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Why do we enjoy reading fairy tales to children? Why is it important for children to watch the many fairy tales that have been made into films, such as Cinderella or Captain Bluebeard?

The answer: Fairy tales are full of morals; they are educational and they help young people to learn, grow, and develop in a safe and positive environment; they help show children right from wrong; and they highlight the importance of cause and effect, reason, and consequence.

One of the most well known fairy tales is the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Even though the seven dwarfs were incredibly helpful and caring, each of them had a characteristic that in some way held him back from his true potential. Grumpy was so grumpy that he was unable to show and receive real love. Dopey was so dopey that the other dwarfs couldn't trust him to complete any task properly. And Bashful was always too shy to achieve his true potential.

But what has all of this got to do with online marketing and online advertisers?

If children learn from fairy tale characters and their actions, online advertisers can learn to evaluate and improve their online marketing campaigns from fairy tale antics, too.

In fact, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (or, rather, Snow White and the Seven Online Marketing Sins) can be instructive to online advertisers. The notion is simple: Don't be one of the seven dwarfs, and you'll avoid all of the Seven Online Marketing Sins—and you'll soon end up with a much healthier return on investment (ROI).

Don't be a Dopey

Not knowing anything about what's new in online marketing as it develops is the first of the Seven Online Marketing Sins. There is no way you can stay ahead of the game if you are unaware of what is happening.

If you don't personally have the time to stay up-to-date, make sure you employ a marketing professional to do the research for you. He or she can advise you about the latest tools and forums in online advertising, enabling you to take advantage of everything on offer.

Don't be a Sleepy

Online marketing requires constant observation and analysis. For example, if you are advertising through a pay-per-click (PPC) network, such as Google AdWords, are you using the Google Analytics program to fully appreciate which areas of your campaigns are working and which need changing?

If you don't pay attention to your online marketing efforts, they are never going to develop and serve your business well. Again, employ someone to run these checks for you if you know you don't have the time to spare.

Don't be a Doc

Doc was always the sensible one; he was always the one who looked at things logically. However, too much science in online advertising can be really destructive.

It's fair to say that online advertising, in many ways, requires a scientific mind, but only because online advertising is launched and run by computer programs. Internet users who look for products and services online are human beings, however, and human beings are not always so easy to predict; they don't always behave in a predictable manner.

Therefore, online marketers who are ignoring their creative and artistic instincts are not always successful in online advertising. Being a Doc and approaching everything scientifically is a terrible online marketing sin.

Don't be a Grumpy

Even an Internet user who is looking at your content, products, and services via a computer screen can pick up on those grumpy vibes. If you concentrate only on selling your product but spare no thought for being kind and welcoming to your potential customers, online marketing is never going to work for you.

Grumpy content will do nothing but send those customers to the next available service provider. Take time with your content, make the navigational experience of your website a good one, and watch the new customers come flowing in.

Don't be a Bashful

Are you the best photographer in Memphis? Have you got top qualifications in flower arranging? Did your company win the top award for customer service in the US from the Better Business Bureau this year?

If you've got a talent, share it. Boast about your positive qualities, and learn to sing your own praises from the rooftops.

If you want your online marketing to soar, being bashful is one of the worst online marketing sins you could ever commit.

Don't be a Happy

Your PPC campaign is working. Your ROI is looking healthy. Your online purchases are increasing. In short, everything is going swimmingly. You can sit back, relax, and be happy, right? Wrong!

Online marketing efforts might be working today, but there are no guarantees for tomorrow, and there is nothing stopping you from making a good online marketing campaign a fantastic one. The most important thing online advertisers should remember is to stay alert and avoid complacency.

You may be happy now, but happy is a temporary state. Keep moving forward. Be ambitious. Be successful.

Don't be a Sneezy

Sneezy never did anything to get rid of his cold. If you don't find out what's wrong with your online advertising, you cannot hope to make it run better. If you know what's wrong but you're simply doing nothing about it, the cold isn't going to go away.

If the website's not working, change it. If your advertisements aren't bringing new customers, change them. If your online marketing is generating a poor ROI, make necessary alterations.

* * *

All good fairy tales have a moral, and the moral behind Snow White and the Seven Online Marketing Sins is to learn from what the Seven Dwarfs didn't.

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image of David Chapman

David Chapman is the director of sales and marketing at Webrageous Studios, a PPC management firm based in Reno, Nevada. His expertise in PPC comes from managing accounts with monthly budgets of $30,000-$100,000, with a focus on mobile.

LinkedIn: David Chapman