5 Marketing Tactics to Avoid when Launching a Startup

useless marketing tactics

Conventional wisdom says 90% of startups fail. To be in the 10%, you’ll need to learn what to do, but most importantly – what useless marketing tactics to skip. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting money that could’ve made your business successful. Read on to learn what marketing tactics will likely put a spoke in your startup’s wheel:

1. Having weak content

Your business won’t stand out without superior content. Landing pages, website text, blog articles, and the like need to be done professionally. Quality images and text connect with your visitors, and search engines favor it.

By the way – if you’re in a niche industry, don’t create generic content. In most cases, it’s best to create content aimed at a narrow group rather than everyone. Specialized content is more effective because it feels personal.

2. Wasting money on display ads

Calling the good ol’ display ads useless marketing tactics is a stretch. These ads increase brand awareness when done right, but spending too much on them is a bad investment. According to a smartingsights.com analysis, display ads have really low conversion rates, and only 35% of them get views.

A better alternative is to focus on native ads (sponsored posts on social media). These can reach your target audience, get more engagement and increase conversion rates far better.

3. Buying fake followers

Did you know that most celebrities have allegedly bought a huge number of social media followers? Yes, even Barack Obama. But are you getting a good return on investment if you have fake followers?

On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the rest, fake followers do nearly nothing for your conversion rate and organic reach. You might be seen as more popular, but you won’t get back your invested money. Plus, some social media sites frown upon these practices.

4. Pointless rebranding

While rebranding is a good idea when necessary, constantly changing your brand is a useless marketing tactic. Not only do you spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, but you’ll also lose the brand image you’ve already built.

The whole point of branding is to have a consistent image that people can identify with. Unless you’re Pepsi or Microsoft, or your brand was clearly made by amateurs, save your money and focus on your existing brand. Your brand may not be the reason why your business isn’t doing great.

5. Useless market research

Good market research can help you know your audience better, or it can help you know your market share when creating a new product. However, some forms of market research are useless marketing tactics.

For example, research based on focus groups is very narrow as they can’t represent your whole target audience. Another bad tactic is “bribing” participants to do user interviews or surveys. Their opinions might not reflect what they really think because you’ve given them cash or gift cards.

Want to read more on this topic? Check out common misconceptions about digital marketing and 10 branding tips for small businesses.

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