digital marketing strategy sucks

I set out to uncover all of the digital marketing strategies that people use that are horrendous. Whether they are unethical, dumb, illegal, and/or inefficient they smell fishy. That is exactly why I asked the top digital marketers and bloggers to tell their pet peeves.

Below you will the ultimate list of do nots for your digital marketing strategy.

17 Digital Marketing Strategies You Should Avoid

David Leonhardt                              THGMWriters.Com

Social media spam is probably the biggest waste of time and attention.  It’s just plain stupid.

I follow thousands of people on Twitter and at least a thousand on LinkedIn, and just as many follow me.  It’s a huge network that includes many layers.  Some I am quite close with; ask me for a favor, and I won’t think twice.  Others I know or they know me by reputation, and I welcome an opportunity to actually work with them in some small way. But most are people I don’t know at all, even if a tweet of theirs might have at one point caught my attention.

It’s this third layer that sends the spam in the way of direct messages on Twitter or messages on LinkedIn.  Brashly asking me to publish a link or to sign-up for something is not going to get my attention. You don’t build a relationship by asking strangers for a favor!

I might unfollow the person if I’m feeling energetic or ignore him or her if I’m feeling lazy.  Either way, it annoys folks like me and won’t win any friends.

Cendrine Marrouat                                SocialMediaSlant.Com

Online marketers use many bad strategies. But the worst one is cold selling. It’s rampant on LinkedIn, which is supposed to be THE space for business professionals.

Here is what usually happens. A stranger sends you a generic invitation to connect. When you ask for more information before accepting, they immediately try to sell you something.

In 2014, I created Bad. Pitches. Period., a blog that showcases awful marketing practices around the web. Every time I receive a terrible pitch, I share it there.   

Joshua C. Farley                                                      Blue Phoenix

“One digital marketing strategy that everyone should avoid is paying for website visits from sites like  Sites like revisitors allow you to set the number that you want to send to your site per day.  However, the visitors that go to your site are usually only on your site for less than 5 seconds.  Sites like this will KILL your conversion rate and leave you frustrated!  If it seems too easy, it’s probably not worth much!”

Harleena Singh                                            Aha-Now

Bloggers generally use commenting, guest posting, and social promotion as blog marketing strategies. The worst commenting strategies are to post one-liner comments, comments that offer no value, and comments that are copied from existing comments on the post. Some bloggers make the mistake to go on a guest posting spree and neglect their own blogs in the process.

In social media, some bloggers restrict themselves to only promoting their own stuff. These are all horrible blog marketing strategies. The latest fad among bloggers is to create roundup posts just for the sake of having as many bloggers as possible in the post just for shares in some cases. This isn’t always rewarding. What’s rewarding is the real contribution, reciprocation, and reputation building by developing authority as a blogger and creating valuable blogs. That’s the first step of making blog marketing successful.

Uttoran Sen                                                 Guest Crew

When it comes to internet marketing, there are simply no ends to strategies. Over the past decade some of these strategies started off as innocent and helpful mediums like article marketing where you exchange content for links and mentions to directory submissions that helped search engines get more relevant links. Like any other thing, they have all run their course and now they are nothing more than spam tricks.

What I don’t like about any strategy is its cheapness. If you want to do article marketing, submit great articles – if you want to do guest posts take a week off and come up with a really great guest post, if you want to do Influencer marketing, make sure to work up your way and know the influencer well – so that when you pitch your all important email, the influencer won’t reject it without even taking a look at it

Carol Tice                                                    Make A Living Writing

The super-long roundup post that covers way too many topics to be truly useful to readers, and is a naked retweeting play.

I got TWO requests to share posts like that where I was include TODAY ALONE.

Wish I could send a telegram to the blogging world that says: “This strategy is played out. Move on.”

Did I mention they were both people I didn’t know? It’s “Howdy stranger, I put your link in a post so share it and mention it on your blog, OK? Thanks!”

Stop. It.

In one of them, I was mentioned alongside places like Fiverr and content mills…places I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about as poor places to hang out for writers.

One was a list of 120, and one was like 425! No one’s reading that.

This is NOT building relationships. It’s a bald sharing gambit…and it’s not working, to email strangers and ask them to share some post like this, on a blog they’ve never heard of before. Learn to NETWORK FIRST!

Mark W. Schaefer                                     {grow}

My pet peeve is bloggers who scrape the latest pop culture meme and turn it into a blog post like “Seven marketing lessons from Star Wars” or “Five ways the Lego Movie is like content marketing.” These are usually desperate attempts at relevance and painful to read. Don’t fall into that trap when you are creating your next content!

Anita Campbell                                           Small Business Trends

Dumb strategy: Trying to convince sites they need your content instead of persuading them how much value you bring them as a guest contributor. 

When it comes to guest contributor requests, so many marketers think that sites are just dying for their content. So they offer “free content for your site.” That’s the wrong approach.

It may be true that small blogs are in need of content. But the reality is, once a site gets to a certain size (say, more than 50,000 visitors a day consistently) they are getting more content pushed at them than they could possibly deal with. On average in my publications, we receive almost one new guest contributor request per hour, Monday through Friday.  Not per day — per hour.

