Seth Godin had a great post on his blog which charts the correlation between bandwidth-synchronization when considering your marketing mix. While the explanation is somewhat technical, it points to some interesting truths for local digital marketing.
The chart lays out a number of popular (and once popular) modes of communication. Where they are placed is based on the density level of information communicated (i.e., “bandwidth” – high bandwidth indicates an information-dense medium) and how synchronized in real time the medium is (i.e., a mode that allows immediate feedback is highly synchronized). Together, these two aspects suggest the relative quality of each mode of communication.
So on the one extreme, mediums like IM (instant messaging) and Twitter are highly synchronous since you can interact very quickly in real time, but do not communicate much information at any one time. On the other hand, a full-length movie communicates a tremendous amount of information, but is asynchronous in terms of the direct exchange of information between those who produce the movie and those who consume it.
While a medium that delivers rich content (high bandwidth) with immediate exchange (highly synchronous) would be the ultimate goal, this is often prohibitively expensive to deliver and therefore is only typically available to a select audience.
This chart explains much about the exploding popularity of online video right now (note: the chart reflects YouTube, but can be interpreted to include all streaming video distribution sites) for online marketing in general and for local digital marketing in particular. Why? Online video is a relatively dense medium, albeit not long in duration, is delivered easily to a potentially vast audience, is somewhat synchronous (can receive feedback from viewers in a short timeframe) and is very cost effective for distribution (zero cost for the producer).
You’re probably aware of the explosion of online video consumption in the past couple of years. But you may not be aware of the dramatic increase in the number of searches that are occurring on sites like YouTube. This dramatic growth is making these sites very powerful search engines in their own right (did you know YouTube is now the second largest search engine?).
People who are searching online for the right keywords are more likely to be in the mood to make a purchase.
So in the context of small and medium-sized businesses (SEM), what does this all mean?
- These three criteria (i.e., bandwidth, interaction, cost) should be considered when selecting the marketing mix for your business.
- Video is the most powerful medium available right now when considering these criteria.
- More and more people are searching on online video sites for the information they need. You need to be there to meet them.
- Part of video’s appeal for SEMs is that it lets your potential customers see, hear and “touch/feel” you which are all important ways that we learn about you and your business. Video allows your potential customers to learn in all three ways, providing a rich, near-live experience for them.
So, what might you do differently based on this information in terms of your local digital marketing strategy going forward? Tell us below…we’d love to hear!
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