Focusing on just one area limits your ability to create synergy between these three channels.
One of the things I am always talking about is the blurring of the lines between social media, search marketing, and online media. The days of specializing in just one area are going away because focus in one area limits your ability to create synergy between those three channels (as well as everything else that may be part of your marketing and advertising).
For example, a social media marketing program can yield much better and long-lasting success if it's blended with SEO and some paid ads.
Often the success of social is realized via search when all the content that a company pushes out propagates through the web from social sharing and general buzz. So without SEO being applied to social SEO, you lose the extra benefit of highly distributed content that results in off-page optimization (your content showing up on other sites). You can also lose the benefits of more links, more listings, and your branded content showing up in universal search results.
In addition, if you are not used to tracking and optimizing on campaigns, like online media and paid search, your ability to treat social media like a truly measurable medium is greatly diminished. And nothing adds octane to a Facebook fan drive like online media integration and specifically Facebook ads that encourage consumers (friends of your fans) to connect to your brand. And then sponsored stories can keep your fans engaged even when Facebook's EdgeRank starts to filter your posts. (EdgeRank is Facebook's filter that determines what posts shows up in a person's newsfeed. The more a person engages with your brand with "likes" and comments, the more they, and their friends who may also be your fans, will see your status updates.)
Finally, utilizing social sharing technology (chiclets - see my ClickZ column "Socializing Your Banners With Chiclets") in your ads and landing pages for media and paid search can turn a single paid click into hundreds of free impressions and clicks with no cost.
Now, take away the combined knowledge of how all three of these disciplines work and the potential of each one is greatly reduced.
So here are some quick examples of how these online channels are coming together to blur the lines between disciplines:
Of course, there are so many more media integration ideas and possibilities out there - many more than I could possibly list. However, the point of this week's column is to inspire you to think about all the ways you can blend what has been traditional separate silos together. Also, as an online marketer, I am just listing online opportunities - this column has not even begun to explore integration with mobile and traditional advertising. Got more ideas? Please leave them in your comments and don't forget to share this column via those sharing chiclets above!
This column has been updated from the original column published on March 30, 2010.
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