New “i want to act like i know what i’m talking about” term of the year “programmatic advertising”. OMG! Seriously stop coming up with these crazy words to impress people. It’s like “sexy”. Making an ad “sexy” is about as helpful to a designer as “It’s just not speaking to me, but I don’t know.” I talked to a marketing agency the other day. If I hear “high level” or “programmatic marketing” one more time I’m going to scream. I get it. Marketing is a hard business. But these call words only impress people for so long. What people actually want to hear is the truth! Seriously.
What happened to ‘Truth in Advertising’? It applies to you too. It may not be pretty and it may not be easy, but in the end you are better off for it.
What I’m concentrating on this year is content. I’m lessening the amount of posts and turning to quality blog posts over 800 words. Also meaningful posts that are geared towards my clients. The days of anything goes are over. Fluffy little pieces can only go so far and the internet is over run with meaningless junk. To further illustrate this point, check out http://hmpg.net. It is a website that its only goal is to tell you that you’ve reached ‘The end of the Internet’. Granted…funny, but just more useless information. People are on information overload and my personal prediction is that they will start moving away from it. Quality posts and custom content people.
Analytics Geared Marketing Budgets
Also, I’m spending money where the clients get the most bang for the buck. Some media channels just don’t work for some clients. So instead of spreading it out, I’m gearing it specifically towards channels that work. And guess what? Some of that is direct marketing and not digital. It takes all kinds of marketing…yes its the digital age, but the digital age still includes relationships. My one exception is and will be for the foreseeable future Facebook. I’m a Facebook believer and a LinkedIn believer.
The Multi-pronged Approach
I get asked a lot, what is the best way to get leads from Social Marketing? There is no clear cut way to do this. Regardless of what the SEO people tell you, or the Digital Managers tell you, it is different for every business. You can not guarantee any business anything. Social media is important. It’s something you can’t ignore, but seriously, stop promising things you can’t deliver.
I have clients that listen to me, clients that don’t, either way, they experience growth but its a slow process, regardless of what your Digital Marketing Manager is telling you. Real growth takes time! Each business is different and you have to talk to the audiences differently. You can not expect the same reaction on Vine and Twitter, nor the same reactions on Facebook as LinkedIn. So if you really want growth that lasts online, read the following:
- Figure out where your audience is. Spend money there.
- Talk to your audience. Here is the real deal. If you don’t have time to talk to your audience, fine, hire someone to do it but it needs to be a consistent voice with a consistent message and tone. It’s better if you (the business owner) contribute to your success. Yes, I get that you don’t have hours a day to talk to people on social media and that is why you hire people to handle that. However, if you are not giving your manager at least something with your voice, you are missing an opportunity to talk to your audience. So please at least stay somewhat involved.
- Learn about social media yourselves. Do one channel yourself. Not only can your social media manager copy your voice (if they are any good), but they can help determine what you are most interested in. This helps ALOT. Because at the end of the day, it is more about you. Trust me people are over automated everything. Bring yourself back into the equation.
- Check around before you hire someone. Yes, I get that it is tempting to buy the 10,000 likes from the person emailing you incessantly, but it won’t help your business at all. Find someone that can actually give you a plan or at the very least a trajectory. Remember that its a slow process. Its not an overnight thing and anyone that promises you that, honestly is full of *&#$!.
What’s not working for me.
Design Sites (that make it easy for business owners supposedly)
I get it. Automation, automation, automation. However, the logos generally suck because most people aren’t designers, then they are shocked that no one responds to their ads. I consider myself a moderate designer because I’ve worked with some of the most brilliant designers in the country. The logos and pictures generated are not usually all that quality wise, talking resolution here. Every time one of my clients designs a logo themselves, I still have to rebuild the logo because its simply not large enough to use in other formats.
‘Ugly’ Social Media Trends
The year of flat advertising was a nightmare. OMG. I hated it. There is a difference between an artfully designed simple ad and just throwing clip art on a background and not adding drop shadow. This whole simplicity trend has convinced so many business owners that they can do it themselves that the bar has dropped. Yes it sucks that iStock and Shutterstock get away with the stuff they do (don’t even get me started on the reasons the stock industry is so wrong), however, Brand Development is a thing. Some business can sell on simple, however the truth is that most can’t.