In The Mindset that Makes Online Marketing Work, internet entrepreneur Brian Clark addresses the struggle many face trying to put online marketing tactics in separate boxes, rather than see each as part of an overarching strategy. He explains that a holistic strategy is the recipe for big success:
“To this day, I see people referring to content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization as three different things — as if each is a tactic that can get you there alone. The smart way to practice effective online marketing is to treat social media and search engine results as aspects of a holistic strategy that centers around compelling content.”
In other words, content marketing, social media, SEO and SEM are each important pillars of an online marketing process, and all work together to maximize your brand’s online success. Employing one is certainly better than nothing, but adopting all into your strategy is what will make it pack that holistic punch Clark is referring to.
Each effort serves a unique function that, when working together, operates like a well-oiled machine. SEO works to increase your organic search visibility, a social distribution strategy works to drive traffic to your site across your social channels, and your content works to engage your prospects and generate purchase intent. All this amounts to brand authority.
Clark believes content is the foundation of successful online marketing – after all, without it, your brand loses share of voice in an increasingly content-heavy digital world. Cut through the noise with targeted content (it’s not about how many people, but who you reach), and take Clark’s advice: make the initial goal of your strategy to “create audience-focused content as if social media and search engines didn’t exist.”
This, content marketers have been doing since 1895. Compelling, targeted content has proven to perform. You can help it do so by giving it the distribution fuel to catch fire and keep on burning.
“If it’s a large number of shares you’re after,” Search Engine Watch blogger Purna Virji writes, “then you need to employ a different mindset. Think instead how you can provide the most helpful and valuable content. After all, if you give people something they really need or enjoy, you can bet they will want to share it.”
There’s no silver bullet to building trust and brand authority online. A long term strategy, starting with quality content and incorporating many discoverability tactics, is your best bet. Anything less than that and you’re missing out where others are gaining leads. At worst, your strategy is, as Clark says, “a disjointed, ineffective mess that leads companies large and small to question the return on investment of online marketing in general.”
Don’t jeopardize your long term success for short-term gains. If you want your online marketing efforts to reap big benefits, cover all your bases. Get started by gathering the right ingredients.
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