Unless you’ve been in a coma for a while, you’ve probably noticed that the past few years of global Internet use have changed the game of marketing completely. These days, a consumer can immediately find a page for something the consumer likes—which is great for anyone selling anything.
Lots of big companies have capitalized on this, and huge changes have come in the world of marketing and advertising within the last five years. Take a look at:
In October of 2007, Microsoft bought a 1.6% share in Facebook, back when it was worth a lowly $15 billion. Just two years after Microsoft’s investment, Facebook reported that its value had increased to $41 billion…not a bad turnaround. The website has become a must-have for every social creature and was the world’s most visited site in 2011. Advertising on Facebook using its audience-targeting parameters may be the smartest thing a business can do nowadays.
With the advent of sites like SliceThePie in 2007, IndieGoGo in 2008, and Kickstarter in 2009, it is no longer a question of which big guys back you in your enterprise—it’s all about support from the little guys. Need help financing your artistic venture? A couple of weeks ago, artist Rich Burlew, author of The Order of the Stick online comics, raised one-million-and-a-quarter dollars with the help of Kickstarter’s collection platform and donations from nearly 15,000 people. That’s impressive…and it’s available to anyone who can gather a decent following.
As of 2011, Google had already bought Motorola, YouTube, and Keyhole, the small company providing the idea for the three-dimensional satellite imaging that became Google Earth. Shopping, language translation, sharing documents…Google does it all. My own blog benefits from searches on Google more than anything else, and optimizing your site for search engines—throwing in key words and phrases that are more likely to come up in a search—is a widely known practice.
YouTube’s popularity skyrocketed after being bought by Google in November of 2006. Google had the right idea. After all, images and video are what spur a curious online consumer into looking at something new. Plenty of other sites (i.e. Hulu, VEVO, Bing, Crackle) are offering video and movies to the masses. Subscription to a YouTube channel has become the bread and butter for many that are looking for notoriety, and it works! You could use Justin Bieber as an example here, but I’d rather point in you in the direction of Chevy’s joint production of OK Go’s music video where a speeding car plays all the instruments. Really cool.
Networking and media aside, the ability to simply pick up a figurative Internet bullhorn and send a message that’s instantly readable by millions is, in a word, powerful. So it’s no surprise that Twitter’s ability to do so caught on quickly. A landmark achievement for Twitter? Try January 2010’s message tweeted by astronauts at the International Space Station. Now that is remarkable. If you’re trying to spread an idea, it would seem that no one is really out of your reach.
These advances in such a short period of time are great news. After all, if all of that happened in the last five years, the next five years ought to be promising, too.