I recently fell upon this article, “How Much Data is Created on the Internet Each Day,” and I was blown away by the following information. According to IBM, 90 percent of the data that is on the Internet today was created since 2016.
When you think about it and the fact that Google’s mission is to, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” on the Internet, the study by IBM is startling because the Internet and Google have been around for a long time. But, the vast majority of data placed on the web has only occurred in the last few years.
Some other interesting tidbits from the article were:
- As of April 2017, there were 3.8 billion Internet users, which was a 42 percent increase in three years.
- Each minute of the day, 840 new users join social media.
- YouTube has 4,146,600 users watching a video every minute.
- Each minute, 46,740 million posts are uploaded to Instagram.
- On Facebook, each minute, 510,000 comments are made, there are 293,000 status updates and 136,000 photos posted–and there are 4 million likes.
- And finally, every minute of the day there are 15,220,700 texts sent around the globe.
Those are astounding numbers, and the reality is there is so much data now being produced, and only more will follow in a continued enormous tsunami of information that marketers have an ongoing challenge on how to cut through the noise.
There was a time when your marketing team was able to cut through a lot of it by creating a blog and consistently getting content onto the web.
That’s not the going to work anymore.
There’s just too much data, too much choice, too much content for users to process and if you don’t engage with them in a few seconds, you’ve lost them. Period.
So, if you’re a marketer, what do you do as the Internet continues to grow exponentially? How can your brand get regular attention so you can convert people into paying customers and clients?
If you’re a small business entrepreneur, it’s essential to understand that the old ways to raise visibility for your brand no longer work and because of the vast amounts of information that are on the Internet and social media, which is only going to accelerate, you always have to remain a step ahead. There are three fundamental aspects that every marketer must ensure are in place so they can build a cohesive content marketing program.
- Strategy: It is essential to develop a content marketing strategy that takes your audience into account. You have to build a plan and provide and develop content that your customers and prospective clients want to see, taking into account the full customer buying cycle. A good rule is to consider having the majority of the content that you put out to be value add, informative and educational.
When you develop a content marketing strategy, you want to be clear on who you are targeting and why. You also want to understand what you can provide your audience that is of value so that you can place the content where they will most likely see it when they want to look at it. Additionally, everything you do has to make sense and fit together into a seamless overarching series of goals, and finally keep scalability in mind. Consider how your content will be presented, if and when it can be repackaged and ensure you have evergreen material that keeps your customers learning about your industry, your products, and services.
- Team: Content marketing is not a solo sport. It involves writers, designers, social media experts, SEO strategists, analytic and metric performance measurements. All of these individuals must work and collaborate to ensure that your plan is executed correctly and no one is independent of each other.
I hold regular meetings with my content marketing team which I oversee. Each member of the team stays in their specialized lane, for instance, our writer does not do the work of the designer or vice versa, and our SEO strategists advise on optimization strategy. But, while they are all “specialists” in their work and they are expected to remain in their lanes, I also assume that they provide input on the overall plan as it is developed and tweaked based on our goals and performance.
- Artificial Intelligence: AI has started its evolution, and increasingly most people will be working, shopping and interacting with it every day. Examples of this are the bots on Facebook Messenger, or even Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
The reality is that technology is moving quickly away from the screen and becoming a part of our existence. So, while information for the web and mobile are important, you need to start thinking about how AI is developing and how your brand can take the lead in the innovations. Take, for instance, Alexa. The American Heart Association now provides the ability for those who have Amazon’s Echo at home to ask Alexa how to administer CPR in the event someone in the house is experiencing a stroke or heart attack.
We are living in an age that is transparent and it is on the brands to build and ensure that the public and their customers feel they are partnering with a company that takes their needs into account. Whereas marketing was for many decades a one-way street, it is now a two-way relationship, and the ultimate goal of marketers is to ensure that they have the most robust relationships with their customers and followers. A coordinated group effort with the essential elements in place around strategy, team and having an understanding of how technology (e.g., AI) play a part in helping you differentiate from others, marketers will be able to break through the din that is the Internet.