The fast-paced world of digital marketing -- with
all its technological advancements and iterative improvements to our marketing processes -- has theoretically made marketers’ lives easier. We have more options, tools, and resources to be better, faster, and stronger.
But the flip side of the coin -- and probably the more realistic manifestation of all these advancements -- is that marketers are overwhelmed. It seems like every week there’s something new we absolutely must be doing, lest we get left behind. Problem is, a lot of this new “stuff,” has quickly become an inefficient use of a marketer’s time and budget. Or worse, it was never a good use of time and budget to begin with. Oops.
We’d like 2013 to be the year you clean up your marketing toolkit. What are you wasting time on? What tactics are you needlessly holding on to like a marketing security blanket? What can you eliminate from your budget? This blog post is going to outline five activities many marketers waste time but won't help you move the needle in 2013 -- so you can eliminate them for good!
5 Excessive Marketing Tactics That Are Totally Wasting Your Time
1) Those Social Networks No One Uses
Do you remember around 2007 when a small handful of marketers started using social media as a marketing channel? Do you remember how almost everyone in the industry thought it was either 1) ridiculous, or 2) not applicable to their business or industry?
Fast forward to today, and most marketers are really scared of being the equivalent of the one who said “Facebook is dumb” back in 2007. As a result, there’s a whole lot of time wasted on social networks that, frankly, don’t really work for you. But you keep using them out of
fear of getting left behind. If the social networks you’re using aren’t working -- 2013 is the year to stop using them. For example, if you gave Pinterest the old college try, and it simply isn't driving any meaningful business results for you (like traffic, leads, customers), cut the cord. Just make sure you’re making your decision based on marketing analytics, not gut feelings.
2) The Fire Hose Blast of Blog Content
Much like the social media bandwagon we’ve all jumped on, most marketers are convinced they need to be blogging for their business. Of late, some marketers have taken this concept to the extreme, pumping out content at assembly-line pace. More blogging is better blogging, right?
Not necessarily. If you’re trying to compensate for low or even mediocre quality with high quantity, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Readers won’t regard your content well, and as a result, Google won’t hold your domain in high regard, either. Additionally, if you’re resource-strapped, there’s a blogging volume sweet spot you can rest comfortably in. Here, take a look:
92% of businesses that blog multiple times a day have acquired a customer from it (I'd bet those are high-quality blog posts, too, but I digress). But 78% of businesses that blog on just a daily basis have also acquired a customer from it. That differential isn’t too big. And if we bring down the volume just a tad to 2-3 times per week, still, 70% of business acquire a customer from their blog. If you're doing the fire hose blast of "meh" blog content, scale it back and spend the time creating high-quality content at a lower volume.
3) Those Millions of Microsites
To be great at SEO, you need inbound links. But to get inbound links, you need other sites to link to you. Hmm ... that doesn’t give you much control.
Oh, I know! I’ll create my own little websites -- many marketers have come to
refer to these as ‘microsites’ -- and link to my domain from those!
Drop. This. Tactic. First of all, maintaining a bunch of websites takes a ridiculous amount of time and money. I mean, where are you getting all the content to keep them going? Plus, for your inbound links to mean anything, they need to be coming from a wide variety of high-quality sites that are relevant to your business. Unless you plan on creating hundreds of microsites that have a ton of clout in the SERPs, this strategy is a waste of your time.
4) All That Over-Reporting
We’re the last ones to say you shouldn’t be reporting on your marketing; but with the 'big data' explosion has also come a whole lot of time wasted interpreting numbers and analytics that might not really mean anything for you right now.
It’s easy to spend an entire day just diving into, say, conversion reports, but what is all that information getting you? A lot of spreadsheets and numbers does not a marketing strategy make. Figure out exactly what numbers you need to know for your business’ marketing, and do deeper dives into specific metrics as needed. It’s a better use of your time, and frankly provides more actionable advice than running hours of reports at the end of each month
that you never use.
If you're worried that you're going to miss out on important data if you don't run all the reports in the world, don't. Use software that captures your data so that, when the time comes to get run more sophisticated reports, you have the historical data to do it. When you actually need it.
5) Pretty Much All Your Press Releases
The thinking behind the millions of press releases businesses produce each year is that they’ll get picked up and syndicated by an external site, and the syndication will come with an inbound link. Also, you know, getting press coverage.
Unfortunately, almost all the press releases getting churned out of marketing departments aren't landing any actual press coverage. And the releases that are syndicated? Those aren’t exactly valuable inbound links when they’re getting funneled out to low quality sites. Stop trying to weave an amazing story out of something relatively un-amazing just so you have PR fodder. It’ll just make journalists get really used to ignoring you. And your writing time is better spent on other types of content -- like blog posts, for instance -- that attract
qualified readers and quality links.
This was an excerpt from our brand new free ebook, 10 Useless Things to Cut From Your Marketing, launching today. Want to read about the other marketing activities that you can scratch off your to-do list in 2013? Download the ebook now to learn what else you can cut from your marketing strategy in 2013!