Three Marketing Nightmares That Still Haunt Us

Oct 26, 2021 | Search Engine Optimization

Want to avoid being the next victim of a digital marketing horror story? Here's three cautionary tales to keep in mind long after the spooky season.

Office skeleton

Here at Informatics, we've seen all the SEO, social media and affiliate marketing nightmares that your company wouldn't dare to be associated with. Whether it's a tone-deaf social post that sends a chill down your spine or a website that vanishes into thin air the moment you try Googling it, it's the quickest way to drive your brand to an early grave.

Since it's the season of horror and gore, our Digital Marketing team decided to put our heads together and brush up on our scary storytelling skills. If you're familiar with our blog, then you know we supply all the digital marketing tips and tricks any business would need to succeed, but can you imagine those poor unfortunate souls that haven't read our blog? That's enough to send a chill down our spines...

Curious what our nightmares entail? Grab some popcorn, if you can stomach it, and witness a series of unfortunate marketing events...

The Haunted SEO Audit

Spooky laptop

He didn't care much for scary things, but his team had all run into the haunted website, and he was suddenly feeling alone, so he rushed in after them, ready to take on the scariest SEO audit of his career.

The client knew the importance of posting good content on their website, and they had done a lot of it, but they lacked the expertise to know that it also had to be structured and formatted properly to be found by web searchers.

He felt along the walls and jumped at every corner as he stumbled into the website's darkest corners and worst SEO practices.

The H1 header was way too long...

No headers or subheads in the body...

Ineffective keywords and dense paragraphs...

No meta title or meta descriptions, no alt text in sight...

Broken and dead links!

He felt his mouse moving faster, speeding up as he turned down the last page and out of the website. He saw his fellow SEO expert, Ryan, swiveling and smiling happily in his office chair.

"That was fun, wasn't it?" Ryan said.

They stared back at the haunted site, glowing on their screens.

If a webpage isn't optimized for search, does it really even exist?

- Adam Moore

The Tale of The Social Monitoring Monstrosity

Website with "We have blood" post

The soft glow of the computer screen lit the corner of the pitch black office. The naïve and newly-hired employee was taking her first late-night social monitoring shift as part of her new agency job. Sleepily, she scrolled through the Facebook and Instagram responses. The endless responses to that morning's National Donut Day post were making her eyelids heavy.

Your donuts make me go nuts!

I love donuts, but do they really need their own day? lolololol...

Suddenly her eyes popped open, and she peeled her face off the keyboard. The anxious employee looked at the time at the bottom of her computer in a panic. It was 3 a.m. and she'd fallen asleep for hours.

Unbeknownst to her, a dangerous storm was brewing over the web while she was asleep.

A feeling of dread washed over her as she saw the most recent post from her client, a regional hospital system. It featured a blurry photo of a nurse and read "GET BLOOD HERE," an unfortunate and ghastly mistake that was meant to say "Get blood tests here."

Her stomach dropped. The simple, careless omission of a word had transformed the post into a sinister advertisement for bodily fluids.

She quickly edited the post to the correct wording, but it was too late.

The post's comments and the hospital's inbox quickly, grimly flooded with vampires and internet trolls looking for blood of their own. "Hospital sells blood" was already a trending topic on Twitter. The Red Cross already shared the post to their Instagram story.

Her phone rang. Was it really the hospital CEO at this hour?

She shoved it under her pillow and pressed down, hoping to smother it or wake up. But the phone kept ringing and ringing and ringing...

- Haley Johnson

The Affiliate Vultures

Terrified marketing coordinator

On this very night, 10 years ago, along this stretch of internet road, in a dense fog, just like this... I saw the worst affiliate fraud I've ever seen. A digital marketing coordinator was up late checking on the affiliate marketing program for a major e-commerce client. She felt a chill in the room as she logged into the affiliate network, and quickly covered her eyes in terror as she realized her program had been swarmed by affiliate fraud vultures!

*Lightning flash!*

Her heart raced as she jumped from site to site, reviewing all of her top publishers. Each and every one was promoting fraudulent information, leading customers into a growing abyss of non-existent deals and fake codes.

The digital marketing coordinator tried to fight back with sharply worded emails to all of her contacts, threatening to withhold their commissions and cut off their lifeblood, but it was already too late. The affiliate fraud vultures had already picked her program to the bone, leaving her brand to die a miserable and slow death.

Her loyal customers had vanished, moving on to brands with better, legitimate deals and her commissions dwindled away to nothing. It wasn't shortly afterward that her retail client decided to shift their business to a marketing agency with a more qualified affiliate marketing program.

The affiliate fraud vultures, meanwhile, circled slowly above the e-commerce landscape, fat and happy from another kill. If only that coordinator had read our blog on how to maintain an affiliate marketing program, then maybe her program would still be alive.

It's a shame how quickly birds can strike.

- Isabelle Fiester


Want to prevent these nightmares from becoming a reality? Our digital marketing team is scary good when it comes to the world of SEO, social media, affiliate marketing, and more! Reach out today, if you dare... 

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