From SEO to Digital Domination: The Future of the Competitive Online Marketplace

Our modern digital marketplace is like a double-whammy in customer engagement – not only are old-fashioned techniques less effective, but customers expect more from our brands. Modern digital marketing is dissimilar to what it was even two years ago.

As market sophistication rises and consumer demands evolve, we must go the extra mile to cut through the noise and earn engagement with our customers. In this article, we will discuss why the old ways of SEO and newsletters just don’t cut it anymore and discuss your options in maintaining a competitive engagement strategy.

A Quick Overview of Our Current Digital Marketplace

Our digital marketplace can be described in two words: Informational Overload.

Back in 2007- when the internet was still in its toddlerhood- the average person was already being exposed to more than 4000 advertisements daily (in varying forms). Since then, an explosion in mobile usage and brand competition has raised that number to anywhere from 6000 to 10,000 daily advertisements!

Every niche is saturated with competing brands, who are engaged in a ceaseless battle to earn attention and engagement from customers. Even if your brand somehow has a flawlessly uncontested niche, you’ve still got problems; you will struggle to simply be heard over the noise.

To recap, this is what the market looks like for a small business who is trying to get customer engagement:

  • Media overload: The sheer volume of media content released every single minute will drown out a single-channel attempt at customer communication. So, to get noticed and stay relevant, you must employ a strategic, multi-channel approach. Social media campaigns, ongoing SEO, email, offline strategies, and much more. We will discuss this part in more detail further down- it’s very important.
  • High market sophistication: Consumers are highly cynical of marketing claims, and expect a lot of from your brand; you must present credibility, show that you understand your audience, and outshine competitors who are trying to do the same thing.
  • Desensitized consumers: People are prone to ignoring your ads, emails, and brand messaging. You need to find ways to target your audience in the right platforms (be they online or offline), using language that speaks directly to them with striking resonance.
  • Higher consumer demands: As markets evolve, consumers have ever-increasing expectations regarding the quality and convenience of services they get. Entire industries like UX/UI have exploded to address these issues, hinting at massive market demand. One way or another, your brand needs to show a superior ability to conveniently satisfy demand.
  • Ferocious competition: Competitors- especially big companies with large marketing capability- can dominate in an online sphere, leaving less room for your brand to get noticed. As an SME, you urgently need to do marketing that is as efficient and precisely targeted as possible.

With all this in mind, it should become increasingly clear- minimalist, single-channel approaches to engagement (like SEO by itself) just don’t measure up.

The Specifics- What Still Works

Once upon a time, in the ancient days of the early internet, brands could attract, engage, and retain customers with just a few very basic marketing techniques.

All it took was some good old-fashioned (emphasis on the ‘old’) SEO; outreach, backlinks, keywords, and voila- organic traffic rolls in! Then, you retain brand loyalty and engagement with a plain-text newsletter.

Alas- for reasons mentioned above, these days are long gone. To stay on top of your niche, you need a multi-channel approach. You should employ as many of these following strategies, as possible, in a tactically synergized way:

  • SEO: Not enough by itself, but a solid long-term tool. SEO is unreliable, prone to keyword fluctuations and algorithmic updates. Still, it remains a good long-term option for increasing organic traffic. Tools like Semrush help research competitors and hijack their traffic.
  • Email: Certainly not dead, but the bar is high. More than 200 billion emails are sent daily, and more than 50% of it is considered spam (by ISPs). You need to be extremely proactive with sharing engaging, aesthetic emails that bring genuine value. In wake of these challenges, email open rates have fallen down to 15-25% (on a good day) in 2020. Yet, the payoff is still amazing- email continues to boast a jaw-dropping ROI of $35-$40 dollars grossed for every $1 invested.
  • Outreach: Guest publishing helps with brand authority, SEO, and extra traffic. By reaching out and connecting with blogs, influencers, other websites, and authority figures in your field, you can accomplish a ton. You will get SEO-friendly backlinks, traffic from their page, credibility in your niche, and better brand authority. Hunter.io and Ninjaoutreach.com make this very simple.
  • Direct marketing: Use 3rd party platforms (Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, etc.) to drive sales and visibility. There are plenty of resources to quickly get started on these platforms, such as Amazon FBA consultants. Or- if you’ve already started, you can improve your results.
  • Joint ventures: Use the marketing lists of competitors, and grow together. Obviously, this is not ideal for every type of business, but it can be a very simple and effective way to get more engagement with your target audience.
  • Offline approaches: The old ways still work. Things like direct mail, printed ads (like in magazines, where you can really target your audience), and even cold calling can still play a powerful role in a multi-faceted engagement strategy.

Okay- realistically speaking, how many of these capabilities can you seriously expect to employ, as a small business?

You can do quite a lot, as it turns out. This brings us to the exciting part!

Technology Gives Us Amazing New Engagement Potential

Although the sheer amount of traffic and competition is massive, you can leverage modern technologies and creative marketing strategies to get an edge over the masses and craft your multi-channeled engagement strategy.

  • Powerful Software: Google and Facebook, in particular, offer services that help you target specific types of users. Google Ads, combined with Google Analytics, are powerful, as are Facebook and Instagram ads.
  • Better Marketing Strategies: The rise of the internet and social media has created new, higher ROI marketing strategies like influencer marketing, better inbound marketing, and more targeted forms of email marketing, SEO, advertising, and more.
  • Rise of AI: Artificial Intelligence has created many new opportunities for companies to gather data, predict consumer needs, and much more.
  • Amazing Potential to Gather & Use Data: The amazing data harvesting potential of the internet gives brands a connection to understand the behavior and psychology of their target audience- especially previous customers, Just remember to stay compliant with data regulation!

To summarize- there is a wealth of resources out there that help you refine and craft a superior engagement strategy with your target audience.

Conclusion

The old ways of basic SEO, tacky banner ads and generic emails are dead- it’s important to make sure that your customer engagement strategy fully leverages all the new forms and techniques for marketing that the rise of the internet has given us.

By leveraging your superior understanding of your market and customers, you can build a powerful, omnipresent, multi-channel engagement approach that spreads and promotes your brand across all spheres of media.

If you want to get this done the right way, and with no hassle, I invite you to get in touch with us today, to explore how we can support your business needs.

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This webinar series will tackle the basics of digital marketing for the small business owner.

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