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10 Marketing Strategies Declining in Popularity, but Still Effective

10 Marketing Techniques Declining in Popularity, But Still Effective by @sbizideasblogContent marketing and social media marketing are some of the hottest trends in marketing right now in 2014. Google’s emphasis on the importance of quality content and the growing popularity of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus, it’s not surprising that searches for these terms are continuing to increase.

However, there are quite a few marketing techniques that have shown a continued decline in search volume through the years, but are still effective. Are you using these strategies in your marketing mix? Let’s take a look at some of these marketing strategies.

Note that Google trends only shows the overall trend and not the actual search volumes, which means that some of these methods are still relatively popular, despite the downtrend in search volume.

1. Press Releases

Press releases - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Press releases – Google trends

Television, radio, and print media like newspapers and magazines have experienced a decline with the rise of Internet and mobile channels. Despite this decline, media exposure is still effective for reaching a large amount of people. A study published by E-marketer in 2013 shows that over 50% of agency executives consider press releases as an effective means of getting their company names in front of potential leads.

2. Public Speaking

Public speaking - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Public speaking – Google trends

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as much as 75% of the population suffers from public speaking anxiety. With the growth of online and other marketing channels, it’s no surprise that public speaking has declined in popularity, although the decline is not as sharp as other marketing methods. Nevertheless, public speaking is still an effective way of establishing authority and reaching a sizable audience.

3. PPC / Pay Per Click

PPC - Google Trends via @sbizideasblog

PPC – Google Trends

Search volume for PPC and the term “pay per click” have also declined according to Google trends. However, the term Adwords has remained steady, which seems to indicate a stable interest in Google’s paid advertising system for those who are already using it.

Despite increasing focus on content marketing and social media and diminishing interest in PPC, PPC spending seems to have rebounded since 2012. One possible reason is the change in how Google displays ads, making them harder to distinguish from organic results. The article below showcases various studies showing increases in spending and effectiveness:


4. Link Building

Link building - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Link building – Google trends

Link building is a term related to SEO. After Google’s Panda and Penguin updates starting around 2011, the term “link building” started to decline in popularity as people started to search for “content marketing” and other more natural ways to promote websites.

However, links are still a key part of getting search engine traffic from SEO. The difference is that people now need to exercise caution with how they are getting those links and from which sites. In other words, people should get links from relevant sites that can send you meaningful traffic rather than trying to get links strictly for the sake of search engine rankings.

5. Telemarketing

Telemarketing - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Telemarketing – Google trends

Most people have a negative view of telemarketing, associating it with unwelcome interruption or an annoyance particularly when received during dinner or early in the morning. However, a recent Emarketer study showed that telemarketing is still one of the top 10 marketing techniques for generating leads. Telemarketing allows for a more personal connection to be formed versus many other channels.

6. Postcard Marketing

Postcard marketing - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Postcard marketing – Google trends

Rising postage costs and cheaper online advertising options are perhaps some of the key reasons that postcard marketing has declined in search volume through the years. The Online Marketing Institute reports that direct mail still has a lower cost per lead than other online methods. And postcards are the least expensive form of direct mail.

7. Podcasting

Podcasting - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Podcasting – Google trends

According to a survey conducted by Social Media Examiner, only 3% of marketers are using podcasts as part of their marketing strategy. However, with the growth of mobile phone usage, podcasts are becoming more popular again and has continued to grow. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income is one blogger that has used podcasting to successfully grow his audience and podcasting is the top referrer of traffic to his highly trafficked site.

8. Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing - Google Trends via @sbizideasblog

Viral Marketing – Google Trends

Searches for “viral marketing” have declined through the years. Instead of looking to go viral, most businesses seem to be looking for steady growth through producing and promoting quality content on a consistent basis.

However, companies like Viral Nova and Upworthy have used good copywriting and emotional triggers to make their content go viral, resulting in record growth. Perhaps focusing at least some effort on viral marketing techniques is still a worthwhile approach.

9. Trade Shows / Trade show marketing

Trade shows - Google trends via @sbizideasblog

Trade Shows – Google trends

Trade shows are an expensive venue and involve a good deal of time and planning to be an effective marketing channel. However, trade shows were cited as the fourth most effective marketing channel used by B2B marketers.


10. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing - Google Trends via @sbizideasblog

Affiliate Marketing – Google Trends

Search interest in affiliate marketing seems to have stagnated over the past few years. However, affiliate marketing revenues have experienced growth each year. Although Forester Research has scaled down their growth projections, it still expects affiliate marketing to continue to grow and eventually exceed $4 billion in 2016.



Many successful businesses are using more than one channel to market their businesses and reach new customers. Although SEO, social media, and email marketing are currently popular, businesses should also consider adding other channels to their marketing mix.

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About Brian Lang

I've been making a living online since 2002, mostly through e-commerce sites and content sites with advertising. Through the years, I have also learned a lot about other types of businesses and helped other people with their business problems.


  1. I don’t think that anything is declining so rapidly. All these work quite well. The key is to devercity strategy and track results. For sure some press release website will bring more traffic than others, same apply for video marketing and podcasting. I have to admit that I am getting more view on my videos on different sites that YouTube.

  2. I feel marketing your business online has become an overinflated market. Everyone is trying to market their brand online which makes it hard to actually find really good content. I think it is great Google is starting to reward rankings based on great content as well as share. I have a blog and used to use many of the strategies listed above to try and increase my page rank. I recently started adding more in depth content and started to notice results. In an abundant market of online marketers it is important that you stand out and I feel great content will help many small business owners attract new leads.

    • Brian Lang says:

      Yes, congratulations on your success with content marketing. If you use the other strategies above, they should be to create publicity for your business rather than building links for SEO.

  3. I do agree that these are somewhat losing popularity, but yes, they are still very effective. It just depends on the person on how to use them. For me, I think it would be best to combine several methods.

  4. I understand why you include press releases but I’d add a further thought. I think it’s more about the perceived value of traditional press and media and the shift to online. Press releases in themselves are valuable but you have to think smarter these days and not just use them in the traditional way – i.e. to engage and inform journalists.

    There are many ways you can use and ‘re-purpose’ your press releases to provide additional content and opportunities to get your business noticed – online and offline.

    • Hi Debbie. I agree that press releases are probably one of the biggest overlooked opportunities as people have shifted their focus to social media, SEO and content marketing. But media coverage is still a powerful opportunity and should not be overlooked.

  5. Pretty old strategies but still effective. I haven’t done any trade shows yet so I’m eager to know more about it.

    • Brian Lang says:

      Thanks. I know companies still use trade shows and it allows suppliers to expand their reach and customer base.

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