eat-my-dust-how-the-rise-of-digital-marketing-has-left-the-rest-behindConfusing, isn’t it?

Google this. Facebook that? Every month it feels like the rules are changing. And, forget about learning pay-per-click platforms. You need a degree just to log in. Here’s how digital marketing has left all of us behind and what some brands are doing about it.

There Will Be Fewer Articles

We’re already seeing it happen. Content marketing has been around for a while now, but not all of it is in article form. A few years ago, all you had to do to make it big was publish an article on Ezine articles. You could get your name in “lights” and a major search engine would snap you up.

Today, it takes a lot more effort. You need to have contacts with major media outlets. You need to be publishing high-value content — and it doesn’t have to be text-based. In fact, most of the best stuff is a combination of text, audio, and video.

Slideshows, podcasts, infographics, and quizzes all take a lot more time to produce than an article. But, the Internet is drowning in a sea of articles, both good and bad. And, all of them are screaming for attention.

But, honestly, which would you rather do: read a 2,000 word article or watch a cat video? If you’re a typical consumer, it’s more fun to watch that video unless you’re really trying to solve some problem that article can solve.

Going forward, if you want to be seen, you need to take a more interactive approach. Why interactive? Because it’s that interactivity that’s going to be engaging. You’ll get people to interact with your content and then they’re engaged. They’re more likely to sign up to an email list or take some other action. And, with tools like Kuia, pretty much anyone can make quizzes like those fancy Buzzfeed ones, set up web surveys, and calculators without the help of a designer or programmer.

You Can’t Be a Lone Gunman

It used to be that you could create content yourself and distribute it. That no longer works simply because of the vast amount of information out there on the web. The fact that it’s so simple to get your message out there means that everyone is doing it. The barrier to entry is really low. And, the truth is that marketers are expected to increase total digital marketing spend to 35% of total budgets by the end of 2016. But, many of them are using a white label seo company to do the heavy lifting.

Roughly 54.1% of marketers are prioritizing hiring for marketing content. Ultimately, it means more content from brands, and from brands with larger budgets. Even large corporations are going to have to spend big just to keep up.

If you’re just starting out, you’re competing against millions of websites. How do you stand out against the noise? Collaboration.

You have to collaborate with others in your industry. The good news is that this hasn’t become too difficult yet. You can use user-generated content and partner with influencers who are willing to spread your message to their own audience.

Pay To Play: It’s Here

This is the standard on most social networks. You didn’t expect them to keep giving you free advertising, did you? For those that got in early, and got lucky, they got free advertising from sharing Facebook posts and tweets. Now, you have to advertise if you want reach. Posts are no longer good enough. According to Forrester Research, Facebook only shows a brand’s post to 16% of its fans.

On Twitter the average tweet only goes to 10% of followers because people are inundated with other posts. And, Facebook Instant is changing the way people view the web, since the company allows its users to view your content without actually leaving the site.

All this to say that if you’re not advertising, you’re not reaching your fans.

Not only can not advertising hurt your SEO strategy, you’ll end up losing customers to competitors who are more than willing to spend the money to target your own fans and customers (which they now know thanks to Facebook and Twitter’s audience insights).

Reaching Influencers Is The Key

The average person’s Facebook and Twitter feed is littered with posts and updates. They can’t keep track of it all. There’s so much information out there, that content that’s pushed to users is getting lost in a sea of sameness.

And, marketers are well-aware of this. In 2016 and beyond, you will have to focus on reaching communities within communities. This type of meta-marketing will become more and more popular as sites like Facebook hone their data mining and targeting technologies.

You’ll have to reach the influencers within your industry and related industries, if you want to have any hope of building an audience.


Logan Barker is a freelance marketing consultant who works mostly with e-commerce clients. He enjoys watching trends develop, and writing about all aspects of marketing.

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