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Few digital marketing strategies will net immediate results, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea of investing in them. While instant gratification may be desirable in some areas, it’s not something you’re likely to achieve with marketing. Here’s why marketing is a long game, meaning your business should invest effort and time in solutions with a longer-term payoff. 

The Short Game vs. the Long Game in Marketing

If you’ve just started a business or have decided it’s time to focus on marketing, you probably want results as quickly as possible. That’s understandable. However, there’s truly only one short game in marketing, and it can be costly — paid ads. 

The only way to get instant online visibility for a business is to buy ads on Google and Social Media. It’s not the worst strategy and can be effective in supporting things like new product launches or events. However, paying for ads with this density for a long period can become costly and is likely not sustainable, particularly in competitive industries. This will only be effective as long as you can afford to continue these ads. If you stop investing in them, you have nothing sustainable built up to fall back on or allow you to see results long-term. 

The long game in marketing is everything else. It’s creating an engaging and attractive website, producing interesting content, building strong and relevant links, soliciting online feedback, more strategic paid ads, and participating in social media marketing. That’s certainly not something you can accomplish overnight!

Why Marketing is a Long Game

The long game will always be more successful than the short game. Why? It comes down to trust. Most consumers today are skeptical of brands and their advertising. In one study commissioned by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, just 4% of consumers believe advertisers have integrity. Yikes. 

Marketing is a long game because it gives you time to establish trust with your target audience and the credibility of your brand name. When a consumer goes through the “buyer’s journey,” it’s usually a process in which they become aware of different brands and investigate which solutions can solve their problems. 

The effort your business puts into things like search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing can help your brand create awareness and build connections with people who are looking for the solutions you provide. For example, potential customers might read your blog posts or watch your social media videos when researching their options. 

Getting a top search engine position doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months to years of implementing a dedicated strategy to produce the desired results. And once you get the results you need, it becomes a matter of maintaining them. 

The long game might sound exhausting and costly, but the results are worth it. Typically, businesses achieve an extremely positive return on their marketing investment. This means that, for every dollar you spend on digital marketing, you’ll earn much more in additional revenue. 

Bottom Line

While marketing is a long game, you’ll never achieve the success you want if you don’t start somewhere and sustain your strategy. At VisionPath, our goal is to create a long-term partnership with your business that gets you found and chosen by your target audience. Our team of seasoned digital marketing specialists will work closely with you to identify the right strategy to achieve your goals. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more.