Note: This post is a preview to my Digital Marketing For Business presentation
this Wednesday May 8th at 10:00 in the Raleigh Convention Center.
Escape From Google
I’m not Snake Pilssken the character Kurt Russell played in John Carpenter’s famous end of the world movie Escape From New York. Carpenter’s 1981 movie had the world ending in 1997, so we’ve made it past the movie’s deadline. Whether your Internet marketing is able to achieve escape velocity is a different question.
Imagine you wake up tomorrow and Google is gone, baby gone.
What do you do? If Google provides the majority of your traffic you need to create an “escape from Google” plan. A friend’s website has the kind of organic SEO stats I could only dream of as Director of Ecommerce. 75% of their traffic is organic SEO and it scares me. It scares me because Google SEO is going through tough times:
1. Search growth is slowing thanks to smartphone adoption:
2. Smartphones use Apps and apps don’t need search.
3. Social media adoption reduces and changes organic search too. We search when friends tell us something we want to check now. Rarely do we start at the top of a search funnel and work our way down as we used to when organic search was the only game in town.
The chart above shows % change, so the younger the age the less change. Many in the 16 to 24 year old age group have been using social media for years. Millennials live on smartphones connected to social nets.
This chart shows the rest of the world catching up fast. Once THE WORLD is “social” we search less. When each day is a series of reviews, notes and “hey look at this” notices from friends via social networks search demand goes down as the first chart proves.
Please Note: Escape from Google doesn’t mean don’t use Google+. Quite the opposite. G+ is one of the most disruptive social networks. Many say GooglePlus is a ghost town. If you are lucky enough for G+ to be a “ghost town” in your segment we suggest bringing your tribe TO Google+. If you are lucky enough to build the first G+ castle in your business “kingdom” you will win many battles.
The Race For Community & Community Shock
As I outlined last week in Ouch! 3 WaysTo Avoid The Coming Community Shock your website is in a race you may not know about – the race to create online community. Whenever all Internet marketers want to do the same thing at the same time a “shock” happens where demand vastly exceeds supply:
The number of communities we can join is small since there are only 24 hours in a day. As demand for people to join community escalates demand and supply lines will diverge. Why is creating community so important?
Online communities are similar to apps – they can become self sustaining and don’t need organic search.
I’m a member of Scoop.it. I search friends who curate on Scoop.it more than using Google to search. When a great curators such as Jan, Cendrine Marrouat, Brian Yanish or Ana Cristina Pratas make recommendations I trust them. Organic search is moot.
Community First = Wins
Why do we create content marketing? Some might say to make sales, but there is an important step before any website earns enough trust to sell – community. As visitors read your web content, look at images and navigate they form opinions about who the people behind the site are.
Visitors look for “like me” clues.
The most trusted “like me” clues come from UGC (User Generated Content). When your website shares UGC you are creating an online community. Working on our startup, now called Curagami (was CrowdFunde), we’ve realized there are 5 pillars to creating online community:
- Creation Story – Who Are YOU (should map core values and tell a story referred to over and over).
- Authoritative Content – Become the expert for your entire business segment.
- User Generated Content (UGC) – Must be valued by actively curated and rewarded via gamification.
- Gamification – Defined system of rewards that may include “jobs” so community begins to scale and take over.
- Movements Not Campaigns – Umbrella ideas that incorporate major calendar events but whose genesis you own.
See why searches in your category will go DOWN once you (or a competitor) builds a 5 pillar online community? Community makes your website an authority in your business segment. Google rewards your site with higher PageRank and more traffic. Google works hard to find HUBS of authority in every business group.
Hubs act LIKE GOOGLE and so become “authorities” or “trusted sources”. Google reads the same numbers discussed at the top of this post. Google’s future is assured if they move from “Search King” to “Content King of Kings”. If Google determines who wins the race to community they remain relevant and profitable.
If we use app stores, social nets and other tools to find what we need Google’s future is in jeopardy as is any non diversified website or Internet marketing.
Diversified Internet Marketing
Impossible to say what 5 to 10 marketing channels your business should use, but let’s look at an example of a pie chart for a fictional company to demonstrate diversified Internet marketing:
Diversification brings many benefits:
- If a channel goes down others can prop it back up.
- Risk is spread out protecting sales and profits.
- Marketing and communication is more universal and less dependent on a single channel.
- Marketing is more informed since feedback comes from many places & people.
- Marketing becomes more story based and less keyword chasing.
- Marketing begins to align to MOVEMENTS curated from a marketer’s community.
- Marketing costs are lower because advantages help create optimum ratios (like lowering but not eliminating PPC as organic SEO climbs).
Why is moving your online marketing to movements important? Moving your online marketing to the creation of movements from a “never ending sale” model shows respect for your community. By creating “movements” your content and website align to your customer’s aspirations.
As Daniel Pink points out in his great book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us most people are motivated by more than “saving money”. Connection, altruism and interacting with friends are, thanks to social networks, becoming easy ideas to form community around.
When you match marketing to your customer’s aspirations you create community – the kind of community that can Escape From Google.
Helpful & Related
3 Pillars of Community (back when we thought there were only 3).
Escape From Google on Haiku Deck