The “old” internet started about 15 years ago. People would create a website that described their business services, address and contact information and put it online. The information on those websites didn't change much, so visitors would go to the website two or three times – realize they already knew the information that was on it, and go someplace else.
The “new internet”, often referred to as Web 2.0, uses websites like living, breathing communities. They're constantly changing and growing with new content, new people and new information. People continue to visit these websites because they've always got something new to learn or experience. Web 2.0 offers user-generated content on demand. It gives people what they want instantly.
This is the future of the internet and it's up to you to see how your business fits into it.
What Can Web 2.0 Do For Your Business?
All businesses have a place in Web 2.0 – there is a targeted community for every industry and in every niche. You can use Web 2.0 to accomplish the following:
- Global Branding: social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, as well as the interactive features of blogs and forums allow you to grow your brand. You can establish your name, your expertise, and position yourself as an authority in a certain market and build credibility in your prospects' minds.
- Connect With Your Prospective Clients: when you're delivering up to date information across the various Web 2.0 platforms, you're delivering value to your prospective clients first. They begin to trust you and seek you out online when they have questions or need your services.
- Mass Communication and Increased Exposure: anyone can leverage the reach of Web 2.0 to create global marketing platforms without an advertising budget. Web 2.0 has the tendency to create viral marketing – videos posted to Youtube can show up across thousands of other websites in a matter of hours. Your messages are online and working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all of your communications should be pointing back to your website and bringing targeted prospects to you.
It used to be that marketers were “king”, and could effectively convince people to buy their products or use their services. Today, consumers are far more educated and aware of the techniques marketers use – and are therefore more resistant to these older methods of advertising. Consumers are in control now, but a savvy business owner and marketer will realize that understanding what people are thinking and saying about your brand is useful to connecting with your prospects – and influencing sales.
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