It seems that during the rise of Social Media marketers have been confounded by the Twitter software platform and have struggled to understand its impact on the companies that they serve or their profession. The temporary nature of Twitter communications is contradictory to one of the prime directives of marketing, defining and increasing brand value.
When I visited Silicon Valley in San Francisco in 1992 I saw the first Yahoo! billboards that promoted the notion of the internet and the Yahoo! directories and in 1998 or 1999 I noticed the beginning of Googles search engine results pages driven by content backlinks in a form of a popularity contest. Five or six years later the idea of search engine optimization is born when competition starts to erupt over link names and search engine page results or SEPR ranking.
Marketers were watching Google carefully and noticed that it was much more cost effective to adevertise on the internet and you could advertise to individuals unlike mass media of the day. Marketing was moving slowly into the world wide wieb and soon the crawl would be a walk and then a race to see who could stake the best words in a form of ‘virtual land grab’ so that when searchers entered a phrase into a search window the products promoted by savvy marketers would rise above their slower and less internet knowledgable competitors.
Branding also evolved quickly in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s mostly due to the rise and fall of world economies and old school advertising agencies we pressured heavily by Public Relations firms that repeatedly SHOUTED their messages. It appeared that quanitiy and repetition had triumphed over quality, at least in most cases. The repetition of brand messages fit well into the theory of branding where it was assumed that products would be purchased in perpetuity and that brand managers would strive to maximize profits and determine how to position brands so that competitors could not take customers and sales from the brand.
Economies of scale in manufacturing and advertising were critical drivers of brand equity where eventually competitors would start to outsource in continually lower cost global locations while seeking any advantage in their brand warfare. Eventually the global outsourcing trend moved from a crawl to a brisk walk and then a frenzied dash to Canada then to Mexico, China, India, Brazil and the Phillipines.
Software suppliers like ASK, CA, BaaN, IMI, SAP, Oracle and IBM provided big corporations big systems to control global supply chains and achieve the dream of global economies of scale. The stretched supply chaines required supplier agreement timelines of up to two years which became a problem and eventually bankrupt corporations like Nortel who were competiting with Asian competitors of handsets and telephone infrastructer with product cycles of six months or less. The Nortel products and inventory, on-hand and future committments was obsolete before it could be manufactured The large ERP systems compounded the problem as planning cycles were optimized and precise, thoug it was doubtful if the users were capable of assessing the risk or trained to deal with it nor were the suppliers capable of adjusting quickly to the new world order. Time was speeding up and the corporations with few long term obligations and even fewer long term investments would reap the rewards. Marketing and Branding followed the trend of cost reduction and increasing speed and internet services and product vendors like Cisco, Oracle and SAP were happy to comply with the direction and push hard when they realized giants like IBM were afraid of leaving profitable territory.
Rise of the Internet and Speeding up of Time
One significant consequence in the speeding up of time in business is that products have become commodities and in markets like fashion it may be as little as two or three days after a model walks down the runway in Milan that a knock off or copy of very good quality clothing is being loaded into a container in Asia bound for European and American retailers. Branding is the only distinquishing feature in the commodity game and marketing the main value driver.
From early 2000 to about 2005 marketers had an easy time cutting advertising costs by shifting to PR and internet advertising, mostly around email and simple websites and while a lot was said about electronic commerce not too much was happening, yet. As cost competition rose so did competition for favourable internet branding position and this cause the creation of a new profession, search engine marketers which could exploit the tendency of people to type a few words into a search engine box and be ‘served’ the answers to their questions. Google made billions by being a servant.
SEO Entrepreneurs Take Profits from the mouths of Search Engines
It didn’t take entrepreneurs too long to figure out how to exploit search engines and learn to stand between product manufacturers and millions of buyers who wanted to buy their products on-line saving 50% or more in the process. Soon every brand would be pushed down in the search engine results pages or SERP. The process accelerated faster with the creation of the Social Media software platforms WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and soon SEO entrepreneurs could create content and backlinks to easily manipulate the SERP and amateurs realized what was possible and they climbed aboard the gravy train.
In an attempt to counteract the trend Google buys Metaweb the semantic database firm, starts its own blog platform and starts archieving Twitter feeds while pushing the SEO entrepreneurs to create video content and feed its YouTube pipe which it aims squarely at the old Media conglomerates. In the meanwhile Blockbuster Video enters bankruptcy protection in mid 2010 and Twitter reaches over 150 million users, most of them mobile and in countries like Brasil and India. Sylvester Stallone shows the world the new Twitter marketing resonance rules as his move Expendables first catches and then screams by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception. Stallone is fueled by a clever tsunami like Twitter campaign fueled by millions of Brasillian Tweets.
