Marketing in the real world and online is a lot like siblings fighting for their parent's favor. Everyone wants to be the favorite, and everything they do is aimed towards that goal. The parent in this situation is the customer, and every patronization, click, follow, etc., is taken as proof that you're the favorite. Like rival siblings, there are some tricks which are overused. They worked well in the past, so the idea is that they must still work.
Why fix something that isn't broken, right?
But every situation is different, and reusing the same idea repeatedly is far from unique. You aren't going to become the favorite by rehashing old tricks – only new ideas and techniques are really going to set you apart.
For businesses, this is important because it garners them sales and new customers, thus contributing to their bottom line. For marketing executives, however, this becomes vital because it gets and keeps you jobs. No one wants to hire a marketer who isn't going to show results. Results are how marketers keep their jobs and gain referrals that bring in additional projects. Your agency can not survive by reusing the same techniques repeatedly. It may be harder to come up with new ideas when working on multiple projects, but it is vital nonetheless.
Ready to ditch some of the most overused marketing ideas this century has seen and move forward with better results and happier customers? Start by eliminating these three:
1. Extreme Hash Tagging
Extreme hash tagging has not only been done to death, it's also annoying and serves no real purpose. The best tweets and Facebook posts are those with only one or two hashtags. These get your post a little bit of extra exposure without doing away with post readability and annoying your client's followers to death. Not sure what we're talking about? Have you written or seen a post on Twitter or Facebook that looks like this?
#Brandnew product here at #(insert company name here). #Checkitout at our online store: (insert link here). #new #trending #mustsee
Didn't you find it annoying that there were so many hash tags? They serve no real purpose because most of the tags used aren't even entirely relevant. That's usually the case in extreme hashtagging. A better post would look more like this:
Brand new product here at #(insert company name here). See it in our online store: (insert link here). #newproduct
In that post, you used two hashtags, and they were both entirely relevant to the post. With only two hashtags, your readability wasn't effected, so you aren't unnecessarily annoying your client's followers. This will give you more likes, comments, and leads, which is what your clients want to see.
2. The “I'm So Normal” Routine
You see it in commercials, on social media networks, on billboards, and through every other marketing outlet imaginable. Companies try to market themselves as being so normal it almost hurts. This marketing idea really only works if you're a high-end company that is trying to target middle class customers in additional to your high class ones. Even then, the idea is overdone, and you may be better off avoiding this altogether.
The idea has been used in varying forms, highlighting various situations, but the basis is always the same. A company wants to showcase that it is normal — just like the average Joe or Jane. There are a few big problems with this idea. First, you're marketing for a business, and that means it isn't the average person — even if your client may be catering to them. Second, it downplays everything that makes your client's business or product unique. If something is entirely normal, they aren't unique in any form. Right? Lastly, it's boring. People aren't typically attracted to normal things. They want excitement and creativity – not dull and drab.
3. Using Enormous Words To Sound Smart
This one is just plain silly, but it has somehow survived to become one of the most overused marketing ideas in the modern world – particularly in niches like technology and education. When you use enormous words in your campaigns just to sound smart, you're actually only succeeding in confusing your audience. It also turns something very simple into overly convoluted and complex, which should be avoided at all costs. Creative is good, but complex is not. Here's an example of what we're talking about here:
Our new commodities are now acquirable in our online store. Head over and peruse them now, while we are still offering a complimentary gift with purchase.
That particular message may be exaggerated, but you get the point. Why write all of that nonsense when you could just as easily write it in plain, everyday form? It could look like this instead:
Our new products are now available in our online store. Head over and take a look now, while we're still offering a free gift with purchase.
It's amazing what a difference a few words can make. Using proper English is fine, but try to word things so the average person can understand them. Think about whether or not you would speak that way to a friend. If not, make it more simple. Using big words will not make your advertisement seem smart, only arrogant. It won't garner you any sales, and it may actually cost you some.
Don't be suckered into using a marketing idea that has been done to death. Above were three prime examples of what to avoid, but there are so many other ideas you can probably scratch out of your repertoire. Remember that marketing is all about being unique, so you won't be getting any results for rehashing old ideas. No results means no clients. Use your creativity to come up with something new, something that hasn't yet been tried. Put your own spin on things, and help your clients to stand out amongst the crowd of other businesses yelling, “Look at me! Look at me!”
Originally published Jun 17, 2014 8:00:27 AM, updated December 02 2014