Even a marketer who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night,
may become a ZOMBIE
when the linkbait blooms and Google’s noose draws tight.
In a dark corner of the digital marketplace dwells a terrible creature that hungers for the brains of the living. A relic of bygone days, the beast limps and drags its desiccated and decaying body slowly and painfully as it stalks its prey.
A ghost story, you say? No, it’s zombie marketing.
Picking Off The Stragglers
Failure to understand the reality of the new world of digital business can spell catastrophic disaster for your enterprise. The radical shifts in the ways consumers interact with business have generated a host of new expectations that buyers bring to the purchasing act. If you’re a digital straggler, the time is coming when you face being shut out of vital avenues of growth.
Given the competition for digital business, if you’re running slow, the wolves are gonna bring you down. You know, the non-vegetarian kind of wolves.
Reanimating The Dead
The most common type of zombie marketing focuses on websites and marketing practices that are simply outmoded. A website design that was cool way back in the .com and dial-up internet era is more likely to bounce potential customers than gain any sales for your business. Sending out streams of spammy emails, or achieving a keyword density rivaling that of most black holes are basically stillborn endeavors in the modern digital age.
It’s Alive!…No, Wait It’s Dead…No, It’s Alive Again!
The other form of zombie marketing is really more of a Frankenstein’s monster kind of thing. The marketer has a basic grasp of what it takes to meet consumer demand. There’s a blog on the website. The social media bases are covered.
But nothing is consistent. There’s a week’s worth of blogs, then nothing for months (or worse, the posts are just garbage made by keyword scramblers). No one responds to comments. The same thing is happening on social media channels…a Tweet here, a Facebook post there, then it’s one big cricket jamboree. The investment of time and creativity that a website and social media marketing require can overwhelm, but the start-stop is almost worse than nothing at all.
The Silver Bullet
For the zombie marketer there is only one silver bullet, and that’s knowledge. For many clinging to creaky websites and outmoded practices, the fear of what the modern digital market place can bring to their business is very real. Of these boogie men social media is by far the biggest monster under the reluctant marketer’s bed.
Where does the fear come from? It flows from anxieties about open communication with customers. Because this communication is not fully under the control of a business, there is worry that any negativity can quickly get out of hand and before you know it your reputation is lower that a snake’s bellybutton. And that is a legitimate concern.
So why bother, says our digital dinosaur. The cold, hard truth is that the modern consumer shops companies online before committing to purchase.
The golden oldie of radio-print-television no longer works as the exclusive means of advertising products – even when a potential customer finds out about a product through a television or radio ad, that consumer will most often consult the internet to learn more about a product.
The internet is the dominant source of information relating to brand identity for most consumers in the 21st century. If you have no or poor digital presence, that is taken as a direct reflection on your business.
Bringing Marketing Back To Life
If your online marketing strategy belongs in a sarcophagus, it’s time to rethink: Like any zombie, the marketing revenant needs brains.
To bring it back to life you need to plan on using your digital properties as a combination of brand promoters and vehicles for sharing.
First, you need to optimize your website to increase traffic. SEO is life and death, and a poor Google ranking is something no business can afford.
Next, you need to make sure that the content on your site is original and engaging – consumers want to experience a positive emotional component when making their purchases. (And make sure your site is mobile friendly – mobile devices account for an increasing percentage of internet activity.)
Now you need to optimize your site for that critical shop your customers perform. Share value for free – provide in-depth information about products and services that smoothes the decision making process for your customer. Use social media to learn what your customer base thinks about your business, and then funnel that information into your strategic planning.
There will be bumps in the social media highway, but you can tackle them with the same customer service that has always been the hallmark of a successful business.
If you’re captive to a marketing zombie, Zen Media knows how to slay monsters and bring back the sunshine to your marketing endeavor. Our experience and industry knowledge can help you leave the ranks of the digital stragglers and build your brand.