We are all familiar with the story of the elf on the shelf. Each holiday season this tiny creature watches your behavior and then reports back to the North Pole while you sleep. This year AMT Lab social media coordinator Drew Porter has been acting as the elf on the…desktop. Instead of sitting on bookshelves and watching household interactions, he has been sitting in internet browsers and observing technological do's and don't's. As AMT Lab’s gift to our readers this year, we are giving you 7 common “naughty” behaviors our elf has spotted, as well as easy ways to stay on the nice list and avoid the coal.
1. Cold Emailing/Email Blasts
In a rather comical news line from earlier this month, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels received a cold email attempting to sell him on cloud services asking “Is your company still considering going to the cloud”. Most of you will see the cringe-inducing irony in this email, considering Amazon Web Services averaged $10 billion in revenue last year. To be brief, Werners roasted the poor sender of this email on Twitter the next day.
What you should do: Email blasting a large constituency lacks the focus and refinement of more sophisticated marketing techniques. The content will be too general to attract attention from anyone in your market space. Be sure to target specific subsets of your consumer base and tailor each message accordingly. While most large organizations rely on “the algorithm” to handle these matters, do not assume it will fulfill all your needs. That leads us to my next point…
2. Blaming “The Algorithm”
This elf has witnessed everyone from rap moguls to my own peers blame the algorithm for their lack of success in digital marketing. Claiming that the program does not understand the intended audience or effect their content is supposed to have on the digital market. While this may be true on occasion, it generally appears of a total cop out and lack of accountability for what you placing on the web. Frankly, the content or strategy you are employing is more likely to be the issue.
Your Response: Step back and evaluate your campaigns as well as your target audience and your metrics for success. Digital marketing is not always easy but the more polished your product and message is greater the opportunity will be to reach your audience.
3. Clickbait-tier marketing
Nothing frustrates this pointy-eared personal consultant more. We have all seen these adverts and articles on our favorite social media channels. For example: “Man impersonating elf writes an online marketing help article…you won’t believe what happens next!” This is marketing for the lowest common denominator. There is a clear difference between generating hype and intrigue and using buzzwords and cliffhangers to force readers to your site. More often than not ads containing this type of wording lead a reader to shallow content and an organization focused solely on generating page views and link clicks. What should you do? This one is simple. If you have a product or service that is worth its weight in the marketplace than even the simplest of campaigns will generate awareness among your intended consumer groups. You should not have to trick people into viewing your content. What defines clickbait exactly? Read up here.
4. Using ticket bot software to earn some extra holiday cash
Arts organizations across the country have been battling with third party brokers using “bots,” who purchase tickets and resell them at ridiculous prices. This truly despicable behavior was given a national spotlight when Hamilton star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda called for action in Albany to stop the bots from killing Broadway. Luckily, just last week President Obama signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016,” which will prevent third parties nationwide from using software to mass purchase tickets with the intent to resell at higher prices. Looks like ticket bot users will be getting coal for the holidays from here on out.
5. Failure to maintain your Google AdWords campaign
Lately, we’ve talked with some experts on digital marketing in the arts. One of our takeaways was how important it is to target audiences based on their interests, and this includes Google AdWords. The search based tool is so important for arts organizations to optimize on consumer search behavior. If you fail to maintain your AdWords campaign, or any digital marketing campaign for that matter, you are throwing your money down the toilet. There’s nothing an elf hates more than wasted resources.
6. Not taking advantage of free Augmented Reality apps
Don’t make excuses for not using emerging technologies such as augmented reality. With free apps such as Layar and Aurasma, cost is no longer a barrier. Of course, AR isn’t right for every arts organization and we know that money isn’t the only resource at play here. But if AR is a good fit for you, take advantage of free apps and start off 2017 by showing audiences you aren’t afraid of the unknown.
7. Stalking your constituents via location-based targeting
Facebook, Google and other social platforms allow you to target your audiences based on location. While this can be a very powerful tool, you must be careful not to come off as a desperate stalker. Yes, we know this tip must sound hypocritical from an elf that follows your every move…