How Snapchat Slyly Sells Stuff
When Myspace gained popularity in the early 2000s, the idea of social media was relatively new territory. Sure, there was email and instant messaging before it, but these services were bare bones text communication akin to classic mail, just a lot faster and more environmentally friendly. Sites like Myspace and then Facebook a few years after redefined the way humans interact with one another. And where there are people, there is commerce, or at least the possibility for products to be bought and sold in new ways.
Today, the use of social media by marketers is almost ubiquitous, with 93% of them using these platforms for business. This is largely due to the fact that the vast majority of consumers are now a part of at least one social media service, Facebook being one of the most popular. With people spending so much time and attention browsing their news feeds, advertisers have found new and creative ways to target and sell their products. This is why you might start noticing ads that appeal to you popping up on your newsfeed, especially after doing some online searches for particular items. Online marketing has surely come a long way since pop-up ads of the early internet.
But social media represents just one avenue for online marketing. Search engines are another area of the internet that marketing firms must pay close attention to and use to their advantage. This is because search engines have provided a great avenue for businesses to target their products to those who want them and search for them the most. The process by which a business makes its products show up more frequently in relevant online searches is called search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is a type of inbound lead. Inbound leads are ways marketers attract consumers to their website and product through the creation of quality content. The goal of this content, such as blogs and news articles, is to eventually lead the consumer organically to the company’s products. Outbound leads, on the other hand, refer to the more old school way of marketing to customers, via mailing lists, mass emails, and targeted phone calls. While these methods are still effective and in use today, it’s been shown that inbound leads are about 60% cheaper than outbound leads. And since nearly 83% of those who use the internet rely on search engines, inbound lead generation such as SEO is becoming more and more effective for digital marketing.
To briefly illustrate how SEO works and also how search engines such as Google work, we can take an example of someone seeking computer repairs. If they have access to another computer with Internet, they might search phrases such as “computer repair,” “computer maintenance,” or something along those lines. The search engine will read that data and come up with a number of results relevant to that search. At the very top of the page will be links from advertisers, who pay the search engine company directly to have their content appear first. But since 75% of users ignore these paid ads altogether, what’s under these paid ads is actually more important.
The links that organically show up at the top of the search results are those with the best SEO. In other words, the search for “computer repair” leads most frequently to the handful of sites that show up at the top of the search engine. There is a good amount of content regarding computer maintenance and things related to it that lead back to these sites, placing them at the top of the results page. These computer maintenance companies have used some of their advertising budget for online marketing, specifically SEO. As a result, more people will find their company and reach out for their services.
Online marketing and marketing in general is always evolving. With every new social media platform comes a new way for advertisers to show off their products. Marketers have even found clever ways to utilize newer social media platforms like Snapchat and Vine. SEO is also becoming more popular and understood by businesses as an effective way to reach the most consumers. No matter how the internet changes over time, we can be sure that the market will be right on its tail.