The quick rise of Social Media and Twitter makes it harder to convince advertisers that search engines would or even could continue to deliver the brand value and in late 2008 or early 2009 over half of searches started in Social Media software platforms. Corporations quickly start jumping into the Social Media and Twitter pool with both feet distressing all of their suppliers who must quickly re-face products that were designed in the late 1990’s to now work in a world where business models and time had accelerated beyond recognition.
Twitter Rules Brand Evolution
With only 140 characters the Twitter software platform is able to deliver stunning value by combining content and backlinks so that if a Tweet or micro blog post is not popular it expires. No need to assess or rank, no need to archieve. All of the work is outsourced to the Twitter community. Better still no need to worry about old content, good bad or indifferent, and certainly no need to build server farms worldwide.
Instead of charging fees based on ‘clicks’ and forcing customers to spend money and time on SEO that is totally disconnected with sales, Twitter charges advertisers according to how long a Tweet is heard and how far it goes across groups in the Twitterverse. Unless a Tweet is ‘Re-Tweeted’ it expires though advertisers can promote their own Tweets which means that Twitter will place a very few of them in their Trending dashboard making them visible to millions of Tweeters globally.
Marketers get multiple branding messages for free which is a pleasant change from SEO models where a ‘conversion’ or sales ratio of 5% is considered wildy successful, if you don’t count that you have to pay for the other 95% of ‘clicks’.
Branding has moved to virtual real time speed with Twitter though marketers haven’t had the opportunity to explore or determine best measures Resonance or the relationship between Customers, Products and Content.
Wired‘s recent exclusive article on new CIA investment in Web Monitoring and Google and while it is a short but interesting read.
WEB MONITORING FUTURES
The military funded the internet and eventually the technology was releases to benefit citizens which lead me to speculate about how corporations would apply the web monitoring technology and ask whether the public sector may already be more advanced.
Radian6, Social Radar and other commercial products are adequate for monitoring social media and perhaps the best are still to be found in the laboratories of entrepreneurs or plain hobbyists. The old school competitive analysis vendors also have a stake in the internet monitoring game and the concept of mutually assured destruction where the fear of competition entices some CEO’s to buy internet monitoring software as an insurance policy.
Monitoring the internet is valuable if and when the analysis is act on and this in my experience is rare. Look at your competitive analysis or monitoring software and do a simple calculation.
Divide the number of words in the reports by the number of words in the database that the system stores. Then multiply that number by the cost of buying the software, operating the processes that the software demands and the related infrastructure costs.
My guess is that your result is, more or less, $0 or probably close to the value delivered by the exercise, but there is hope!
PROFIT, MONITORING AND INTERNET MARKETING
Monitoring is good when there is a plan and the budget to move forward and get a job done and internet marketing is one very profitable opportunity that benefits from the right kind of web monitoring and here is how it might work.
Monitor extensively to identify web content with ‘buzz’–like the Wired post above.
Map keyword phrases in content to create a unique blog post–like this one.
Create links and backlinks to web or social media sites–SpeedSynch blogs or on Twitter
BACKLINKS, RANK AND PROFIT
The backlinks in this post were created by exploit the keyword phrases of the original Wired article as mapped by our SpeedSynch internet marketing software so as to show how Social Media blog posts have been able to overwhelm corporate search engine spiders and the visibility provides significant profit potential. Here is the SpeedSynch keyword theme map…
Web Monitoring benefits Corporations more than Government
SOCIAL MEDIA, M&A AND ADOBE
Adobe’s recent acquisition of DAY Software provides corporations the ability to enhance the miniscule amounts of corporate content on internet sites to counter social media blogs and backlinks that currently overwhelm corporate search engine spiders.
INTERNET MONITORING AND INTERNET MARKETING SOFTWARE
A couple of years ago search engines were starting to be influenced by vast amounts of user generated content and people building backlinks which motivate people to build more content faster when they realized that a few hundred posts could make you a star or a lot of money. The Faceboook, Twitter and LinkedIN really took off.
Th Social Media sites now generate more content than can be understood by search engines and for those who are looking for the next tool in internet marketing, tightly integrated micro sites is a blogger innovation that you must learn about.
People influence search engines by using keyword themes in blogs and product content to shape blog posts to boost page rank, the quality of links and backlinks and connect multiple blog posts for search engine visibility.
Web monitoring is good when you have a plan and the ability to boost your visibility to search engines and survive and profit from the upcoming corporate content deluge as global content generation factories come on-line are very good reasons to monitor.
Look carefully at the links the search engines offer you while you search and you may see something unusual. Many of the SERP or search engine result page links connect you to small entrepreneurs or large brokers that stand between you and manufacturers of the products or services you need. These folks have invested in web pages and their content has been assessed and ranked highly, often in the top ten search results, by search engine spiders.
Two Internet Marketing Myths
So now someone new stands between you and the provider of the product or service that you need. Wasn’t the internet supposed to remove middlemen and save us time and money? One myth down, one to go — the big one.
