The last of the season’s dry, crackling leaves rasp against the nearly bare branches of the swaying maple trees.
There’s no moon, so the approaching shadow is just a little darker than the environment surrounding it.
As it approaches, you shrink back. What could it be?
In that instant, the unknown shadow could be anything that you fear as a marketer. This is the stuff that horror stories are made of.
Too Wordy, Too Soon
From the night, you hear the shuffling shadow mumble, “This synergistic conversion from opportunity to customer is a result of agile practices.”
You breathe out of a sigh of relief. It’s just a jargon monster.
Sometimes, without even realizing it, you may use too many industry-specific or overly trendy business terms in your copy. That’s when the jargon monster is revealed, chasing leads and prospective buyers away.
To defeat the monster, try to limit the amount of industry-specific words you use per sentence. You want your content to be approachable to everyone. You don’t want to chase away leads by making them Google a word in every other sentence you write.
Keep it simple. Clean, straightforward language is almost always the best strategy for content, no matter how far a lead is down the pipeline.
Shine the light of a fresh pair of eyes on the jargon monster and have them tell you what can be simplified and what can be removed.
The shadow moves under a streetlight for just a moment, revealing its face to you.
It’s that same person you’ve been running into everywhere. In terror, you start to back away. Why won’t this guy leave you alone?
The stalker is another marketing monster you can accidentally unleash upon your customers. With data marketing and cross-channel identification, it’s easier than ever to be everywhere your customer is.
But be careful. If you send too many emails or retarget in too many locations, you might creep out your leads.
It’s like if you ran into a person every now and then while living in the same town. Then, suddenly, the person shows up everywhere, lurking near your home and following you to the gas station.
If you are too aggressive with your tactics, you’ll send leads fleeing in terror as your brand appears too often and knows too much.
Combat that by inviting leads to engage with you on other channels, keeping messaging set to optimal (don’t overdo it) levels, and asking for consent before messaging them directly.
This should help keep your brand at responsive and helpful, as opposed to creepy.
You shine your newly found flashlight on the approaching shadow.
You see it is holding a piece of paper, which it hands to you. The text reads:
The collapse of the World Trade Center destroyed more than lives. It also took computers and the vital data stored on them. But at least one company — Morgan Stanley — was able to function the very next day. Why? They used an off-site remote backup facility that stored their data safely, far from the catastrophe.
Morgan Stanley lost everything at their WTC offices. But since copies of their computer data were transmitted over telecommunications lines and stored off-site at a facility in Teaneck, New Jersey, they didn’t lose their data.
You start screaming.
Yikes. Who approved this press release?
It was released just 2 days after 9/11/2001, touting the business’ remote storage data capacities.
Newsjacking is a perfectly viable marketing tactic, taking news from current headlines and adapting it to fit your brand’s angle. This was both callous and insensitive, especially considering the magnitude of the tragedy.
I don’t know who approved this press release, but it is a good lesson for marketers to be mindful of what news they use as part of their marketing. You don’t want to unleash this terror on your audience.
Content without strategy
“We just need to create content. As much as possible,” the figure commands as it slinks towards you.
Not another poltergeist pushing lots of content creation with no strategy. Too many marketers listen to this spirit, believing that if they just keep making content, their marketing will be successful.
Only 35% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Don’t be one of them. This kind of marketing is hard on marketers and those that receive your content.
They have no consistent expectations of when they’ll get the content. Marketers will spend too much time creating content and not enough time promoting and sharing it.
Sit down and create a strategy. It takes some time, but once you have it, you’ll have planned for navigating the dark path of your marketing efforts, without succumbing to the trap of constant content creation.
These are just a few of the monsters you might encounter while navigating your marketing strategy. Try to prevent them from reaching you or your customers by heading them off early.