The recent years brought 2 significant changes to the internet, affecting internet marketing for small and medium sized businesses on a scale that is overlooked by most consultants.
Disruptive Internet Marketing Trend # 1
People keep calling the internet “a level playing field” where the little guy has the same chances for success as the big guys.
Nice talking, except it’s not true anymore.
- 10 years ago, yes, even the big guys were amateurs.
- 10 years ago, a one-person-business could slap up a crappy looking web site, fill in a few keywords, and start making money.
- 10 years ago, you could start a PPC campaign, paying peanuts, laughing all the way to the bank.
Those times are over.
- Today, large publishers (who didn’t even exist 10 years ago) operate with teams and budgets bringing tears to the little guy’s eyes.
- Today, Internet marketing requires time, money, and knowledge far beyond what was needed ten years ago.
- Today, advertising prices are astronomical compared to 2003. Profitability is really hard to achieve.
Amateurish efforts that might have turned a profit 10 or 5 years ago will lead nowhere today.
If you’re not willing to upgrade your internet marketing to a professional level, you might as well just STOP.
The best way to survive the next 5 years on the internet is to learn more, professionalize your marketing and conversion funnels for higher profits, and increase your internet marketing budget.
Disruptive Internet Marketing Trend # 2
My first web site in 2001 was a static site with no other content than text and images.
No blog. No social media. No content marketing. No YouTube.
Since then we’ve seen a 2-fold fragmentation in internet marketing. A fragmentation of media, and a fragmentation of platforms.
Text and images isn’t enough anymore. Marketers need to fill their content marketing queue with
- Videos [In tons of variations, from talking heads, to explainer videos, to 3D animations, and more.]
- Infographics [incredibly complicated compared to the animated gifs we’d put on our sites 10 years ago.]
- Ebooks, Whitepapers
- 3-D product views
Having a business web site also isn’t enough anymore.
Now you’re supposed to have presences on:
Facebook & Twitter & Google Plus & LinkedIn & Pinterest.
And you’re supposed to monitor those 24/7 and respond quickly to any engagement.
Having 6 internet presences [your site + 5 social media presences] still isn’t enough.
Marketing has spread to …
Mobile [Ideally with a site especially oprimized for mobile marketing success.]
iTunes [Distribute your content through your own app.]
Kindle [Another unique format to master. Another ecosystem to manage.]
Plus 2 upcoming fragmentation trends
- Augmented reality [Eat this frog, local business!]
- Voice based search [Where’s your URL when Google answers searches via voice?]
Adopt or perrish!
You may think you can ignore these trends and still make great money.
- Yes, it’s true in 2013.
- A little bit less true in 2014.
- Even less true in 2015.
- Starting to seriously worry you in 2016.
- Killed you by 2017.
How can small and medium sized businesses adopt to these dramatic changes?
At first I was afraid. I was petrified.
One thing is sure: you can’t ignore them.
The fragmentation trend, as well as the professionalization trend, can and must be answered with higher internet marketing budgets.
To survive, small and medium sized businesses can adopt 2 strategies:
- Develop a much tighter focus on who you want to reach, and which channels to use. Internet marketing is becoming too complicated and too expensive for a scattershot approach.
- Next, as I mentioned above, you can develop more sophisticated marketing and conversion funnels to increase profitability.
Businesses with a tight focus and with eyes on profitability will blossom. Despite the increasing complexity they will use these trends to their advantage.
And I grew strong. And I learned how to get along.