Here we are in what is almost the middle of 2019 and we’ve still got some people out there getting marketing completely wrong.
You’d think with all the blogs, webinars, conferences, speakers, meetups, SEO twitter and everything else out there that this wouldn’t happen – or maybe it happens because there’s so much stuff out there that goes unchecked. I dont know.
Whatever the reason, I’m going run down a top five list of things every marketer needs to know in 2019. I’m going to keep this one short and sweet – or not so sweet if you’re out there trying to run a business using awful or outdated practices.
Oh yeah, you may ask, ‘Why Pooh memes?’
To which I answer, ‘Why not?’
Most Web Developers Either DO NOT CARE ABOUT OR DO NOT KNOW In-Depth SEO
Yup, I said it.
In your face every job opening out there looking for ‘Senior web developer who also knows SEO to manager our corporate sites’!
I’ll explain but just think about it like this – your web devs are most likely not marketers and your marketers are most likely not web devs. This is a GOOD thing because I promise you if you try to get my out of practice self attempting to build your entire site, you will NOT like the results.
Your web devs are there to create, build and troubleshoot your site. Your marketing team/SEOs are there to help you get the most qualified traffic possible. Those are two entirely different skill sets. Sure they both deal with your site but they’re NOT the same. It’s sort of like how marketing isn’t sales and sales isn’t marketing.
Think of it this way: even though it’s all food, a chef is not a baker and a baker is not a chef. They might know a little bit about the other’s job and can, in a pinch, perform the other’s role, this is NOT an ideal setup.
If you leave SEO up to web devs, most times you’ll get a ‘well, we coded a block in the CMS for you to put in a meta title and description – that’s all you need for SEO, right?’ to which your SEO team is going to storm out of the room in a rage. If you leave web development up to your SEO team, well…you’re gonna have a bad time.
These teams should work together but do NOT leave either task completely up to the other team – and you HR people & business owners, you need to stop looking for ‘a web developer to handle all of our SEO!’ because you’re most likely going to get a jack of all trades and master of none and something’s gonna give somewhere.
Email Marketing WILL NOT Save You – Especially If It’s Your Main or Only Channel
Fair warning: A lot of ya’ll ain’t gonna like or agree with this one here, don’t at me. Read on at your own peril.
If your company is either doing mostly email marketing or, worse yet, only email marketing, you’re going to have an AWFUL time.
Why? Because marketers. That’s why.
MARKETERS KILLED EMAIL MARKETING.
Listen, I read somewhere that someone said ‘I’d rather have 100 dedicated email contacts than 1000 social media followers’ and to that I rolled my eyes, laughed hard as I could and recalled my daily morning routine of going into the ‘promotions’ tab in my Gmail and immediately deleting every single message in there without reading a single one of ’em.
Don’t lie: you do it too.
Look, let’s be real about email marketing. Even YOU don’t want email from businesses. Think about it:
- How many promotional emails do you get per day? Like about 50, right? (and remember: promo emails are like roaches, for every you see, there are about a hundred you don’t thanks to spam filters, corporate spam traps, etc.)
- How many of the ones you actually see do you open?
- Of the ones you open, how many links do you click?
- Of the links you click, how many times do you add something to the cart?
- Of the things you add to the cart, how many do you actually complete the purchase?
Yeah, I thought so – not many.
Most people just dont open anything and just click all the emails in the tab and dump it to the trash.
Seeing that most email marketing ends up in it’s own ‘this is complete crap’ tab, spam filters or just randomly deleted, you’d better be making some amazingly good subject lines, have a great brand presence everywhere else on the web and you’d better be segmenting and targeting your messages like nobody’s business.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be doing email marketing, I’m saying you better not only be doing email marketing, you’d better be doing email marketing correctly and you’d better be honest with yourself about your expectations with email marketing.
Bottom line is that if you’re doing email, you’d better be active on other channels too – and no, I don’t mean direct mail AKA hipster, vintage spam email. Which leads me to my next point…
The Only Winner In Direct Physical Mail Is The Post Office
Realistically, I don’t even know why I need to tell people this in 2019.
