As a web designer and internet marketing professional, I have always searched for ways to better understand and explain my industry as it constantly grows and changes. With so many terms, technologies and tactics to keep track of, I had always looked for simpler, better ways to depict the core principals, the many opportunities and show how they all fit together in a way that was digestible to my clients.
I find the tree provides a perfect metaphor because it not only provides the room to show all the components and possibilities, but it demonstrates the priority and order I feel is crucial to internet marketing done right.
First, planting strong, deep roots in the form of research, strategy, branding and content. It is tempting to jump ahead to the design and development phases of projects, but like a tree that has a weak root structure, your marketing will not stand without a solid foundation to support it.
The roots support a sturdy trunk made up of good web design and development. Just as a tree grows bigger and thicker over time, your website and web presence should be set up to do the same. The trunk is the core of the tree, just like a good website should be the core your company’s marketing.
The branches of the tree are a perfect symbol for the tremendous range of opportunities that exist for you to promote and advertise yourself. From Search Engine Marketing to Social Media Marketing, from Email to Online PR, etc., there is an ever growing number of categories and subcategories of promotional channels to exploit. But the important thing to understand is how they should grow out of a common strategy and how they should feed back into your marketing core, namely your website.
A tree thrives by drawing in rain and sunshine, growing bigger and bigger to take up more space, expanding upward and outward to block out competing vegetation and ensuring its long life. You have the choice – are you going to plant a mighty oak or settle for a struggling bush?