It has been a few days since the new ARD / ZDF online study was published. In it, I found a number that impressed me personally: From 2017 to 2018, the number of Germans in the network rose again by a million.
This means that in Germany 90 percent of all people over the age of 14 are online. So almost anyone who is able to use a smartphone, open the laptop or say “Ok, Google” or “Alexa”.
Conversely, for many market observers, this also means that anyone who is not on the net as a medium, company, brand or institution no longer takes place. But that is just too short thought. Rather, it must mean: Who today is not right on the net, no longer takes place.
Without the right content, the best website is useless
Let me put it this way with a concrete example: The other day I found the website of a headhunter specializing in IT professionals … just can not say. I was pushed to it. If I had been looking for the headhunter who does his business with a 100% digital target group, I would not have found him.
The website itself was really not bad. Mobile capable, great design, great user guidance, fast loading times – but the content was so written past the topic that Google probably wondered confused what this store offers. This is not an isolated case.
Far too many companies, large or small, think in 2018, it is enough to have an (expensive) website – and to do a little something on social media. But the internet has gotten really crowded, and with it the first search results page on Google and the stream on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which is not only used by companies, but also by more and more private individuals. It is becoming increasingly important to understand how digital communication actually works.
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The turnover often depends on the internet
In this world, I still smile softly when I see the website of a hair salon that reminds me of my first Geocities home from the 90s. But I shake my head in disbelief when it has not been recognized what an important communication and marketing tool the Internet is – along with all the other channels that still exist.
I am absolutely convinced that, for example, the IT headhunter mentioned would increase its sales by double digits if he had the right SEO strategy and did not outsource the filling of his page to interns.
Worse still, sometimes you even see that a lot of money has been put into the hands of websites, YouTube channels or social media. But measurable and visible successes I hardly recognize.
Many social media channels of exciting brands are even bloodless than the social media accounts of Philipp Lahm. There is no more SEO or a content strategy that focuses on the user and not the CEO of the company and creates magical content.
Mediocrity in technology, strategy and content no longer helps
All this may have worked, when the network was not so full, the competition manageable. But now that almost every player and their competitor is online and content marketing has become niche to trendy, mediocrity is no longer enough.
Now it’s time to find the right content, technology, and channel strategy to get through to the user and really make a difference. It does not work with averageity.
In concrete terms, if you have a slow website today that is built in such a way that Google has trouble understanding it, you should urgently do something. If you have any content that demonstrably does not interest anyone and does not even work on Google, you have to act urgently.
And who still debates today whether and how their own brand should be present on social media (quote: “Facebook is on the verge of falling anyway”), may not have understood that for billions of people Facebook & Co. meanwhile synonymous with the Internet – and the usage figures of Facebook have hardly changed despite all the scandals.
(And here’s a little hint for those who like to predict the death of Snapchat: The user numbers of Snapchat have doubled, according to ARD / ZDF online study from 2017 to 2018.)
Traffic is cheap. But how long?
The question is also how long you can cheaply buy the necessary traffic. Experts like Gary Vaynerchuck predict that the cost of online advertising will soon increase twentyfold – and the big gatekeepers Google and Facebook are already rubbing their faces with anticipation.
So now is the time to build organic reach and communities with good content, good technology and a good strategy. If not now then when?
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About the author: Anyone who deals with digital content marketing and digital transformation can hardly ignore Karsten Lohmeyer. The 46-year-old worked for many years as a journalist, founded the well-known media blog LousyPennies.de and built u.a. a content marketing subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Today, as a consultant for corporations and agencies, he develops and implements complex content marketing strategies and deals with his favorite hobby, growth hacking.