Editor Note: Shawn Swaim is the brain behind Shawn Swaim Consulting and Shawn The SEO Geek. The self-proclaimed “king of the internet,” Shawn has more than 12 years of experience in the digital marketing space. He has helped both small and large companies get a presence online and loves doing e-commerce search engine optimization.
After being in the Digital Marketing Agency world for 12 years, I can confidently say I’m a little jaded. Personally, I cringe when I see people doing and saying things we said 12 years ago. Not because anything is necessarily inaccurate, but because the times have changed.
12 Digital Years is like 147,892 regular years.
After reflecting on key differences between the Digital Marketing space of 12 years ago vs today, one concept comes to mind about what’s changed the most.
That change is integration.
12 years ago, our cell phones were still a novelty. You could have probably heard someone ask “Do you have a cell phone?” and it wouldn’t have been weird.
Today though, having a cell phone is expected.
Beyond that, our phones are a part of our lives.
I’ll spare you the data about addiction and changes in behavioral patterns. Rather, I’ll share what it means for marketing.
12 years ago, Digital Marketing Disciplines were siloed. This was because of the novelty effect. We made it an event to “Google” something or look something up on Facebook/etc.
Now, our digital presence is simply a part of life.
The novelty of “Facebook on the go” (on your phone) is the norm instead of the “once in a while” thing.
And it’s not just Facebook.
People use their cell phones as a lifeline for everything in their lives.
This creates a great opportunity for businesses. However, it does mean you have to eliminate the traditional “digital marketing process” in order to be successful with it.
Start this process with a super high-tech pen and paper.
Then, ask yourself these questions:
“What is my potential customer looking for when they need my product/service?”
“Where do they ask their questions?” (Facebook/Google/Etc.)
“What steps do they take before they make a decision?”
Once you have that information, your job is to create content that answers those questions and plant it along your customer’s buying journey.
For example, if someone were looking to invest their money, they may start by asking Google “What are the best ways to invest money?”.
Your job is to have content on your website that answers that question.
Then, they may hop to Facebook to research your company reviews/etc.
There, you’ll want to make the effort to have some reviews and more valuable content.
As they say, 80% of the battle is showing up. These tactics are not hard, it’s simply a matter of showing up where you audience is already looking for answers.
9 times out of 10, your customer will go with who makes it easier the fastest.
So, stop thinking of Digital Marketing as a standalone thing, because it’s not anymore. It’s all marketing. Your job is to be there while someone is looking.