I've written several times about what I like to call the Next Shiny Object Syndrome. I see it all the time. Local businesses and individuals get caught up with the next cool thing when it comes to online marketing. And I understand how easy it is to do with so many options being thrown at us from different companies; from social media optimizing tools, to new social media and blog platforms, to easy to use and design websites, to the next big thing that promises to create the biggest and baddest lead generating machine out there. But its very important for local businesses to take a step back and look at their entire marketing strategy before adding any new addition or tools to their arsenals.
Fact is, technology is changing every day. A new program or software may come out today, and within six months, its already becoming obsolete. It's a similar concept when it comes to online marketing tools. Its not that they become obsolete so much, but social media platforms, search engine algorithms, blogging platforms and other online marketing tools are constantly changing, and sometimes those changes can truly impact search engine rankings (such as Google's Panda update that impacted local businesses last year).
For our company, we focus on the concept of "signals" in the distributed web. Making as many quality signals as we can, with geo coding, social media optimization, etc. to boost our clients online presence to build exposure and generate more leads. To do this, we have a digital blueprint for how we get there so we don't miss anything but its just that — a blueprint. And that blueprint is always changing to keep up the changes with technology and the distributed web for our local business clients. We have to be flexible and keep up with these changes or were doing our clients a huge disservice.
With all this being said, it serves local business owners well to remember that it's better to have a compass to guide the way rather than have a map that's set in stone. In Seth Godin's blog, The map has been replaced by the compass, he offers a very good analogy of this concept, emphasizing that technology keeps changing, so its not worth it to go off-road and try to develop and innovate and remake what we thought was going to be next.
These constant changes are also part of the reason as to why its good to avoid the Next Shiny Object Syndrome and work with a company who can help you create a blueprint that's flexible and can change with the demands and changes of the distributed web that fit your specific needs and overall marketing strategy. Not every new and improved online tool will do this. Experts can also help you keep up with the constant changes so you can focus on your base business, which is what you do best as a local business owner.
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For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.