Haves, Have-Nots, and Have-to-Haves: Net Effects of the Digital Divide

pablo
Are you a digital “know not” but “have to have”? Back in the late 90’s Elory Rozner, a Harvard student, wrote about the problem and there are still no good solutions!

“By allowing users to access resources otherwise off-limits and to communicate with people around the world, the Internet is supposed to blur the lines of race, ability, and age. Yet discussions of the “digital divide” abound, with the country divided into technology “haves and have-nots, doers and do-nots, and knowers and know-nots.” In other words, not everyone has, uses, or knows how to use technology. There is a fourth group of computer users, a category more troubling than the digital divide itself: have-to-haves.

Created by corporations addressing the digital divide, have-to-haves are people who have to have technology, and they are know-nots of the worst sort: they know not why they are using technology. Have-to-haves do not think critically about technology or understand that the Internet may have serious drawbacks or downsides. This paper documents the digital divide, corporate measures to breed have-to-haves, and effects of a virtual society.” Source: Haves, Have-Nots, and Have-to-Haves: Net Effects of the Digital Divide

I’ve known about haves and have nots but ‘have to haves’ is a new moniker that just makes sense. A have to have could be a senior citizen who has a computer to Skype with their grandkids and it could be an author who needs to promote her thought leadership on the internet. The problem is that many ‘have to haves’ are ‘know nots’ and that’s where a personal digital coach can be an asset!

I have been a VP of Marketing, Sales AND Technology at various times and have been helping people build their brands since the desktop publishing revolution at Apple in the 80’s. I work with ‘have to have know nots’ providing remote support and skills to help them accomplish their objectives. If you’re in this category, I can help…

What if I told you there’s a way to do it all with email

17opbxYou? You’re a small business owner or solopreneur. You know you need a website you can update by yourself and that there are advantages to participating in social media but you don’t have time to learn WordPress, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn and a host of other tools. You know you should be doing an electronic newsletter too and maybe Instagram and Pinterest as well but you just don’t have the time.

What if I could show you a way that you could do all of these things simply by sending an email to the correct address. That all you had to do was what you already know how to do: write an email and attach a picture and that that content would be magically transported across the internet and end up in all the right places, building your brand online and generating leads for you. Well? I can and I will if you’ll let me.

Chances are, you’re already sending dozens of emails about your business every day but because you’re not exposing them to Google and Facebook and Twitter, you’re only reaching one person at a time. The difference between a thinker and a thought leader is that while they both have a point of view, the thought leader shows up in search by using these good, fast and cheap tools to build an online reputations that is searchable, findable, knowable, usable, memorable and shareable. Because of all these ibles or ables, they become credible when buyers are evaluating opportunities in the zero moment of truth.

If you want to make a bigger splash on the internet using a tool you already know how to use — email — use the contact form below to get connected. I can help you get found online…

Buffer just got even better!

Instagram is hot, but using it for content marketing can be a real pain because until now, it’s really only available as a mobile app. My buddies at Buffer, however, have developed a hybrid approach that starts on the desktop and works really well in my initial testing. They talk about it here…

With Buffer for Instagram, you can fully manage your Instagram marketing from a single dashboard, right alongside your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Create and schedule content, check analytics, and collaborate with your team all from one central location.

Source: Buffer for Instagram

With a few other tools, you’ll now be able to use Buffer to post to Instagram and push content to Tumblr, WordPress, Google+, Facebook Pages and other social networks! This is a HUGE development and I’ll be happy to show you how it should fit into your plans in days to come…

Filter bubbles; what they are and how to create them

A few years ago, Eli Pariser did a now famous TED talk on the concept of filter bubbles. Here it is in case you haven’t seen it yet:

Now as a consumer of information this concerns me on some levels but as an internet marketer, it gives me all kinds of reasons to love any tool that allows me to create my own filter bubbles for myself or my clients and to use this to my/our advantage. I have come to believe that the best tool for creating these bubbles is Google+. Here’s Rand Fishkin of Moz talking about how it works:

Here are some of the world’s greatest Google+ practitioners [and Hulk Hogan] discussing how to put Rand’s insights into practice:

Does it work? It’s scary how well it does! If you agree with me that the number one benefit of using the internet for thought leadership is to get found when people are looking for you or what you do, Google+ is now the most important tool for you to understand and leverage. It’s all happening here…

Why do you need a website?

Have you ever asked yourself the question why do you need a website? Many site owners enter into the process with unrealistic expectations fueled by media fantasies like this old Super Bowl ad from UPS:

Why do you need a website?

In my experience, there are two types of people on the internet — people who are posting and looking for pictures of ‘kittens and bacon’ and people who are seriously looking to find or get found. If you’re in the first group, create a simple Tumblr site, post lots of great pictures of kittens and bacon and voila — soon you’ll be swimming in likes and reposts. If you’re in the second group, however, there are some hard realities you need to face if you hope to get found in search and use your website to generate leads for your business. The internet is not a ‘field of dreams‘ — if you build a website, they will not come unless you engage in some form of search engine marketing [SEM].

