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6 Digital Marketing Hacks that Don’t Work Anymore

Digital Marketing Hacks that Don't Work Anymore

The amount of information on the web is increasing exponentially with each passing year. This maze of information that makes a brand stand out and gets noticed by their target audiences has become a challenge for digital marketers to deal with.

Digital marketers have been using multiple tactics and strategic moves to bring their clients more revenue digitally, like using influencers, doing guest posts, boosting posts on Facebook, and sending out emails with marketing material and so on, have been chiefly used.

But with a significant change in dynamics – like regular updates of Google’s search algorithms, change in Facebook/Instagram’s promotion rules, and more importantly, the changing perspective of online consumers have rendered some of the old digital marketing techniques useless.

6 digital marketing tactics that don’t work anymore

If you are still using some of these old hacks to improve your marketing, then you must read this entire post to know which of the digital marketing hacks do not work anymore.

Following random people on social media for follow-backs

Trying to follow random people on social media may seem to be an excellent short-term tactic that can result in few follow-backs and likes. But eventually, it’s a colossal time-waster. I mean, most of the days, when you follow too many people, you will max out your daily limit of follow and trust me, there won’t be any massive growth with this tactic.

Following many people may seem to be an innocuous activity but is full of pitfalls and can harm your digital presence. You can gain a few followers in numbers, but you may lose them in the long run. As a digital marketer, your goal is not only to achieve maximum followers but to make most of your following through engagement.

The most adverse side-effect of this tactic is a drastic drop in your follow-to-engagement ratio. With more followers, who are not engaged, your ratio is bound to fall through the down resulting in a further drop in your individual post’s reach.

In addition, some people do not like to ‘friend/follow’ unknown accounts, and in your zeal to follow them, you may alarm them. In the worst case, someone may flag your account as unknown or irrelevant or spam. Social media platforms take such reports very seriously and may suspend your account if your activity is too high.

Hence you should avoid this tactic in the long-run instead try to focus on more valid strategies like social media quizzes to keep your follower count going.

Gaming Google’s Algorithm

People have tried everything in the past to game Google’s Search Ranking algorithms – from building farce links to posting multi-layered identical content.

With Google’s algorithms becoming smarter every day. Through AI and the involvement of third-party search quality raters, it has increasingly become tough to game the system.

If you want long-term, sustainable, and rewarding results through SEO, then I would strongly suggest you do the best practices where you aren’t trying to game the system.

Here are some instances of hacks that do not work anymore:-

Keyword stuffing – Stuffing 50 keyword repetitions in a 1000-word article!

Duplicate content – Duplicate and publish the same content with minor changes and posting with links back to your website. The Google passage indexing update now takes care of similar passages in making sure such pages have a lower ranking.

Posting links in every spammy place – Since backlinks are a significant factor for ranking, Google is always trying to scan backlinks and check the weather if they’re relevant, natural, and organic. Hence, if backlinks don’t look natural and come from a banned blog; then, you’re bound to lose traffic and might get penalized for that.

Search algorithms now factor in the source’s expertise and authority and the relevance of the pages. The factor is called E-A-T (Expertness, Authoritativeness, and Trust).

Hence there is a list of things which you can do to improve your EAT and instead of trying every other manipulative technique to game Google’s algorithm, you should in fact play according to the terms and gain it’s trust.

Buying likes, followers, comments, and views

One of the dirtiest tricks and worst ways to enhance your following is to buy fake followers on social media.

If you think sensically, buying likes represent that you do not have faith in your business idea or content, and you do not think it would genuinely attract people.

Also, buying likes and followers means that you’re buying into the worst set of audiences on social media platforms, who will never engage with your brand, never believe what you are selling, never share your work, and will leave you in hordes after you pay them.

Whether you buy bot followers or human followers, your follower-to-engagement ratio is bound to drop substantially as it does with the old follow-for-follow-back tactic.

Therefore by buying followers/bots, you’re planting a dent in your budget for mere numbers. Honestly, if you want to pay for followers genuinely, we suggest you run quality and progressive ad campaigns to connect with real people on social media.

