Snarky Marketer: Bad advice for your 2016 digital strategy

Sep 8, 2015Marketing Strategy, SEO


Now is the time of year that we’re all planning our digital strategy for 2016. You are planning, right? We’re setting the course for the next year and likely beyond and we’re looking back on what we’ve accomplished over the past year to see how we could improve. Planning your company’s digital strategy can be an arduous process with far-reaching consequences. It’s important you get the strategy right the first time so that you don’t have to “course correct” later.

Below are a few pieces of advice that would likely make you have to make those corrections if you decided to follow them. Every organization’s digital strategy is different, so if you’d like to bounce an idea or question, you’re more than welcome to contact me.

Let’s shift our attention away from mobile.

Yeah, don’t listen to that piece of advice. Even if you already have a solid mobile presence – a mobile or responsive website, maybe even an app or two, there’s more you could (and should) be doing in mobile. Especially when you consider that comScore released numbers in June that show smartphone penetration in the US is at almost 79%, the time to be focusing on mobile is now and in the foreseeable future as well.

What more could you be doing? More marketing automation related to mobile would be a good start – email marketing in particular has still been shown to be effective in many cases. Ad targeting on mobile devices, push notifications and proximity messaging would be good to have as well. If you don’t have a mobile website yet, you had better make that a priority or you will be left out in the desktop bone yard.

We don’t need to worry about SEO this year.

SEO is one of my most favorite and least favorite topics at the same time because it’s very fickle and easy to get “wrong”. In my experience, getting it “wrong” most of the time means over-focusing on search engine optimization and being a bit too proactive. Gone are (or should be) the days of link building, but not gone are the days of link earning. On-page SEO is still extremely important and I’ve yet to find a single site that didn’t have room for improvement in this area.

Focus more on inbound marketing and creating likable, shareable content and less on keyword density and artificially spreading links around and you’ll win the SEO battle in 2016.

Facebook marketing is too expensive.

On the surface, any paid digital advertising medium can appear to be expensive. Companies can spend thousands of dollars on promoting posts on Facebook very easily. The key is your target audience. Facebook is extremely effective at being able to pinpoint a specific target group for your paid marketing spend and with Facebook and other social networks catching up on traffic it drives to websites compared to organic search, you shouldn’t be ignoring a paid strategy on Facebook in 2016.

A digital video strategy is just too complex and expensive.

Visuals in marketing have always been important – after all, a picture is worth a thousand words and that’s no more true than in marketing.

However, many organizations, especially small business, have the incorrect assumption that incorporating a digital video strategy into their marketing mix is just too complex or too expensive. Both of these are not true, when you consider platforms like Snapchat and Periscope and the role of influencer marketing. You don’t have to be cranking out YouTube videos to be successful with digital video. Remember there are other mediums and options, even to smaller organizations.

What bad digital strategy advice have you received?

Digital strategy is a curious topic because there is no one size fits all model. What may be right for one organization or industry just won’t work in another. What are some of the suggestions you’ve heard or received for a 2016 digital strategy? What do you feel most organizations’ focus should be in the upcoming year?

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about some of the bad advice you’ve heard for 2016 digital strategies. Please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me with your thoughts.

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