Online Marketing Lessons We Learned In Kindergarten
This is the time of year where many children start heading back to school after a much-needed summer break. Did you hear that collective sigh of relief? That’s from all the adults who are happily falling back into their routines as well. Even if you don’t have children in school, you know what I’m talking about. As adults, we may no longer attend school, but we will always have the knowledge we gained from our early childhood lessons. Have you ever read Robert Fulghum’s poem, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”? (If not, I highly recommend it!). Within his poem, Fulghum simply explains how we can apply those basic lessons we learned as young children and simplify our adult lives by doing so. As I read this poem now, I see how these lessons can help explain the basics of online marketing.
Online marketing is anything but basic though. For one thing, SEO “rules” can change at any given time. For example, since Google tweaks its algorithms on a regular basis, it’s possible the article you published which boosted your site ratings last week may end up tanking the following week. On social media, particularly Facebook, you now need to pay for your posts to be seen by the same number of people who used to see them organically.
Frustrating? You’d better believe it. Rather than throw tantrums like young kindergarteners though, it’s time to pull from those childhood lessons and handle our online marketing like adults. Fulghum shares many lessons he learned in kindergarten; these are 3 we can keep in mind for online marketing:
Online Marketing Lesson #1: ‘Don’t take things that aren’t yours.’
Translation: Plagiarism has no place in online marketing. This doesn’t mean online marketers cannot borrow concepts or ideas from each other. It’s also acceptable to borrow sentences, and even a paragraph or two, from other authors’ articles. The main thing you must remember is to cite your source(s) and properly attribute credit to the original author, especially when you borrow their exact phrases and verbiage.
Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing explains the negative ramifications of plagiarism in his article, “Content Marketing and Plagiarism.” As Stamoulis puts it,
Just like in college, getting caught plagiarizing comes with serious consequences. Your reputation, your website’s trust factor and eventually your business can be adversely affected if you get caught copy-pasting.
Just like you learned in kindergarten: when it comes to online marketing, never take something that doesn’t belong to you.
Online Marketing Lesson #2: ‘Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.’
Translation: It’s nearly impossible to avoid offending someone with your online marketing efforts. Always be ready to apologize. Perhaps you posted a social media update and thought it was innocuous. Maybe you crossed the line with a blog post and alienated your audience. Whether accidental or intentional, this does happen, and social media only helps people spread messages farther and faster.
What to do if you end up in a situation where someone feels wronged? One of the easiest things – and probably also the best thing – is to immediately handle the situation by offering a sincere apology. Whether you apologize in private or public is entirely up to you.
As you may have learned in kindergarten, it’s not always easy to say you’re sorry after you hurt somebody…but it really is the right thing to do.
Online Marketing Lesson #3: ‘Live a balanced life – learn some and think some…’
Translation: Learning some and thinking some can help you create a balanced online marketing strategy. For example, as I mentioned earlier, online marketing changes frequently. Many marketers agree that spending time learning and keeping up with the latest information is a good idea. These are some of the more common ways to catch up:
- Read about current trends in social media and content marketing
- Attend webinars and conferences
- Network with others who are in the know
Next, it’s time to start thinking about how you can best implement your newly acquired knowledge and convert it into a workable online marketing strategy. This brings you closer to your desired result – a balanced strategy for your business which benefits your potential and current clients, as well as yourself.
Not all of us learned how to live balanced lives in kindergarten…but it’s never too late to start learning.
Bonus: ‘Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.’
No translation needed for this one, as this is just a simple truth…whether you’re involved in online marketing or not.
Over to you
Are you able to apply any of your favorite lessons from kindergarten to your business’ current online marketing strategy and/or efforts? I’d love to hear about it – please feel free to comment below.