Branding Blog

Pinterest vs. Inbound Marketing: Is DIY the best route?

Written by Dale Berkebile | Tue, May 21, 2013

So the other day my wife and I are laying around and talking. She picks up her phone and starts scrolling through Facebook updates. Then from out of no where she starts laughing uncontrollably.

Was it something I said? Nope… it was a funny post on facebook titled: 20 Hilarious Pinterest Fails from the website BoredPanda. Ok so I have to know what is this and why does she think it is so funny. So she passes me her phone. I start scrolling through these and can see how this stuff happens. Yes it is funny viewing other people's failed attempts at something creative, but it also hit close to home.

I thought I would share a few of them here and discuss how this hits close to home for me. Notice the Pinterest before picture followed by the after shot of what the end product looks like by many people.

Melted Crayon Art

Chocolate-Covered Kiwi

Waffle Iron Cookies


Ok, so anyone who has ever tried anything crafty, probably has been there with a craft fail. You know a craft that turned out like total crap after following all the directions and questioning "What happened?". Ok, so this is probably what makes this article so funny. We can all relate with some sort of creative fail.

Why am I posting this on a marketing blog? Well, because I see Marketing Fails often. I see companies that read a book like Inbound Marketing (great book by the way) and decide to go it alone. I see sites like 99designs offer cheap logo designs through crowdsourcing only to get a brand fail (see an article based on a logo before and after of a similar instance).

So why does this "fail" happen on pinterest? Why does it also happen in business? Well, on Pinterest, the person posting these cute creative ideas are usually people that are very creative and have been doing creative crafts for 20 years. So they know how to pull something creative off in their sleep. The "fails" on the other hand are from people who haven't spent much time doing creative things. They do their best, but do not have the background or experience to know when things are going south and when to make changes if things aren't working. Or more important… what changes should be made if things aren't working out as they were supposed to. 

The same is true in business, art, music or anything really. If you do not have 20 years experience, trying to pull off a creative concept like creating a logo or website is not going to happen in the professional manner it would if you had 20 years experience. I was talking to a client the other day that wanted to order Adobe Illustrator to do their own marketing, signage, button design, etc. Yes, creativity is fun and sound really cool. It does however take years to master the software in order to be able to create the level of marketing, buttons and designs that would actually deliver the results most companies are looking to get.

So does it make sense for a business owner to go this route? Typically not.Nothing is more costly than a marketing fail. As a matter of fact I have another prospect that was looking for Lead Generation help. I reviewed their current website and it looks pretty good from a design perspective. It was just a digital brochure, static website though. Meaning, nothing changed or was updated for years. Then they paid for a new site to be redesigned. Basically it was the exact same website with a new look and feel. So it would not get found any better than the previous website. It had no better solution to lead gen on the site and it wasn't connected to their social sites any better. So the question is why spend the money? Even though this did not look like a marketing fail because it was pretty, it certainly was from a business development standpoint. Check out this eBook for 7 steps to create a website that works.

Are you now looking to do your own online marketing? Is their a marketing fail in your future?

I hope not. But what is one to do? So over the years we've recommended hiring a professional to help with your inbound marketing or brand development. Often times people hear our conversation and think they can not afford it. Sometimes this is true, but sometimes it cost more to do something part way and fail and then have to pay for it again to do it right. Here is an example similar to the Pinterest fail, here is an inbound marketing fail. Step one for inbound marketing is to get found.

Working with professional partner:

Doing inbound marketing yourself:

Notice with the partner… the organic traffic (green portion of bars) is growing month to month. The partner helped grow organic traffic from 1400 per month up to 4500 per month in a 19 month period. The DIYer on the other hand has grown from 20 organic visits per month to 63 in the same 19 month period. Yes, these are both nearly a 300% increase, but a 300% of nothing isn't very much especially in nearly a 2 year period. This could be done within 3 to 6 months with an expert at your side.

Phase 2 is converting visitors into leads. I had one client I was working with for several months get upset because we took a month to focus only on design and conversion optimization. In that month they dropped their traffic in half from the previous month. You can understand why they'd be upset, right? Yeah, but what they overlooked was the fact that that same month we helped them double the previous month's conversion rate. Meaning that although traffic was down, they still got the same number of leads because we worked over the conversion tools and optimized things to perform much better.

So I understand hiring a professional can be expensive, so to help with this I thought I'd create an easy 90 Day Starter Package for Inbound Marketing. The goal here is to train people on how to do things right, with the guidance of an expert but without the high cost of hiring the said expert to do all the work. If you're the Do It Yourselfer… you might want to review our new Starter Package. It's focused on getting you up to speed quickly and using Inbound Marketing like an expert through training, setting up best practices, doing the homework first hand and then reviewing progress with your strategic partner.

Want to overcome a potential inbound marketing fail?

How will this starter package help? What will I get? You'll get a strategic partner guiding you to success. you'll get training to understand best practices for inbound. You'll get the right tools set up to make sure you are able to be successful. You'll get weekly coaching from your trusted advisor. You'll have weekly homework so you'll know what to do and when to do it. You'll have an analytics package set up so you can keep your fingers on the pulse and see the success as it happens. So do you want to avoid a marketing fail? Click here to learn more.