There are so many possible ways to advertise your business, services, products, or personal brand. The options are virtually limitless. However, just because there are so many options out there doesn’t mean that all of them are good options. Whether a specific advertisement campaign is too pricy, or just annoys the heck out of your customers, there are things that you just shouldn’t do, no matter how tempting they are. If you avoid these tactics, you will feel better about your advertisements and people will feel better about your business in general.
Online advertisings makes it incredibly tempting to create popups, or little windows that appear in front of an online article or website someone visits related to your business. Of course, people are totally used to popups these days, but they tend to exit out of the popup without ever glancing at the subject line. If they do glance at the subject line, it’s only to say, “What terrible company keeps using popups to annoy me?” and then you’ll lose a customer. Spam also comes in the form of spam emails- constant emails about sales, promotions, new products, new offers, etc. People tend to delete emails if they don’t need something, or the better filters on programs like Gmail will immediately throw your emails in the junk file, never to be seen again. Take heed, and make sure that what you put out there is actually quality content, rather than just quantity.
We’ve all received that mail that looks “legitimate,” that requires you to call a 1-800 number because your warranty is expiring, or your tax records indicate a problem, etc. They come in formal looking envelopes, sometimes with the tear-off edges that indicate a government or bank statement. People tend to perk up at these, and pay more attention, but they’re false advertising, and very misleading. Companies who pull this trick often only get phone calls that are less than cordial, and rarely does it result in an honest sale. Keep your integrity, and only mail out traditionally styled pamphlets, flyers, and letters.
“Black Hat” SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process by which you make it more likely that your website or content will be found online. This mostly includes using keywords that search engines frequently encounter, and plugging them into your content. However, many people use this “for evil,” and plug in keywords in every possible space. In the early days of Google, some sites even used keywords repeatedly just to get higher rankings. Google has wizened up over the years, and you will get your website booted from Google’s search pages if you try this now. It’s considered “black hat” to use keywords more than necessary, or to use keywords not related to your topic just to get more hits. For example, you can’t use “Kardashians” to get hits on your plumbing website. You also cannot use spam links or cloaking (saying a link is one thing, when it takes someone to a totally different site), etc.
The best way to keep above board on an ethical ad campaign is to consider if you’d do any of the above things in person. Would you constantly bombard people with information or mislead them just to get a new customer? Of course not.