When it comes to online marketing, there’s a lot of advice out there. I can’t criticize, I’m responsible for a good deal of it myself.
But, everywhere you look, it seems like there’s another person sharing their latest marketing innovation, best practice or hack. It’s almost impossible to keep them all straight, let alone decide which ones are relevant to your business.
So what do you do? How do you sort through all of the clutter and pick a marketing approach that will work for you and your company?
To be honest, the secret to effectively marketing your business isn’t the latest best practice or marketing hack. Those might be tools in your marketing tool chest, but they won’t do you much good if your fundamental approach to marketing isn’t solid. In fact, if they distract you from focusing on the most important things for your business, they can actually do more harm than good.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at why you should take most marketing advice with a grain of salt and a few reliable marketing approaches you can use to get consistent results.
The problem with most marketing advice
When it comes to marketing advice, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind: almost all marketing advice comes from marketers. And marketers are constantly trying to sell something.
Even when they’re not directly trying to sell you on a product or service (or their breakthrough, ultra-secret methodology that will make you an overnight millionaire), marketers can’t help but market. It’s instinctive for them. If they want you to believe in their breakthrough or hack, they’ll do their level best to make it seem awesome.
There’s nothing wrong with that…as long as you remember one thing: your results may vary.
No two businesses are the same. Even direct competitors can struggle to effectively replicate each others’ marketing secret sauce. There’s nothing wrong with that, but this point often tends to get lost once marketers start talking about how great their latest idea is.
So, the next time you’re reading about the latest and greatest in the marketing world (including this article), remember, just because something worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. There’s a lot other people can teach you, but ultimately, what’s right for your business will be specific to your business.
How will you approach marketing?
In light of all that, you might be wondering, How do I know what marketing strategies will work for my business?
That’s a great question.
While there are countless different tricks, tactics and hacks you can use to promote your business online, most of them fall into three basic categories. In my experience, as long as your marketing is effective in at least one of these areas, you’ll be successful. So, it pays to understand each of these marketing approaches and which one(s) you want to use for your business.
Ideally, you want to be strong in each of the following areas, but that can often be overwhelming, so start by trying to identify which sort of strategy best fits your company’s personality, needs, and brand.
1. Create something compelling
Although we all love fun, engaging and compelling content, let’s be honest, most marketing is boring. For every truly brilliant ad or article, there are a million utterly forgettable ones.
But here’s the thing. People want to see something fun, funny, entertaining, novel or just plain compelling. They don’t actually hate marketing – they just hate boring marketing. So, if your company can be clever, thought-provoking, soulful or hilarious, people will naturally be interested in your marketing.
Engaging content stands out from the crowd. It gives people something interesting to look at, think about and share with others – even if that content isn’t all that unique or different to begin with.
Take the following image from “The Art of Manliness,” for example.