You need a popular site more than that site needs you. They are going to be choosy. So if you really want to get accepted at that popular site, instead of trying to convince them how much they need your content, try convincing them that you have something unique to offer. And convince them that you will deliver superior content and follow the site’s content guidelines, too.  You’ll get a better reception for your guest contributor request.

Daniel Scocco                                             Daily Writing Tips 

I think one of the worst digital marketing strategies you can use is BlackHat SEO. Those are not illegal, but against the rules established by Google and other search engines. This means that while those strategies can produce good results in the the short term, over the long run they have the potential to get your site penalized or even banned from the search engines. In other words, the risk is not worth it. Play it according to the rules, even if it’s going to take longer to get there.

Ann Smarty                                                   SEO Smarty

Strategy versus Tactics

I am not really sure about strategies here: I don’t think there are many. Most of things I’d advise against are rather tactics than strategies…

As far as strategies are concerned, avoid targeting shortcuts. If anything or anyone promises to deliver results tomorrow, in a week, or in a month, RUN! A good strategy focuses on steady growth, slow progress and not always measurable results (like brand building). A good strategy includes many goals: Traffic, conversions, loyalty building (through email lists and beyond), community building, etc. A good strategy involves many tactics, each targeting its own step in the conversion funnel, and most importantly beyond it: A marketer’s job isn’t done when the conversion happens. In fact, it only starts!

A poor strategy is limited to Google rankings and referral clicks… It’s a waste of money and effort!

Madeline Osman                                          Blog Smith

One of the most unethical marketing strategies is the use of clickbait headlines on bad blog articles. Most of the time, catchy headlines trick people into visiting a website that has low quality content and doesn’t satisfy the curiosity that they came in with. It can also hurt SEO because Google notices that people are landing one one one and leaving immediately without checking out any others – a signal of low quality.

Graeme Watt                                                 The Zen Agency

Blogging with no promotion – Blogging is great but has to be accompanied by a sound promotion strategy otherwise it becomes a bit of a waste of time and will get lost in all the noise. Share your content across all your communication platforms.

Targeting too many people – It’s important for brands to define who their target audience when it comes to creating a marketing strategy that will succeed. It’s important to remember you can’t please everybody all of the time, it’s much better to focus on who your audience is and make them happy!

Alex Yong Writer                                          Social Alex Live

You still see a lot of brands hiring agencies to fill live events with bloggers​ in order to create a false “buzz.” This isn’t effective because today people can see through it, and the brand could save money by just doing most of this  themselves, if they’d use the right tools. Instead, they overpay agencies sometimes $15k\month to use poorly researched lists which are maintained by interns who don’t understand marketing.

Joshua Alexander                                          Promotional Science

Dilute your brand through 20 million websites. Build one big authority website, because you can achieve more with one big site, then you can with multiple little sites that you do not spend as much time.

Sotiris Bassakaropolis                                   Building A Better Blog

Digital marketing strategies I hate? Really there are not that many but the winner of annoying strategies is. When people who never chat to you on Facebook sending a Private message using a script. This drives me nuts and normally is a complete waste of my time and theirs. If you do not communicate with someone and then disturb or interrupt there day. By messaging them on Facebook and starting to act out a script so that within three exchanges your are trying to push your latest business opportunity on them. It may work and some people may make money using this method but personally I think it is pathetic. I believe in putting out great content on the web and if people are interested they will opt in join or contact me to find out more. For me attraction marketing is king

Brandon Krieger                                             KNSS Consulting

One of the strategies I still find clients are putting way to much value in is trying to get more “Likes”. I see people trying to purchase likes, bartering for likes and many other different strategies. What business owners need to understand is it’s not the value in that one “Like”. The value is in providing your followers valuable content so they want to like, comment and share with their followers. That is how you build up your community and engaged followers, not a list of 10,000 likes that don’t engage with your social site. To build a active community takes time and being dynamic in your strategy.

Ivan Kostadinov                                             Local Fame

Blogging is a huge deal in any online marketing strategy. But far too often, we see blog posts that no one reads or shares. The main reason is that someone just a wrote a great, 1500 words long article but he didn’t make any effort to check if the website’s audience is actually interested in this topic. Another issue can be if you write a great post but you don’t use your audience’s keywords or manner of speaking.

For example, you are a real estate agency and you want to rank your Liverpool, UK properties. If you write a great post on how to get around this town, where are the best schools & the best beer, you are probably on the right track to getting a potential customer on your website through your blog. But if your audience is more interested in the local universities, rather than the middle schools, or the italian restaurants rather than the pubs, you probably won’t get as many results as you might expect. Don’t avoid or neglect the keywords research process – take your time and invest in it.

Vahe Arabian                                                  Online Marketing Gurus

The one thing to avoid is regurgitating content that has been published online, thinking you can get away with it. Brands and digital marketers should be original, and be value/customer-centric when producing content, as it means there is a deliberate attempt to make a connection and pull them in, as oppose to pushing out content or the sake of it.

Final Thoughts

Here you have it! The full checklist of all of the things you should avoid in your digital marketing. Now that you know the biggest drains on your digital marketing, take a few moments to learn what you can do to

To help you, feel free to get our Digital Marketing Checklist, so you can go from Sucks to Bucks!