Laurie Shook

Welcome to a Digital Marketer’s Nightmare

Spooky Marketing Nightmare
Image Credit – Verelly/

I woke up in the middle of the night, heart pounding and in a cold sweat. I was worrying about getting ready for Halloween, and frantic about finishing up this week’s Rocks Digital post. My dreaming brain had monster-mashed the two worries, and created this digital marketing nightmare.

So what scares the bejeebers out of a digital marketer?

Marketing Nightmare: The Internet is Down

Eek! I’ve got to post my blog in WordPress immediately. I need to track my keyword ad spend, stat! What about backing up my website?  Fahgettaboudit! Go to Starbucks and grab a latte.

A New Search Algorithm

Will Google follow up Panda and Penguin with a Zombie Apocalypse update? What would that look like? Do SEO techniques disappear, only to be overtaken by clear writing and engaging content? If everyone starts to search using virtual assistants and “bots”, what’s left for Google and the SEO expert?

Slapped with a Penalty

Your website traffic takes a nosedive. You check in the Webmaster tools and find a manual action against your site because they think you’ve violated guidelines. Uh, oh. Know what you’ll be doing the next 6 months—if you still have a job, that is.

Hacked Website

Even worse, your website gets hacked. You lose revenue and customers until you fix it, plus you have a mess to clean up. The horror! First steps: exorcise the malware, clean up any nastiness from the attack, clean out the cobwebs and check Google Webmaster tools for a blacklisting. Then, it’s time for some risk prevention. Update your content management system, update plug-ins, review your firewall strategy, lock down the backend and make sure you have a solid back up plan in place.

Sudden Social Platform Shut Down

That growing, engaging platform you built your marketing strategy around is going out of business. Scary and true. Bye, bye Meerkat, bye, bye Blab and now Vine is disappearing faster than a ghost. No wonder they keep saying “own your website vs. renting on social media. 

Social Media Crisis

You plan trick-or-treating with the kids, but instead your fun is pre-empted when a disgruntled customer complains about your company…and it goes viral! This shouldn’t be too frightening because you have a crisis management plan in place. Right? No? (queue silence punctured by howling winds).

Slapped with a Copyright Claim

You open an official-looking letter from Getty images claiming they own the copyright to an image you used without a license. Don’t be that guy! Use your own art, photographs or purchase them from any number of stock photo sites like Adobe, Big Stock, iStockphoto or Shutterstock, to name a few. This is a nightmare that you can easily avoid.

Privacy Surprise

Information you think is safely private is suddenly public due to a change in Facebook policies, default values or user error. Oops! Or on a grander scale, regulatory changes impact how your business gets access to customer data you need for targeting your prospects. Now how are you going to hit your numbers? Sound far-fetched? It just happened last week when a new FCC ruling was issued.

No wonder I woke up in a panic from my digital marketing nightmare. These career-impacting, customer-impacting external events can cause fear in even the most confident digital marketer.

And who needs a special holiday like Halloween that’s all about fear and horror? A career in digital marketing is frightening enough!

What’s the scariest marketing nightmare you’ve ever experienced?

Laurie Shook

Laurie Shook is a marketing director with a passion for social business. As a Social Media Dallas board member, she enjoys bringing speakers and insights to the DFW digital marketing community.

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