When it comes to online marketing, many people are unwilling to leave their comfort zone, unfortunately clinging to ineffective techniques. Whether they received poor advice, are using outdated practices, or are simply utilizing techniques that don’t fit their business – after all, online marketing is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution – the longer they hold on, the more time and resources they waste. If your social media marketing or online marketing efforts aren’t producing reasonable results, it may be time to let go of what you’re used to, learn why you’re failing, and try something new.
Though the source of the quote changes with each retelling, most people are likely familiar with the adage: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” While this could of course be countered with the saying that practice makes perfect, the distinction lies in the difference between getting better at doing something the right way – and stubbornly refusing to deviate from methods that simply aren’t effective. There comes a time when you simply must realize that what you are doing in your online marketing efforts needs to change.
Adapt to the Times
Technology has always moved rapidly, and adapting to its changes – including in online marketing – is essential to keeping up. In 2004, the entertainment and movie rental company Blockbuster boasted nearly $6 billion in revenue; by 2010, the company had filed for bankruptcy. Why? Because as services like Netflix increased the popularity of mail order and streaming video rentals, Blockbuster resister moving to these new formats. As a result, they were left behind.
While it isn’t necessarily required to immediately jump onboard with every new trend or start-up, remember that staying abreast of the latest developments can be critical in getting the right message to the right audience. Search engine algorithms get overhauled, new targeting and integration features are developed, and online population centers shift – after all, MySpace was social media king just a few years ago.
Whether you’re launching an online marketing plan for the first time or integrating new solutions or techniques, keep in mind that results don’t often appear overnight. This is particularly true in social media marketing, where communities and trust take time to build, and in search engine optimization, where search engines want to see a progressive increase in tactics and gradually improve results. Over the first few months, closely monitor the statistics and analytics of your efforts; results won’t be instantaneous, but a steady increase in positive results may tell you that your plan is on the right track.
Listen to the Professionals
Whether you’re looking for tips on improving your social media, blogging, SEO, email marketing, or any other aspect of online marketing, there is seemingly no limit to the number of resources available. There are countless blogs, online guides, and books out there – and it seems like everyone has a friend of a friend who’s somehow an “amateur expert”. The problem, however, is that not every source of information is a good one. The information they have may be incorrect, or simply out of date and no longer relevant.
That’s why it’s important to always consider the source of any guidance, and take your advice from current industry experts. If your outsourced marketing firm or in-house marketing department suggest new or updated strategies that will replace a failing system and should improve your results, it’s in your best interest to listen to the research and statistics that support their recommendations. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it – but if it is, listening to those who know how to help could turn your online marketing efforts around.