The Infancy Stages of the Digital Era
We are all pioneers in the ever-changing digital world.
Consider how far we’ve come in less than fifteen years:
- Facebook is 14 years old;
- Twitter is 12 years old;
- The first iPhone was released 11 years ago.
When putting it into perspective, you can easily see how exponentially our digital tools have grown in the past two decades.
The gradual change in one direction is easy to adjust to, but rapid change in all directions is highly unpredictable. This is the challenge facing businesses and marketers in the present day. It’s a challenge that requires stamina, courage, and most of all, creativity.
Four Hard Truths about the Digital World
There’s a great deal of uncertainty in the digital realm. Businesses are hesitant to join the game because at any moment a major shift could collapse all of their efforts to date. That’s a risk of investment that’s hard to take. We think it’s worthwhile, but there are four things to be aware of before you start to navigate the cluttered digital world.
1. There are endless players in the digital world.
From companies and organizations to marketers, to individuals, everyone is competing in a world with unlimited space. Each business has to compete to gain valuable traction online, and the further we dive into online tools, the more competitive the struggle gets.
2. The digital world changes each and every day.
New platforms are constantly being created, but even those platforms are not stationary. Every day there are new updates or tools to use. This means that our strategies for using the platforms we’re accustomed to having constant change as well.
By the time you’ve read this, there’s a chance that a shift has happened somewhere in the digital world. Your audience is pivoting to these shifts: are you?
3. We do not have a foot to stand on. None of us.
Perhaps most nerve-wracking is the fact that any digital strategy we develop must be experimental in nature. There is no right and wrong in the world of digital marketing. The strategies we use will rarely have an immediate impact. This means we need to constantly shift in a new direction, without any solid evidence that our efforts will be rewarded. There are no lasting case studies in digital marketing because a case study must be grounded with set variables.
4. Clients are Learning Faster than Us
How often do we use the digital world for our personal needs? We use digital tools for our everyday lives more often than we realize. However, we don’t use these tools for our businesses as often. That makes it difficult because it means our audience is more engaged, and therefore, learning faster. In order to keep up, we need to be continually learning from our clients and staying on top of trends.
However, one of the main questions is: how do we get in front of clients to begin with?
Creating a Space in the Digital World
Content is King
Competing with others online is daunting. There are companies out there that likely have more resources and more experience. However, digital artistry tells us that resources and experience are only part of the equation. An online presence requires thought and creativity. It requires content that moves people to act and engage.
No matter where you put your content, it’s only going to have an impact if it’s high quality and emotionally compelling. Does your content tell a story? Can people relate to it? Does it create sensations, feelings, and physical reactions?
In other words, it is artistic?
If not, it may not go beyond your current followers and it may not have the impact you hope it will.
People want more from their content. They want to have experiences through the digital world. When your content creates an experience, you’ve already achieved the first step in digital artistry.
Building your Own Community
Your online network is the starting point for your brand awareness, but your content needs to go far beyond this audience. You need your community to become active, and in order to do this, you need to be active. Building out a larger audience requires consistent engagement.
In my next blog post, we’ll talk about the online locations your brand should be active to build an engaged audience. Together, we’ll build a content map that lays out all the platforms required to create your full digital presence.
Continuous Learning is the Only Way to Succeed
There’s always something new to learn in the digital world. For many of us, that’s the fun in exploring the digital realm. It’s also the only way businesses can continue to compete.
Staying on top of the trends and learning about the changing demands of your audience are the important things we can do. If you get stuck in a rut or can’t make a lasting commitment, your marketing is not going to deliver the results you need. Instead, it will get lost in the constant noise of the digital realm.
Here are a few things you can do to stay on top of the changing digital world and compete:
- Stay up to date on the trends in your industry;
- Put consistent effort into everything you do online;
- Push forward with new content each week;
- Try new mediums of communication, building on the three pillars of digital artistry: content, graphics, and video.
Above all, be sure to constantly improve on the quality of your content. The mediums, trends, and new techniques are all important, but one thing doesn’t change: Quality content will always come out on top.