What separates the most successful online companies from the also-rans?
Well, obviously they’ll probably sell more products and be capable of attracting the widest possible audience, but it would appear that the key to the success of any internet marketing business is integration. A new study by research agency Ascend2 claims that not only do the most successful companies hit on the winning combination of search, social and mobile and rely heavily on creating original web content, but they also manage to integrate their social media efforts into their SEO strategy. That makes all the difference in the opinion of Ascend2. Those companies who fail to follow such a strategy [50% if Ascend2’s figures are correct] are effectively competing with one hand ties behind their backs.
In its SEO Strategy Outlook Report, Ascend2 surveyed 600 businesses and marketing professionals across a number of different sectors.
Ascend2 found that the companies with superior strategies relied upon extensive integration of social media marketing. Of the other 50% of businesses with inferior strategies, 18% claimed to have limited integration whilst 24% failed to sync their social media marketing and content promotion efforts at all. Why is this important you may wonder? Well, the study found that those marketers with stronger integrated campaigns were five times more likely to convert qualified leads from SEO traffic.
However, it isn’t just integration that gives some companies the winning edge: it’s also producing good quality and informative content.
Because of the current economic predicament many companies are understandably cutting costs. One of the biggest casualties of these changes is content production. However, whilst these reductions may produce an immediate positive short-term benefit on the balance sheet, they can also have a detrimental effect on a business’ fortunes in the longer-tem. A recent report by Brafton found that 95% of the businesses it surveyed were adopting such cost-reduction management strategies; unfortunately they were not aware that they were inadvertently putting their longer-term future at risk.
Ascend2 found that 48% of the businesses it surveyed claimed that budget limitations and a reduction in marketing staff numbers were interfering with their potential online success. Because of these financial pressures, many brands were outsourcing their content marketing. Unfortunately, this strategy has backfired, because the lack of high quality original content has led to a reduction in the numbers of online visitors and a subsequent dropping off of sales.