Startup business owners and budding entrepreneurs often look for advice from marketing experts on how to steer their businesses towards success. They attend conferences, hire professionals, and often times they turn to the Internet for the best marketing advice. Sadly, the World Wide Web is full of know-it-all fakers — people who claim to be expert but don’t know a thing about what they’re saying.
The web has a plethora of knowledge. It’s the go-to source for almost everything and for good reason. Almost everything imaginable is available online — photos, videos, art, commentaries, scientific research. You name it, it’s online. However, this is not to say that everything published on the web is true. Fake news is proliferating on the Internet and so is fake advice.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a ton of experienced and well-educated marketing experts online that offer real, effective advice. It’s just up to you to sift through all of them and note the ones that actually work. To help you sift the good from the bad marketing tips, here are five of the worst Internet marketing pieces of advice you should stay away from.
- Take a look at what everyone else is doing, and do that
Anyone who’s ever said this has never worked in marketing. This probably is the worst, not to mention dumbest, marketing advice ever. Marketing, especially in the saturated world of the Internet, is all about standing out. Grabbing the attention of your prospected consumers enough for them to remember your brand during purchase is what it’s all about. If you just go with the flow and re-do every bit of marketing stint your competition has done, then there’s no point in doing marketing at all. You’ve lost even before you’ve started.
If there’s just no other way but to tread the path of other brands, then at least make sure you do it better than them. Give your consumers something to notice you by.
As Kraft Foods co-founder Henry J. Heinz once said, “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”
- Just focus on SEO!
Oh, the magical acronym that is SEO. Search Engine Optimization has gotten everyone in the online marketing world going gaga over decoding this complex network. SEO is believed to be the only thing dividing successful content from the bottom-dwellers. Many put so much importance on SEO and for good reason. Google gets trillions of searches every year and an astounding 40,000 search queries every second, just imagine how much traffic and boost in sales you would get if you can use SEO to its fullest.
However, SEO is not the be-all-end-all. Internet marketing is so much more than just focusing on Google optimization. There’s social media, e-mail, paid advertisements, and all other channels for online marketing that you should consider. Taking advantage of SEO is a very good start, but it’s the mix of several marketing strategies that will give you the highest success rate online.
- Use the same creative for all social media platforms
Having a theme for your campaign is very important for brand recall and awareness. Using materials — photos, videos, and text — that revolves around a unified theme provides consistency. However, to say that one creative material is enough for all social media platforms is a lie.
There is no one-size-fits-all for social media marketing. Each platform is unique and caters to a whole different demographic with different interests and different needs. If you want to get the most out of each social media platforms, plot a marketing strategy unique to each platform. Better yet, just choose to work on the ones that fit your brand.
- Be on every single social media platform
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available today. With its incredible reach, it has beaten print, radio, and probably even television. Its influence makes it a perfect tool for businesses. However, to say that a brand, service, or organization should be on major social media platforms is not only a waste time but of money as well.
Each platform caters to a specific group of people — Instagram and Snapchat cater to teenagers; Twitter is preferred by the higher earning class and professionals; Facebook, on the other hand, has the most reach but is also best for baby boomers and seniors. While it’s fine to be on multiple platforms, having a main network to grow and help build brand awareness and loyalty will yield better results.
- Ignore negative feedback
You may have heard the saying “haters gonna hate” and many would suggest to not let negative feedback affect you. Thing is, that is far from the truth. While the bad reviews shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your entrepreneurial or marketing dreams, they shouldn’t be swept under the rug either.
The Internet is very powerful and online reviews have now been the go-to source of information for people searching about brands or local businesses. As a matter of fact, according to Modern Comment’s statistics, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Add to that, 57% say they would avoid businesses that have negative reviews online. This proves that negative feedback, especially those published online, should never be ignored. Instead, make sure you reply to consumers who voice out their disappointment online.
A ReviewTrackers survey revealed that 51.7% of consumers expect businesses to respond to their online reviews within seven days, 21% of those expect a reply within 24 hours. Responding with an apology and then a promise to deal with the issue also shows that you care about your customers — these add reputation points for your brand. Interestingly, ModernComment confirmed that 78% of reviewers believe businesses who respond care about them. Especially if you’re a startup, showing you care builds a good persona for your business.