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Seven Obvious But Usually Ignored Rules of Internet Marketing

"Kinda" specialists exist in all areas. Take, for example, the "kinda" hairstylist who will turn your hair into a washcloth, the "kinda" fitness coach who will make an impossible and exhausting training program, or the "kinda" doctor—well, it would be nice if you'd stay alive.
kinda marketer
In marketing, there are also such pseudo-specialists. They deftly operate with marketing terms, showing off in front of customers. But in the end, they do not do what they promise, or they do it wrong.
Zlata Verzhbitskaia
March 10, 2020
How do I know who's doing what? When you have been working in the marketing industry for many years, and hundreds of projects pass through your doors, you begin to analyse things. Not only your own experience but also the experience of colleagues.

Portrait of the Target Audience

For the "kinda" marketer, understanding the target audience (TA) is not a big deal. He will draw you a portrait in a couple of minutes.

"What do we have here? Luxurious cosmetics? Here is a portrait of your TA: women ages 16–86 who look after themselves." What's wrong with that?

"What else do we have? Children's electric cars? No question at all: children ages 3–12 years. Core? Segments? No, it's all scam for losers. Target. Simplify."

The "kinda" marketer bases his research only on his knowledge and speculation. He believes that anti-ageing cosmetics are bought by rich pensioners only, so he writes about the smoothing of wrinkles and return of youth in his advertising text and targets women over the age of 50. However, anti-ageing products are usually recommended for people ages 25–30 to prevent ageing, not reverse it. Imagine how many potential customers this "kinda" marketer has excluded.

You can build a business without a portrait of your TA if it is local and there is no competition. For example, if you're the only hairdresser in the entire village, you don't need to promote your business. Locals will still visit it, while people from the city will not travel the 100 km to have their hair cut. But if you're in a competitive niche, then you won't survive without a portrait of your TA.

This portrait shows what strings you need to pull to sell your product or service (provided that the portrait is done correctly, of course). To draw such a portrait, you sometimes need to go through a bunch of forums or groups and interview representatives of your target audience.

Target Audience Segmentation

Sometimes, the "kinda" marketer will segment your audience, sometimes he won't. But without a portrait of your TA, segmentation makes no sense. After all, the audience is divided into segments not for fun but to process the pain and fears of each group.
Portrait of the Target Audience
A well-designed portrait of your TA reflects your buyers at a glance. For example, pensioners with a small income do not make spontaneous purchases on the internet but may do so offline (a salesperson with a golden tongue can get them to buy a set of pans for the price of the latest iPhone). They will save the desired product in bookmarks, compare the price on a bunch of sites, call the store manager, get all the details, and then make a purchase. Advertising for this segment focuses on quality and economy. However, people under 25 who are not burdened with families and mortgages are prone to spontaneous purchases. With them, you need to focus on the benefits of purchasing: fast delivery, limited-time bonuses, and so on.

Drawing a portrait of your TA and segmenting takes a lot of time and resources and affects the cost of promotion. Paying for business promotions without performing a TA analysis is like buying a car without an engine. You can take a picture behind the wheel, but you will not be able to go anywhere.

A/B Testing

"Kinda" marketers, as a rule, offer customers profitable services that are easy to evaluate. Cutting coupons for split testing is problematic because then you have to explain to the client that some of the paid advertising options will be less effective. Also, not everyone can cope with A/B testing—you need to know a lot about different services to do it properly. It's easier to choose one option and not think about it too much.

A real marketer does A/B testing because he is committed to a long-term partnership. His goals are the same as the client's—to squeeze as many leads as possible out of each campaign—while the "kinda" marketer is just looking to take money from the customer once and disappear. It doesn't matter if the client doesn't extend the partnership because he will find a new one.

Behavioural Factor Analysis

Why don't they "kinda" marketers analyse behavioural factors? Like A/B testing, it takes too long, is difficult, doesn't make easy money for the "kinda' marketer, and runs the risk of exposing the "kinda" marketers. After all, analysing behavioural factors in a vacuum does not make any sense.

Well, checked the site through the services, and then what to do with this information? Logically, it's necessary to improve the behavioural factors, but for the "kinda" marketer, it's all higher mathematics. Therefore, he won't dive into this information so that he doesn't get into trouble. And the client, having heard about the indicator of refusals, can decide not to buy the services.

Sales Funnel

Here is the thing that many "kinda" marketers use. In commercial offers, they sing like nightingales, "We'll set up a sales funnel! Organise the flow of customers! We will increase your profits by 100–5,000%!" At the same time, they don't really understand how sales funnels work.

A bunch of examples of failed funnels can be found in the adverts for copywriting, targeting, marketing training. I'm in the target audience of such advertising, so every day I see them on Facebook. Here is the standard sheet according to the AIDA formula:

The "kinda" marketer writes how he did work he hated for peanuts, but then he met a classmate who rose from being the same broke person to a rich one. This classmate revealed to him the secret of success: training from some guru.

I'm interested and motivated. I'm waiting to be sucked into the next phase of the sales funnel—to join this guru's group, where I will be persuaded to first sign up for a free webinar and then buy a full course. But no. At the end of the post, the "kinda" marketer is already trying to sell the paid course. For one day only, it's £5,000 instead of £55,000. Yeah, I'm running.

I want to say to the marketer who set up this advert, "You tried to insert the whole funnel into one post, right? No, man. That's not how it works."

Unique Trade Offer (UTO)

This is a basic step that all marketers should know about, but knowing is not enough. You still need to understand the essence of the work. Here's where "kinda" marketers have a problem: they don't see the difference between a unique trade offer and just an offer.

In practice, it looks like this: I once wrote for a "girly" blog (fashion, self-care, cosmetics), and I was constantly running contextual advertising of relevant services. For the sake of interest, I clicked on one link. The company sold a wonderful facial massager. But the first screen, which was supposed to grab my attention, contained only the name of the product: "Roller face massager." That's all. Stock image with a poorly photoshopped massager only emphasised the wretchedness of this offer. But really, it was not an offer at all because there were no benefits for the buyer.

As an advertising author, I often write text for landing pages, and I can say that understanding the UTO takes the most time. If it is found, the rest of the text works like clockwork. But "kinda" marketers usually work with the same type of specialists—"kinda" copywriters and "kinda" designers. They do what they can, and the marketer evaluates the result as he can. Sadness.

Useful Content

Useful Content
Bill Gates's catchphrase, "content is king," was relevant 20 years ago and is still relevant now. But this king is naked with pseudo-specialists. They already know that it is impossible to just insert keyword like "buy organic food NYC" into text, but they have not yet learned how to make content useful for a specific target group.

To make it clearer, I will give another example from the internet: a repair company's website. It's a little old school, but at least it is optimised. Everything is standard: the main page with a list of benefits, pages of basic services, blog, contacts. The articles show that the person who wrote them knows how to repair things (or the author consulted an expert), and these articles (surprise!) contain tips for self-repair.

Let's think about who the target audience of this site is. They are people who just do not have the time or desire to do repairs on their own but have the money to pay someone else to do it. Why would they read a detailed manual to replace a faucet with their own hands?

Of course, the authors wanted to bring the site to the top of the search request "how to change the faucet with your hands," but it will bring a non-target audience to the site—those who want to repair their taps on their own. With such content, you can gain traffic but not leads.

Traffic can be increased using information-selling text, not only information texts. This website could have list signs that the tap is broken, described the consequences of not fixing this problem, and talked about the fact that the company will do the work quickly and inexpensively. Correctly inserting keywords about doing the repair yourself in such a text is not a problem.

Useless "Useful" content

Useful content is not just instructions and guides. This is content that helps solve the problem of a particular TA. Offering services is one solution to the problem. If only all marketers understood this. It's painful to see articles from a "kinda" guru with the text diverting to information and selling. There is nothing in between.

This does not mean that you should always write only for your main TA. It is important to adequately assess what profit informational content (instructions, guides, etc.) will bring to the site. For example, NinjaPromo writes for both customers and potential competitors because our advice is used by employees of other agencies and freelancers. Our guides also work well for brand awareness, which is important in a competitive environment. But in the case of a small service company that has a limited promotions budget, it doesn't make sense to focus on PR.

Final Thoughts

You may be wondering why this bothers us so much, dear. After all, no "kinda" marketers will leave good specialists without work, and if they do, they are not so good. I agree with this, but I feel bad that customers can still be tricked by "kinda" marketers, and it's a shame for the field as a whole. Pseudo-specialists cast a shadow on the reputation of the entire profession.

Do you agree?

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