Digital Marketing Strategy – What Works and What Doesn’t


Remember when wall backgrounds on Instagram images were popular? People have moved past that trend, less than a year down the line! That shouldn’t be surprising because the digital world moves with speed. It swings like a pendulum, and what’s fashionable today may be outdated tomorrow and vice versa.

It is important to take note of what’s working and what’s not working to avoid wasting resources. Staying up to date with trends and reading popular blogs is one great way you can do this.

Below are four digital marketing tactics to keep you current so you don’t fall into that trap!

Endless backlinking

Backlinks still retain their top spot as an important search engine optimization tactic used by Google to Index and rank websites. Google will give your website a top position in search results if many websites link back to your website. Initially, the more backlinks a website amassed the better. As a result, SEO experts would use software to create multiple backlinks, without paying attention to quality.

However, algorithms changed and having numerous backlinks stopped being as effective. Today, the quality of your backlinks matters more than the quantity. Google uses the Domain Authority criterion to award marks. For instance, very popular websites like Forbes, Huffington Post or Business Insider have a very high Domain Authority. Therefore, earning one or two backlinks from such sites may get you at the top of the search engine results faster than acquiring a thousand backlinks from small unknown websites with a low Domain Authority score.

In addition to all of this, using backlinking software is some form of Black hat SEO.  This means you’re trying to fool search engines to earn a spot at the front page. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t like cheats.  If your efforts are detected, you’ll most definitely earn a penalty, thus reducing your Domain Authority significantly. 

Fake testimonials

Testimonials are some sort of social proof. They work in a manner similar to word of mouth. Potential customers are more likely to make a purchase after reading positive reviews about a product. Sadly, however, businesses have gone rogue and they’re publishing numerous fake testimonials to show that they’re popular. This tactic used to be effective before everyone started using it. Then Amazon cracked the whip on more than a thousand freelancers on Fiverr, writing such testimonials. It then became clear to the customers that testimonials are not to be trusted.

Today, empty testimonials with common names like Mary, John and Paul do not have much convincing power. Customers want to see real testimonials from verified purchasers or from customers representing popular brands. Therefore, if you publish fake testimonials without accompanying images of the customer and their position at a known company, you’re probably wasting your time.

Organic Facebook Reach

There was a golden era when all you needed to do was create a Facebook page, post content and you would automatically gain followers as your content is exposed to other users for free. Sadly, this era is gone as Facebook morphed into a business.

Today, organic reach on Facebook has dropped significantly and businesses have to pay up if they want followers and exposure. It’s no longer uncommon to gain only two or three followers after a few months of posting content regularly. Therefore, relying on free organic reach on Facebook as a digital marketing tactic will most likely lead to disappointment and frustration.

Quantity Over Quality Content

Content marketing is undoubtedly a vital means of earning inbound links. A nice blog post will definitely drive traffic to your website. However, publishing a blog post every day may not necessarily earn you organic traffic from search engines.

The internet is saturated with content. Unfortunately, most of the blog posts floating around are a regurgitation of existing content. People simply surf the internet, read a few articles and come up with a spun version of existing content. Such blog posts are considered as low quality and unhelpful to readers.

Search engines are therefore working hard to sieve the chaff from the wheat. Google’s Panda Algorithm, for instance, was created to improve users’ experiences by showing quality content at the top. Therefore, websites with low-quality content were pushed to the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPS).

In a nutshell, if you rely on content marketing as a digital marketing tool quantity will cost you time and resources, but it will not earn you the desired results.

In Summary

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. This space is controlled by the consumer, search engines, social media platforms and businesses. With so many stakeholders holding nearly equal power to spark change, trends change faster than the climate. Tools that worked yesterday may be outdated and ineffective today. It is therefore important to stay informed if you want to avoid wasting time, money and energy.

In addition, pay attention to analytics. If your traffic drops suddenly, take time to find out why. It could be a new wave of change. Following conversations on relevant platforms and signing up for newsletters on your favorite digital marketing blogs may not be such a bad idea if you want to stay updated.