Hi-Res Straight Talk Series: The Seven Deadly Sins of Online Marketing
The world of online marketing can be a very unforgiving place and if there’s one thing we have learned working in this industry the last several years, it is that perception is everything. How the public perceives both you and your business is the single most important factor in determining how successful your venture will be. No matter how terrific you think your skills and services are, it only takes a few missteps to drive your business down a bad path. That’s why we here at Hi-Res Creative have devised our own list of the deadliest of sins when it comes to online marketing to help ye poor sinners. Are you guilty of any? Read on and repent.
- Sin #1 – Phoniness: You know that feeling when you know someone is lying to your face and you both know it and no one acknowledges it? Well, today’s consumers know when you are selling them a sack of crap. There is a true art to effective marketing and no one likes fakes or phonies. In the marketing game, authenticity is the key to connection. What your mama said really was true: “You will always win people over just by being yourself.”
- Sin #2 – Laziness: One of the biggest (and most annoying) things we see with many potential clients are those who are content to leave their websites and materials just as they are and then panic when an issue arises. If we recommend something that needs to be taken care of, it is actually because it needs to be taken care of. We always do what you want us to, of course, and are totally fine with putting things off and leaving the issue in the hands of fate and the tech Gods. However, if you aren’t proactive about your website and are looking for someone to blame when your technology does down, don’t look at us. It is far easier to address problems before they happen than to lose time, patience and productivity when all hell breaks loose.
- Sin #3 – Complacency: I mean, sure, your website template from 1996 might seem to work just fine, but by not keeping up with the times and not presenting your livelihood in an attractive way, what message are you sending to your potential clients? Would you buy merchandise from a tacky website with broken links and a shotty, unsecure server? We think not. As a business owner, keeping up with current tends or (gasp!) exceeding them will not only set you apart from the competition, it shows people that you care about what you are selling and believe in your product.
- Sin #4 – Arrogance: We can all be a bit arrogant at times, but some people take it to a whole other level. We get that you are in business because you are a savvy businessperson and love what you do, but we are in business because we know how to use creativity, business smarts and technology to boost your efforts across different media. It is great to have strong convictions and opinions, but realizing that you don’t know it all will allow you to be open to new concepts and ideas that could strengthen your business in the long run. Regardless of what you think, our biggest job is to teach you how to understand and connect with your customer base—which should be the only opinions that really matter.
- Sin #5 – Greed: Being the miracle workers that we are, we are used to clients seeing short-term results happen rather quickly. However, the marketing game is not a sprint, it is a long-distance marathon. Once your website is live or as soon as you see increased traffic, the work isn’t done—it is just beginning. Far too often, many suffer from what we call the “gimme more” syndrome. The main symptoms include people who want it all and want it now, but are unwilling to expend any time, effort, courtesy or added compensation to do so. While it is always exciting to see your investment working right off, if you want more in the long run, you’re going to have to do more now.
- Sin #6 – Ignorance: This may sound like a cliché, but education really is power. While it may be common sense to some, it is always shocking to find out how little people know about their own industry. Being uninformed about what your industry is doing, how they are doing it, who your competitors are, what kind of people you are trying to reach and why that all matters is detrimental to your operation. We always encourage our clients to educate and empower themselves so that when we partner with them, we are both on top of our game. Don’t be the ostrich with its head stuck in the sand. Ignorance might be bliss in some cases, but not when it comes to successfully running a business.
- Sin #7 – Being Unavailable: We had to save the best for last. How can we say this gently? Being hard to reach in today’s world is the most cardinal sin any business can commit. There are many businesses out there without business cards, websites, phone numbers, emails—even without current location or contact information. It is the most frustrating thing in the world to try searching for a business with no online presence, emailing someone who doesn’t respond and then trying to call their cell phone number only to find that it has been disconnected (ahem, true story). We are trying to help your business and if we can’t reach you, well, neither can that massive pool of potential leads.