10 Things We Hated About Marketing in 2017

2017 was…an interesting year, to say the least. The digital marketing world was turned on its head several times – from combating “fake news” to adopting new, disruptive technologies, to keeping up with all the latest trends and algorithms – we saw a lot of changes. It was a tough time to be a marketer this year, and not everything worked in our favor. As we look ahead to a new year with optimism, we also thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the marketing things we hated in 2017 and hope to see go away in 2018:

1. Never-ending article slideshows

“I can’t stand articles/slide shows that require readers to constantly click over to the next page to “read” the article. I don’t mind, like, two pages… but ’10 reasons your cat hates you,’ with each reason having its own URL and slow-loading graphics causes rage.” -Madeline Mirasol @madelinemirasol 

2. Over-relying on automatic posts and responses

“There are so many tools that enable brands to draft social media posts in advance – saving time and resources. However, this year many brands relied on this capability to their detriment resulting in feeds that are generic and not personalized. It’s important to be efficient but it’s also important to be cognizant of your audience.”  – Megan Harr

It's important to be efficient, but it's also important to be cognizant of your audience. Click To Tweet

3. The use of live video without thought for the true benefit to your audience

“You’re asking people to stop everything they’re doing to share an experience with you in real time. They need to be able to walk away from it feeling like it was valuable and even prescient rather than a vanity experiment or sales pitch that could just as easily have been recorded for later viewing (or skipped altogether).” – Emily Lewis @withemilylewis

4. The phrase “Dynamic Content”

“The term is so over-used that no one knows what it means anymore, and people assume they can post a GIF or video as “dynamic content” and boost engagement. We should focus on contextual content. No matter the format, it should always be relevant to your target audience.” – Emily Lyman @emilylyman

5. One-size-fits-all approaches to employee advocacy

“While you may already be plugging your priority marketing content into a tool like Voicestorm or LinkedIn Elevate, it’s time to think strategically about how to activate employee populations even further. Do a deep dive and investigate what kind of content your employees prefer to share. Provide social copy that looks like it’s been written by an individual, not a brand. Think more interactive, multimedia, and thought leadership content, rather than boilerplate push marketing.”  – Tatiana Natzke @TNatzke 

It’s time to think strategically about how to activate employee populations even further. Think more interactive, multimedia, and thought leadership content, rather than boilerplate push marketing. Click To Tweet

6. Instagram algorithm “improvements”

“I rarely see some of my favorite bloggers’ and influencers’ content on Instagram anymore. The new algorithm is supposed to show us more of what we want, but I’ve definitely noticed more sponsored content hitting the top of my feed. Another not cool aspect of the new algorithm? I won’t see posts until up to a week later! It’s pretty rare for Insta-content to be relevant a week later—especially when it’s a giveaway or holiday-specific post.” – Sarah Walsh @sarahmwalsh 

7. Content saturation – quantity over quality

“Brands are creating more content than ever, more mediocre content that is. Marketers need to be thinking of content as part of an experience – not an output. In 2018 I hope to see more brands thinking through content as part of a journey for their audience. Focus on creating less content that is more effective, moving away from content creation as the end goal. As Carrie Hane said at Content Marketing World this year – ‘Instead of making more content, make your content smarter – Make it work harder.'” – Megan Conley @megconley 

Instead of making more content, make your content smarter - Make it work harder. @carriehd #CMWorld Click To Tweet

8. Social that’s not really social

“In the age of automation and optimization, we’ve lost that human feelin’. Brands are investing more resources in social than ever before, but are they really connecting with their audience? No. While having a well-defined process is important, it can’t be the only thing driving your social program. Brands need to remember to humanize – create space for creativity and spontaneity – so they can take advantage of timely, meaningful opportunities to engage with their communities.” – Megan Conley

In the age of automation and optimization, we've lost that human feelin'. Click To Tweet

9. Clickbait with no substance behind it

“Nothing drives me crazier than seeing a social post or headline that is purely there to get clicks, with no real substance or content behind it. It’s super misleading to your audience. We live in a trust economy now, and by posting clickbait that is not backed up by informative and engaging content (with facts!), you’re not building any trust or value for your business.” – Lindsey Schroeder @lindsschroeder 

We live in a trust economy now, and by posting clickbait that is not backed up by informative and engaging content, you're not building any trust or value for your business. Click To Tweet

10. The continued use of auto sound on embedded video

“Marketers who include auto sound are “deaf” to the potential contexts in which their users might encounter their content – like in a public space – where autoplay can be an unpleasant surprise.” – Madeline Mirasol

“Auto sound doesn’t take into account that we live in a world where customers / audience is frequently multi-tasking and your company’s carefully chosen soundbed or voice-over is not the appropriate soundtrack for their given environment.” – Emily Lewis

What marketing thing did you hate in 2017? Let us know in the comments or join us in the conversation on social!