There’s no shortage of options when it comes to marketing techniques. A typical business might invest in direct mail, trade shows, SEO, affiliate programs, and more recently, blogs and social media. But diverse as it is, marketing has its upsides and downsides like any other industry. Simply put, some approaches work better than others—and some don’t work at all.
The makers of HubSpot, a popular marketing system, have come up with the best and worst Web marketing moves in their recent Inbound Marketing report. By polling a group of online entrepreneurs, they found out which techniques worked for most clients, and which ones flopped.
The best: websites, blogs, and SEO
Websites are pretty much a given: you simply don’t get much business if you’re not on the Web. But the other two are proof that your website isn’t everything. Blogs help you reach out to a bigger audience and generate more organic leads. Done correctly, it also offers a credibility boost and potential for long-term client relationships.
The poll also shows that SEO remains a strong driving force behind web marketing. And since it worked for most companies, it’s also proof that keeping your SEO up to date—for instance, keeping tabs on Google’s SEO checklist—is still worth the effort.
The worst: trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail
We don’t need to get into detail about telemarketing: besides the fact that it annoys half your audience, there’s also the fact that anyone can block you off courtesy of the FTC’s Do Not Call registry.
What ties these three together is high-cost execution. Trade shows have expensive registration fees, booth setups, and marketing media. Telemarketing can run you down in human resources. Direct mail requires high volumes of printed material, postage, copywriting and design. It may have been worth it ten years ago, but when you have the Internet to reach the same number of people, it doesn’t make much financial sense.