Does Your Digital Marketing Provide Increasing Returns?

Smart digital marketing is setup in a way to provide steadily increasing returns bit by bit over time.  These gains are difficult to see over shorter periods, but over longer stretches they should become apparent.

Take great care that your digital marketing strategy is one which encourages increasing returns.  When you’re doing things right, your blog, network, content, search traffic and interactions will incrementally add value to your brand and feed into your success.

It may be hard to see this in the beginning, but your efforts actually get easier and become more successful over time provided you create the proper conditions to encourage this organic growth.  Following are several areas specifically where this is true:

Subscribers should lead to more subscribers

Whether you are building email subscribers to a newsletter or RSS subscribers to a blog, if you’re doing things correctly your subscription numbers should be growing naturally as a by-product of publishing content.  If people subscribe and you continue to deliver value, in time they will share it with their peers who also may subscribe, and the cycle repeats.  This explains why it’s actually easier to go from 100 to 1,000 subscribers than it is to go from 0 to 100 subscribers.

This won’t happen if…

If you are getting people to sign up through push means, they will have less affinity to share your content than those who opt-in through pull means.  Don’t expect purchased subscriber lists to grow themselves, just the opposite they may not stick around because they are not a naturally built network.  For this to be effective, subscribers need to be genuinely interested and passionate about the content presented.  Also, if your subscriber base is made up of people like social media power users and well-connected individuals this will be even more effective.

More content should lead to more search engine traffic

Many businesses make the mistake of not scaling their web content over time to cover the spread of the long tail and gain organic search traffic.  In fact, some companies and even media entities go as far as to remove content from their sites over time.  Companies that do this not only become less likely to attract links, but they also put themselves at a disadvantage to other companies who are publishing to the web on a frequent basis.

This won’t happen if…

If your content isn’t also attracting links over time along with the addition of it, the results won’t be nearly as pronounced.  Your site needs to not just grow in size, but authority.  Content + natural growth of links = solid formula for search traffic success (there’s more to it than this of course, but for the sake of simplicity in this post let’s leave it at that).  Also this won’t happen if your content isn’t unique, useful and updated.

Greater share of voice should lead to more organic PR

There’s the old steadfast of web popularity:  that popular brands, people and products just get more popular and  increasing returns happen for those who break the intangible threshold for their niche.  It’s why persistence rules.

This won’t happen if…

If you only engage the web in things like advertising to capture digital share of voice, you’re not permeating the network in a way that leads to increasing returns.

Frequent shares of your content in social news/bookmarking should encourage even more sharing over time

This is true for two reasons:

  1. Users take notice of content and sites that frequently go hot – and will want to be the one sharing that content next.  For proof, look no further than the race of people to be the first to share things like the latest XKCD comic every week on sites like Digg.
  2. Greater exposure in social bookmarking and news sites simply introduces you to more people in those sites who also share content.  It’s a virtuous cycle.

This won’t happen if…

You could have amazing content, but if it has obtrusive ads, pop-ups or other annoyances you could short circuit this process in its tracks.

Quick conclusion

Good digital marketing isn’t about a big launch or inconsistent participation, it is a gradual process, which with continued focus over time will provide increasing returns.  In other words:  all of your previous efforts should help future efforts be even more successful.

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