I recently spent some time with a group of business leaders who all had concerns about how best to use the money that was coming into their companies. One area that came up in discussion was justifying our spend on Social Media.
Let us find some context for this business investment.
Last week my eleven-year-old grandson was introduced to a programme on free to air television.
“What are these?” he asked when the ads came on. Is it any wonder Television and print media are on a seemingly terminal decline? When kids do not even recognise a paid TV advertisement the future is bleak for that industry and of concern to those of us still using their services.
Where in the past many of us saw newspapers, radio and television as our first port of call for our promotional activity, high cost, lack of reach and focus make today’s digital platforms a far more effective use of limited funds.
But how is this value derived? Part two of this series addresses three value creators businesses can focus on when evaluating the effectiveness of their internet strategy. These are Communication, Connection and Content.
Communication and Connection
Most of us recognise Zoom, Skype and Teams and the vital role they played in keeping staff and customers in constant touch during lockdown. The ability to consume face to face meetings, document share and deliver powerful presentations was revealed to us all almost overnight. We took the opportunity with both hands and doing so business changed forever.
Compare these tools to phone systems, emails, letters and faxes and the performance, cost and benefit equation is clear to us all. Consider that video calling services for many of us were delivered at zero or near zero cost to the user. Also consider the ease with which even the most non-technical user engaged with these tools and the internet’s transformational capability within business is brought to light.
If it is normal for us to search the web for our every need it is also quite reasonable to expect that our clients and potential clients are doing the same thing.
Creation and dissemination of web content is proving to be the key to differentiating our products, companies and brands. Where once a website with a logo, a photo of our offices, our contact details and a quick summary of our services was enough, we are now seeing emerging players and current competitors reaching higher by delivering quality, timely insights right to the devices of those who need it.
Content no longer just relies on visitors coming to our websites. Digital content marketing is a powerful tool that directs your carefully crafted content to a specific group of people in a specific geography. For example, I produced some information recently on how cloud computing could be used as a tool to help businesses coming out of the lockdown quickly move into recovery and growth mode. With the help of a specialist digital content marketer we were able to direct that content to over 20,000 senior managers whose specific interest was marketing and finance. This was achieved using a methodology called “boosting”.
Not only was this content directed to the right people, we were able to measure the level of interest, deal with feedback and react in near real time to requests for more information.
The Simple Things in Life are Often the Most Valuable
When billions of people across the world suddenly started video-calling friends, family and colleagues, the web handled it. When millions of students went online for their school lessons the web handled it. When we all started playing computer games and watching Netflix at once, the web remained working.
The internet is a network of machines designed to transfer information at speed, reliably and efficiently via the shortest available path. It has the capacity to serve five times as much demand as a worst-case scenario produces and is self-healing in almost any event. Secure, scalable and astonishingly cheap to use, we took it for granted until COVID-19.
May I suggest the next time you walk past that IT person crouched under a desk you stop to thank them. These people help keep your computer running and we have all witnessed how essential that is. Without IT departments, the world would have been a much darker place during lockdown.