I spent part of last week creating a “mind map” (a.k.a. “a diagram”) of Internet Marketing activities to assist with brain-storming ideas for some of our clients. I am pretty happy with the result and attach it here in case it’s of use to anyone else who also faces the challenge of calling many of these potential activities to mind when discussing how to allocate an, often small, monthly budget.
One of the most interesting things to come out of this was when a colleague cast a critical eye over it and commented that how, just a few years ago, the whole nascent industry was fixated on “Search Engine Optimisation” (SEO) – and how, on the diagram, it’s relegated to just a few brief headers in the top right corner. An interesting point.
The area I find most challenging is to quantify the value of each of these other activities for any specific customer. It’s not easy, and getting harder, as the “social web” becomes ever more significant and some core ideas – such as the “web page” being the atomic unit of the Internet come more into doubt.
The day will no doubt come when social relevance will be a significant factor within Google’s results, and individuals and communities, rather than web-sites, will be able to link to pages, providing some “PeopleRank” alongside the long established “PageRank”. The effects will be a sea-change for all website owners, as reputation will be as significant as budget, and brands can no longer buy their way to high placement.
After all, if a trusted and “socially significant” technology journalist buys some gadget from my store and leaves a positive review, surely that should outweigh a handful of “Aunt May” buyers who slated it for finding it difficult to understand? Should Google be able to understand this and promote it accordingly? Perhaps, but what if my abilities are more in line with an “Aunt May”? How could Google possibly understand that enough to factor it into search results and advert positioning?
Another example: if a business executive with a network of well-salaried friends visits a car-themed website shouldn’t Google know to advertise luxury German saloons, whilst showing Skoda & Fiat adverts to stay-at-home parents visiting the same site?
For me, there-in lies the thought that at some future date we may all be searching purely within familiar communities, taking the experience of friends whose abilities are known, and who know us, to provide advice and information over that of one big scary algorithm.
It is Google’s challenge, as well as that of every Internet Marketer out there, to understand the implications of the social web as swiftly as possible and seamlessly weave the knowledge it gives us into existing business models and strategies.
“Internet Marketing Activities” by Matt Stanley-Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.