There have been plenty of great marketing trends over the years. However, there have also been a number of notable bad ones. While it is important to learn from good marketing trends, it is often beneficial to learn from bad trends too. Here are the top 10 worst marketing trends of all time. These trends can tell a lot about what not to do when marketing.
1. Banner Ads and Pop-up Ads
Banner ads and pop-ups are pretty much universally loathed by internet users. They get in the way of content and distract from what users care about. Thankfully, these are far less common than they used to be. This is largely thanks to the increasing numbers of mobile devices.
2. Autoplay Video Ads
Perhaps nothing else rivals pop-ups and banner ads for the position of most-hated advertisements. Users almost universally dislike autoplay video ads that start when they open websites. Even when they can be disabled, they often still take up screen space.
3. Cheesy Stock Images
Stock images are everywhere, and users spot them easily. Stock photos tend to follow a general format. Many users mock them as cheesy and poorly acted. Additionally, many stock photos on websites only marginally reflect the content. Often, users have already seen the photos in other contexts and know they are stock images.
4. Irrelevant and Excessive Content
While the phrase, “content is king,” has become ubiquitous, this is not absolute. Users want relevant content that does not overwhelm. Putting out content for content’s sake is just another way to turn people off.
5. Overly Optimized Content
Content is so often optimized for search engine results. Search engine companies have noticed this, often penalizing overly optimized content rather than promoting it. Keyword-rich anchors, links to top-level navigation, irrelevant keywords, and excessive keyword density all lead to worse search results.
6. Animation Overload
Dynamic website design is integral to hooking viewers. That said, many advertisers absolutely overload users with animation. Videos, animated ads, pop-ups, and moving images clutter screens and frustrate readers. Many people simply exit pages altogether.
7. Experimental Navigation or Design
While it is vital to remain up-to-date with website design, many sites take this too far. Users do not want to deal with experimental or overly edgy website designs. Readers want to rely on traditional modes of navigation. Anything too divergent from these modes is seen as needlessly confusing.
8. Excessive Updates
Another mistake many websites make is to continually update their style. The problem is that this destroys brand recognition. Readers want to know a business by its look and feel, not just its name. This requires some degree of consistency even through updates.
9. Forced App Downloads
Users hate being forced to download an app or program to access the content. Nevertheless, many businesses continue to try to coerce users into using their platform. Customers are far more comfortable using mobile websites.
10. Obsessively Local SEO
It is essential to optimize marketing content for search engine results. Otherwise, search engines will be unable to pick up and further promote content. However, this leads many marketers to believe that all content must be strictly designed for SEO. In reality, the best marketing pieces are never only SEO. Meta tags and meta descriptions are also key to making entire websites search engine friendly.
So, there you have it… Some of the worst digital marketing trends of all time. Employing these practices is far more likely to annoy returning customers and chase off potential new ones than to attract them. Avoiding these bad marketing trends is key to setting your campaign apart from innumerable bland competitors.
At Transformation Marketing, we focus on the customer journey when working on campaigns for our customers. What is the end user going to get from this? With that in mind, it is easy to avoid trends and issues that may ultimately drive your potential customers away and help you to stand apart while giving the people what they really want – great content that helps them to solve their problems.