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These Marketing Tactics Didn’t Do a Damn Thing for My Business

Marketing is all about experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. Even though I’m an expert in the field, some marketing tactics I’ve tried have not worked.


These marketing tactics #failed


When I say that these marketing tactics didn’t work, I mean they didn’t contribute to my company’s growth in a significant way. I committed to each of these tactics for at least six months. I didn’t see results, so I stopped.


There’s no harm in trying and failing. There is harm in trying, failing and sticking with it anyway.


OK, let’s dive into my #failed marketing tactics.


Doing live videos


I don’t mind being in front of a camera, live or otherwise, so I was excited to try Periscope when it came out in 2015. As fun as it was to connect with people from around the world, I finally accepted that I wasn’t going to reach my target market this way.


After a year-long hiatus from live broadcasting, I decided to try Facebook Live. My results were completely different from Periscope. I got a lot of engagement when I was live, and quite a few eyeballs on recordings.


But that’s it. Like Periscope, my efforts on Facebook didn’t support lead generation. Even though we spent money to advertise my upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts, it didn’t move the marketing needle.


Using a social media dashboard


Social media dashboards are supposed to streamline your use of social media. Note I said, “supposed to.” The ability to see all my channel feeds at once had the opposite effect on me. It didn’t streamline my use as much as made me lazy.


I’d log into the dashboard, glance at likes, comments and shares, respond and leave. I spent much more time when I visited LinkedIn and Twitter directly. I’d take time to go through my feed and engage with people I was following.


I haven’t used a dashboard in years.


Answering queries on HARO


HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, sends out daily emails that contain queries from media organizations who are looking for experts in any given subject. For a couple of years, my assistant sent me queries on my areas of expertise.


I got a couple of media placements, which is great, but the effort far outstripped the ROI. If it helped increase my brand awareness or made my company more visible online, the impact has been negligible.


Offering free audits


I thought this idea was a winner, so I am really bummed it fell flat. I started offering free audits of a website page, social media channel or blog (your choice). If you signed up for an audit, I’d provide an overview of what I found and tell you three things to fix immediately.


We advertised on social media, and it was integrated into an automated lead generation campaign. In five or six years, I have done exactly three. None turned into a paying gig.


Advertising on LinkedIn


As a B2B business owner, LinkedIn is THE social media channel where my target market hangs out. I thought advertising on it would be a slam-dunk. Nope.


I created a series of ads that showcased free downloadable content from my website. We rotated through the ads … and nada.


This was five years ago, and I bet I’d get the same result today. LinkedIn users appear to be severely allergic to ads. They don’t want to get pitched; they want to learn and network.


Your turn: What marketing tactics have completely failed your business?


PS – Here are the marketing campaigns that have been successful for my business.


Image by Merakist via Unsplash 

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