Attention is Expensive – Part I 5

Moving the needle costs money.

Blogging for your business is foundational to any online marketing effort.

But it’s not enough to drive the kind of broad-based, continual attention that’s necessary to drive business in a predictable fashion.

The web enables all businesses to run their own media channels. It’s possible for a single blog post to spread farther than a New York Times article.

But it’s not likely. Organic traffic costs a lot of time and money to promote. And it’s not always easy to maintain – your competitors can and will match your efforts to retain the top spots on the search category. If you fall off the first page, your results from SEO decline rapidly.

A well-executed, long-term SEO campaign is critical for driving in new business. But it’s not the only method to bring in business.

Advertising seems to have become more important in this environment than it has ever been before.

Viral videos now have to compete against a vast array of professional and amateur content that didn’t exist before. Not only are you up against everything new being produced now, but you’re also competing against videos that were first posted in 2005.

Virality has become relatively ineffective, because our cognitive immune systems have developed defenses against it. It’s no longer stunning to see a clever video tangentially related to the product. Now, in order to be effective, paid content must be used to amplify the effect.

We’ve gone from releasing natural ideaviruses into the system to weaponizing viral media and carpet-bombing the web. Well-executed web advertising keeps content fresh in the eyes of the web crawlers. It ensures that you continue to receive incoming traffic, pushing up your ranking. The engines run themselves to increase revenue: they set up that cycle because it earns them more money.

Managing that marketing budget is a continual process of adding, subtracting, measuring, and experimentation. There are more channels available than ever before for advertising, but too many companies of all sizes are fixated on just one or two methods for reaching customers.

No matter what, you spend scarce resources promoting your message. Spending money intelligently to privilege your communications increases the impact of what you’re already saying.

In the next part, I’ll talk about constructing a multi-pronged marketing plan in the current media environment.

About JC Hewitt

JC Hewitt is an independent copywriter and marketing consultant based in New York City. He loves innovative companies of all sizes.