How to pivot digital marketing

How to pivot digital marketing

Megan Fairchild, a principal dancer at New York City Ballet, can pivot on the point her toes like a music box fairy. She makes it seem effortless, as she delicately twirls around in a pin point and flourishes her arms and hands.

A pivot turn or pirouette, as ballet masters refer to them, is actually a series of fluid steps that appear one, elegant motion. Fairchild begins in fourth position to ensure she is stable and balanced. Fairchild bends her knees and pushes off. She finishes in an elegant butterfly landing on a leaf.

Digital marketing is like a pirouette. The people who do it well seem to effortlessly pirouette, disrupting the market and dethroning incumbents. They also become principals in their trade.

The Four Stages of a Digital Pivot

The four stages of digital pivots are similar to the four steps in a pirouette. Just like the young dancer who rushes to get on stage, eager to wear her first pair of shoes, but it comes crashing down, many companies take down the curtain on their websites before they can convert prospects into customers. A digital pivot is just like a pivot turn, which is a sequence of steps. These steps are interconnected.


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The digital pivot is a sequential approach that combines owned, earned, and pay media into something greater than the sum of its parts.

These four steps are the fastest way to generate return.

These are the four steps of the digital pivot.

Step 1: The Set-Up of Owned Media

The layout controls the payout. You can’t control the customer experience if you don’t manage the user experience. Your conversion rate directly depends on how close your online content is to the transactions that you are trying to make. You can’t make changes to the page’s layout, so you won’t be able to optimize for conversions. You can’t alter the layout on Amazon, Yelp or Linkedin. In a digital pivot web pages are the first to be published on social media. Make sure you have the best content on your website.

You can’t calibrate content if you don’t have a website. This is where you generate leads and revenue. You can use forms on your website to collect leads or do e-commerce. This is not possible on another website. You won’t share your profits, at least not with the exception of this.

Step 2: Pushing Off: Social Media or Shared Media

You can have conversations with online influencers on social media, which increases your reach. It is important to remember that engagement is an aspect of social media reach. If people don’t like, comment and share what you say, then no one will see it.

So, pushing on is about finding out where your customers are online most and who they trust to help you find your axis.

Building a following online is easy if you win the respect of influential people in your area. A community of engaged followers is social proof that other people agree with what you say.

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Step 3 – Earned Media: Spinning

The pivot’s most exciting stage is the spin. This is where you can scream, lift your arms and win the respect of your industry and customers. The more difficult a website is to publish on, the more admiration there will be. You should link to articles that you have written on your website when you pitch editors to publish guest posts on their websites. You shouldn’t be able to demonstrate that you are able to communicate ideas and make compelling arguments on your website. Why should editors believe that you can do the same on a larger scale?

Instead of repeating what everyone else is saying it, you should take a thought leader position on important, timely ideas. News media and blogs are available to share new ways of thinking. It’s easier for thought leaders than ever to get media coverage. It is important to be recognized as a thought leader and not a repeater.

Figure. In this order, 1.1 moves through each one of the four media channels. Owned media sets up, while shared media pushes off, earned media turns on pointe and paid media is where you land. Earned media is the most powerful of all four. However, if your shared and owned media are not in place, there is little chance of success.

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Step 4 – Landing: Paid Media

You’re now ready to move into advertising. Now that you have figured out how to convert customers online, you can optimize the path to purchase.

The landing is the final stage of a pivot, depending on the business line. You’ve already proven your ability generate leads and commerce. Now you know how many visitors convert to leads, which percentage becomes customers and what the average customer spends.

Advertising is scalable as long as it generates more revenue than it costs you to acquire customers. Forecast revenues can be done by multiplying your conversion rates by the traffic count. You can calculate how much traffic you will need to reach your goals if you know half of leads ask for a proposal. Paid media is the final step in the digital pivot. You don’t want traffic to stop you making money.

However, there is one exception. The exception is when dancers do pirouettes while not actually turning. They balance for 2 counts and practice coming down gently. Paid media can be used to speed up the testing process if you don’t have time to create traffic organically.

It seems like a lot of work doesn’t you think? I won’t lie to you. It is. Digital marketing, like outbound sales is all about reallocating resources from inbound to outbound. Do you really have any other choice when considering the current trajectory of almost all businesses?

This excerpt is from The Digital Pivot Secrets of Online Marketing, an edited excerpt by Eric Schwartzman (a Los Angeles-based digital marketing consultant).

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