WHY ARE YOU STILL SENDING PHYSICAL JUNK MAIL?????
PEOPLE DO NOT WANT THIS CRAP
YOU DO NOT EVEN WANT THIS CRAP
Think about it, what do YOU do when you get junk mail?
That’s right: You immediately look for the Burger King coupons, chuck those in the junk drawer for future use until you forget about them and they expire without being used and immediately throw the rest away without even looking at it.
This crap DOES NOT WORK except unless you’re trying to scam senior citizens into buying crap they don’t need or if you’re sending fast food coupons in the mail or something like that.
My day job used to send a ton of this stuff back in the day and no one was tracking anything – so I decided to track it via shortlinks in the print materials. We found out that we were spending thousands of dollars for less than two uses of the link. Great ROI, huh?
Someone said “Well, maybe they just saw the flyer and then Googled the name?” to which I replied, “Well, if that’s the case why don’t we just do proper SEO & SEM to make our name come up on Google all the time for relevant queries without needing to spend far too much on junk mail no one looks at?”
Again, unless you’re sending out like fast food coupons for your franchise or something, just stop this direct mail nonsense but if you’re insistent on doing it, make sure you’re tracking everything so you know how much money you’re wasting.
If You’re Hiring Interns, Volunteers or Randos On Fiverr To Do Your Social Media, Stop
Social media and social media marketing is here, it’s been here and it’s not going anywhere. If anything, its just going to get bigger.
Despite all the data privacy scares and whatnot social media usage and adoption is just getting bigger and bigger year over year and honestly, they really don’t care about your Uncle Jim vowing to ‘quit Facebook!’ over ‘mah privacy!’ – also, someone should REALLY tell your Uncle Jim about companies like Acxiom who literally ONLY buy and sell your data and watch his head explode like in that one movie, but that’s another story.
That being said, you need to be taking advantage of this and get your business on these channels – and you’d better do it the right way.
If you are hiring ‘kids’ because ‘they’re always on the socials!’, you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re getting ‘volunteers’ because ‘who cares?’ or ‘I don’t feel like paying for this’, you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re getting random ‘agencies or contractors’ or ‘this guy on Fiverr’ because ‘it’s not that big of a deal’, you’re doing it wrong.
Your social media team’s experience needs to be far more than ‘they take lots of selfies and post memes all day’.
This is your brand’s face. This is where you develop and grow your public perception. This is where people come to interact with your company.
Social Media can make or break you – If you cheap out on this, you’re done.
Get people who know what they’re doing, know how to handle a crisis, know how to provide good customer service and, above all else, know how to build a brand.
Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: pay for your social media.
I don’t care who tells you what, organic social media as a brand ain’t gonna cut it in 2019 – it didn’t even cut it in 2017!
Grow up, put on your pants, hire people who know what they’re doing and develop a strong social media budget.
Stop Jumping On Bandwagons And Just FIX YOUR SITE ALREADY
Voice search, Beacons, EAT, DA…enough already.
I’ve talked about SEO and digital marketing ‘trends’ and ‘next big things’ before and my advice still holds as true now as when I first said it:
Stop looking for bandwagons when your site is still awful.
All these trends usually never pan out anyway (remember telling people to turn their physical locations into Pokestops for Pokemon Go?) and realistically, you can optimize for voice all you want and it still won’t help you when your site takes 10 seconds to load.
You can have all the beacons you want but if you’re still using ridiculous homepage sliders, you still fail.
Fret over Domain Authority updates (which Google DOES NOT use, by the way) and E-A-T like that hasn’t been a thing for YEARS all you want but if you still have a terrible user experience, you still won’t sell anything.
Look, quit looking for quick fixes and ‘one weird trick!’ to fix your page and just FIX YOUR PAGE.
Fix your site speed, remove the roadblocks to conversion and give people a decent and clean user experience that THEY want – which might not be necessarily what your CEO or sales team would want.
There’s no ‘secret trick’ or new technology that’s going to help you if your site is trash. Period. Quit looking for ‘tricks’ and do what you should have done years ago.
Really though, that’s probably good advice for everything else, too.