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Why You Shouldn’t Blatantly Copy Marketing Tactics

“Marketers ruin everything,” said Gary Vaynerchuk, an internationally recognized personality.

Gary is right.

When marketers see people visiting a website, social media platform, or viewing a TV show, they fill it with ads. A lot of ads.

Then it becomes an uphill battle to compete.

When too many marketers are using a digital marketing tactic or platform, there’s a high chance that it’s done.

If you subscribe to a lot of email newsletters like I do, I’m sure you’ve seen the below scenario many times.

It goes like this:

A new book, product, or course is released.

A few days later, you discover that “this is your last chance to buy before the price goes up,” or “this is your final chance to buy before it closes.”

It used to be a brilliant tactic. Not anymore.

Digital marketers have overused it.

I see it every day in my inbox.

The above scenario is just an example. There are a lot of other tactics.

Don’t get me wrong. They work!

If they’re effective, then why shouldn’t you use them?

That’s a good question.

There are six reasons I stay away from most marketing tactics:


1. Some marketing tactics won’t work if you don’t have an existing audience

Facebook retargeting is a perfect example of an internet marketing tactic that’s hot right now.

Almost every digital marketer is talking about it.

It’s so effective that it could increase your conversion rate to 26%.

But retargeting won’t work except your website and sales pages are receiving some traffic.

Using retargeting on a site that’s barely receiving 1,000 visits per month is a waste of time.

Someone recently asked me if searching for unlinked mentions and asking webmasters to turn those mentions into links is a better strategy than guest blogging.

This is someone who launched his business a month ago.

Who is mentioning a company that started a month ago with zero marketing efforts?

The answer is no one.

Andrew Dennis may have written a guide on how to turn mentions into links, but it’s not for a new business or startup.

This strategy is for brands that are already generating attention and discussions on the web.

Alexis Rodrigo wrote about increasing the opt-in rate by 50% on one of her niche sites.

50% may sound like a lot.

But it means nothing if your website is not receiving a good number of visits on a monthly basis.

Most marketing tactics that are being written about are not useful for beginners who don’t have an audience yet.

So, when you see a marketing tactic, you should ask yourself if it’ll be effective for your new business or site.

Move on if it’s not.

2. Original content always wins

Reusing someone else’s content is just like re-telling someone else’s joke.

It becomes less interesting every time it’s told.

Originality is king in marketing.

Your readers, prospects, and existing clients have something in common.

They want new content.

People like new things because they are new. Numerous studies have proved that to be true.

Apple effectively uses it to push its products every year by making new things – something consumers haven’t seen before.

There’s a little rush of motivation when you see something new.

The below graph shows the activity in your brain on this:

Here’s what Dr. Emrah Düzel of UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience said about this:

“When we see something new, we see it has a potential for rewarding us in some way. This potential that lies in new things motivates us to explore our environment for rewards. The brain learns that the stimulus, once familiar, has no reward associated with it and so it loses its potential. For this reason, only completely new objects activate the midbrain area and increase our levels of dopamine.”

To succeed in marketing in the digital world, you need new content.

The best marketers strive for originality because it gets them attention.

Unless readers haven’t seen the content before, turning it into a clickable headline is like deceiving prospects.

Web users are wiser than ever. They hate being deceived into clicking when the content isn’t original.

Original content will get read because visitors haven’t seen them before.

Original content will get shared because readers want to be the first in their peer group to share them.

And also, original content gets backlinks because writers and bloggers want to cite them on their sites.

Here’s a perfect example of original content:

People visit the Entrepreneur Subreddit to read original content about entrepreneurship.

3. Digital marketers are good at tricking consumers

We live in the giving era.

Businesses that don’t give find it difficult to compete.

How do you give as a business?

You create content.

This is not just any kind of content.

You create valuable content.

Valuable content should educate prospects.

For example, Wacoal Singapore sells bras.

The company creates educative content like this:

Your competitors are probably creating lots of content.

So, you should create content too.

Now you know that. Perhaps, you knew that before.

But here’s something you should keep in mind.

Don’t just create content. SELL.

Many successful companies are so good at giving value through content marketing that you don’t see or know when they ask for the sale.

If you’re not selling, you don’t have a business. You have a hobby.

Create content and sell.

If you don’t sell, you’ll eventually run out of money to create content.

Content marketing can be expensive when you’re not selling.

Your competitors are creating a lot of content, and you think they are not selling hard?

They are probably asking for the sale in their email newsletters. Maybe after they’ve sent you  5 or 10 emails.

For example, HubSpot creates a lot of content on their blog.

It’s hard to see where they actively ask readers to buy their products.

You’ll rarely see a link on Moz asking you to buy their marketing tools.

These businesses have products and services they sell. They mostly ask for the sale through emails.

The marketing tactics employed by these businesses may make you believe that they aren’t selling or pushing hard for the sale. They do.

