Internet Marketing- Is it a Fad?
In my last article, I mentioned that when I brought up internet marketing to small businesses that they reacted with a polite refusal at best and derision at worst. And it makes sense when you have seen entire economies rise and fall based on fly-by-night speculation. Several financial institutions have collapsed under the assumption that they were going to make a lot of money without any evidence to back it up. And people that shouldn’t have paid for it did, dearly.
This sort of pattern has left people weary and wary of the idea of “the next big thing”. But it does make me wonder, how much of that suspicion is valid? When I am talking about SEO practices, building a Facebook page for their business, or putting them on Google Maps, they act like I am trying to literally steal their money.
So, are they right? I don’t think so. While I understand that smaller businesses and hopeful startups have been burned by the goldrush nature of things like the housing crisis and the dot-com crash, these smaller businesses are throwing the baby out with the bathwater by rejecting all forms of technology and internet marketing techniques. So, why is something like building a website and using social media not a fad?
Internet Access has Become more Mainstream than Ever
Fads are considered a foolish investment by most business owners today, mostly because it just has a short lifespan. For instance, if you were the store that stocked only fidget spinners, you would have seen a boom in business for about 2 months. After that, you would be scrambling to keep your business afloat because you would have no more demand for the product.
So, if you are going to invest in your business, you are going to want to invest in something long-lasting.
The big mistake of the dot-com crash of the nineties was that the home computer and use of the internet wasn’t a necessity at the time. Unless you worked for the government or the telecommunications industry, there was no need to have one.
People bought websites with the hopes of selling goods and services online. But they did so with little idea if their customer base even used computers. Computer owners in the 90’s were a niche crowd with only 36% of US families owning one in 1997.
Also, the internet was an optional service at the time. You had to pay for the browser separately, and you had to buy a dial-up connection through the phone company. Dial-up in the nineties meant that internet access was much more expensive and harder to use.
Then, dialup was replaced by broadband and satellite. New processors were made for computers to send and organize information faster. The percentage of Americans having a home computer increased from 51% in the year 2000 to 77% by 2010.
And that isn’t even counting smartphone users today. 75% of Americans as of 2017 own a smartphone.
So, it is safe to say that having a webpage now would be a much less risky venture than having a page in 1997.
Advertising and Internet Marketing is becoming more Regulated
When the internet first made its way into the public mainstream, it was considered a free for all. Like unsupervised children in a playground, great times were had by some and others had gotten themselves hurt badly. It was a time when caution about personal information was a must because the law hadn’t caught up with the emerging technology.
Spamming, hacking, phishing, emails from Nigerian royalty, and more had been at its most rampant when the public had gained access to the internet. And all of those paled in comparison to the appearance of the ever intrusive pop-up. It was commonplace to see at least one to three pop-ups per page. And most of them easily made unfounded claims like people being sweepstakes winners, or that you could get a few free days of the internet if you entered in your personal information.
However, after mistakes were made, brilliant minds learned to adapt at becoming savvier on the internet. Businesses who employed White Hat Hackers and Users who picked up coding learned to create countermeasures to take care of themselves. Eventually, stronger regulations of mainstream websites like Google or Youtube were made once they increased their popularity. Google started to set rules and regulations about what pages had relevant data, and what pages didn’t. They even made programs that penalized spam tactics like keyword stuffing on websites.
Internet marketers and advertisers who had time to cultivate their craft learned from the public just how annoying intrusive ads could be. So they started using the internet less for a vehicle for ads, and more as a place where customers can be offered relevant content.
Would that many people constantly adjust, adapt, and make policies for this sort of platform if it was just a fad? Absolutely not.
We aren’t Promising Instant Wealth
When the dot-com crash happened, it was because a bunch of people was investing in an empty promise that something was going to make them money. People just assumed websites made people rich, and never ironed out any details beyond that.
When we offer our Internet Marketing services, we don’t promise that it will make your business rich fast. We do promise, however a greater chance for your business to be seen by the 170 million people in the United States who own a mobile device. We do promise that we can increase the odds of your local business getting seen by the 80% of shoppers that use their phone to find alternate locations while they are inside your competitor’s store. Those of us in internet marketing want to give your business more exposure than some of the more traditional methods of advertising that may have been falling flat for the last few years.
We come up with personalized plans, find your target audience, and use strategy to let the people who need your services know who you are. We only want to get people in the door. That’s why the Tie’s latest mantra is “no gimmicks, no contracts, no BS”.
Also published on Medium.