Diversity is the key to successful digital marketing in 2017

What makes an effective digital marketing strategy? This year, it's all about diversity and how wide the scope of your efforts is.

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It’s easy to get comfortable with one marketing strategy and spend all of your time, energy and money on it. For example, a lot of companies see a return on social media and decide to allocate their entire digital marketing budget towards amassing followers and creating advanced pay-per-click (PPC) ads. But be wary of closing off your strategy and focusing on one single method. Success is usually found in a diversified approach.

The case for diversifying your digital marketing

Meet Tom Hess. He’s a world-renowned guitar teacher who has enjoyed immense success over the years by building a digital presence and online brand. And while teaching students to play guitar is still a big component of what he does, he’s found an interest in helping other people actually become guitar instructors themselves.

Along the way, Hess has seen a lot of his students become successful instructors. He’s also seen a handful fail miserably. And while there are many different reasons for failure, he’s quick to acknowledge that successful teachers do a few key things that others don’t. Believe it or not, digital marketing and lead generation play an important role.

“Highly successful guitar teachers use a large variety of proven strategies to get more guitar students all year long and never become too dependent on any single method of growing their guitar teaching business,” Hess explains.

There’s considerable truth tucked away in this statement from Hess. While he’s a guitar player/instructor by trade, he’s come to recognize what a lot of business-minded people fail to see — the power in diversifying digital marketing and lead generation.

See, when you diversify your approach for reaching potential customers and clients, you’re able to spread out risk and simultaneously extend your reach. Specifically, you’re able to do the following:

  • Limit dependence. You never want your business to rely on a single digital marketing channel. If 90 percent of your leads come from LinkedIn, what happens if LinkedIn suddenly changes its platform or closes up shop? When you’re dependent on a single channel, you lose control over the direction of your brand.
  • People are everywhere. You may think you have your target customers figured out, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t fit your “mold.” Even the most predictable audiences spend their time looking at various marketing channels. If you’re too focused on a single channel, you’ll miss out.
  • Cross-pollination. There’s strength in combining efforts. In digital marketing, we call the act of combining different channels “cross-pollination.” When you cross-pollinate things like PPC ads, organic search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media, you’re bound to get better results. According to this infographic, integration and diversification of different digital marketing channels can boost conversion rates by as much as 200 percent.

It’s also important to think about yourself. If you’re constantly focused on one aspect of digital marketing — say website SEO — over and over for months and years on end, you’ll eventually get bored and disengage. In order to retain your sanity and make digital marketing and lead generation exciting, you have to learn to diversify.

4 things to keep in mind

Naturally, you’re probably already thinking about the how. You may recognize the importance of diversification, but what does it actually look like to create change in this area? The good news is there’s ample room for flexibility. Based on your objectives, you can sort of pick and choose which channels you want to pursue and how you want to utilize them.

1. Integrate SEO and PPC campaigns

One of the biggest mistakes digital marketers frequently make is isolating SEO and PPC ad campaigns. They treat them as separate endeavors and there’s absolutely no cross-pollination. But this is a missed opportunity, considering that integrating organic SEO and PPC campaigns can increase the number of clicks a campaign receives by 25 percent. Furthermore, it can increase total profitability by as much as 27 percent.

2. Use your blog to tease social

Most companies use social media to increase content marketing visibility. They’ll share blog posts and curate content from other industry sources. But have you ever thought about things from the opposite perspective? You should be using your blog to tease your social profiles and drive engagement from that direction. Let your blog visitors know what’s happening on social media and encourage them to check it out.

3. Switch up content formats

In case you haven’t noticed, there are a variety of ways you can create content outside of the traditional blog post or press release. There are infographics, videos (live streaming and recorded), webinars, ebooks, podcasts, memes, interactive tools, guides, white papers and more. You should try your hand at as many of these as possible.

“By leveraging a diverse arsenal of content, a brand will keep things unpredictable and exciting for its consumers, which is very impactful in this age of multimedia stimulation,” explains Jenna Gross, CMO of Moving Targets. “As long as a company continues to deliver fresh and unique content types, audiences will surely remain engaged.”

4. Measure your results

A lot of digital marketers are willing to diversify and give new content mediums and publishing platforms a try, but very few create a system by which they can gauge whether or not it’s working.

“Simply launching into a diversified marketing strategy can surely yield results, but these investments won’t pay off in full unless campaigns are properly measured over time,” Gross says.

Establish a system for measuring your results so you know exactly what’s happening and where to allocate resources in the future.

Set yourself up for success

There are a number of benefits associated with digital marketing diversification. It obviously helps you reach a wider audience and drives more traffic to your landing pages and websites. But it also has the added benefit of eliminating cost fluctuations, prepping your business for future changes, and helping your brand stay on top of changing market trends.

As you’re well aware by now, there’s no single method for enjoying digital marketing success and driving leads. While certain channels will be more effective for your business, it pays — in the long run — to spread out and take a calculated, yet diversified approach. Case studies, expert opinions and common sense prove this to be true.

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