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If your company has adopted a digital marketing strategy, congrats! By incorporating digital marketing strategies that adhere to the inbound methodology, you’re already way ahead of your more traditional, outbound-focused competition. But unfortunately, in today’s hyper-competitive online arena, just attempting digital marketing isn’t enough to be at the top. With the New Year upon us, it’s time to do away with old strategies and put in place digital marketing strategies that have evolved over the past few years. If you’re still doing any of these, it’s time to take a serious look at moving in a different direction:
#1 Having Separate Marketing and Digital Marketing Team Members
This obsolete strategy is still an issue for companies that have not focused on integration and it will haunt slow adopters. At this point all of your marketing efforts should cross the span of your company’s public image. You must have a marketing team that understands all aspects of modern marketing, including social media, blogging, and SEO. Any marketer who doesn’t fully grasp these and can only handle direct mail flyers and press releases is not up-to-date enough to be helping your brand.
#2 Focusing on Clicks Instead of Conversion Rates
Companies should be managing marketing strategies and the related budgets based on conversion rates, typically the ROI. It’s simply no longer good enough to present to the higher ups at your company that you have 500 Twitter followers or that 50 people clicked on your blog today. The people in charge of allocating your marketing budget want to know how much profit is being brought in by your digital marketing efforts, and thankfully, there are plenty of ways to prove this.
#3 Quantity Over Quality Content
This can be tricky to find a good medium. While there’s something to be said for getting quick pieces out to take advantage of a newsjacking opportunity, but that should only be a small part of your digital marketing efforts. Instead of just focusing on pushing out pages on a certain time schedule, it’s a better idea to focus on putting out quality pieces. Try to produce pieces that are in-depth, don’t contain much fluff and are evergreen. If a piece of content is still valuable to read six months or even two years from now, you’ll reap many more rewards in the long run.
#4 Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is not the way to get ahead in the race for the #1 spot, even if it is something that has worked for you in the past. The term “Black Hat” refers to taking deliberate actions meant to trick search engine bots so that your website can get better rankings. They’re underhanded and dishonest, and should have no place in your digital marketing strategy. Stay away from any agencies or SEO Specialists who try to convince you to use them.
#5 Buying Email Lists
You should be gradually building your email list with people who actually want to be contacted, referred to as Leads. Renting or buying a list of email recipients to get more names faster won’t do the trick, it will only get you put in the SPAM folder. With the understanding that building an email database in-house is still a highly effective Smarketing strategy, take the time to do it correctly and you’ll see the most reward from it.
#6 Keyword-Based SEO Pieces
“Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience”
That’s a direct quote from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. For the past few years, Google has pushed SEO specialists away from keyword-stuffed text into a more contextual strategy that is concerned with user experience. Sticking to this old-fashioned tactic will only serve to make you obsolete in 2016. Google has even dropped keyword insights from analytics. Focus on producing timely, relevant, unique content, and digging deeper into analytics to measure the impact.
#7 Sending Unsegmented Email Campaigns
According to a recent eMarketer study, only 5-10% of in-house marketers and agencies are using personalization extensively. This means way too many marketers continue to send out unsegmented or targeted emails, making this one of the most common of the obsolete strategies in use today. Instead, take the time to understand your Leads by looking into the analytics and contact profiles. Why are they in your database- did they read a lot of blogs on a certain topic? Did they request a free trial? Create and target content based on their preferences, as well as demographic and psychographic information. If you’re a HubSpot user, incorporate Smart Content as well.
Digital marketing is based on technology, which is evolving at lightspeed. Yesterday’s “new and improved” is today’s “out-of-date.” To stay relevant in the game, your company need to make conscious efforts to stay moving forward as well. It’s part of what make inbound marketing so exciting to be a part of! If you’re ready to take the next step in updating your company’s marketing efforts, download our free eBook The Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing.