Posted on February 16, 2015 by Webfor Unlike in the entertainment business, not all publicity is good publicity. Sure, the self-absorbed train wreck that is Kanye West may stay relevant in the music industry, but most businesses won’t get rewarded for bad behavior. Digital marketing presents your company’s values and personality to potential clients online. In order to appeal to these users, it is essential to take every aspect of your public persona seriously. Here are a few examples of online marketing behaviors that can impact your business for the worse, and how to avoid them: NOT BEING OPEN TO NEW IDEAS You may think you have it all figured out, but maybe there are better ways to grow your business online than what you’re doing now or what you’ve been told to do by others in the past. It can be difficult to let go of something you think is the right course of action, but the best of the best keep an open mind and listen to opposing views or new ideas. SKIMPING ON YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN “I have a friend who has a friend who can design our website…” It’s not crazy for a business owner to look for ways to save money. That’s part of running a business. But there are times when it clearly doesn’t pay to go for the cheaper option. If you want a website that looks like it was designed in 1995, be frugal, and have your friend’s friend design your website. People might even find you online. Unfortunately, that might not be a good thing. Opting to work with a multifaceted digital marketing agency, like Webfor, can ensure you address all the necessary aspects of modern website design. NOT PROJECTING THE RIGHT IMAGE(S) Let’s talk about the images you place on your website. There are going to be times when it’s necessary and even okay to use stock photos on your website. But when you do, avoid the more generic and overused style of group shots with fake emotions (you know the ones). Whenever possible, use real people and real locations from your business. Authenticity is an invaluable trust factor. YOU MESS WITH SUCCESS Coke is the most iconic soft drink in American history. So what did they do? In the mid-80s, they created New Coke, which led to one of the most iconic marketing failures in American history. If you have a web presence that is driving massive leads and sales for your company, don’t mess with success. That’s not to say you can’t look for ways to tweak your website or marketing strategy to increase conversions, just be careful you don’t overreach. If what you’re doing works, keep doing it, or consult with a marketing agency, like Webfor, about rebranding options that won’t undermine your current appeal. YOU IGNORE ONLINE REVIEWS Kanye may not care (or be aware) of what people think of him, but you should. Maybe he and Kim can thrive on bad publicity, but your business most likely can’t. More often than not, your customers are your greatest asset. But if you make a mistake (hey, we’re all human), they can also bring on your demise. People love to express their opinions online. Unfortunately, users tend to write reviews when they are angry about something. It’s important to not only be mindful of what people are saying about your business online, but find creative ways to encourage happy customers to rave about you. Don’t ignore the negative ones either. Addressing them in a civil manner helps to mitigate the damage and demonstrates courtesy, professionalism, and integrity to potential customers. NOT TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN YOUR MARKETING Business owners are extremely busy people. As such, they often prefer to leave their online marketing to the people they hire. That’s understandable and fine to a certain degree. But you may only be hindering your marketing efforts if you don’t have some level of interaction with your marketing department or agency. Nobody knows your business better than you, so make sure you are projecting the image and messaging you need and deserve.