It goes without saying that businesses can’t survive and thrive without a marketing strategy. How will people know about your goods or services if you don’t display your business in some way? Unfortunately, far too many businesses market their company in the wrong way. The only thing worse than no marketing is bad marketing, which means that a lot of the companies you see are actually hurting their business more than helping it. Follow these top tips to devise a marketing campaign that works, not just one that exists.

1. Please the Eye!

What could possibly be wrong with a banner, website homepage or brochure that explains everything, in detail, about your business? People aren’t going to get to the information if they don’t like what they see at first glance. Marketing materials have to simultaneously communicate important information while attracting consumers on an aesthetic level. Just like a truly attractive business card that won’t do any good if it doesn’t list contact information, an informative marketing piece won’t impact consumers if it doesn’t entice them in the first place. Graphics, attention-grabbing colors and readable text are key components to designing marketing materials.

2. Boost Boring Information

Not every single business is exciting. Towing companies, for example, aren’t exactly thrill-producing. That doesn’t mean that your marketing materials have to be dull as well, though. Creative writers and marketers can come up with an interesting way to say anything. Graphic designers can make even the most uninteresting business pop. Instead of settling for a lifeless marketing campaign, hire professionals who know how to spin anything to be engaging.

3. Put Social Media to Use

Your Facebook page isn’t doing any good just sitting there. “But I have all of my contact information listed and the ‘About’ section is full of details!” So what? There’s nothing on your social media accounts that you can’t find from a quick Google search. Social media is meant to be used often and in various ways. The point is to communicate with and engage your target audience, not to have profiles that just wait there until they’re stumbled upon. Plus, with tools like HootSuite, there’s no excuse to not post updates. Also, social media is free.

4. Marketing Overload

What’s the only thing worse than no marketing campaign? Too much generic, spam-like marketing. If you don’t market your business at all, at least you haven’t annoyed consumers yet. Sending out e-mail after e-mail is obnoxious, especially when you’re not communicating any new or useful information. Promoters have a problem with this, especially when they get ahold of cell phone numbers. Who wants to receive ten text messages from people they barely know? Overstepping consumers’ personal boundaries is going to turn them off, which means they’ll ignore every marketing communication from there on out.

Combat this by communicating helpful, interesting and fresh information on platforms where consumers want to be reached. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and public e-mail addresses are all acceptable modes of communication. Also, don’t pretend to know consumers if you really don’t. A text message that reads, “Come hang out with me tonight!” isn’t fooling anyone if you’re sending it to 500 people you haven’t seen in over a year. If you really want to communicate personally with your audience, do so on social media by spending time getting to know your fans.

5. Compose Accurate Content

The point of getting information out to the public isn’t just to say whatever you can to entice customers. You have to be accurate and trustworthy in what you say, too. Otherwise, you’ll lose the trust of consumers and you’ll probably never, ever get it back. Be careful with what you say and what you promise. Make sure you can follow through on everything you put out there. From making sure the link to your website actually works to preparing your staff to handle a brand new discount, your business has to actually reflect your marketing.

Gregg Rusley is a digital content developer for CMI Promotions. He specializes in finding creative ways to meet marketing or recognition goals with personalized merchandise.