These are pretty crazy times that we are marketing, or attempting to market, in. And some are doing it better than others. As a kid growing up in mid-state Ohio, I worked part time at a “Filling Station.” That is what gas stations were called back then, at least in my hometown. Part of the routine was to fill up the customer’s gas tank, check the oil and wash the windows, take their cash and count back the change.
By the time I was driving, the first “self-serve” gas station came to town. One-by-one the “filling stations” disappeared and were replaced by the modern day convenience store. This approach greatly increased the transactions-per-customer and gas station owners got richer if they adjusted with the times. No one asked any of us if that was OK, it just changed. I think things are changing again.
We Learned As We Went Along the Way
I have been doing a lot of research lately on Google + for our small business, which led me to draft this post. I am worried that the landscape of search will vastly change in the ensuing months. It occurred to me how much things have changed in just the last few of years. When we first started a local neighborhood blog with inbound links back to our apartment web site, we had no idea what that did. We stumbled upon the concept of inbound marketing by sheer chance. The issue then was that there really wasn’t an efficient way to share or validate your ideas. There were some blogs then, but nothing like today, and many bloggers had yet to establish their turf.
We experimented with this newfound phenomena by writing more articles when we needed more leasing leads and sure enough, the more content we produced, the more web traffic we got and the more prospects walked in the door. It was magic! Today we no longer need to wonder about our assumptions, there is lightening-fast data within a few keystrokes and people are sharing things they are learning at every turn.
The Floor is Moving Again
“Times they are a changing,” is a somewhat worn out phrase, but they are. Jon Mitchell penned a disturbing article titled Google + Is Going to Mess Up the Internet, over at ReadWriteWeb. The premise of the article is that “shared” content may wind up ranking higher than original content. While that isn’t completely confirmed, the pundits-at-large and in-the-know seem to agree that Google + will have a huge impact on search.
Rohn Jay Miller from Social Media Today sums things up in an article titled Welcome to Web 3.0; The Contextual Web:
The lesson we each wished we knew back in 2002 was “it’s all about the eyeballs.” Engage the eyeballs or direct them to where they should be engaged do it on a massive scale, and the rewards are billions and billions of dollars. If I’d only known I wouldn’t have sold the Apple stock and I wouldn’t have scoffed at GOOG at $500 a share.
Now in 2012 it feels like we’re on the middle of a massive transition on the Internet. We see the order of power changing, but it’s not quite clear why. Things are happening—smartphones, apps, the Internet of Things, and of course social networks.
Does That Mean the Biggest Sharer Wins?
Unlike producing more content to create a greater search result to sell more stuff, sharing and getting someone else to share your stuff is much more challenging. It is more real. You have to be real. We have hardly convinced our clients that producing quality content is the answer and now they have to share too and be real?
It is a basket-load of work to get your employees to share and to interact on line, yet that may be the only real answer to this coming change. We all know that the few automated tools we have used to skip a step, such as posting to multiple platforms at the same time with the same message only retard the outcome. People aren’t tricked, they know, and click through rates subside with automation.
What are you doing to get in front of the sharing curve?
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