Digital Fields Splintered, Efforts Should Be Singular

April  24,  2014 / By Dan Gadd

Much has been made of the fragmented world of digital media. Between websites, SEO efforts, SEM and a litany of other paid options, e-newsletters, content production and a host of social platforms, the business of digital media can seem very daunting and splintered.

For years, the answer has been teams of specialists to handle each area. People or agencies that specialize in getting the best out of each discipline. Development teams build the sites, media agencies handle the paid efforts, creative agencies often are put in charge of content and PR agencies or community managers frequently handle social. With the brand overseeing these specialty groups, they would all be given their objectives and carry out the work. Makes sense right?

Here’s why that doesn’t work, or at least not as well as it should: These practices all work best when they are part of a singular effort. These elements don’t work best in isolation.

Website traffic is dependent on SEO, which is dependent on content and how the site is constructed. SEM effectiveness is directly impacted by how well content on site matches what is advertised. Paid targeting is useless if the content isn’t relevant to the audience it is delivered to. As entrepreneur.com astutely pointed out, digital elements work synergistically.

More importantly than just having all of these elements working together, it is worth taking a look at how crucial content is each of the other areas. The development team can’t build the site efficiently if they don’t know the format of the content that will published, or how much of it there will be. SEO specialists are useless if they don’t know what the content objectives are, or have a voice with the development team. SEM efforts will be dinged by the search giants if they are not clearly related to the content on the site they are driving people to. Paid social efforts are only truly effective when the targeting is shaped by the content creators who know which audiences would find it most relevant.

These different groups should all be part of the same team. They should be in the same meetings. They should be eating lunch together. They should be going to movies together, and taking vacations together. Well, the last one is a stretch, but they should be working hand-in-hand with each other, not in grouped silos that get together once a month for conference calls.

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