For those of us working within content marketing and SEO, the idea that Google wants us “back” sounds odd. In fact, we have been chasing after every morsel of attention that Google can give us. So the new ‘Brand Activate’ program seems a little like that kid in high school that pays people to be his friend.
Of course, the reality is that Google’s target isn’t really the small business. And however much I’d like that to be different, it just isn’t. Whereas I think the numbers they make in Adwords are phenomenal ($38 billion a year) their focus is on their major competitor – traditional advertising, which brings in an even bigger $190 billion a year.
So okay, Google has their own competitors and they want to make life easier for bigger brands. What does this mean for content marketing?
It means that Google is indirectly helping convert your potential clients.
I’ll talk about what specifically is going to be different now that Brand Activate has been launched but first let’s think about how Google is helping you.
We all know that the online marketplace is where you want to be. In this modern economy there is simply no way to compete without a strong online presence. That’s why companies like mine are gobbling up clients left and right who want to establish a full content marketing system.
We also know that even though the numbers are growing – not everybody is online. There are still people who like to walk into stores or shake hands with people before they make a purchase. And however much we would love for everyone to sit at their monitors with a credit card, it’s just not as saturated as it could be.
Major corporations (and some small businesses thanks to Google TV ads) are still pouring billions of dollars into traditional advertising. They are still spending on commercials, billboards and more.
The writing is on the wall for traditional advertising
Ever since Tivo launched, television commercials have had a bad reputation. You know that the only commercials that play on your television set are the ones from the Super Bowl and if you are busy doing something else with the television on. When was the last time you actually sat through a commercial? If you think the bounce rate is tough on a landing page, you should consider the split second it takes me to press forward on my remote!
Plus, traditional advertising is historically difficult to measure. Have you ever estimated the amount of people that actually read a billboard? Now, Google will only be measuring a “view” when an ad is “at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second.”
And unlike the traditional Gross Rating Point which is used for offline marketing, Google has introduced an Active GRP which is inherently more accurate and is viewable in real time.
That’s why Google’s Brand Activation is Good for Everybody
We’ve already seen some major corporations make a shift toward online commerce. In fact, the recent Best Buy chaos was directly related to their need to focus on digital sales.
Just like how we need the government to do major overhauls like interstate highways and the space program, we need major companies like Google to help the transition toward online commerce.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the internet is going anywhere but the more we can attract major brands to spend their advertising dollars online, the better it will be for any of us building an online presence.
And for those of you worried about the extra competition, I would encourage you to see this as a feasible challenge. Sure the prices will go up like how facebook ads recently have but remember that budget is never the litmus test to online commerce. Creativity is the biggest factor in creating an online movement.
I feel like a broken record but I’ll say it again: content marketing does not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level. The process, the strategy, all of it is the same. The only difference is budget and frankly, that is the least important variable of all.
Are you happy or sad to see Google making life easier for the big boys?