The end of the year is closing in, which means you’ll be seeing dozens of articles similarly titled to this one. Some will even take the bold stance, luring in readers with catchy headlines like, “CONTENT MARKETING IS DEAD” or “SOCIAL MEDIA IS A WASTE OF YOUR TIME.” But contrary to what these articles would have you believe, few marketing strategies really ever die out completely. Rather, they simply become a less efficient use of your time.
Of course, there are exceptions (cough, Vine, cough), but for the most part, no one can tell you what’s going to be “out” in 2017. Different online platforms and the marketing strategies that fuel them are constantly evolving, just like the preferences and behavior patterns of users collectively. There’s no telling which marketing tactics will make a comeback. There are, however, some not-so-surprising things you can probably go ahead and strike off your to-do list in 2017.
- Working for clicks over conversions.
This should be obvious, because clicks are nice, but conversions are better. This is especially important for those investing in any kind of paid search optimization/campaigning, because money is at stake. Above all else, your priority should be to get users to take a certain action (making a purchase, entering contact information, whatever).
Instead of optimizing with the goal of enticing clicks, try and think more holistically about an approach that will have an end result of conversions. Start by addressing common things that hold back conversions, like web design or a poor landing page. Then see that your conversion strategy aligns with your target audience. Whatever you do, don’t waste your time thinking mere clicks are the key to success.
- Emphasizing quantity or quality.
Just. Don’t. Do it. Yes, having tons of content can make it seem like you have a surplus of resources on your website, but if they’re all low quality, you’re wasting your time. Having hundreds of pages of thin content will not only not help you get the kind of user engagement you need, but it’s also punishable. Plus, why would you even want to seem spammy?
Your focus should be on quality, original content that contributes to a positive user experience. Google does everything with user experience in mind, and so should you, because that’s the kind of thing that gets rewarded on search engines. In 2017, make quality the focus of your content marketing strategy. Go back and look at where you may have dropped the ball on quality in 2016, and strategize ways to do better going forward.
- Avoiding mobile-first/mobile-ready optimization and design.
At this point, if you’re still avoiding mobile optimization, you’re just willfully choosing to set yourself back. Mobile optimization is an undeniable component of browsing behavior, and your participation is required if you want to remain competitive. The good news is that the shift to mobile is so significant that Google has made it pretty easy to switch over to a mobile-first design.
PPC, Google’s expanded text ads that rolled out in August took care of mobile-preferred ads, so now one ad format adjusts across all devices. To thrive through 2017, all you really need to do is make your website mobile-friendly and ensure that it’s locally optimized.