3 Dying Digital Marketing Tactics Your Business Might Be Wasting Money On

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Re-evaluated your marketing priorities lately? The digital landscape is constantly changing, and it’s all-too-easy to miss a valuable opportunity–or overcommit to an outdated channel or tool. As a digital talent agency we frequently encounter potential clients that are “just a few years” behind digital–which of course means they might as well be a century back.

Look at your digital strategy and budget from two or three years ago. Does it look more or less the same as it does now? If so, you’re probably not allocating your resources effectively. It’s time to audit your digital marketing operations (and potentially conduct a digital marketing executive search) and look for tactics that deliver better ROI.

Canned Video Content

Odds are good that in recent years you’ve come across many whiteboard videos featuring a disembodied hand scrawling explanations on a digital whiteboard while generic stock music plays in the background.

Or remember the 3 months that these were popular?

Videos like this are attractive to marketers because they’re simple and accessible to almost anyone. You can pull one together even if you’re camera shy or don’t have animation experience.

However, the content space for this kind of video is now well oversaturated. Instead of helping your organization stand out, it makes you look dated. Consumers engage far more with recorded video of actual people and events.

If you want to make use of video now, you should focus your efforts on developing influencer relationships, producing live content, or creating recorded video that’s remarkably entertaining and informative.

Animated content can still be effective; but avoid the canned animated video options that everyone has already overused. It takes greater effort with talented digital creative staffing, but the result will stand out far more. For instance, here’s how Ford used original art along with minimal animation to tell a touching Fathers’ Day story:

Similarly, whiteboard content still has a place–but you have to attach a charismatic human element. Consider how SEO agency and solutions provider Moz delivers strategy advice through its popular Whiteboard Friday series–with supreme expertise and charismatic hosts.

Pulling Back on Marketing Outsourcing Services

A few years ago, it was common–and often wise– to work with a suite of third-party partners and marketing outsourcing services to manage your digital marketing.

With so many important emerging digital channels emerging at once, it was difficult for a company to keep up with everything. So you’d put your email in the hands of an email marketing agency, your paid ads with an SEM/PPC shop, your social accounts with a community management firm, and so on.

At the time it made sense. But now as so many of those fields have matured, smart businesses at looking at ways to bring those marketing responsibilities back in house.

Marketing outsourcing services and agency fees aren’t cheap. And as digital marketing has become more and more collaborative, juggling and coordinating the efforts of several agencies that all have their own strategies and priorities becomes less effective. Many businesses are experimenting with on-site digital marketing agencies or making use of flexible digital marketing staffing to execute internally.

If you’re currently handing the reigns of your digital strategy off to others, now might be the right time to retake control.

Marketing on Twitter

Once the daring, darling social network du jour, Twitter is becoming less and less attractive as a primary marketing platform.

Compared to its rivals, Twitter is stagnant in gaining new users and fostering engagement among its current base. Its share among social media users recently shrank to 27.9% and will probably continue to slowly trend down barring a drastic change.

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Image from eMarketer

At the same time, other social networks are exploding. Instagram and Pinterest in particular are experience rapid growth. Facebook, the king of them all, may see a slow in growth rate–but it makes up for it with the unparalleled consumer insights and advertising capabilities it offers businesses.

Not only that; Twitter struggles to deliver value to advertisers. Users log in to share a quick thought or get a glimpse of what they’re network is doing. They’re not there to engage or research–at least not as often as on other networks. The lower levels of engagement and weaker targeting capabilities mean paid ads here are usually less effective than on other channels.

Questions about the business’s stability and  life span are also making it a less attractive investment.

The company appears to be experiencing internal turmoil, shedding hundreds of jobs over the last few years while continuing to fall short of profitability. Many members of its senior leadership team–including 60% of its top executives–left. A potential deal with Salesforce fell through in 2016, indicating big buyers don’t see it as an attractive target.

As Vine recently showed us, even popular social channels are not immune to sudden deaths capable of completely disrupting a marketing strategy.

Thanks to its highly anonymous nature and low barrier to entry, Twitter is susceptible to bots and trolls, which not only fill up feeds with spam but can heavily skew analytics.

Twitter will probably retain some meaningful utility as a useful tool for customers who have questions or comments to directly communicate with a brand. In fact, some of the best customer service and brand engagement I ever received was through Twitter.

But when it comes to being a channel for ads, content promoting, and branding, it’s falling behind other faster-growing channels.

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