Considering the current volume of digital and social marketing business, it’s hard to believe how young the Internet marketplace actually is.
Cumulative events leading up to where we are now have impacted the entire globe faster than any marketing revolution in history.
In 1994, spending for Internet marketing totalled practically nothing, but by 1995, the figure stood at over $300 million. Now, 21 years later, digital marketing spending and Internet marketing businesses have exploded. PWC predict that in Australia alone we will spend $26.9billion.
Today, it’s hard to believe an organisation exists which doesn’t have some kind of digital presence.
As websites have multiplied beyond anyone’s imagination, searching for them has become increasingly important. Websites have become the first contact for many customers with a brand.
By the year 2000, heading into the new millennium, Google was (and still is) the dominant search engine and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was born. SEO specialists interpreted the Google search algorithm and built websites that complied with the way their spiders wanted to assess the quality of content.
Google assessed the authority of links from a website by grading it from 0-10 and giving it a rank. Links to a website increase authority, pushing it further up Google’s search results. High Google rankings have become valuable commodities.
The next ‘game-changers’ were blogs. The structure and nature of blogs gave them a head-start in Google’s search engine results. Their numbers exploded, massively increasing the pool of links. Niche marketers were quick to exploit these strengths and created thousands of blogs dedicated to selling products through affiliate schemes and running pay-per-click advertising. Blogging brought Internet revenues to the masses.
Internet usage continued to grow exponentially; browsers evolved; Web 2.0 came along. Suddenly, interaction, personal relationships and multimedia became the new marketing challenges as their platforms absorbed more and more Internet traffic. Social sites burgeoned as users ‘stumbled upon’, ‘dugg’ and ‘liked’ links to web pages.
Users’ insatiable desire for the ‘new’ became the driver for the creation of streams of constant content. Google changed its search design to allow for the new, distracting traffic. Users wanted the freshest content. Marketers complied.
YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter are now some of the most important channels that marketers need to broadcast on. Doing well on these platforms not only boosts SEO results, it also pushes links to appear in all the other types of searches.
Google has started to lose its grip on web traffic dominance as Facebook grows. Comments and ‘likes’ from users are becoming a new commodity for brands. Traffic no longer needs to be directed back to a website because we can engage and convert our customers right there on their chosen social platform.
And more change is on the way.
Mobile devices are overtaking computers as the primary method of accessing information and interacting on the Internet. We’re going local, and big players like Google and Apple are gearing up for it. Local marketing is going to change the game again, but that’s another story…
Follow Lisa on Instagram or subscribe to her on Facebook. Find out more about Social Media Mastery or visit her website. This blog is published by POMO – a creative agency specializing in customer engagement based in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia.