I'm in the business of helping people create, craft, and spread their messages. That's achieved through the effective use of internet marketing. That's what I do. But in the case of what's happening today and what's happened since I started my business in 2001, there's been a lot of changes. There have been changes in tools, technology and techniques. All of those things can impact the way that you brand and present your messages. Let me explain it to you.
First and foremost, we have tools. Some of these tools weren't around when I started back in 2001. The first tool we have is computers. You can have either a laptop or a desktop. With a laptop, obviously, you can pick it up and take it with you. With a desktop, you're sitting in front of your computer, and you can have bigger screens. You can have more screens. There are all kinds of ways that you can integrate all this stuff, but ultimately it boils down to it is a dedicated computer and it generally doesn't have a touchscreen.
Now, we also have tablets. There are hybrid tablets. There are some that look like laptops or are truly tablets to which you can add a keyboard. They have touchscreen capabilities. They also display content differently. They're not going to look and feel and act exactly the same as a desktop or laptop computer.
We also have cell phones. Cell phones are basically mini-tablets, but they're also incredible, high-end processing computers as well. We've got all of these different tools sitting in front of us. Do you need it all? Well, I use it all, every single day. I have seven screens in front of me at any time, including three monitors, a fourth monitor which works with my laptop, and I have my iPhone and my iPad. I tend to be a Mac person.
The second piece of this is technology. First of all, there are different platforms. The two most popular ones, in order, is Windows (Microsoft), and number two is Mac (Apple). There are some others. There is also Linux, but not a lot of people use those. From a general standpoint, if you're creating messages, it has to look good on Windows and work well on Windows, and it has to look good on a Mac. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I'm not going to get into that right now.
The next thing that you have is browsers. On most computers, you're going to have Chrome and you're going to have Firefox. On Windows, you also have Internet Explorer. Then on a Mac, you have Safari. Now, the bottom line is if you're putting together a website or doing anything web-based, you have to make sure that you can address all of the idiosyncrasies of each one of those browsers.
Then you have applications. In the old days, citizens of the United States would get this thing in the mail called a box, and inside the box was a CD-ROM. You'd insert the CD-ROM and then you could download the software, and you'd keep the CD-ROM. Nowadays, when you buy software, you download it. I just downloaded a brand new program that was an upgrade. Instead of sending it in a box, they just say “download here” and it downloads everything, updates your computer, and boom, there you are.
You also have cloud-based subscription services. Now, the difference between applications and cloud-based subscription services is I pay once for the software, and every single year I'm going to have the option to pay to upgrade. I can pick and choose whether to do that. For example, I'm a big fan of the Adobe Suite, which is Illustrator, Photoshop, Fireworks, Acrobat, and a whole bunch of other things. I used to love it because I could buy it one year and basically wait two years to upgrade, but that's not the case anymore. They've stopped offering that, and now you have to subscribe to it, which means you're going to pay a monthly fee of $40. Whereas I used to pay maybe $600 for my software that would last me two years (and I had ways of getting it cheaper because I'm a teacher), I now have to pay $480 a year, which is about $960 over the course of two years. It's actually better for them, not so good for me. But, on the bright side, you do get updated software constantly. It's constantly updating itself so you're not waiting two years for the latest and greatest, if that means something to you.
Then of course, there are search engines. Google is the king; it's 80% of the search engines used. But then Google goes out and adds all of these different “tentacles” inside of their system. You have Google Business, Google Maps, then you have Google Plus. Yes, Google Plus is still a thing. Then you have Google Search and Search Console and Analytics. There are so many different pieces to this. All of that was not there years ago, but it's all impactful upon what you're doing in your business. If you have a location-based business, you want to make sure that that you're going to show up in Google Search, but also in Google Maps. You may show up higher in search but not on the maps. I've seen clients that say, “I want to be number one on the map so I want to be number one in search.” They're all different things. You can't make one go across all of those platforms. That means you have to deal with all of them.
Finally, we have techniques. Techniques are how are we going to get our messages out there. The most common way of doing it is to create a webpage. You get a website, but it's kind of static. How do you get people to it? Well, maybe you add a blog to it. This is the way I do it: Every single week, write a blog, then take it and spread it across social media. You can also spread it across email and do all those things. That's print. It gets indexed by Google and is one of the most powerful things out there.
So I have a podcast, and I actually build my blog upon my podcast. I love being able to talk all this stuff to my audience as opposed to having to type it up. It makes it a lot easier on me to be able to express my messages and the things that are happening a lot quicker.
The other thing that's huge is video. You've got live video on Facebook. You've got video on just about every other platform that's out there. On Instagram, you've got Story. Twitter now allows you to put videos in there. You have GIF animations. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a whole other way to get your message out there. There are tons of different ways to communicate via video.
You've got all of this stuff. You've got tools, you've got the technology, and then you have the techniques. What you're trying to do is get attention in this noisy world.
Some final last thoughts for you. What's next? We don't know. We're not sure what's going to happen, what's going to be the latest and greatest and hottest thing. What is Google going to buy? What is Facebook going to buy? We don't know how all this stuff is going to play out?
The other thing that you have really got to think about is how much of this stuff do I really want to learn? It makes sense to say, “My skill level is X and this is what makes sense for me. Maybe I need to hire out some of this other stuff.” There are people that will set up blogs for you. There are people that will write blogs for you. There are people that will set up and do podcasts for you. There are people that will shoot and edit video. There's a big difference between holding up your cell phone and talking into it versus somebody who understands lighting and shooting and editing and all that stuff in video. Sometimes it just makes sense to pay somebody to take care of things for you.
Work towards your strengths, and hire towards your weaknesses. Don't let all of this stuff get in the way, but be conscious of the fact that everything you do to get your messages out is being affected by the latest tools, the latest technology, and the latest techniques. All you have to do is sit back, watch and learn.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on how you manage tasks like these and others. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you or your business ever run into a problem by NOT managing your tech? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/