6 Ways Online Marketing is Like Dieting

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I’ve noticed a lot of parallels between online marketing and dieting:

1. Everyone Thinks they Can Do It

Our society is obsessed with dieting! If you ask the average adult they are likely to say that they are on some sort of diet, health fad or healthy eating kick — or about to start one. This is because everyone just assumes they can do it.

People think, “If I just eat less I’ll lose weight — I can do that!” But the reality of the matter is that it’s much more than that. It’s what you eat and when you eat it and how you exercise and how much sleep you get. Losing weight and being healthy is not something that everyone can just do on their own. This is why gyms stay in business and personal trainers and nutritionists exist.

Marketing is exactly the same. People think, “I’ll just open some social media accounts for my business and people will buy what I’m selling” or “I’ll put some text on my site and Google will find it and the shoppers will come in droves” but it’s not that easy.

Having the right marketing strategy is incredibly complicated and no one person knows how to execute everything needed to properly market your business and achieve the results you’re looking for (that’s why marketing agencies exist).

2. Opinions are Always Changing

When it comes to dieting and the body, opinions are always changing. Things that were once considered harmless or even beneficial are now being cautioned against. Even some of the most well-established truths in dieting are now being challenged.

For instance, I just read the other day that a recent study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham didn’t find any correlation between eating breakfast and weight loss. Apparently, building a balanced breakfast into your daily routine to help you shed the pounds may just be a myth (or a fabrication of the cereal and granola industry)!

Marketing has even more examples of this. Back in the day, keyword stuffing was a common practice by websites, but now it’s a cardinal sin in SEO. Digital marketing is a fast moving field and as fast and strategies can be developed to game the system, Google can make changes to shut them down and penalize sites. For this reason, it’s very important to stay on top of the curve.

3. It’s Easy to Get Swept Up in the Latest Fads

From juice cleanses and the caveman diet to the gluten-free fad, there is a lot of bad information out there when it comes to dieting. Just a few years ago people were only eating green grapes for 3 days at a time because they wanted to detoxify and look slimmer by Monday morning!

It seems like every year a few new crazy diets pop up claiming some sort of scientific basis, but it’s all just hub bub. If you can imagine it, it’ll probably be a diet someday (I’m just waiting for the all ice cream diet!).

In marketing there’s a lot of hub bub too. Self-proclaimed marketing experts (usually with titles that include words like “guru” or “ninja”) spout garbage about how they have revolutionary new marketing ideas and tactics that no one else is using yet and can help get your business instant stardom. These are the people that give legitimate marketing agencies and professionals a bad name.

4. There are No Shortcuts

Sure, there are drugs and supplements that you can take to “melt the pounds away,” “shred belly fat,” and give you a “perfect bikini body,” but we all know that those aren’t without potentially serious side effects and most of them don’t work at all.

When it comes to weight loss, there’s no single safe magic pill that’s going to give you a tight, toned, slim body and keep the rest of you safe. You’re going to have to put down the pie and pick up the barbells, it’s not fun and it’s not pretty, but it’ll give you results.

This is basically the battle cry of marketing! When it comes to marketing, no one single thing is going to be your magic ticket to success and it won’t be easy. It might be tough and tiring and you may have no idea if what you’re doing it going to work in the long-run, but you have to put in the time. True results in marketing come from the day-to-day efforts of a well-rounded marketing strategy!

5. Using the Right Measuring Stick is Essential

A lot of people just step on the scale and measure their results from there, but dieting or getting healthy is not just about weight loss. It’s about overall health and fitness — building muscle, increasing stamina for daily activities like playing with your kids, keeping your heart healthy, and all the other beneficial things that come with leading a healthier life.

In marketing, people want often develop laser vision for a particular metric and then miss out on the bigger picture. Yes, looking at site traffic is important, but what is that site traffic doing once you’ve got it? If it’s just leaving, then you likely have issues on your site that you need to deal with, or perhaps you have to tweak your business plan.

Make sure that you are looking at the whole picture of what’s going on as you engage in different marketing activities to truly get the pulse of your marketing efforts.

6. You Need to Keep It Up To See Results

In a year or five years or ten years, no one is going to be able to tell that you ate really healthy for a month or that you ran a 5K once, and your body will have forgotten about this bliss as well. Your body will regress if you don’t keep pushing it. The only way to get lasting results is to keep with it!

Marketing is exactly the same! If you run a PPC campaign for a month or do a one-time SEO audit of your site, it won’t have the lasting effects that you want. You have to keep up your marketing efforts month after month and season after season. Taking a break from marketing means that your business can get left in the dust as competitors keep up their efforts and push towards success.

Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!

Originally published at www.lionsharkdigital.com.

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