It’s amazing how the worldview we’re raised in affects all the different areas of our lives.
As children, most of us are not taken aside one day and explained the importance of respecting authority. It’s still learned behavior, but it’s not taught to us outright.
One of the lessons taught to me in the worldview I was raised from is the synergy of all things. And so, in my perspective on the world, a mathematical equation has a relationship to the way I write a sentence. Arithmetic and literature are not divorced in my mind.
And the first thing I look for in my work, as a result, is relationships. Specifically in how several people, items, organizations, departments, tactics, can work in synergy, to create greater results than they possibly could alone.
One of my favorite ways is having one action serve several purposes. Which brings us to the heart of this discussion, synergy.
If you can improve the results you get from doing a single thing, you have increased the profitability of that action without any extra work involved.
Of course, I take this to the nth degree, but you don’t have to, in order to get better results from your marketing. But if you’re so inclined to have massive success with this, back up with me for a second and do the following exercise.
- Set up a way to track your results, fime, actions and costs for web marketing for a month, as nearly as you can.
- Figure out what the average profit per action is, as well as an average time it takes to complete that action – even if you aren’t the one to take it.
- Out of your most profitable marketing actions, identify the top 25 marketing actions you take that with 0 – 25% of extra time, could serve more than one purpose.
- Spend the next 30 days implementing those actions with the extra step, then measure your profits.
About once a quarter, I go so far as to figure out how much time it’s costing me to do something as simple as like comment on a blog post. Then I see how much tweaking the way I do blog commenting can enhance my results.
For example, I used to manually fill out my name, email and comment each time. Now I can fill the form automatically, and use voice to text to make the comment. My comments are more in-depth, once edited, but produced faster. So I can make about 80% more comments.
Which increases many of the benefits I see from commenting, including forming relationships with peers, thought leadership through agreement or debate, or even something that’s mostly an afterthought, such as how many raw links will be pointing back to my site.
It goes further than that. You will also start to see everything you do in terms of the dollars it costs you to do a certain thing — or to not do it. There was a time where not updating my blog for a year cost me nothing, and didn’t reduce my profits. There’s a long story behind that, but the point is, testing this is what made it possible for me to take some much-needed time to change my focus, because of the way I built my blog.
I also took a break from Facebook during that time. And it was in this break that I discovered that my presence the year before brought me $45k from a single client the year before. It was over six months before I could see the impact of completely dropping out of Facebook had on my business – of course this is particular to MY business and the way I use Facebook.
The intent here isn’t to say Facebook is for everyone, just to think about how you know something is, or is not working, before you switch any part of your marketing on or off.
And the overall point is that all of our web marketing activities are often related, and this is as it should be. Your email newsletter and how frequently you release it, has a relationship to your blog posts. Your blogging style and pattern has a relationship to your search ranking. Your rankings have a relationship to your links, and where your links come from are tied to the rate of success you have in gaining a new subscriber.
When we isolate these items, and look at them as separate entities, it can lead us astray.
Great search positioning is effectively useless on a site with faulty lead capture.
Your best blog can’t help you if no one ever sees it.
A better social media presence isn’t very helpful if everyone hates your company.
The best media mentions won’t move the sales needle if your site can’t process orders.
We keep seeing all these studies where someone looked at email marketing, or social media, or media relations or press releases or blogging and made a finding, usually a finding that this one thing on its own is ineffective.
In a virtual lab where conditions are set up in ways which don’t exist in every reality, these reports tell us things like
- social media doesn’t impact sales
- search engine optimization is dead because of personalization
- article marketing doesn’t work
- if you’re not blogging daily, you’re wasting your time
- podcasting takes more time than it’s worth
… and all kinds of other discoveries that may discourage us from using one type of web marketing or encourage us to use another. In some of these cases, it may be true for someone.
The question is whether that’s going to be true for you, in your situation, and under what circumstances. I used to take every one of these case studies and their resulting proclamations seriously. Each time that meant testing on my own.
Usually testing would result in “that’s only true IF”.- such as:
- social media doesn’t impact sales IF you execute poorly
- search engine optimization is dead because of personalization IF you don’t take extra measures to counteract it
- article marketing doesn’t work IF you try to implement it as if we’re still living in 2005
- if you’re not blogging daily, you’re wasting your time IF you are in a niche that requires daily updates to compete
- podcasting takes more time than it’s worth IF you’re spending your time on the wrong things.
That’s not to say to ignore the studies, whitepapers, reports and proclamations. Just don’t act rashly based on them.
In the meantime, try the exercise above, even if it’s for a week. Think about what the basic metrics are in your company that you want to rise, and think about whether you have a way to reach a wider audience using what you already have.
Could you take a piece of content that’s already created and rework it, instead of starting anew?
Can you take the videos that are already on your YouTube channel and create a podcast?
Or do you have slide decks that convert browsers to buyers sitting on only one slide sharing site? Why aren’t they on your site? Why not turn them into short videos too? Could you transcribe the video and submit a version as a guest blog post?
Where in your marketing could one extra step mean a wider web presence?
Image credit: Hartwig HKD