not that it’s better than your article, it’s just well promoted. Without the right promotion, no one will find your article, whether it’s good or not. Realistically, you should spend as much time promoting your article as you did writing it.

4. Got a call to action button on your website? It needs to be X color.

Over the past few years I have been to multiple marketing events and questions about button colors has always arisen. The response, “Orange is best for conversion”, “I use green because it means go”, “Purple is best because it stands out on the page”. So far the only button design that hasn’t come up is a transparent one!

Changing the color of your button will not suddenly solve all of your conversion problems overnight, sorry readers – it’s not quite as simple as that.

I do agree though that a different color may help increase conversion rates but it’s worth testing what works best for your business. Use online tools like Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B split tests for you. Don’t forget the other factors too like button size, position or text, as these are just as important.

5. The best way to increase email performance is to buy targeted lists.

If you go and buy 40,000 emails, you’re damn well going to have a big list to blast. But- and it’s a big BUT- do they care that you’re sending them an email? After all, they never signed up in the first place.

All you’re going to get is a few spam reports, a couple of moaning email responses, a bounce rate to rival Tigger’s and a whole host of unsubscribes.

Take this for example: You’re a telecom provider and you’ve just bought a list of “IT professionals”, but that’s not enough to make them interested in what you are selling if the first time they hear from you is unsolicited mail. They’re not going to receive your email and think, “All my problems are now solved, thank the lord that this company emailed me as all of my telecom needs are now met.”

“So what should you do instead?” I hear you say.

Firstly, build your email list organically. It may take a while, but your contacts will be more engaged.

Secondly, give them great content, not a sales pitch. People don’t want to be sold something; they want to buy it. Give them the right content and they’ll decide for themselves.

What should you do?

From my experience there is no wrong or right way to approach marketing, just test different channels and continue with the ones that work for your business. The biggest mistake made by most marketers is trying to adopt every single activity.

It’s better to do 5 things great than 50 things ok.

For instance, if you are a fan of email marketing, make sure your emails look slicker than The Fonz’s hair and that your email list is up-to-date and your emails are targeted for maximum interaction.

Maybe your business isn’t big on the old interweb and other electronic channels and print is still a key channel. If so, don’t advertise in one edition of one magazine, as you won’t see any ROI. Instead look at advertising for the full year as it takes roughly 10 views/interactions of your advert or brand for someone to perform a call to action.

To summarize, the more you put in the more you will get out.

Congratulations, you made it to the end! Please feel free to share my post and I’d love to hear your comments in the section below.

Written By -

I'm the Marketing Manager here at sales-i and being in marketing I obviously love crayons and of course I have a toy Chewbacca on my desk (fully equipped with the 'Maaaaaarh' noise! I have worked in the technology industry for over 7 years and have a good grasp on what's happening in the industry. I also enjoy* the technical side of software development. *The term 'enjoy' relates to the very few occasions where the techy side actually goes to plan, otherwise replace with the term 'gets frustrated'.

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