You Should Stop Using These 6 Marketing Strategies!
Internet marketing is a constantly evolving and changing business. Which strategy worked yesterday might not work today. Which strategy works now might not work tomorrow. There are many marketing strategies that gained popularity very quickly but today they are not effective anymore. In this article I will show you five strategies that you should stop using. These are rather useless or can even harm your website.
Self-Promotion with Fake Reviews
When you are looking to buy a product or service, the first thing is to do a research online. For instance, if you are looking to buy web hosting service, you want to know how reliable it is, how good the support is, why to choose that service, etc. There are many ways to get the information you want about a product or service. The best way is to ask your friends. Most likely they will tell you the truth.
But what if your friends have never used a hosting service before? You can still look for other’s opinion online. The problem is that it is easy to confuse customers online. Because reviews are among the top factors that influence a purchase. That is why many companies are buying fake reviews. They are actually paying people to write good things about their service or products.
Don’t get me wrong here. There is nothing bad in asking your customers to write an honest review about your company in exchange for a discount, but faking reviews is a bad practice that will hurt your business. I will explain why.
First, when you hire a marketing company to do reputation management, they just want to get the job done. They don’t care about the results. They will do the job as quickly as possible to get rid of the negative reviews. If needed, they will create fake reviews to improve your company’s rating on different review sites.
Customers are not stupid and they can quickly realize if a company is faking reviews. For instance, if there are lots of five star reviews in a very short period of time, something will be suspicious. If there are only positive reviews about a company, again, could be suspicious. Short, emotional reviews (something like amazing, wonderful service) could also be a sign of faking reviews.
In the long run this can really hurt your business:
- your company can be removed from certain websites
- fake reviews can and will be removed if a rating site detects that you or someone you hired is doing it
- on top of that rating site can flag your business as doing bad practice, which is worse than having couple of negative feedback
I suggest stop creating fake reviews about your company; instead try to provide good service to your customers.
Avoiding Customers on Social Media
Social media is essential for every business. While your business can get a lot of benefit from social media, this can also be harmful, especially when customers address a question or concern publicly. You can avoid and try to hide these concerns or you can try solving them.
Avoiding the questions is not a good idea, because this can create the impression that you don’t care about your customers. Trying to solve a problem publicly, on a platform where everyone can see and join the discussion is also risky, because you don’t have control over the situation. You should try to find a way to react to all the concerns and questions but bring the discussion in a private are (email or phone call), where you can find a solution to correct the problem and satisfy the customer.
It is obvious that you can’t make happy each and every customer. There will always be someone who is unsatisfied with your service or product and want to drag you down. Just try to take care of everyone with a friendly tone and do not give additional reasons for haters to hate you more.
Avoid Automated Backlink Creation
This is a good one! This was a very powerful method back in the days. The concept was very simple: the more links you have the better your ranking is. Everyone was trying to build as many backlinks as possible. Software were developed for this purpose to spam backlinks all over the web.
Very new websites with poor content were able to gain rankings very quickly. In some cases in matter of hours they were able to be on the top positions for very though keywords. This method worked for a while, and when Google realize that their search results are full of spammed sites with no value, they introduced the Penguin and Panda update. These were some major modifications in their ranking algorithm that helped to clear the search results.
The Penguin update was launched in 2012 with the purpose to analyze the link profile of the websites and detect those who are buying or building backlinks to trick Google. The Panda update was launched in 2011 with the purpose to analyze and filter the websites with poor content.
Now you think that links are not important anymore. They are, but backlinks should be gained naturally by creating high quality content and not by buying and seeking for them. Stop building backlinks, instead focus on creating useful content for your readers.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Back in the days it was a normal way of creating web pages including lots of keywords at the end of the page. Because these pages gained good rankings in search engines, everyone was doing the same strategy. The problem with these pages was that the value was missing. In most of the cases you could not find any good information on these types of websites, just hundreds of stuffed keywords.
Google and other search engines reacted to this bad marketing practice, and changed their ranking algorithm. All websites using excessive keywords on their pages were penalized or even banned from the search results.
Today there are still many marketers who believe that by hiding keywords in content can gain extra ranking. The truth is that Google has become so smart, that it can recognize the content that is created for stuffing keywords. Doing keyword research is a natural way of creating a good content marketing campaign. Including these keywords in the content of your site is not a problem, in fact is essential to gain rankings. But when you repeat the same keyword multiple times on a page, it might cause problems.
The best is to write articles as you speak. Do not try to focus on certain keywords, just be natural.
Social Media Tagging
When FaceBook introduced the tagging system it was fun. At the beginning I was getting few tags per day from friends. Marketers quickly realize the potential of gaining more views and likes for certain pages, so they started tagging random people. The more people you tagged, the more views you got. At some point this job was done by bots to speed up the process and reach out as many people as possible.
It was so annoying, that Facebook disabled the option to tag persons from a page. On the other hand, on Instagram this option is still allowed.
QR (Quick Response) Codes
The concept of QR codes was to enable an easy way for mobile users to access a website by scanning an image. When the buzz about QR codes begun, many companies started to print these codes on flyers, cars, brochures or other printed marketing materials. There was only one problem with it. Nobody or very few people actually used them. The reason is simple: the process of accessing a website trough scanning a code is longer than typing in the URL into the web browser:
- Grab your mobile phone quickly when see a QR code
- Start the application that is able to read the code
- If don’t have an application, go and search for a free one, download and install it to your device
- After launching the application, wait for the camera to initiate
- Point the camera to the QR code to scan it
- Wait for the app to analyze the code and launch the website
Isn’t it simple? For me is not and many people agree with me on this. Isn’t it easier to type in the URL of the website you want to access? What if you prefer browsing in another browser than the one that the QR reader opens with?
QR codes just started to be an ineffective marketing strategy and marketers stopped using it. You should stop too! It is just waste of time.
Wrapping it all up!
Hopefully these tips will help you to avoid these marketing mistakes. You should remember that being a good marketer is a difficult job. You have to be always up to date with the latest trends and should be always ready to change your marketing strategy. One thing is certain in online marketing: is changing day-by-day.
What marketing strategies you use to promote your website? Please share your methods in the comment section below.