Synergy provides a viable marketing strategy for small businesses

It might be an overused industry buzzword, but synergy is an important term for small business marketers to learn. In essence, the word simply means that different parts of a whole are working together toward a common goal. It might seem like common sense to make all parts of a company move in a single direction, but in practice, it can be somewhat more difficult.

When creating a synergistic small business marketing strategy, the most useful idea to keep in mind is that all forms of advertising, including promotional product marketing, social networking, search engine optimization efforts and print media, ought to never function in a way that harms the effectiveness of one another. Consider the following actions that can cause one element of a campaign to trample the success of another.

Print advertising vs. social networking

Part of the success of social media marketing is that it provides an opportunity for businesses to connect on a more personal level with customers. The effectiveness of social media efforts are based upon consumers feeling as if they have a unique connection to a company that others do not. When more traditional types of advertising appear to appeal to everyone who will listen, it can cheapen the "social" relationship that people and companies share. Print advertising should include information that specifically reinforces that relationship, such as allusions or inside jokes that reference information from a private Facebook communication. In turn, it should encourage more customers to sign up so they can also "get the joke."

Search engines vs. promotional products

Promotional products are useful for raising awareness of a certain company or organization. Logo USB drives, personalized calendars or promotional pens remind consumers about a product, service or business that they can then research on the internet. However, if search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are only focused on keywords associated with a product or service, they de-emphasize the company's name. SEO campaigns that work in tandem with promotional products should only emphasize the company name or keywords that the products use.

Blogging vs. social media

Much like in the case of print advertising, blogging shouldn't step all over the connections that have been forged by social networking. Since they spend more time on the internet as a rule, customers that are active in participating with a company's Twitter feed or Tumblr account will be the primary readers of a business' blog. Therefore, writers need to be sure that they include some rewards on their blogs for these consumers. A blog written for a general audience can be helpful, but not at the expense of a customer core.  

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