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Digital Marketing Strategies: Short-Term vs. Long-Term

Posted on February 20, 2019 | The Diamond Group

In every type of business, strategic marketing is essential for business growth. Whether you're a dental practice or a construction company, you should be investing time and energy into creating a marketing strategy that speaks to your potential customers, and brings them to your business.

One of the main struggles our clients face is the difference between long and short-term marketing strategy. Both are part of an overall marketing strategy, and both are important to your business, but there are definite differences between the two.


What is a Short-Term Marketing Strategy?

Short-term marketing strategy is what typically comes to mind when you think of ways to get the 'quick-wins' for your business. This strategy encompasses the efforts to accomplish 'short-term' goals on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Short-term marketing strategy is a tactical approach to meet goals that are just on the horizon. 

Your short-term business goals build into your long-term marketing strategy, and help you accomplish those big picture, long-term marketing goals in the long run.

An example of this could be that you host an in-store event for your prospects and customers. While the short-term goal of this event is to start a conversation with your business (and perhaps a sale or two..), you could also use the event to deepen customer relationships at the event. You could then use the deepened relationship to nurture these leads over time to meet a long-term goal, like an increase in yearly sales.

When Is a Short-Term Marketing Strategy Appropriate?

  • PPC/AdWords - Successful PPC campaigns will drive targeted traffic in the short term to your website's landing pages. These are generally highly qualified leads in an advanced stage of the buyers journey. They might not be ready to buy today, but they are close.
  • Events - Trade shows, customer appreciation, and other types of events need a short-term strategy that can help you easily execute the event, and establish the baseline for 'success'. 
  • Social Media - It is arguable that social media in marketing needs both a long-term and short-term strategy. In regards to short-term strategy and social media, your social media promotions and giveaways are part of the 'quick wins'.


What is a Long-Term Marketing Strategy?

Long-term marketing strategy should encompass the "big picture" that you are trying to achieve with your marketing efforts. Your long-term marketing strategy will typically be in place for six months to a year or longer. Long-term marketing goals are accomplished through an extended, consistent marketing strategy that includes short-term wins. 

When it comes to a long-term marketing strategy, it is important to remember that you're in a marathon, not a race or a sprint. It may be frustrating or confusing to not see immediate results, but the ROI on a successful long-term marketing strategy will pay off. Take the time to consider if the results you want to see are part of the long-term haul, including:

When Is a Long-Term Marketing Strategy Appropriate?

  • Branding - Establishing your brand, including digitally, is another long term task. Brand recognition, awareness, and reputation will all need to be managed on a large scale. When it comes to digital branding, you will more than likely need to constantly improve your website to keep user experience thriving.
  • Social Media - When it comes to long-term marketing strategy and social media, you should think of the 'big picture' you're trying to paint with your social media presence. Your "big-picture" brand strategy will be socially shared in your long term strategy.
  • SEO - Search engine optimization is a long term process, so a long-term strategy will be needed for Increased search rankings or increased local SEO rankings. Google rankings don't move overnight, so keeping an eye on the long term is important with SEO.
  • Content Marketing - Blogging and email marketing are aspects of content marketing that need to have a long-term strategy to truly see ROI. Pillar page content needs to be at the core of this strategy with supporting blog, and downloadable content providing important links to the pillar page.

    SEO Strategy Session

What's the Difference Between Long-Term and Short-Term Marketing Strategy?

The difference in long-term and short-term marketing strategy lies in the processes and goals involved in the two. Your short-term marketing strategy will involve a different process and have different goals in comparison to your long-term marketing strategy, and vice versa. 

When it comes to short-term marketing strategy, your process will be limited to an event or smaller time frame. This process could include efforts that create a temporary boost in profits, business, or traffic. Your long-term marketing strategy will include processes and goals that will keep your business succeeding in the long haul. Without a long-term strategy, short-term 'success' will be short lived.  

Although long-term and short-term marketing strategies should be separate in their processes and goals, they will affect each other. For example, successful short-term marketing strategy can influence a long-term marketing goal, and a successful long-term marketing strategy can help you meet short-term goals.


Tips for Your Business Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the difference between short-term and long-term marketing strategy, and how to identify the goals for each, here are some helpful tips for your overall marketing strategy:

  • Have a hybrid approach to your marketing. Your long-term and short-term marketing strategies will impact each other. Make sure they work together and not against each other.
  • Don't sacrifice a long-term marketing strategy for a short-term win, and vice versa. Sacrificing goals and strategy impacts your overall marketing approach negatively.
  • Be aware of short-term marketing traps. For example, running back-to-back promotions and giveaways may sound like a good short-term strategy, but it could have negative long-term effects from interest burnout and ad fatigue.
  • Don’t stop when you get ahead, inevitably another competitor that’s in it for the long haul will surpass your efforts. This is especially true for content marketing strategy and SEO.


The best way to keep your marketing strategic and ROI focused is to have a long-term marketing strategy and a short-term marketing strategy. Digital marketing agencies are experts in strategic marketing efforts, and can help you establish parameters and goals to make your marketing worth the investment. 


If you want to see double-digit growth, contact The Diamond Group. As a HubSpot Agency Partner, we believe in the inbound methodology. We're an internet marketing + web design agency that offers supercharged marketing solutions that maximizes your businesses potential. Whether you need a custom web design, a full inbound marketing strategy, or just want double-digit growth, The Diamond Group has your back.


About The Diamond Group

The Diamond Group is a Wilmington, NC based digital marketing and web design agency committed to helping today's small businesses grow and prosper. With a 28-year track record of success, their proprietary in-house system and concierge-level multi-disciplinary team approach to marketing guarantees double-digital growth and optimizes marketing ROI. 

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