Practicing what digital marketers preach shouldn’t be this hard in digital marketing [Agency commentary]

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

I actually can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this topic! I certainly have misstepped enough times over my career to have enough personal examples. LOL. I’m not alone, though!

The worst scenario of course is when people say:

“This is my recommended social media strategy.”

The client nods and then somebody pulls up my company’s or team’s or another client’s social media and says:

“But they are not doing it? How come?”


The reasons can be many:

It’s an off day for them.

They are working on it.

Staffing changes!

They are not actually doing it. (Ugh!)

We changed strategy after this particular point in time?

These can be real reasons but sometimes are not believable, because well you should have experience in whatever you just talked about so confidently a second ago. It’s a real dilemma! Of course change management can take time and there’s often a delay from strategy to true implementation.

I was also reminded of this when somebody was asking me something about my blog and the new redesign and how that one thing specifically that they were pointing at fit with my declared strategy!

“Oh it doesn’t. I need to update that.”

“But you just relaunched.”

It’s hard and of course anyone who you want to pay you for your services will use it as a negotiations tactic!

I was tempted to tweet this below but it was too long, according to Hootsuite, so I figured I might as well just turn this into a blog post. It was on my list anyway.

BREAKING: Agency explains that their own website isn’t even responsive because they were too busy using their highly efficient process to only build client websites. “We just have too much client work to focus on our own brand,” says creative director in pitch. #snark #parody #contentmarketing “But we can fit your project in of course.” Follow me on Twitter here!

It’s certainly a problem. And I’ve even offered guidance before about the experts who cannot do any of the things they blog and preach about! But really, following at least some of the best practices isn’t that difficult:


You might be surprised how often agencies, developers, anyone who works with clients tells me how they don’t have time to update their website. They are too busy with client work and are too busy already. But, the website – well, a well designed and working one – will help you get more clients! Promise!

If you don’t want to go through a 6-month redesign (and who does?), use a phased functionality approach – which basically means you update the high-impact areas first! For example, my homepage gets very little traffic! It literally does not deserve more than a template! Seriously. People come to my content straight from Google search and read articles that answer some questions for them. If I wanted to spend money on some development work, I will likely do that on article pages, navigation, user paths, etc. But not the homepage.

It was way more important for me to add a contact form at the bottom of each article for people to reach out if they needed help. I simply used the WP Insert Code plugin to do this. It allowed me to add the form simply at the end. People can fill it out and I get an email!

I also wanted to make sure my content was more readable on mobile so I picked a look that had a better font, in my opinion. We’ll see if the numbers agree with me!

Finally, I wanted to make the sharing easier so moved from from Jetpack (which only had buttons at the bottom) to Social Warfare Buttons:

Read next: Why your website must have share buttons! 

One of the biggest issues with websites and intended good implementation is when it doesn’t work! I know of stories when executives tried to pull up a website and show off something new and cool and it didn’t work for one reason or another. Or it loaded super slowly. At least we can blame that on the WiFi! 🙂

That’s why good Software as a Service (Saas) sales people don’t do anything live! They show you a PowerPoint picture for that exact reason! We can deal with the issues once you sign the contract. 🙂 Hmm.

Websites are easy enough to get going to at least get them up to strategy. Then evolve them!

Reminder: Launching a website is just the starting point in digital marketing, anyway, which might be why that’s such a credibility killer when a consultant’s doesn’t look up to par!

Social media

I’ve seen dramatic changes when it comes to results from social media. They’ve decreased! With the same strategies. But, people still look at social media and some are just now catching up to what others were trying to do 3 years ago when it worked. But they want to try that now so your social media must look up to par here, too! I use Hootsuite to schedule things regularly. It shows little direct results, but it does when people look at it and say: “We want to do that.”

But keeping up is hard and kind of impossible: My talks at conferences aren’t a waste of time, as you might expect me to say, but here’s why many are!

This is also good to remember when it comes to Facebook pages. Many people won’t visit your page to read news. They’ll visit it to check you out. It’s important to keep it somewhat updated and actually, truly state-of-the-art.

Try this for your Facebook Page cover photo video

Other channels

There are likely other channels and definitely more specific ones that you should consider. In an ever-changing and highly competitive market, don’t let the little things cost you a deal! Those are often the public ones that are easy to pick on and are readily available.

Another one that comes to mind in recruiting and talent acquisition are Glassdoor reviews – even people interviewed, but not hired, leave reviews there!

Read next: Employee advocacy: How to get employees to share the companies’ non-markety stories!

I’ve had projects with executives who said “oh yes, our Glassdoor reviews are terrible but it’s not like that.” Then they usually have an explanation. Maybe not a huge problem for some companies, but if you are trying to sell me your brand reputation package, which companies do need – and you can’t even manage your own brand, what will get me to think that you can manage mine?

Until next time…

Certainly, there are many ways to get there – wherever there is, but this has been a topic on my mind for a long time and surprisingly I had not published a post on it. So here it is.

Certainly, we need to remember that digital marketing evolves and often very quickly. But if we are in the field, we have to roll with it, because if we don’t prospects will use it as a negotiation tactic against us at best and not hire us at worst.

While you are at it remember that brand storytelling is often at its finest when customers do it for you! Create the experiences for them and then share them publicly as well!