‘Evolution’ has been and will always be a mammoth term to properly describe. This is especially true in the case of the Digital evolution. So many things have happened in such a short span of time, that even Darwin would be confused! If you sit quietly and think about how digital evolution actually happened, you would be really confused about where to start! Let’s break up this evolution into spans of time to understand it.
Just Google It!
The Digital era, if to be considered in a proper way, has started with the advent of Google. Though there were early search engines such as Yahoo!, InfoSeek, AltaVista, Lycos, WebCrawler and others which had made significant strides in the digital evolution of search, the golden years didn’t start until Google launched in 1998.
With the birth of today’s most popular search engine and development of tools like AdWords in 2000 and content targeting services in 2003, everything changed. After that, search engines started using advanced ranking algorithms and browsing online became more personal. The impact this had on business is immense. Businesses were able to target their buyers and develop strategies based on the search patterns, which led to a whole new way of selling and communicating.
Social Media, The Colossal Giant
Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard roommates didn’t even know in 2004 that their colossal giant called Facebook would dawn a new era in digital marketing! Social media stopped being a way to just stay connected with friends and started becoming a way for brands to connect with their customers, a place for consumers to lodge complaints, spread news, shop or even influence other shoppers!
Businesses took notice of this and online reputation management became more important overnight. Today, with other social media handles such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, with billions of users, targeted advertising and a digital landscape that never sleeps, social media has become one of the most vital parts of any marketing strategy.
By 2004, SEO had become an essential marketing tool used on a global scale. In the early days, techniques like keyword stuffing, article submissions and link spamming were recommended. But these days SEO is less of a loner and more of an essential cog in a greater machine powered by other strategies and channels.
Since the digital evolution, PR has also broadened its focus. Today a digital PR specialist can find out everything they need to know about a contact before even making a pitch. By working with SEO research and trends, Digital PRs are able to back all of their decisions with data, leading to better targeting and more quantifiable results.
And just like all good things, this is not where it stops, in fact, this is just a beginning. Digital Marketing is evolving at a rapid pace thanks to the ever-increasing competition and staying ahead means taking it head-on. So, what does the future look like to you?