Go back to around 2000 and search was pretty much the only game in digital marketing town. Get your SEO and PPC dialled in – which was somewhat easier then as well, and you could pretty much call your digital marketing good. A bit of list building and email marketing for good measure and you were in tip-top shape. As the meerkats say – simples!
Roll forward 16 years and things are a little different. Content and social are every bit as important as search. Each of these channels is a hugely diverse and complicated beast in its own right. Content creation. Advertising. There is lots and lots to do.
Digital Marketing Silos
This complexity has led to a highly splintered environment where SEO, PPC, social and content are often tackled as individual entities. In many cases, they are farmed out to companies with expertise in that given field. And, if the wide range of companies we speak to and deal with are any indication, there is all too often a lack of a cohesive strategy governing the approach.
This is a problem as your audience typically does not distinguish between these different channels and platforms, yet one your left marketing hand has no idea what your right marketing hand is doing. In fact, scratch that, this is more like the Hindu God Kali with many, many hands that have no idea what the other is doing.
This is a problem.
Digital Marketing Synergy
This disconnected approach is problematic for many reasons. I touched on the fact that your customers and prospects don’t see the lines between different marketing channels and you shouldn’t either. Further to that, there is just so much crossover here that one channel should support the other.
As an example – content provides a way to illustrate how you think to your customers. I like the idea that advertising is telling people you are a rock star in your field, but the content is showing them you are a rock star in your field.
So content builds credibility. But content posted on a small business blog will likely never be seen. Unless of course, you use social to get it out there. And likely, use social ads to really get it out there. But content can also be used as a way to drive inbound traffic.
And of course, if you want to build links and authority for SEO, you need something for people to link to. And if you are doing PPC around non-commercial terms, you need content to help drive subscribers to your email list. And of course, if you have an email list, you need something interesting to say so you are using that great idea for your posts and emails.
Social should drive people to your content. Your content gives you something useful to share on social. Your content drives people to your lead magnets. Your lead magnet content convinces people of your expertise. Your content broadens the scope in your search engine optimisation campaigns and provides linkable assets that can be used in link building and PR.
The great Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle once stated that:
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.
This is as true now when it comes to your digital marketing activities as it was in 300 BC. To truly see the potential from all of these tightly connected digital channels you need to bring synergy to your marketing activities. You need all of these channels working together to deliver results that are far beyond the simple sum of their parts.
The word synergy just seems so apt here and comes from the Greek synergos which simply means “working together”. Your digital marketing will only ever have synergy when it is carefully aligned with a single cohesive strategy with a tactical action plan. This requires close teamwork between your SEO, PPC, social and content marketing teams.
- Does your digital marketing work together for a great good?
- Do you have digital marketing synergy delivering results that are greater than the sum of the component parts?
- Is your marketing working in silos with one hand not knowing what the other is doing and often working against each other?
Answering this question requires a review of your digital marketing strategy, how you manage projects and teams, and each tactical channel you utilise – not easy. However, those that make the effort to ensure their digital marketing works in synergy will see combined results that outperform the individual channels by an order of magnitude.