Some ten years ago, I was a fledgling amateur of website design so it went without saying that if I could get a business owner within earshot then I would be pitching them ideas. It was astounding how resistant individuals were about the simple idea of taking their business online.
Today is a different story.
You now have business owners practically falling over themselves seeking services because it finally *clicked* that “yeah, maybe this online thing is a good investment” and so now they are laggards when it comes to the important items like search engine optimization, social, content marketing, and the various types of advertising.
The game has changed (as they would say).
It’s no longer a matter of slapping together a website, placing in keywords, and building some links like it used to be (though if they had listened it would have certainly given them a solid foundation for today). The sheer volume of work needed to compete in the digital landscape is mind boggling; it’s also highly confusing for those business owners that once had confusion about the idea of a simple website.
A recent example of a game changer is what Dan has to say about the need to continually produce content. There is always an underlying debate about quantity vs quality but the shift has seemed to have happened and what web users want is more.
- It’s why Buzzfeed continually churns out articles at a lightning pace
- It’s why there are so many “viral blog” copycats
- It’s why the number of YouTube video uploads increases every day
People want more content and this is a big win for businesses that can keep up the momentum for demand.
Another example of a game changer that is, in my mind, one of the most beneficial (and challenging) is reputation management. The easiest idea to understand the importance is to ask yourself what happens if a lead types in your brand and immediately sees a flood of negative reviews and social updates.
Reputation management is all the more reason why small businesses need to invest in SEO services. An owner may be able to cover the basics but I highly doubt they will have the stamina to (as discussed) create content and marketing/advertising campaigns that help positive reviews reach the top of SERPs (search engine result pages) .
The last game changing example I’d like to bring up is this renaissance of storytelling.
Advertising, marketing, and storytelling have finally begun to catch up with one another again after many years of brute-force tactics (like the infamous pop-up). Today we, as consumers, can follow the brand story throughout the campaign, which creates general interest and real engagement.
You can see this shift in engagement when examining some of the terrific augmented reality campaigns put together by big brands, movie launches, and applications. Simple inclusion of gamification along with on-going storytelling allows people to feel part of the experience, dissolving the barriers many place before themselves when they detect they are being sold a product or service.
No doubt, we will continue to see online marketing evolve by leaps and bounds in the coming years (especially with developments like smart watches, virtual reality headsets, and expansive use of big data). We can hold onto what we know: content, SEO, and storytelling in our advertising.
What do you believe are the big game changers of online marketing?