opinion

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5 Bad Marketing Habits To Kick In 2017

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, January 31, 2017

Insanity has been defined as"doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I guess that means we marketers can act a bit crazy — how else could we explain our repeated reliance on old-school techniques, like lead-gated PDFs, when these tactics no longer resonate with the expectations of today’s buyers?  

According to the Content Marketing Institute, campaigns that saw the most success in 2016 were those that broke the mold, personalized the user experience and incorporated new and different platforms. As marketers evaluate their tactics, they should use 2017 to start fresh and kick these five bad marketing habits to the curb.

Living in your comfort zone

Every marketer knows that maintaining brand identity across all campaigns is important, but that doesn’t always mean using the same boring, static content. To stand out from the competition, marketers need to step outside of their comfort zone. Adding a unique approach to an already recognizable campaign can help avoid stagnation and create a fresh look. This could be by trying new content types, like infographics or videos, when you normally would have gone with a whitepaper.

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Multiple CTAs

Multiple CTAs can overwhelm and confuse your users as they will ask themselves, “what should I click on first?” Instead, marketers should set up CTAs in a way that guides users down a personalized path to information that is relevant to them. This means one CTA per asset. You can decide what that CTA is by asking yourself how you can help users access exactly what they need depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Talking at customers

The problem with traditional marketing campaigns is that they often bombard buyers with information instead of creating a mutually beneficial dialogue. The “me-me-me” approach is straight out of 1950s advertising and has no place in a world where two-way conversations are required. Tailoring your message to your customer’s problems and how you help solve them is a better way to gain traction. Focus on creating content that is valuable and can help your buyers learn something. Layering in engaging, interactive elements that ask questions help create a dialogue, rather than a one-way message.

Creating static, lead-gated PDFs

Static, lead-gated content is not just boring, but also gives no way to engage and create conversations with users. Interactive content, on the other hand, connects with prospects on a one-to-one level, asking questions and gaining personal information as the user navigates through the experience. Suddenly, the ask for personal information is part of the experience (think an assessment or quiz). As an added bonus, interactive content enables marketers to gain insight into their target audience and track the user’s behavior.

Pushing out random content

The more is a better approach to traditional content creation and distribution methods is not keeping pace with the rising expectations of today’s buyers. B2B buyers expect content to be relevant, compelling and speak to their unique areas of interest, all of which interactive content can do. In fact, according to a survey we conducted with DemandGen, 66% of respondents saw greater response at top-of-funnel with content-enabled campaigns. As such, marketers need to focus on more strategic and engaging content that resonates with their target audience.

As we kick off the new year, there is no better time for marketers to re-evaluate their campaign goals and content creation methods. Getting rid of old habits that are no longer relevant to your audience will position your marketing to experience huge gains in 2017.

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