Online advertising and social media has fostered a marketing myth, digital advertising is about speed. Fast results, fast data, fast changes, fast profits. Yes, the digital tools and online world does allow us to market and accomplish a lot of things quickly and is much more efficient in many ways.
But, there is a flaw in the popular belief of quick results happen online. To get REAL results, it takes time. Why do I say this? Yes, you can buy PPC and banner ads and get instant feedback on the activity of the ads. You can change them within minutes. Online advertising and social media is also cheap (so it must be effective, right?) All you have to do is buy a hand full of keywords, fund a PPC campaign, link to your web site and watch the dough roll in. Sounds good to me. In reality, this actual scenario is rare. If it wasn’t, there would be only 10% of new businesses fail instead of 90%.
Digital marketing is about being SLOW. You can make fast decisions and see fast feedback (data) and optimize things on the fly, but real, tangible results take time. You can’t just start a blog and get thousands of readers right away. You can’t start SEO on Monday and expect to be on the first page of any search engine by Wednesday, let alone staying on the first page for any length of time. You can’t launch a PPC campaign and expect the cash to roll in on the first day. You can’t join online groups and get any value from it unless you take to meet the right people and and make the right connections and contribute any value yourself.
Digital marketing is not a one night stand. It is about building real relationships and trust with your customers and potential customers. Just as it is in the physical world, it takes time and consistency to build relationships and trust in the digital world. Your digital brand is a paradox. It must keep up with fresh content, design and functionality, but it’s the older content that has been searched and linked to the most and has become a trusted source by individuals and search engines. Google ranks things not by how new it is, but how long it has been around, how often it’s been linked to and ultimately, how valuable it has become to the community it serves. It’s a slow and steady process that makes digital marketing and your web content rise to the top of Google and other search engines. Once it is trusted, through the test of time, then your online brand is able to develop real relationships with your customers and potential customers.
Where speed plays a part is the faster you post online, the sooner your marketing or content can start the process of becoming trusted and valuable over time. Speed is a strategy, but not the result. The true result is building relationships and trust with your customers. And that takes time. Even though it’s online, there is no short cut to real success.