At the low end; it’s cheaper than brochures

At a very basic level, a website can be a place to inexpensively post the same kind of content you’d put in a brochure at a fraction of the cost. You can write as much as you want and include images and videos at no extra cost. If that is all you want to do, then there are a wide variety of inexpensive options like Wix and Weebly that will do the job quite nicely and you may even be able to do most of the work yourself. Peter Visser says:

Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website.” Go to the source: Why Do I Need a Website? Here are 21 Reasons

If you want your site to be more than just ‘brochureware’ and to actually generate leads for you, read on…

At the high end; engage in search engine marketing

Search engine marketing is a lot more involved than simply creating a brochureware website and using it to promote your business. There are two types of search engine marketing; pay per click [PPC] which as the name implies is not free and search engine optimization [SEO] which is organic and free. As with most strategies, there are pros and cons to both. Each of these strategies involve anticipating what your target audience may be looking for in search, organizing your thoughts around keywords related to those goals and publishing valuable information about those keywords.

PPC

Pay per click most often involves using Google AdWords [or Bing] to bid on keywords that are relevant to your target market. When someone searches for a keyword that you have ‘purchased’, you may show up in the ad space either on the top or the side of the search engine ranking page. Contrary to what most people believe, purchasing the keyword is no guarantee that you’ll show up — Google must still determine that the content to which you are pointing people is relevant to your keyword.  Also, there seems to be a natural bias against clicking on these paid ads and the bias becomes more profound as the age of the searcher gets younger. Searchers seem to favor the kind of organic results that come from an SEO campaign.

SEO

Search engine optimization has no upfront cost like PPC but it requires many of the same skills in terms of determining a keyword strategy and it requires that the content publisher be mindful of concepts like technical seo, on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

While PPC is paid and SEO is ‘free’, SEO still involves a lot of time and effort [and everyone knows time is money] so regardless of which strategy you choose, you should have the resources necessary to stick with a campaign for the long haul and by that I mean that it may take between 3-6 months before you see a return on your effort.

Warning! Content shock ahead

Both aspects of search engine marketing require having great content on your site for those who actually find you. Be aware that if you’re looking to get found in search, you’ll need to work hard. Free high-quality content abounds on the internet and you’ll need to create incredible content if you’re hoping to get found. One of my trusted sources Brian Dean of Backlinko recently said this: “If you’re not a good storyteller, learn the skill or hire someone that does. If you don’t, you’re going to have a tough time getting anyone’s attention in 2016.”

In his post Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy, author Mark Schaefer warns about the supply and demand reality of content marketing…

content shock

In the post I referenced, Mark says:

According to Nielsen and other sources, the amount of content we consume on a daily basis has grown from two hours a day in the 1920s to nearly 11 hours per day today. Propelled by mobile devices, the average amount of content we consume on a daily basis has gone up by two hours a day just in the last three years!

How much higher can this go? 12 hours a day? 13? Who knows. But there is some limit.

On the supply side of the equation, the amount of information on the web is expected to increase by 500 percent (conservatively) in the next five years. If you can imagine how big the Internet is, in the next five years, we are going to have five of those.

Do you think it is going to be a little more difficult to be successful in content marketing?

Thought leaders of the future hoping to get found in search will not only need to create amazing content but they will also need to use platforms that are hyper-optimized for search. It’s no longer enough to just produce amazing content — EVERY aspect of your online presence will need to be amazing if you’re hoping to get found.

If you’re not certain that your website is sound from a technical perspective, I encourage you to take advantage of my free seo audit — it can either give you the peace of mind that you’re good to go or let you know what you’ll have to fix before you are. Then, and only then, will you be able to proceed with your search engine marketing or content marketing campaign knowing that you’re making a good investment.

7 reasons why I love Buffer

Here are the 7 reasons why I love Buffer!

7 reasons why I love Buffer

I’m coming up on the 4th anniversary of the day that I started using Buffer and I love it so much that I tell people if you only purchase one tool to help you manage social media, Buffer should be the one!

Why such a strong recommendation for Buffer?

These are the features that ring my bell right now [although there are many more!]

  • Buffer is completely cross platform and it runs on my mobile devices just as well as the desktop [although there are some functions that are only available at the desktop level!].
  • Buffer is cost effective — my plan costs only $10 per month to manage a dozen social media accounts and up to 200 posts at a time.
  • Buffer shares images flawlessly across platforms so it makes no difference if you’re posting to Facebook, Google+, Linked, Twitter or Pinterest, Buffer will do it right.
  • Buffer recently added an ‘optimal timing tool’ that will get you the best exposure for your content.
  • Buffer has a power scheduler that will allow you to automagically share content in the future, again with the idea in mind of increasing exposure for your content.
  • Buffer has a new tool for creating eye-catching quotes called Pablo. Watch the video to see how it works.
  • Buffer has ‘happiness heroes’ that offer some of the best technical support in the world. In four years I have never had a single bad experience with them.

Watch this to see how these features work:

Questions? Feedback? Comments? Please engage me using the content form below or head on over to Buffer now and get started.

7 reasons why I love Buffer