Combining the Three Marketing Tenets: Search, Social, and Content

To be a capable search marketer in today’s environment, you have to consolidate three necessary skillsets: search, social, and content. Search engine marketing has evolved to such a degree that mastery of any one single segment just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to attracting customers to and helping them through the sales funnel.

The three segments are comprised of paid, owned, and earned media (content, social posts and comments, advertisements, etc.), and the union of the three creates a complicated ecosystem in which prospects are given any number of “choose-your-own-adventure” paths to take to a purchase.

Google’s ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth), a marketing handbook published in 2012, reveals that an average consumer interacts with at least 18 pieces of content before finally converting into a sale.

How to Be a Versatile Marketer

A versatile marketer is able to unite their knowledge of effective content creation, analytical prowess, and understanding of business and buyer behaviors. This helps them to see a broad picture of the sales funnel and understand the best pathways to create to help their specialized demographic make their way through it.

To do this, you’ll need to be able to:

  • Recognize and understand the different marketing channels that lead into your sales funnel
  • Identify points of overlap with these marketing channels
  • Facilitate effective collaboration between the key departments (content, search, and social)

A versatile marketer will be able to walk the line between conventional marketers, who are split down the middle, with left-brained thinkers on one side and right-brained thinkers on the other.

There’s a reason why left-brainers typically excel at the measurement and implementation side of marketing, while right-brainers are chiefly the creative influences, whose strengths are leveled on creating the content that will compel and move prospects.

How Do Search, Social, and Content Play into All This?

So how are the three tenets of marketing divided in all of this?


Search marketing is data-based, mathematical, and methodical. Thus, it’s very left-brained. These skillsets will be focused on implementing PPC, the technical side of SEO, etc.


Social media marketing is creative and emotional: right-brained. On this side, you’re going to be telling a convincing story that includes proselytizing your products as well as spreading the message of your brand.


Content marketing takes what it learns from social and creates the actual media that will be purveyed through social and accomplish the job of guiding prospects through the sales funnel. This piece largely leans to the right, while the analytics and measurement of the effectiveness of this content leans back to the left.


If this “versatile marketer” is not you as an individual, dissect the pieces and then delegate the parts that are your weaknesses. This will allow you to focus on your strengths and will result in a much more streamlined and effective team.

Which part of this holistic marketing approach have you struggled with the most?


Betts, Andy. “Search, Social, and Content Convergence: Developing Hybrid Marketing Skills.” (February 6, 2015.)