Marketing Principles Before Anything Else


I’ve written about this subject before. It’s something that for many years I’ve seen people completely disregard. As social media marketing changes on a regular basis, people seem far too willing to jump on a new bandwagon. As a result, they often forget to put basic marketing principles before anything else. They think something that is shiny and new will help them get results when in reality, it’s just another channel and it needs the same work put in as any other.

3 Common Pitfalls To Avoid

There are probably 3 big mistakes that we see most companies make when it comes to their social media and digital marketing. They are basic things and very easy to implement, but the truth is, a lot of people aren’t doing them. As a result, they’re not getting the results they want.

1. What’s the plan?

A recent post stated that “A Bad Plan Is Better Than No Plan At All”. It’s true and it’s fundamental to succeeding online. Imagine wanting to get from A to B. If you don’t know where A or B is, how can you get there?  

Think of your plan as a map.

It shows you clearly where you are and where you want to be. Clearly set out with what you are looking to achieve and how you will split your resources to get the results you are looking for. So many people start without a plan that they simply don’t know what a “good result” looks like.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” - Peter Drucker

Set yourself clear KPI (Key Performance Indicators). Something that’s tangible and measurable. That can be anything from the number of visitors to your website, total newsletter signups, the number of sales on your site, the average time on site - the list goes on.

You need to identify what it is that you are looking to achieve. Write down where you are at present, what you want that result to be in the future, and how you think you can get there.

That’s it. You just made your first, albeit very basic, marketing plan.

2. Shiny new things!

There are new social media platforms being released on a near-daily basis. Most of which you’ve never heard of and never will. The big names that everybody knows about are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. These 4 channels are HUGE. They have big audiences and they offer businesses all the tools they would need to succeed when it comes to marketing online.

So what’s the issue with shiny new things?

Simple! Every time you add a new platform to your marketing efforts, you’re diluting the time you can spend on each platform.

What happens is, you are cutting down the time, resources and efforts you can put into each platform. Inevitably you will end up neglecting some platforms with the majority of new content focused on the shiny new platform. This won’t bring you real results.

Most companies would be better off focusing on just one network (if that’s all they can commit to in terms of time and resources) than to be on ALL the platforms and have those platforms looking deserted and abandoned.  

Simply put: Don’t over-commit and under-deliver!

3. Marketing is Marketing is Marketing!

All of these platforms have something in common. They are an access point to an audience. Just like Newspapers, Radio and Television. That hasn’t changed. Only the channel and the medium have changed and that’s important to understand and respect.

What does this mean?

Don’t think you need to come up with some amazing sparkly new plan and technique to do well on social media. Although it’s a new channel, you’ll find that the majority of the content is the same as it would be if it was in traditional media.

Think how many times you’ve seen great product photography to advertise a product on Facebook? How many times have you clicked a link on Twitter only to be taken to a landing page that explains in detail why you should sign up? How many sponsored videos have you seen with people explaining why their new project on Kickstarter is the very best?

ALL of these methods of advertising have been around for a long time. Go back to basics.

Think about the following when it comes to ALL your online marketing:

  • Imagery - bold, powerful, creative - what imagery showcases your brand in the best way?
  • Text - written content is still one of the most important parts of any marketing campaign. Write good copy. Write lots of copy. Try to write copy that would resonate with your potential customer base.
  • Call To Action - it seems crazy to me, but this is still one of the most overlooked parts when it comes to people marketing online. Especially on social media. Give people a reason to take action.  

In summary…

Try to think of anything you do online as a marketing task before anything else. None of the bells and whistles will matter if you haven’t started with the right foundations.

“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” - David Ogilvy

If you’re stuck and don’t know where to start, get in touch with our team. We have a range of services and courses that will help you develop a winning strategy when it comes to your marketing online.

Written by Chris Bruno, CEO Social INK
Chris started Social INK back in 2008 and since then has helped hundreds of clients develop and implement successful marketing strategies online.
To get in touch with Chris, you can email him directly on