These days, there are so many factors in your online strategy, and you can’t afford to be ignoring them. Online marketing has grown exponentially, from plonking a “gets the job done” site online to needing a website with a beautifully designed interface, a reliable and smart host, harmonisation with Google algorithms, running several social media profiles, maintaining a blog with regular fresh content, paid advertising, e-marketing, and offering an excellent user experience throughout. And breathe.
The divide between the numerous factors of a successful online marketing strategy is getting smaller and smaller. No one can be sure of the boundaries and borders between them and the focus has shifted from individual specialties, to how teams work together to guarantee that the user experience is seamless: one campaign should flow into others. Online marketing has gone holistic and if your teams aren’t talking to each other, it’s time they got their social on.
Just look at social: one year ago Matt Cutts told the SEO world that social was not an indicator for search algorithms. Now, one thing the algorithm does take into consideration is the popularity of content based on no-follow links from social channels. That’s a pretty grey area. Then you’ve got PRs getting clued up on keywords and density, or making sure their press releases are supported by website content. Whether you’re represented by multiple firms, or a full service agency, these teams are increasingly connected, and some would say interdependent.
It only follows, that these sometimes very different species should be working together. This is not always easy since the working methods of each can differ enormously, from working all night in a cable filled closet to fluttering around a virtual networking event. Here’s what I’ve learned from working in multi-skilled environments:
1. Marketing is about creativity, finding ways to do things differently, so surrounding yourself with people who think in another way to you is a huge asset. When you think of a download, they come up with a widget. That’s to my benefit in terms of broadening my ideas and skills, and it’s to the client’s benefit in terms of the best solutions.
2. You’re constantly considering the other elements of online marketing strategies, since they’re sitting right next to you. I cannot emphasise how valuable it is that when I’m looking at backlinks, I’m simultaneously thinking about PR opportunities, and comparing design styles. I can give my colleagues leads and ideas from my daily work that they would potentially not find alone.
3. We’re a team, and when you’re confused, running late or need a second opinion, the person who can help get things back on track is a few steps away. There’s no hiding behind emails or “in a meeting” excuses. We get stuff done because we’re a physical unit.
4. You might think you’re after one, or a few, target markets, but they’re all made up of individuals. More than one person writing content appeals to more than one type of reader – that’s just common sense. From PR to social media and PPC, there’s always more than one tone behind our copy.
5. As Google, Facebook and countless others make it increasingly harder to know the winning combination of ingredients in online marketing, an omnichannel approach is the only way to move forward. In an agency, we may all have different skills, but our ultimate goals are the same: a quality user experience, a strategy that drives profit, and happy clients.
If you ask us, the growth and development of the industry is, in fact, best summed up by coming to our office. Just as not every agency can boast a short commute to the city as well as green fields and sheep on its doorstep (not kidding), not many agencies can boast the variety of skills we have. You need every tool in the shed to have a shot at online market share, and honey, we think we’re Homebase.