Selling isn’t an evil thing.

Content marketing is not all about giving value for free. It’s also about getting compensated for your hard work.

Your marketing tactic should make you look like a helpful person and someone who has a product or service to sell.

I can’t mention how many times I’ve heard the word “free” information, only to be asked to buy something at the end.

Sometimes, you watch webinars where you’re told you’ll discover some amazing, new things.

At the end of the webinar, you’ll find yourself interested in a product you can’t wait to buy.

Digital marketers are skillful at making themselves look like saints while tricking you into buying something.

You should always keep the latter in mind.

4. A lot of things happen behind the scenes

A lot of things happen behind the scenes in the digital world.

To learn from successful companies, you shouldn’t just stop at what everyone can see.

For example, you can see what your competitors are sharing on their blogs, social media accounts, and emails. Everyone can see those things.

You need to go beyond that to learn from competitors.

Buy their products.

Pay attention to how they deliver their products.

Even without any issue, pretend you’re a legitimate customer and chat with their customer service representative.

Their marketing secret and weapon could be their customer support.

Their marketing secret could turn out to be not what everyone thinks.

For example, Buffer’s transparency is one of the secrets of their success.

Everyone at the company can see each other’s salaries.

Their users are interested in what’s going on in the company.

Buffer earned a lot of love from social media users because of this. And it’s one of the reasons many people use their services.

Even the press is talking about their transparency, and that is getting them more attention and users.

Moz is another company whose transparency is driving its success.

But they added one more thing:


Moz has built an active community that is ready to share and comment on their articles.

Your competitors may be using surveys and quizzes through emails to get product ideas.

They may soft-launch a product to their email subscribers before releasing it to the public.

These are things you won’t see on their websites.

Find out what’s happening behind the scenes before copying their marketing tactics.

It’s hard to effectively use a marketing tactic that’s generating so much income for competitors if you don’t know what happens behind the scenes.

The more you know about what happens behind the scenes, the more you feel empowered to do it even better than them.

5. Get the first-mover advantage of your own

Marketing tactics discussed behind closed doors, in mastermind groups and private chats are more effective than the ones you see in blog posts everywhere on the web.

Your prospects know about those tactics already. They’ve been used on them many times.

Being the first person or business to use a new marketing tactic gives you a lot of power.

Because it’s new and customers haven’t seen it before, it’s likely to be more effective.

You should always strive to be one of the first people, if not the first to use a marketing tactic.

By the time your competitors start reading about it and using it, you’ll have gained a lot of ground.

Mint was one of the first companies to use infographic publishing as a marketing tactic. They got a lot of backlinks and press mentions from it.

This helped the company gain a lot of users in its early days.

The company was later sold to Intuit for $170 million.

If the company had been founded today, it would have less success with infographics.

A lot of businesses now publish infographics. So, the tactic is less effective.

From 2010 – 2012, Neil Patel published 47 infographics, which generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains. They also generated 41,359 tweets and 20,859 likes.

He stopped creating infographics when a lot of marketers started using the tactic, and the results were getting lower.

Being the first to use an effective marketing tactic or platform will give you a big edge over competitors.

Marketers and businesses who were the first to use platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest and stayed active on them are all reaping huge rewards for being first.

Even Justin Bieber was discovered and recognized for his talent for uploading homemade videos on YouTube in its early days.

6. Personalized emails are the keys to success

Email outreach is an important element of marketing for new businesses and startups.

You need people’s help to succeed in the digital marketing world, especially when you’re a small business owner or startup.

Why is email outreach a key to success?

Mastering email outreach alone can open doors to opportunities and success for your business.

For example, you need backlinks to rank high on search engines.

The best way to get backlinks is to reach out to writers, bloggers, and businesses who have websites.

You need influencers to generate attention and demand for your product.

A good email message can help you capture the attention of any influencer.

Receiving a tweet from an influencer can send thousands of visitors to your website within 24 hours.

The Onalytica team built relationships with influencers on Twitter, and it helped them increase their site traffic by over 400%.

Here’s one of the tweets they received from an influencer.

Neil Patel generated $332,640 in 3 months using Instagram.

Email outreach played a big role in these successes.

The email outreach process is boring and tough.

So some marketers take shortcuts.

They search for email templates that have worked for others and use it to avoid the boring part.

There’s a problem with this approach.

For example, Neil Patel shared this email template:

A lot of people will use this email template to reach out to people. That makes it less effective.

Instead, your email template should be personalized.

The recipient should feel like you know a bit about them.

If you’re willing to go further to make your email messages more personalized, you’ll achieve great results.

Influencers will connect with you. Bloggers will link to your posts. The thought leaders in your niche will share your article with their fans on social media.

Time to stop copying marketing tactics and start growing your business.

Share your views with me in the comment section.