As a startup entrepreneur, one of your biggest priorities is going to be growing the business as quickly as possible. That means reaching new audiences, maximizing client retention, expanding your physical presence, and of course, onboarding new customers regularly. 

Oftentimes, the vehicle for this growth and expansion is marketing. But to be successful in the modern marketing environment, it’s not enough to practice a single, generic “marketing strategy.” Instead, you need to rely on a number of different marketing tactics simultaneously – and ensure they have synergy together. 

What Is Marketing Synergy? 

“Synergy” can be a buzzword due to how commonly it’s used and how vague it can be. But in marketing, true synergy can be powerful. The basic idea of synergy is a mutually beneficial, enhancing effect between two or more units within a cooperative system. The total benefits to the system outweigh the sum of the benefits of each individual component. 

In other words, if strategy A has a net value of 5 and strategy B has a net value of 6, using them together should have a net value of 11. But if strategies A and B are synergistic, they may have a value of 13 or higher, exceeding what they could accomplish by themselves. 

Marketing synergy is typically achieved when two or more strategies overlap in some dynamic way. We’ll take a look at some of the most interesting marketing synergies available in the next section. 

The Blueprint for the Modern Digital Marketing World

Content marketing is often the lynchpin of a synergistic marketing strategy, due to how flexible and versatile it is – and how valuable it can be for your other strategies. 

Let’s take a look: 

  • Content marketing. In case you aren’t familiar, content marketing refers to the creation, distribution, and utility of content to advance an organization’s goals (which usually come down to increasing visibility, improving brand reputation, and getting more sales). Content can come in many forms, including written content (like articles, whitepapers, and eBooks), audio content (like podcasts and interviews), and visual content (like YouTube videos). If you write as an authority and provide original insights, your brand will lend educational value to its audience. This can, ultimately, boost your reputation and increase traffic to your site. Notably, content is also a useful ingredient in other marketing strategies – and other marketing strategies can lead people to your content, in turn – resulting in synergy. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Content marketing is perhaps most synergistic with search engine optimization (SEO), the process of increasing your website’s likelihood of ranking in search engines. In addition to building backlinks, you’ll need to write a ton of content for your website to have a chance of ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs) – so if you want to practice SEO, you’ll have to practice content marketing by default. Additionally, as you rise in rankings and attract more traffic to your website, your onsite content will get more attention. 
  • Email marketing. It’s also clear how well content and email marketing play off each other. With a solid email list, you can use email as the primary channel for the distribution of your best content. You can highlight your top posts in an email newsletter or develop exclusive content for your email subscribers. You can use your blog to generate interest for your email newsletter and use your email newsletter to keep people interested in your blog. Because of this, email marketing and SEO also support each other synergistically; rising in SEO rankings should increase your email newsletter subscribers. More subscribers will increase traffic to your site and (if the conditions are right) boost your rankings further. 
  • Social media marketing. Social media is one of the best outlets for distributing content because of its sheer potential reach. If a piece of content you develop happens to go viral, you could end up reaching millions of people around the world. The synergies between social media and content marketing are so tight that you can almost think of social media marketing as a mere extension of your content marketing strategy; after all, you’ll be developing unique social content in the form of posts and comments on a regular basis. 
  • Pay per click advertising (PPC). Even pay per click (PPC) advertising has a synergistic relationship with content marketing. You can use PPC ads to stimulate new interest in your content, especially in the beginning of your development, when you won’t have much of a standing reputation. When content builds your reputation to be more positive and more prominent, your branded PPC ads will hit your audience harder. 

Planning a Synergistic Strategy

Some of these synergies are natural, benefitting your brand without requiring much intention or heavy lifting on your end. However, if you want to see the best possible results, you’ll need to follow these tips to make your marketing synergy more effective.

  • Outline your main goals. Generic marketing goals are typically the same for every business: get seen, get liked, and get new sales. But if you want your synergistic marketing efforts to be more effective, you’ll need to start with an outline of your main priorities. For example, is it more important to build a solid reputation or increase traffic as much as possible? 
  • Hire experts. Many content marketing-related strategies are relatively accessible. You don’t need much experience, knowledge, or even money to get started. However, if you want to get more out of your strategy, you’ll need to hire some experts. Build an internal team of seasoned veterans or work with a professional agency to get better results. 
  • Diversify your investments. If you know anything about investing, you know the importance of diversifying your portfolio. Investing in a wide variety of different assets will minimize the risk you face and stabilize your long-term earnings; in marketing, the same principle applies. It’s important to diversify your marketing portfolio by investing a bit in a variety of different marketing tactics and approaches; you can always cut the budget to tactics that don’t pan out. 
  • Know the difference between short-term and long-term strategies. Some of the strategies in this synergistic network will only show their true results over the long term (like SEO), while others pack an early punch (like PPC ads). You’ll need to balance your mix of strategies to cater to your business growth timing; early on, you can focus on short-term tactics while letting your long-term strategies simmer in the background. 
  • Start from the center and work your way out. The center of most digital marketing strategies is your website; this is where people will learn about your brand, become familiar with your products, and ideally, buy something. Accordingly, you’ll need to practice solid conversion optimization on your website first, then expand outward with marketing and advertising hooks.
  • Keep everything evergreen. As much as possible, keep your strategy “evergreen.” It’s better to write content that has the potential to be valuable for years than posts that will quickly become obsolete. 
  • Invest in valuable (permanent) assets. Many of the assets in your content marketing “portfolio” will be permanent, so it’s important to invest in valuable ones. Too many content marketers prioritize quantity over quality, when even a single valuable post can often be more useful than a dozen low-quality pieces. 
  • AB test everything. AB testing is your best friend. It’s one of the simplest forms of experimentation, which you can use to determine which of your approaches or tactics is most useful. Use it often to filter out the strategies that aren’t working. 
  • Measure, analyze, and rebalance. High-level, you need to measure and analyze everything, from day one. As you learn more and gain more experience, you’ll want to gradually rebalance your content marketing portfolio and existing synergies. 

The right marketing synergies, revolving around content marketing, can help you get better results from your marketing and advertising campaign and allow you to expend fewer resources when doing it. If you want to grow your startup as quickly and efficiently as possible, make use of multiple discrete tactics that happen to work well together. 

Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO & Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting company that provides strategic advisory services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing and software development. For over a decade Nate had provided strategic guidance on M&A, capital procurement, technology and marketing solutions for some of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB clients alike. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.