Articles and videos describing new marketing tactics are published daily, but most are marketing basics repackaged to work with today’s social media platforms. The marketing principles are the same, but the method of execution is new. Creating methods that work for each social media platform makes sense considering more than 50 million small businesses use Facebook to connect with their customers.
Despite the validity of many commonly used marketing tactics, there are some sketchy trends to avoid.
1. Skip buying domains with novelty extensions
Remember back in 2005 when domaining was popular? Companies would buy up a slew of domain names and hoard them with the intention of selling them or developing 100 individual mini-websites. That’s not how it works today. Although, the introduction of more than 100 new domain extensions makes it hard to resist buying up a bunch of domains.
The newly released extensions include .love, .app, .cafe, and .marketing among others. At first glance, it might seem like a good idea to buy some, especially since you’ll have a better shot at getting a good name. However, these specialty extensions aren’t easy to remember. The .com and .net extensions are more familiar and easier for users to remember.
Instead of being quirky with your domain extension, see if you can be quirky with the name of your company. For example, Google and Twitter nailed it with their company names. It’s not easy to come up with a quirky name that works, however, and choosing the right domain name requires more than coming up with a clever word. Check out NameExperts.com to learn more about what makes a good domain name. Unless you can’t imagine going on without it, skip the novelty extension and do your best to obtain a .com.
2. Launching live video before you’re ready
Many marketers will tell you to launch your streaming videos before you’ve perfected your setup and infrastructure. This is a bad idea. While some viewers will be forgiving of poor production, you’ll lose many more.
The sentiment of not waiting for perfection makes sense, but moving forward will backfire if you don’t have the right audio equipment, your server is slow, and you don’t know how to operate your guest appearance software.
3. Creating a newsletter without a marketing strategy
Twenty years ago, it was exciting to join someone’s newsletter. Now, people can’t unsubscribe from all their subscriptions fast enough. The novelty of email has worn off and newsletters are seen as an intrusion.
This is another one of those situations where marketers suggest moving forward before you’re ready. Newsletters serve a specific purpose – to engage subscribers and lead them down a path to eventually land a sale. If you launch a newsletter before you have a marketing strategy in place, your content isn’t going to guide subscribers toward that sale. If your content isn’t interesting, you’ll see massive unsubscribes.
Developing your marketing strategy comes first. Once you’ve spent the time and energy on that, then you can work on the supporting elements like newsletters, PPC ads, and webinars.
4. Incentivizing reviews
Most review sites including Yelp expressly advise against incentivizing reviews. Yelp, in particular, has a Consumer Alerts program that tells people when a business is buying reviews or offering freebies in exchange for reviews.
Plenty of marketers out there suggest sneaky ways to get around this, or adding a ‘review us’ link to the bottom of all emails. It seems like a good idea, but it’s really not. Yelp explains that asking for reviews tends to result in biased reviews that lean toward the side of perfectly happy customers. Of course, you don’t want bad reviews, but if all of your reviews are from people who have no complaints, it’s probably not accurate and people will be suspicious.
The best review profiles will have a mix of positive and negative reviews. This mix helps potential customers determine if a product or service is right for them. For example, reading how real customers are using a product helps people determine if those experiences apply to their lives. Bad reviews won’t necessarily deter customers. Sometimes bad reviews are written by people who aren’t a fit for the product.
Take some marketing courses
If you’re not already an experienced marketer take some courses to learn as much as you can. Take some courses online or enroll in a course from your local community college. Learning first-hand from experienced professionals will give you the best advantage.