Here at Marketing Maven, we always get asked questions by our clients about our work. Now, we love our clients and appreciate the heck out of them, but sometimes their questions can be a little bit ridiculous! The problem is, a lot of folks out there don’t quite understand how digital marketing works. Whether it’s a request for us to “Photoshop” a video, teach a client to manage their own social media, or simply create a post that will “go viral,” some of these questions (no matter how sincere) just don’t make any sense. Most people simply don’t know how complex the methods we use are! Marketing is an art form. Things like designing logos, building websites, and running ad campaigns are all way more difficult than most people expect. So, to help out those of you who may not have the best idea of how marketing works, or just want to learn, here are the 5 most ridiculous questions that we get from clients (and the answers we gave them)!
#1: "Can you make this post go viral?"
We’ve all seen “viral” videos. The idea of something going viral seems simple enough to understand; someone posts a video or image, people around them see and share it, and as more people do the same it begins to spread like wildfire with views racking up into the thousands and maybe even millions. The defining factor of a viral video, however, is that it spreads organically. The only possible way for something to go viral is if viewers are drawn to it (a video catches their eye as they’re scrolling Facebook or Instagram) and they decide to share it with friends. Usually this requires the video being funny or relatable to the person sharing. That’s not a phenomenon that can be forced! All of the most popular social media sites, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., use complicated algorithms to stop people from cheating the system and making videos go viral in any other way. Because of this, there is no magic button or switch we can flip to make something “go viral.” The content has to speak for itself!
#2: "What if I build my own website but then I hire you to go in at the end and make it look professional?"
That’s a fair question. It does seem, from looking at most of the websites out there, like it shouldn’t be that hard for the average person to build the content portion of a website. The hard part, in most people’s minds, is the professional, polished look that comes after all of that is done. If they’re thinking this way, it makes total sense for a client to ask us to come in, after they have done all of the “hard work” of adding content, and whip it up into a modern, professional-looking website at the end. The problem with this question is that it’s inaccurately predicting how web design actually works. While this person thinks that content management and design are separate, the reality is that they go hand-in-hand. When we’re building a website, it is important to start by establishing a “look” or motif to base all the pages on. To establish this motif, we have to look first at the content in order to figure out where each piece fits into the page. Then, after we do that, we can start designing. Basically, the content creates the design, not the other way around. Because of this, it just isn’t possible to give the client free range over the content of the site and still be expected to deliver a well-organized, sleek design in the end. It has to be all or nothing!
#3: “Can you teach me how to manage my own social media? I don't have a Facebook profile personally, but I need my business page to get more likes and shares."
The world of social media world is crazy. It’s complicated, messy, and pretty annoying to deal with sometimes. Between ad restrictions, content guidelines, algorithms, audience reach analysis, scheduled ad campaigns, and post consistency, there is a TON that goes into it. (and that list is only stuff that applies to Facebook!) It takes a lot of experience with how the algorithm works, some solid design skills, and the ability to write a witty caption to manage a corporate Facebook page well.
The truth is, it’s impossible to relay all the necessary skills, background knowledge, and experience we’ve acquired over many years in a one or two hour training. That is why, when clients ask us if they can manage their own social media, we always encourage them to let us (or another proven professional) handle it on their behalf. By trusting the seasoned experts at Marketing Maven with your social media pages, you can ensure that post boosting, content design, and audience reach will get done exactly the right way (and with the best bang for your buck); it also saves you a bunch of hassle and stress! We’ve got you covered.
#4 "I like clean and modern design. But you have to keep using the same fonts in our logo that was created in 1982."
Brand is everything. If you want your company to leave a big impression on customers, it’s crucial that you keep up a consistent brand. Think of giants like Nike or Apple. When you see that little swoosh symbol, you can’t help but think “Just Do It.” When you see a plain white background with sleek black text in that one specific font, you just have to spring for that new iPhone. These companies have mastered the concept of staying consistent with their brand. They have hand-picked a single “look,” which they use throughout every page of their website, every social media ad, the packaging of every one of their products, and each and every television commercial. This look is made up of a bunch of things, but the most basic elements are colors and fonts. If your company’s logo is blue and black, then all of your advertising should sport those same colors. If your logo is in a specific font, that’s the font you should use for every block of text, headline, etc. Because colors and fonts matter so much for your brand, it’s super important to spend a lot of time choosing them when you’re in the early stages of brand building. If you like the look and “vibe” of your logo, then you should make it your goal to design everything, including your website, with that vibe.
At Marketing Maven, we always have clients asking us to re-design their websites; a lot of them, especially those with companies that have been around for a long time, tell us that they like the look of their logo (which was designed in the 1980’s) and want us to use it in making their new site. That is completely fine, but most of the time they also want us to make the new website “sleek and modern.” Well, since the look of the website is based on the look of the company’s logo, there’s a bit of a problem with that. We can’t combine an old-fashioned logo with a modern website. (At least not without raising a few eyebrows.)
If you’re looking to give your company a fresh, new look, it would be a good idea for you to think about re-designing your logo too. That way, every part of your brand, especially its identity and aesthetic (which customers can sense just from looking at your logo), will look and feel fresh. You’ll thank us later.
#5 “What’s the best way to get a bunch of new followers on my Facebook page? I need to do it fast and I don’t have a budget for paid ads.”
Facebook is a super advanced and complicated piece of coding. Seriously, you basically have to have a computer science degree just to understand all of it. They’re always tweaking their algorithms and rules; thankfully, it’s getting way easier for small businesses to get great audience reach! But the one thing that never, ever changes is the fact that you need to boost your posts if you want your content to be seen by more than just a few people. It’s a must. Boosting, in the social media world, is a way more eyeballs on your posts by paying the platform to show them to people outside of your current followers. (For most companies, whatever following they have on social media is pretty much limited to people that live in their city, or customers they’ve already worked with.)
Because the news feed is a competitive space, and you want guaranteed results, Facebook (and other platforms) make sure that you have to pay to play. The only way to get significant results is by boosting your posts. And boosting requires money. Most companies forget to (or just decide not to) budget enough for this. They assume that, if they post once a month to their Facebook business page and share it on their personal timeline, it’ll be “good enough.” There is a world of untapped potential here! Boosting posts can take your social media presence to the next level, and it will pay off in the long run.
If you really want to expand your following on social media, you have to drop some money on it. This is hands-down one of the best investments you can make, especially in 21st century America. In today’s world, social media reaches more people than any other advertising medium! If you invest in growing your company’s presence on social media, you’re really investing in the future. Future you will thank present you for making this move. (They might even show up in a time machine to tell you; you never know what scientists will come up with.)
BONUS: “Can’t you just Photoshop that out of the video?”
No, we can’t, Karen. It’s called PHOTOshop. Photoshop is for photos, not videos.
Hopefully these answers have helped you out as you’re thinking through the next steps for your company! If you take away one thing from this entire post, it should be this: an investment in digital media marketing is really, really smart. Also, a whole lot more goes into what we do than most people think! Now that you know that, we hope that you’ll trust our team at Marketing Maven to do what’s right for your company. We’re like… professionals. Maybe reading this will also help you avoid asking some of those ridiculous questions, or maybe it won’t. Either way, we love our clients, and we love our work! (And for the record, we’re happy to field YOUR ridiculous questions anytime! 😉 )