Don’t Market in Silos
(Even if You’re a Farmer!)

You know what’s frustrating for employees at virtually any company? 

Okay, you can probably think of several things that frustrate employees, but here’s one that might not have crossed your mind: 

Working in a silo. 

Unless you’re a farmer, we don’t mean this literally! 

What we do mean is the experience that other departments or individuals at your office do not share information or knowledge.  

Especially when that information or knowledge could make your job easier. 

If you rely on others to complete your work tasks and assignments, you need healthy lines of communication, right?  

Even if you’re the most introverted person in the world, you still might need to *gasp* actually interact with others. 

At least, you do if you’re part of a team and committed to its success.

You know what’s frustrating for employees at virtually any company?

Okay, you can probably think of several things that frustrate employees, but here’s one that might not have crossed your mind: 

Working in a silo. 

Unless you’re a farmer, we don’t mean this literally! 

What we do mean is the experience that other departments or individuals at your office do not share information or knowledge.  

Especially when that information or knowledge could make your job easier. 

If you rely on others to complete your work tasks and assignments, you need healthy lines of communication, right?  

Even if you’re the most introverted person in the world, you still might need to *gasp* actually interact with others. 

At least, you do if you’re part of a team and committed to its success.

Alright, so what does this have to do with marketing?

Once upon a time, your marketing efforts could be silos, and you could get away with it. 

Well, once upon a time, you could also get away with a gallon of gas for a nickel. 

Times change, folks! 

Perhaps the one constant in human existence has been change, but it’s almost as though we’ve decided to place a brick on the gas pedal.  

And that metaphorical brick is the internet. 

If you think about it, the internet really isn’t all that old, and especially in relation to how integral it has become in our modern lives.  

Really, we’ve reached a point where we don’t even notice it:

Need to fill up your tank?

You probably pay at the pump using a credit or debit card. The information necessary for completing the transaction is, as you might guess, sent over the internet.

Not sure how to get to your brother’s new house?

 Just use your phone, pull up Google maps, and it will tell you when to make turns.

Need to find a mechanic to repair the broken axel from that “shortcut” you decided to take?

Do a quick online search and you’ll find one in seconds.

(See, that’s why you should listen to the Google when it gives you driving directions!) 

Just like everyone else, you use the internet in so many ways that we could sit here and provide hypothetical situations all day long. 

But our boss insists this blog post isn’t “just some list of ways people use the internet” because “everyone already knows that” and we should “provide actual value to the reader.” 

Fine.

The internet is multifaceted and connects all of us—and these are important to keep in mind when considering how you market your business.

Sure, you absolutely, 100% NEED a website now. After all, this is the online face of your business. 

And that “online” word is important. 

When finding new businesses or services, people use internet search engines to look for them, which is a practice so common it has taken a proper noun (Google) and turned it into a verb! 

Now let’s say someone does a search and clicks on the link for your website, what do you hope their experience will be? 

Obviously, you want it to be positive. But what does that actually mean? 

In this case, it means that the site visitor is presented with a website that is both visually appealing and easy to use. 

For this reason, website development and graphic design cannot exist in silos.  

Our web development team works to make sure your site works well. It needs to have a clean look, and visitors should be able to quickly answer these questions:

  • Where am I? 
  • What can I do here?  
  • Why should I do it?

So why does graphic design matter? After all, you could achieve this objective with the most boring-looking website in the world. 

Here’s the thing, though: 

If your site isn’t interesting and doesn’t have strong visual appeal, people won’t stay long enough to even have a chance at answering those questions. 

That’s where graphic design enters the picture, but it doesn’t do so alone.

The internet is multifaceted and connects all of us—and these are important to keep in mind when considering how you market your business.

Sure, you absolutely, 100% NEED a website now. After all, this is the online face of your business. 

And that “online” word is important. 

When finding new businesses or services, people use internet search engines to look for them, which is a practice so common it has taken a proper noun (Google) and turned it into a verb! 

Now let’s say someone does a search and clicks on the link for your website, what do you hope their experience will be? 

Obviously, you want it to be positive. But what does that actually mean? 

In this case, it means that the site visitor is presented with a website that is both visually appealing and easy to use. 

For this reason, website development and graphic design cannot exist in silos.  

Our web development team works to make sure your site works well. It needs to have a clean look, and visitors should be able to quickly answer these questions:

  • Where am I? 
  • What can I do here?  
  • Why should I do it?

So why does graphic design matter? After all, you could achieve this objective with the most boring-looking website in the world. 

