“Warp and Woof? What’s this guy talking about?”
In weaving, warp is the term for the thread that runs vertical, while the woof refers to the thread that runs horizontal. This combination of the warp and woof is the underlying structure of a cloth or fabric.
Without either the warp or woof, the cloth can’t be weaved and this, of course, results in nothing except a non-functional bundle of thread.
What in the world does warp and woof have to do with marketing? Let’s approach this from two angles…
Marketing is Only One “Thread” of a Successful Business
It’s no secret marketing is a loved topic at Strategexe — it pays the bills around here. At the same time, we’re sensible enough to realize marketing, while incredibly important as a functional business area, isn’t a silver bullet or a universal fix.
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- Marketing can’t fix a poor business model any more than a great business model can fix poor marketing.
- Marketing can bring in all the leads in the world, but you must have the manpower and resources to effectively manage and nurture those leads.
Your business has a number of “threads” that run in various directions and they all ultimately combine to form one piece of fabric. Without clear goals and strategy, your business can’t function optimally. Without your suppliers, employees, managers, accountants, and so on, your business can’t function optimally.
So, while marketing is a big thread, it is far from the only one and it can’t make up for other missing threads.
Digital Marketing is a Huge Blanket
How useful is a tiny piece of cloth when you’re freezing? Not very, to say the least.
Still, there’s a fairly common misunderstanding that digital marketing equates to “doing social media” or “writing a blog.” These are only small pieces of the large blanket that is digital marketing, however.
If you only have a few small pieces of cloth (as opposed to an entire blanket), you’re not going to stay very warm. Likewise, if you only have a few small pieces of digital marketing in place, the return on your investment is going to be low.
The growing interest in digital marketing among businesses is phenomenal, but it seems many businesses are stopping short of fully understanding how the multiple “threads” of digital marketing weave together to form one huge blanket.
What does digital marketing encompass, then? What are businesses missing when they approach this relatively new marketing channel?
The important key to understanding digital marketing is to take an inside-out perspective.
Your website and blog are the central hubs of all your online marketing. That immediately brings in the necessity of great web design, dependable web hosting and security, maintenance, and much more.
Your company’s blog is crucial, as well, because the unique content you produce via your blog is a primary driver of traffic and lead generation. With the continuing trend of search engines favoring those sites that produce fresh, unique, and shareable content, your content marketing needs to be top-notch.
Even with amazing content, the notion “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply online. The traffic and leads aren’t going to just fall in your lap. You have to promote your content, build relationships, and network your fingers to the bone. How do you accomplish this? Enter social media.
Unfortunately, social media marketing isn’t as simple as throwing a Facebook update or tweet out there every now and then. You need a solid understanding of how each social network functions, how the etiquette differs on each, which networks you’re most likely to reach your target market on, and how to optimize your presence to get the results you desire.
When you get the social media part down, traffic to your content and website is going to skyrocket. What happens then? Well, either people stick around or they toss your company to the side. Do you have the appropriate landing pages and calls-to-action in place? Are there clear, meaningful value propositions that would encourage visitors to act on your calls-to-action? Do you have email list signup forms and automated lead nurturing campaigns attached to those lists?
Lastly, you have to monitor and measure all these individual aspects of digital marketing to understand where you’ve been and where you’re going. Otherwise, you’re doing little more than throwing darts with your eyes closed and hoping you hit a bullseye.
This Calls for a Recap
To recap, here are the key “threads” of digital marketing:
- An outstanding, professional web design with dependable hosting and ongoing maintenance.
- An equally well-designed blog producing unique, shareable content.
- A solid social media marketing strategy that focuses heavily on your target market.
- A website optimized to handle potential leads using strong, value-driven calls-to-action and lead nurturing via email marketing.
- Monitoring of the analytics behind all your efforts, to ensure your goals are met.
All of this requires a ton of energy, time, manpower, and resources to do correctly. Unfortunately, it’s often far too much to handle for most small businesses, so they ignore key pieces.
The facts of the matter are you can’t capture leads if your website isn’t optimized to capture leads, you can’t get the top spot on Google (in most cases) without producing great content, you can’t maximize traffic to your content without a solid social media strategy, and you can’t move toward your goals of digital marketing if you don’t measure your efforts.
Nothing is independent or isolated. Much like the warp and woof forming a cloth, these “threads” of digital marketing are woven to form a single blanket contributing to the success of your business.