Google or rather the search engines are slowly beginning to lose their domination of commerce and influence over business just as business is desperately climbing aboard the fast moving bandwagon called social media. If this seems silly consider that early in 2009 more people went to social media for trusted content than to corporate web sites. Big business noticed the trend early in 2010 and corporate recruiters started desperately seeking social or digital media directors as search engines couldn’t easily penetrate the new social media islands. Stock markets and investors value visibility and the search engines couldn’t guarantee it.
But is the shift to social media the beginning of the end of search engine dominance?
Yes, and it is only a question of time. The shift to social media gives people the technology and unprecedented ability to create content faster than the search engine spiders can evaluate. Even high powered computers and complex algorithms can’t help search engine spiders differentiate between valuable or useless content and this is painfully obvious by the importance given to a simple act of typing or blogging on web page ranking. Blog links directly influence search engine results.
Blogs, Backlinks and Rank
Blogs are a significant force in helping people navigate the internet and their content is used by Google, Yahoo, BING or other search engine spiders to determine the affinity of website content to keyword phrases typed by searchers as they look for products, services or content. *Note: Micro web or blog sites show great potential to help searchers find what they need faster.
Search engines are taxi cabs of the internet and we pay them directly or indirectly to take us to our preferred destination. Even taxi cabs need maps and keyword maps of web site content describe to searchers what they will find when they arrive at a web site. The search engines work hard to discourage keyword mis-use and attempt to avoid sending people to web sites where the products, services or content appear to be unrelated the keywords used to initate a search. While this sounds simple, it is not an easy task.
In a strange twist the social media trends that popularized blogging have allowed search engine designers to assume that searchers will blog about positive search experiences and link back from their blog post to the web site that satisifed their search objective. Currently higher quantity and quality backlinks virtually guarantee higher SERP or search engine results page rank and profits.
Top Two Ways to Dominate Google
In my observation search engines may be influenced and here are two ways I’ve noticed though there may be others;
Highly focused micro sites with inter-locked keyword themes can rank very highly on Google and are quickly built by understanding keyword themes created by analyzing products, web or social media sites and customer perspectives or behaviours.
The SpeedSynch map below was created by mapping internal backlinks and highlights keyword themes on the Viper Chill blog site.
The Blog, Rank and Dominate Google theme of this post was inspired by Viper Chill map below where ‘rank’ is low on the theme list and link building, backlinks and quality back links are all above.
Why use Rank in our blog title? SEO professionals create banklinks to improve their rank and while they might type ‘backlinks’ as part of a keyword phrase into a search engine, ranking highly is their objective. This is some of the art in SEO and aligning products, content and user perspectives for internet marketing campaigns.
SpeedSynch Competitive SEO Analysis of keyword themes used for Blogs, Backlink building and buzz oriented content creation that ranks high in Google
Linking Internet Marketing to Radio, Television and Print
Internet marketers sometimes forget that radio, television and print can effectively support direct marketing, advertising and internet marketing and Keyword themes allow us to bridge physical and digital worlds simply, quickly and cost effectively.
Unlike recent trends in the internet or social media most magazines, television shows and radio programs can’t afford to keyword stuff or repeat product associated words constantly. Indeed keyword stuffing on the internet manages to hijack people to a page that doesn’t offer them what they want and it is very difficult for Google or other engines to stop or even discourage this behaviour. Google’s CAFFEINE algorithm is one attempt and the smart SEO professionals are starting to build better content, the others more backlinks and now Google is pushing very hard for their partners to create more video and include video site maps.
Google is looking to displace the television networks just as their content is starting to look good again.
The Next Media War: Keywords, Radio and Audio
The search engines have won the battle of text but ‘old’ media networks have a good shot at winning the war over radio and audio because Google can’t re-record or add to a branded product. While search engines can help you find almost anything by using text, they have a very hard time navigating audio which provides an opportunity to TV and radio producers. Even if magically that problem was solved tomorrow, the ability to navigate audio content would not permit search engine users to modify TV shows like Iron Chef America or Holmes on Homes or create a commentaries that would air as an integral part of the original TVshow. The new content creation available is severly limited by branding.
Keywords add value to Radio, TV and Video.
We are currently working with video and audio files to map words and keyword themes just as we do with our SpeedSynch internet marketing software in the ‘Blog, Rank and Dominate Google’ map above. By understanding where keyword themes are in a TV show, a video or radio show we can take you into a specific part of a two hour movie so you can see or hear what you need without wasting time just as the search engines do for text.
Opportunities or Opninions?
The decline of the search engines has already started though the interesting thing is that the media corporations don’t appear to notice the opportunities on the horizon. Until then it is our observations that form our opinions in this blog post and we look forward to your feedback–opinions can be changed. Opportunities are a little harder to find.