Marketing seems like it should be simple. Just pick up a few books on marketing, watch a few tutorials and you are off to the races, bringing in new customers hand over fist with the tried and true best practices of the marketing gurus.
That is the expectation, at least. I mean, why reinvent the marketing wheel when hundreds of others have already found the answer and shared it with the world? Indeed, there are many agencies and even businesses that have found success through the best practices they've shared.
Unfortunately, if you blindly follow 'best practices' you could be setting up a torpedo to sink your business.
I know that seems dramatic, perhaps overly so, but hear me out because there are a number of reasons why you shouldn't follow the crowd with your marketing strategy.
Best Practices Don't Always Age Well
Marketing is constantly evolving as a response to how consumers interact with a brand. For example, it was once a popular practice to put as many keywords into the content and back-end SEO, even to make them invisible to the eye but visible to search engines. This practice of keyword stuffing to gain better search appearance was tanked by multiple updates to the Google algorithm. Another practice was to build as many backlinks as possible no matter the quality of the linking sites to improve page rank. This was killed by yet another update to the Google algorithm that penalized sites for bad backlinks.
Best Practices Don't Always Translate Across Industries
One of the most important things to remember about 'best practices' is - the suggested best practice worked well under very specific circumstances for one business. The best practices may not even be for your industry. Your business is unique and although I highly encourage testing different marketing tactics to find the best results. Find what works and use those as the benchmark for the best practices within your business.
The Best Practice for Best Practices
In my experience, the best way to use 'best practices' is to use them as a starting point then build on them to make them best for your business. The advice and tips you find for marketing your business online today may be obsolete by tomorrow, but you can protect your business by using these techniques suggested by experts in a way that is tailored to your business.