Here’s the thing, though: 

If your site isn’t interesting and doesn’t have strong visual appeal, people won’t stay long enough to even have a chance at answering those questions. 

That’s where graphic design enters the picture, but it doesn’t do so alone.

Yes, they say “a picture’s worth a thousand words”—and there’s certainly a degree of merit to that—but you need more than pictures if you want to sell products or services.

You also need captivating content. 

In this context, we’re speaking of content as being both the words and videos on your site’s pages and blog posts. The ones that play an essential role in helping to convert a site visitor to a paying customer. 

Once again, we’re at a situation where “silo mentality” just won’t cut it! 

Those marketing elements are most effective when used in conjunction with graphic design and, to a lesser extent, your actual website layout. 

A quick recap before we move along: 

Your web design team, graphic artists, videographers, and copywriters all need to be on the same page—which means they cannot work in silos. 

(At least, they can’t if you want your marketing to, you know, actually work.)

There are other components of modern marketing that also need to work and integrate with the previous ones.

For example, the professionals who boost your site’s SEO need to share what they find from conducting website analytics with the creatives who produce graphics and content. 

Why is that?  

Because the feedback allows creative professionals to adjust their current practices in ways that will lead to even better site performance. 

So, if the analytics team sees that people are searching for “how to fix a broken axel” (it’s a callback!), you might want your writers to work the term into content—with a couple of caveats: 

The phrase needs to be incorporated naturally.

The goal of modern content is to make things as conversational as possible. Sites featuring content that feels like a normal conversation rank more highly. 

The phrase cannot be repeated multiple times.

This refers to a practice that worked in the earlier days of the internet—keyword stuffing. Not only does this practice no longer work, a website can be penalized for trying to do it! 

Variations of the phrase can (and should) be used.

Whereas straight up using “how to fix a broken axel” repeatedly is bad, incorporating related phrases like “repairing a broken axel” or “what to do if you break a car axel” is good current practice.

If you want your marketing to be effective, the SEO team cannot reside in a silo and keep valuable information away from the other departments. 

Let’s switch gears just a little.

Instead of departmental silos, it’s time to discuss a couple of marketing elements that absolutely should not be viewed solely as separate entities:

  • Online Ads 
  • Email Marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing

People often ask us “do online ads really work?” 

You bet they do! 

In fact, the ROI from a strategic online ad campaign can easily reach hundreds of percentage points. 

Why are they so effective? 

Easy—they’re reaching the right people. 

See, when you create an online ad campaign, you choose specific keywords that are relevant to your industry. This already puts your ad right in front of people who are showing explicit interest in the products or services you provide. 

But it gets even better: 

You can also control certain demographic elements. 

This is important because you don’t want your Grand Rapids boat repair business being advertised to someone in, let’s say, Montana who is searching “how to fix a boat engine.” After all, the odds are significantly less likely that person would become a customer than a Kent County resident. 

Online ads are important in marketing.  

For optimal effectiveness, though, they need to direct the potential customer to a page that is well-written, looks great, and entices them to either make a purchase or at least continue through the sales funnel.

In the same spirit, your social media and email marketing efforts should be used to promote new content on your website.

Since your social media posts, emails, and web content work in concert, it’s important that the people responsible for creating and implementing them work together as well. 

Modern marketing can be a bit complicated.  

There are many moving parts, and those parts must be moving together. Otherwise, it’s like having an engine where pistons are misfiring and your car doesn’t go anywhere.  

(At which point you contact the auto repair shop that ranks best when you search online!) 

If you want people to find your business online, you need a comprehensive, integrative marketing strategy. 

You can certainly attempt to create such a strategy on your own, but you might want to keep in mind that it can take a lot of time and effort—and especially if you must research best current practices. 

You can also look around and find marketing agencies to handle it for you. In doing so, you’ll see that some will help with your website—but not social media marketing—while others are great for creative endeavors—but don’t have technical analytical skills to back them up. 

The good news is that you have a third option:

You can hire a marketing agency that provides comprehensive, proven services and strategies for the singular goal of helping your business grow. 

We are that agency and we’d love the opportunity to learn about your company. Together, we can discuss your business challenges and potential solutions.  

If you’re ready to take the next step in marketing, simply give us a call at (833) 622-0907.

The good news is that you have a third option:

You can hire a marketing agency that provides comprehensive, proven services and strategies for the singular goal of helping your business grow. 

We are that agency and we’d love the opportunity to learn about your company. Together, we can discuss your business challenges and potential solutions.  

If you’re ready to take the next step in marketing, simply give us a call at (833) 622-0907.

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