Let's talk bad marketing tactics. We've all seen it and/or experienced it. Sometimes it's just a bad feeling you get and other times, one bad marketing experience leaves you swearing off life. Both bloggers and brands are guilty of it, and it isn't pretty.
But, in this big marketing world we live in where ads are displayed everywhere (phones, movies, subways) and you are almost always getting pitched for something, do you blame the marketing game or the marketing player? Sometimes, it's the marketing player who gets wrapped up in this vicious cycle, mainly because he/she didn't know better or didn't want to say anything.
If that's the case, let's dedicate this post to that marketing player, the blogger or online personality who just needs a little more help in knowing what works, what doesn't and everything in between. Or the brand that thinks it is really helping the community when, in turn, they are just helping themselves.
Bad Marketing Tactics For Bloggers:
- Follow Me & I'll Follow You emails/messages: Not only do these come off as spam, they are advertisements for your site and they come off disingenuous and cheesy. Instead of sending these messages, do basic intro emails with those blogs you like and see how that goes.
- Not disclosing sponsors on a post: We've talked about this a lot and while it remains to be seen if there are clear, long-term results. However one thing is certain: not disclosing if a post is sponsored or not isn't helpful for your readers. They need clarity and transparency in order to believe you and your voice.
- Boring content: The attention span of your reader is short and when they read boring, bland content, their eyes immediately skim over to another article/tweet/post/message. Don't bore, engage. Instead of sending out a robotic, “Have You Seen My latest Outfit Post” tweet, why not give more description about said outfit? Tell us why we should look at your outfit post.
- Not trying new networks/media: This kind of ties into the tactic mentioned above but it deserves to be highlighted. If you want to evolve and grow, you need to stay ahead of the trends. Everyday, a new digital platform or trend arises and you never know if it will help your blog and grow your community. You don't need to try every platform but see what works for you. And who knows, you might become an expert in that platform. Early adapters are always looked at as experts.
- Not asking to be paid for your work: Listen, you are in charge of your blogging business. If you want to be compensated for the work you are doing for a brand, it is up to YOU to express this. But don't just say you need to be paid; make sure you do your homework. Do your research on blogging rates, back your services with case studies, and speak up. If you don't start, you are setting yourself up for certain standard that may not be sustainable for you and your blog.
Bad Marketing Tactics For Brands:
- Building short-term relationships with bloggers: a blogger is more than a placement, tweet or Instagram. A blogger is a real person and your consumer. And guess what? He/she is eager to work with you on more than just this current campaign. A long-term relationship not only shows that you value his/her work, but that you are genuinely curious into what they have to say about your brand. Who knows, by listening to them, you may end up with a more mutually-beneficial relationship than you could have imagined.
- Pitching a product to a blogger that doesn't fit your niche: As a blogger, nothing is more annoying than getting pitched a beauty product when you cover shoes. It shows a lack of understanding and almost desperation. All it takes is one click to know if a blogger actually covers your product.
- Not doing research: This ties in perfectly with the bulletpoint above. Do your research! Know a bloggers name and avoid the “Dear Blogger” email pitch. See what other brands have done in the past with said-blogger and think of something better, more innovative. It's amazing what a little research can do and your blogger will be happier to work with a brand that is more prepared.
- Being fake: We've all met that marketing rep who just reeks of fakeness. Smiling big, never really listening to you, constantly on their phone… Let's just stop this. If you don't care about knowing who you are working with, then don't. Find someone else who you care about and stop wasting our time. A blogger's fake-radar is pretty well-tuned and it goes off the minute we feel like a marketing rep just doesn't care. It leaves a bad taste in our mouth and that's the last thing you want, right?
- Not being flexible with your bloggers: We get it, you have a quota to fill, a deadline to meet. But the digital world is constantly shifting, changing and it requires a bit of flexibility. For example, if a blogger tells you that her posts get more traffic on Wednesday morning, don't force her to post it on a Tuesday evening. She knows her reader, her audience and her site. All in all, you can't micromanage bloggers because they know their platform, better than you do.