On Facebook and Instagram: Boosting ≠ Advertising

Social media management is challenging; it might seem easy on the eye. But mostly, it’s all about planning content, promoting it, and analyzing critical KPIs. Every post that gets published goes into the report, and at the end of the day, you have to generate revenue from social media, or else there is no reason to continue.

For the sake of generating good ROI and showing better numbers on Facebook and Instagram reports, we have seen agencies simply boosting posts without any proper plan and trust us, when you enable boosting on multiple posts with no particular goal in mind, you are losing money.

You must realize that a quick boost in reach does not necessarily translate into more revenues and better ROI, especially even more so in the case of an eCommerce business.

Furthermore, boosting every post is not even recommended. You must know that most of the additional users who might see your post may not be your target audience, and hence they are unlikely to respond to your content.

When you “boost” your posts, you are not advertising, you are simply throwing flyers from a helicopter, and most of them end up on the road (or) in the trash!

In reality, boosting social posts does help a brand but boosting every other post on Facebook (or) Instagram doesn’t make sense.

Email marketing mails sent

Unethical email marketing

Email marketing was, is, and would remain relevant to your business. But it also has some dos and don’ts, which also makes it a little tricky to do.

If you have bought a bunch of email IDs from anonymous sellers online and have been pitching emails to an irrelevant audience, then it has the potential to come back and bite you. Regulations like CAN-SPAM outlaw don’t support unsolicited promotion through emails.

As hundreds and thousands of email addresses are up for grabs for free (or) at negligible cost, it’s enticing marketers to boost an email campaign with a paid list. There is no use in connecting with people who don’t know you and might have never heard of your business.

Also, most email marketing platforms employ safety measures to identify if you are generating unusual traffic (or) leveraging spam tactics. If someone is doing so, they may suspend their mailing rights.

Hence, there is only one way to send promotional emails: to grab people’s email ID using your website, social media handles, and landing pages.

Also, people always don’t want promotional emails in their inboxes. Thus it’s advised to keep your promotional email frequency lower. Instead, you can focus on educating and sharing relevant information with people through emails.

Sending templated emails for guest posting

Do you want to write a guest post on a popular blog or platform and want their editor to consider your work? If so, then guest posting is the way to go about it.

The ultimate objective of writing a guest post is to get backlinks and referral traffic from authoritative websites in your niche. Usually, sites that openly accept guest posts and pitching some of these sites could be worth it.

The problem with guest posting doesn’t come with targeting a blog and sending an email for a link. It all comes down to sending an email that will let your prospects know that you could add value.

Since most editors (or) bloggers will already be bombarded with hundreds of emails asking for a link and if your emails are no different and for worse if you’re sending a templated email to a bunch of these bloggers. You’re bound to fail in your guest posting campaigns.


Because the people to whom you’re pitching already know what your pitch is going to be about, and they can sense if an email is templated (or) not, and if it is, they might not even reply to it.

Instead of sending templated emails to 100 people, you should send personalized emails to 10 people. Because the power of personalization is unique, and it gives you a chance to stand apart.

Despite saying that, you can still make few changes in your emails template to let your receiver and let then know that you’ve done good research before pitching them, like:-

  • Talking about their business (or) blog in general
  • Talking about their social media posts
  • Appreciating their valuable content pieces

Thus personalized emails are always way better, such emails will take time, but in the end, it’s all worth it for your guest posting campaign.


Digital marketers have to evolve with the changing times to accommodate the new policies and rules enforced by Google, Facebook, Instagram, and other major platforms.

A decade ago, some cheap hacks could have helped people reach a certain visibility threshold, but they are no longer valid. Agility, alertness, and adapting to the volatile scenario are the primary soft skills which are highly demanded for any digital marketer.

However sticking to the fundamental principles and rules is essential for reaching out to your target audience, generating promising leads, and increasing your sales.

That is the reason why we listed out top six digital marketing which don’t work anymore but yet we still see people using them. Hence we hope you read this blog through and realize that it’s better to avoid some tactics which don’t work.

illustration: vector created by stories

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