We’ve reached a new phase of online marketing and it’s one that most people are going to ignore because it won’t make sense to them.
Or they won’t have patience for it.
Or they can’t measure it effectively.
It’s going to involve a strategy that your competition won’t see because they’ll be looking at the wrong spot.
What I’m talking about is the difference between lakes and rivers.
Marketing Past and Present: Building Lakes
You know how online marketing works today.
You create some type of content with the intent that it will take off. It’s like building a lake.
You find what you think is a lovely spot for a lake, build it, and then hope animals come to use it.
If none do what can you do? You can’t move the lake.
It’s where it is.
So you go to another spot and build another lake. Hopefully, this one is the one that attracts the animals.
And if it does? Then you’re extremely happy.
So happy in fact you want to create another similar lake. So you build another lake RIGHT NEXT to the successful lake.
But why should any animals care about that lake when they have the one that every other animal goes to? Sure some will go to the new lake.
Hell, the second lake might even be as successful as the first popular one.
So what do you do next?
You’re addicted to popular lakes so you stick ANOTHER lake next to the other two.
And every once in a while you venture out and test a new spot for a lake. When you see that only a couple of animals visit you get discouraged and go back to the successful part of your land.
This doesn’t seem too bad right?
There is a problem. It could be big or it could be small depending on how you look at it.
The Limitations of the Lake
You love your lake. You love the animals.
But you want more animals. Unfortunately, you’ve attracted all of the animals in the area.
You venture out to new parts of the land. Land that you aren’t familiar with and try to use the same tactics as before.
They don’t work.
Maybe then you can force some animals to the old lakes. They won’t budge.
You have to hope that your ecosystem never runs out of animals or that there is a drought.
There is a lot riding on the success of this small group of lakes.
Marketing Future: Building Rivers
A river is different.
A river goes through many different terrains and ecosystems. A river touches many animals.
You can follow a river. A river can branch off into smaller streams, but those streams are still part of the river.
And more importantly, the river doesn’t end. In fact, when you think it ends it actually becomes the sea and the sea is unlimited.
The river can reach more animals because the animals can find the river where they are instead of having to go to a single spot.
While the river in one spot acts differently than the river in another spot, it’s still the same river going in the same direction to the same place.
And that’s how your marketing should be.
You want to create a content ecosystem in which people get immense value exactly where they’re at.
But if they want to see where the river can take them they have the option.
But it’s not up to you. It’s up to them. They have to be enticed to see what else is out there.
They shouldn’t feel forced to move because the river dries out like the lake.
The river itself builds an ecosystem that once established, is impossible to stop.