You can try to use them to build your audience, generate leads, and grow your company — but you aren’t likely to get the results you want.
This shift to using gimmicks happens when senior leadership puts way too much pressure and irresponsible growth goals on their marketing team.
The pressure forces the marketing team to get “creative,” which means sacrificing long-term success for short-term gains by using gimmicks. These gimmicks seem like a good idea at the time — but will ultimately sink your ship.
Don't risk your business's continued success on gimmicks for growth. They don't serve your companies' long-term goals. Instead, here are some things you should never stoop to doing when trying to grow your business.
Alternative Growth Strategies to Avoid
Is your company engaging in gimmicks to grow? The following growth strategies are ones your business should avoid participating in at all costs. If your business is using any of these strategies — stop right now and contact us for help!
1. Low-Quality Link Building
Many times businesses pay an SEO company to build backlinks. They promise the world and deliver a ton of spam. Google hates spam and hates people trying to “rig” their algorithm for wins.
You will eventually get slapped and get a penalty from Google.
Google considers links "low-quality" when used to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in search results, which directly violates Google Webmaster's Guidelines.
However, this doesn't mean you should avoid linking at all costs in an attempt to not get in trouble with Google.
The most beneficial way to build your audience is to develop authority content and to do the work to build your audience organically, without gimmicks.
Google wants you to be successful, but they want your links to be natural — not forced.
With that, it doesn’t mean you should sit and wait for people to find you. You can use many strategies to promote your site, including guest blogging, directory submissions, or even press release submissions for newsworthy sources.
2. Spamming for Backlinks
We get 30 emails a day saying, “Hey, I saw this amazing article on your blog! I’ve written an article on mine. It will make your article even better if you put a link to my article in that post! Thanks!”
These are spammy backlinks, and they’re not something you want to have. You might get a couple of legitimate backlinks from lower-quality sites, but you’ll make many people angry with you.
Emails such as these typically get followed up with several more emails saying, “I didn’t want you to miss this… just following up… just wanted to make sure… I just wanted to check in one more time…”
This kind of behavior is called spam. You don’t want to get five backlinks by making 4000 people hate your guts.
3. Paying for Offer-less Ads
So many companies have an ad pointing to their home page.
Brand awareness ads are okay in context, but many companies have horrible conversion rates on these ads. As a result, they receive terrible ROI on their paid ad spend because they have generic ads going to a generic home page.
That’s bad marketing.
Ads can bring buy-ready leads if they point to a specific offer. The trick to getting successful ads, especially pay-per-click ads, is your strategy.
You need to figure out your target audience and make sure the ads are going to them and only them. People often pay for ads targeted at people who aren’t interested, which is a waste of money.
Developing your buyer persona and the details of the person you are targeting will help you figure out how to do this.
4. Press Release Mayhem
Press releases are good when an actual PR push drives them. However, paying someone that says “I’m going to publish your press release on 50 press release sites” will not help you.
Google considers this low-quality, and they’re not going to help you. Again, you will sacrifice long-term growth with all the people you angered.
5. Spamming Social Forums
Work on your branding strategy. Senior-level leadership may think it’s simple to publish to a highly active social forum or board and get a ton of engagement.
It doesn’t work.
If you’re going to have engagement, you have to be engaged. You can’t spam forums or groups and expect to get a return. See #2 — you may get a click or two, but you will make many more people hate you. That’s not a good way to build awareness.
Doing this the right way involves checking yourself. For one, check to see if you made your posts about you. You need to make your posts about your ideal clients. Otherwise, you are just spamming your social media and wasting time--unless you are creative and include how it will benefit your audience.
Social media platforms have become loaded with ads, so you are not the only one trying to get people’s attention. People scroll right past an ad that doesn’t immediately catch their attention. That is why establishing a target audience is crucial to making sure only the right people see your ads. Your target audience is more likely to see and respond to your ads right away.
Consider the customer’s needs to determine how to tell them that you care about those needs.
Also, make sure you are engaging in conversation on the forums. When people comment, make sure you are answering them. Think about the way you would want someone to treat you if you were in their shoes.
Build for Dramatic Long-Term Growth
Rather than trying to gimmick growth, build for the long-term. It takes time to develop a broad reach of people, and it’s hard to see this if your goals are not long-term.
Work on your growth strategy framework. Grow your readership organically, and avoid giving in to the gimmicks that will make you popular quick. Your company may not be ready, and you will lose your audience.
Too often, growth strategies that seem good are not. Growth is not easy, and you need the right strategy. Having a solid growth strategy in place is essential. The proper growth strategy is not the same for every company, so make sure you work on this carefully.