If you’re a business owner, a marketer, or are just thinking about starting a business, figuring out a marketing strategy can be a difficult task (if you ever decide to sit down and figure one out at all).

I always try to give my clients good advice and to follow my own advice as much as possible, but sometimes this whole “marketing” thing can be CONFUSING?! Amiright?

These are some of the most frequent marketing contradictions I’ve run into recently.

Sell, but don’t sell too much

So let me get this right? I’m supposed to set up a website and other online profiles because I’m hoping it will sell my product or service, but I’m not supposed to sound like a used-car salesman when I do it because then people will get annoyed? Pretty much.

If you haven’t figured this out, yet, your website should be your hub of information. You social media channels and other online profiles should help to guide people to that website. Wherever people are coming from, they go to learn about products, services, and your company. Here’s a tip, though. Instead of everything being overly flashing and all “Buy This!”, “Great Deal”, “Must Have!”, think of how it’s going to benefit your customer.

I read a great article about conversion optimization on websites the other day and KISSmetrics did a great example (#2 if you read the article) about a company who originally had “comfort oriented” copy, which they changed to “action oriented” copy. They reworded the content on their website to be even more about how the product would HELP their customers with very precise and action oriented verbiage. They are definitely selling, but they are selling via a list of benefits that are useful to the consumer. See how that works?

Takeaway: Word your selling in a helpful way, so customers can see the benefits of your product or service vs. how conceited you are.

Send out Email newsletters, but don’t send too many

I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again that email newsletters can be one of the best ways to get in touch with your leads. It’s true. Maybe it’s just me, but my inbox is the one thing that gets checked EVERY SINGLE DAY. You might miss a day on Facebook or making a physical phone call to someone, but I bet you check your email.

I also bet that you get a bergillion emails that you could care less about. You probably get those few from marketers that you care a lot about, though. If you’re thinking as a consumer, how many emails do you want to get from a company?

In my opinion, it depends. If it’s Kohl’s telling me that they have a new sale this weekend, then send away. Because otherwise, how would I know about the sale? But if it’s an eCommerce company sending me an email because I bought a very obscure product from them 3 months ago and I don’t really have much interest in their company, it’s most likely going to be trashed and I’ll more than likely opt out soon. You may feel completely different about it, though.

Takeaway: Send an amount of emails that makes sense to your customers and then watch how they perform. If you use a system like MailChimp, they have awesome reporting right in their software so you can see the behavioral actions of the users. If you notice opens go down, clicks begin to dwindle, etc., then send less. But if you are noticing a great response based on a large amount of emails, then keep them coming! Heck, take it a step further and create different lists to those who really like getting ALL emails vs. those who only seem to have an interest in super important ones. Brilliant.

Be on every social media network, but don’t neglect your social media networks

I’m sure you’ve heard it before…that you should be on every social media network to really get business. That’s kind of true, but not really at all. You should be on the one(s) that work for your business. If you set up accounts on multiple social media networks and intend to be active on every one, that is great. However, make sure you have enough time to dedicate yourself to contributing to those networks.

Takeaway: If you can’t be in all places at once, don’t. Choose those networks that will work for you and invest your time and energy there.

Post consistently on social media, but not too much

A fine line exists between how much content is too much. Similarly to email marketing, you don’t want to post too much content, but you do want to post enough content to keep your followers engaged.

Facebook Insights and Pinterest statistics and reach and impressions and views and…there are a ton of ways to keep track of how your social media accounts are performing for your business. But what exactly does all of this data tell you? Besides telling you what content your social media followers are seeing, this data can be a great indicator for how well your content is performing.

You may want to do some testing. Do you get more responses when you post numerous times a day? Do you notice that your fan base begins to dwindle when you post numerous times a day? And keep in mind, these metrics are going to differ from platform to platform.

Takeaway: Testing is key. Try to post more or less frequently to see how your followers respond to you.

What about you? Have you been struggling with any marketing contradictions that I didn’t talk about here?