During every cycle of technological growth, someone declares an aspect of our daily culture “dead.” SEO, print media, blogging – even the internet itself – they’ve all been tapped for extinction. Yet we still have newspapers to read, we still have search engines to please, and blogs now number over 152 million.
This does not, however, negate the sentiment that some (or even all) of these mainstays are on their way out. If you think of death more as a transformation into something new, then print media is definitely experiencing that process. As is SEO, blogs, infographics, and even the mighty website itself.
It’s an obvious truth that websites as we know them are a thing of the past. They are evolving out of necessity, and in a sense, into utter oblivion. Why? Because that’s simply the nature of technology; it’s anything but static. And if your website is static, it’s an endangered species.
Why Websites Must Evolve or Die
Think about a typical website, say circa 2005. It’s a hub of information, yes, but a pretty flat and stagnant hub. Sites in this vain trying to compete in today’s marketplace have an insurmountable challenge. Look at dynamo apps like Flipboard and Facebook’s Paper. They are alive, by comparison; bursting with images and media, multifaceted, and far more engaging. Even the most successful blogs, updated daily, can’t compete with this kind of freshness and relevancy.
Technology is central to our lives because it flows at the pace of human evolution. Things that are static will always fall away, because life requires energy and movement. If you’re finding yourself stuck in the evolution of your business, take a look at your reliance on static pages and information. Remember that the internet in many ways mirrors the methods of our minds. It’s always firing, also sending new information. The most successful examples of online media these days matches that vibrancy.
How Social Media Breaks the Mold
Sites like Twitter and Facebook are not traditional websites because every second spent on either brings about a new experience. They are the polar opposite of static media, with streams of data and information available every nanosecond.
Furthermore, social media is insanely popular because it is highly customizable. If you were inundated with every tweet and status update, social media would cease to be relevant. Because you can choose whose information you are presented, it’s tailored to your liking, and engenders immense loyalty.
Is it any wonder why Google is fervently pushing folks to Google+? They understand the evolution taking place. We as business owners should too.
Consider a dynamic feed like Twitter’s juxtaposed with a static website. On the former, you could get lost for hours consuming fascinating details. On the latter, you’ll get the entire download in just a few minutes, and be ready to move on.
Companies that still cling to the notion that singing their own praises will amuse the masses are already finding success is fleeting. Given the choice between an ever-changing flow of excitement and a self-centric diatribe full of hard sells, it’s easy to see why social media is spelling death to the static website.
Adapting Your Online Business to the New Paradigm
If you want to think like a trendsetter, reevaluate your business with an eye to a new presence. The old way looked like this: build a website, do everything possible to make search engines rank you, launch numerous marketing campaigns, and essentially work your tail off trying to get attention. The problem is, consumers aren’t all looking for your services like this anymore.
The new game in town is found in the ever-present flow of dynamic media. If you want to compete with any sense of longevity, engage your future customers into a dialogue first. Hook them into your sphere by providing multiple channels of relevant, unique, and quality content offerings. Use social media to have a daily stream of industry-related blasts, creative reveals, and various other ways of joining them in the daily flow. In other words, meet them where they are at, with information they actually want to consume.
Websites of yesteryear are like stop signs now. They’re always there, espousing the same information. And they’re expecting users to find them. It’s your job to find your audience, and to do so in a manner that matches their day to day behaviors. It’s your job to offer your audience things with tangible value before they become your customers.
The Good News and the Bad News
The more challenging aspect of this new stream-like way of marketing is obvious: it’s new, it’s different, and it requires more effort out of the gate. But the really, really good news is that the customers you do retain through this method are likely to remain fiercely loyal, if you provide a good product and service. Marketers in the modern age have to, in essence, romance their future customers. Once you do so with integrity, people are likely to keep coming back, because an actual relationship is formed.
In many ways, this is bringing more honesty to marketing. Since we really do have to work harder and harder to acquire new customers, we need to make darn sure we never take them for granted. Follow-through is as essential as the initial content offerings – all these pieces create the perfect company model. Balance is integral.
The sooner you dive into the new paradigm, the more likely your business will thrive. Change is always inevitable, and the true success stories are those who dared to shift focus before mass consciousness caught up. There’s still time to be an early adopter – step one is evolving your dying static website.
What are some key creative ways you’ve already evolved your online presence?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.