That huge thump you heard last week was the sound of more seismic shifts in the digital landscape that will have lasting repercussions for businesses large and small throughout the world.
Yes, cash-machine Google announced disappointing earnings in their pay per click advertising business and the venerable news magazine, Newsweek, announced they were throwing in the towel on their print publication that they’d been cranking out weekly since 1933.
The two events, while affecting two seemingly different area of media and advertising, have the following thing in common: mobile devices are creating a tsunami of change.
So what does this have to do with YOUR business?
Glad you asked!
THREE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
1. Change is Constant: Just like the sands shifted under the feet of tech companies like Intel, Ebay, MySpace, AOL and other tech giants, the winds of change are blowing yet again. The pay per click ads that Google has relied on over the years to turn it into a multi-billion dollar company are not translating as effectively on mobile platforms. People aren’t clicking the ads as much and advertisers are finding it harder to generate traffic. In Newsweek’s case, eyeballs have been shifting from the print medium to online for years and reality has finally caught up. And even their own online advertising efforts could not make up for the shortfall from not generating as much lucrative print ads as in the past. LESSON: It’s time to develop a mobile marketing strategy. That might mean making a mobile version of your site or using text messaging, QR codes and other types of mobile-friendly marketing techniques.
2. Optimize Your Website For Local Search: Since pay per click prospects are seeming to dim in the shift to mobile (meaning even if you are doing PPC advertising, you’re just not getting the type of traffic you used to get) it’s more important that ever to tap the power of local search, smart phone GPS and making sure your business comes up in a local search. LESSON: Optimize your site by adding city, town, state keywords and set up a free Google+ page so you can take advantage of setting up a free Google Places page for your business. Because even though PPC effectiveness may be under pressure to perform with mobile devices, people are using the search engines on their smart phones and tablets more than ever to find what they are looking for. Now, more than ever, it’s important to “be the answer to the question” as it relates to search.
3. Offer Timely Help & Relevant Information: The days of static websites are over. In Newsweek’s case, printing a weekly “news” magazine in the age of real-time Twitter updates and 24/7 news cycles was bound to fail. Can Time Magazine and US News & World Report be far behind? You as a business owner need to up your game by being content creators. Consultative selling that’s relevant, timely and useful is the way to leverage real-time social media that’s consumed more and more in bite-sized bits while on the go. LESSON: Love it or hate it, you have to begin creating content on a regular basis. Develop a plan and start blogging, creating articles, press releases, social media posts and YouTube videos. If you can’t do it yourself —- hire someone.
I know it’s a cliche but change is constant. So you have to make a commitment to your business to make sure your marketing evolves over time. Doing the same-old, same-old will not even generate the same-old, same-old results any more. Conducting business as usual will actually cause you to lose ground rather than stay even. If it can happen to Google and Newsweek it can happen to you, too.