Marketing should take advantage of every available channel, but spreading yourself too thin won't do you any favors.

These days, internet marketing is about reaching as many potential customers as possible and staying engaged with them. In the process of targeting a specific group of ideal clients, you want to cast a wide net. Unfortunately, some businesses are casting their nets far too wide and wearing their brand content thin.

The CMO Club and Visual IQ collaborated to hone in on this problem and discovered that marketing departments are having trouble plugging every hole in the dam. Their study, Big Data, Attribution and Omni-Channel, found that 85 percent of marketing officers struggle to access data and accurate tools to market products on every digital channel their customers use.

Pick your battles

This may sound like a call for surrender, but it actually signals that businesses should be much more selective when it comes to the channels they pick to reach leads and engage with users. Just because a lot of people are downloading Instagram (GlobalWebIndex estimates the service grew by 23 percent in the last six months), it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a linchpin in custom content campaigns quite yet.

By the same token, a site like Pinterest is wonderful for marketing consumer products, and there may be some overlap among your target customers and those who use Pinterest. However, careful research is essential before determining that you should add a new channel to your internet marketing repertoire. The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that Facebook is still on top with 71 percent penetration among adults. Make sure you’ve fully developed your engagement on the most important social media channels before trying to branch out.

Above all, know your audience

That being said, it might turn out that you need to be active on particular platforms if you’re going to reach your target audience. As Brafton recently reported, smaller companies are gaining a lot of traction against major brands when they use video content effectively. The bottom line is that content marketing channels need to be well-coordinated, and diluting influence on many networks is far worse than strong presences on a few.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.