Everyone loves a good old April Fools’ gag right?

Well, in the world of marketing it is unfortunately all too easy to end up the one fooled and tricked.

The result is a lot of wasted time, energy and money.

So in the spirit of the holiday, here is a list of 7 things to look out for in the marketing world. Don’t get fooled by these.

someone with a pen in their hand and a notebook open to a graph and marketing diagram1. Brand strategists without marketing plans

Beware of brand strategists who shell out advice on how to design your brand without offering a clear marketing strategy to execute that vision.

A good brand strategist will present a well-rounded, integrated marketing campaign to build your brand. The campaign will utilize both traditional and digital plans including: social, email and website conversions.  And it will all be measureable with analytics so ROI can be assessed.

illustration: .com, .gov, .org, .edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Website template companies that own your domains

Your website is your most strategic asset in today’s online world. But just because you paid for your domain name does not mean you own it.

Beware of companies offering stunning website templates while retaining ownership of the domain in the fine print.

There are some ways to find out if you really own your domain (search: whois.net).Google Plus, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn icons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Influencers with fake followers

Influencer marketing is a growing industry and a great way to increase exposure for your brand. But with influencers charging as much as $20,000 per post, a thriving market has developed allowing people to buy fake followers so they can charge more.

Do not be fooled by these fake influencers and do not ever give them money.

Thankfully, there are several ways to spot fake followers, including checking for low engagement levels, sudden spikes in follower growth and bot-sounding comments.

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4. Careless bloggers using copyrighted images

Blogging is a great way to bring value to your audience, boost your SEO rankings and communicate with your customers. And images are a great way to make your blogs more engaging.

But beware of careless bloggers who use copyrighted images in their posts. At the very least, you may end up wasting countless hours scouring through old posts and deleting all the images. At the very worst, this could lead to legal challenges and hefty fines.

Sites such as pixabay.com and unsplash.com are a great resource for finding free images. Or just break out your camera and take your own photos.a hand interacting with an iPhone, green apple nearby5. Website developers not optimizing for mobile

Most online traffic today is driven by the smartphones in our hands. Mobile data is set to grow by 700% by 2021 and has long since overtaken desktop traffic. Google has recognized this trend and has changed its algorithm to favor mobile-optimized websites.

So beware of web developers that build you a fantastic website only optimized for desktop.

It is 2018. A good website in this day and age needs to be optimized for multiple devices and platforms, including Android, iOS and desktop. And special emphasis should be laid on mobile.illustration: someone pressing a "follow" button6. Social media strategists who only focus on increasing followers

Having a lot of followers on social media is a good ego boost, but it will not lead to a massive spike in sales. Due to recent algorithm changes by Facebook only about 30% of your followers will see your posts anyway.

So do not get fooled by social media strategists whose only strategy is increasing your followers. A good social media strategy will instead engage with existing followers and get them to join your mailing list, where you have complete control of who you sees your emails.street sign reading "Time for change"7. Marketers who never change their strategy

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest. Most of these platforms did not exist ten years ago and if they did, it was in a radically different format. Ten years before that the internet was barely even around. Marketing revolved around stands at tradeshows and billboards.

The marketing industry is always changing, and a good marketer will adapt with the times.

Just in the past few months major networks have made significant changes. Google has announced it will begin taking into account page loading times when ranking websites. Facebook has announced it is dumping video on its newsfeed in a bid to favor content from family and friends over businesses.

So do not get fooled by the marketer who always sticks to one tried and true method and never changes their strategy, even if you have been working together for years. If this is the case, they are probably doing something wrong.

It may be time for change.

basketball and basketcell phone showing the heading "Social"