If you have a storefront on a street that has foot traffic, you’ll likely get some walk-in customers. In a way, you’re limited by your physical location, but you’re also only in direct competition with the other storefronts on the same street.
The Internet is often referred to as “the great equalizer”. When you open a digital storefront, on one hand, you are no longer limited by physical location—anyone in the world can be your customer. But the competition has increased exponentially as well, because you’re now competing with every other content generator in the world.
Many small business owners are excited to create a site for their business, only to face serious challenges generating web traffic to the page. To give you a raw sense of just how much new information is created constantly, here are some numbers.
- Email users send 204,000,000 messages
- Google receives over 4,000,000 search queries
- Blog writers post 1400 new blog posts
- Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content
- Twitter users tweet 277,000 times
- Amazon makes $83,000 in online sales
- Tinder users swipe 416,667 times
- Whats App users share 347,222 photos
- Instagram users post 216,000 new photos
- Pandora users listen to 61,141 hours of music
- Apple users download 48,000 apps
- Yelp users post 26,380 reviews
- Skype users connect for 23,300 hours
- Vine users share 8,333 videos
- Pinterest users pin 3,472 images
- Youtube users upload 72 hours of new video
Reading through these numbers, your eyes likely glaze over when faced with the staggering amount of content that’s being created online every single minute. And, by the time you’re done reading over the list, a minute has passed and you might as well start the list from the top again. That’s the relentless power of content on the Internet. This process repeats 1,440 times a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
How can you cut through the noise? That’s the question every content marketing company tries to answer.
Ignoring specifics for a second, we’ve found that online success for small businesses is really a product of these three simple steps:
- Having a plan—If the numbers above convince you of anything, it’s that creating content haphazardly won’t cut it. It’s wasted energy on your part, and it won’t get you the results you need. Instead, come up with a plan for what you think will work, and test your assumption. If you don’t get results, come up with a new plan and re-test.
- Following through—Sometimes, it can take time to build up a loyal online following. We’ve seen too many business owners get discouraged by the lack of results in the first month and start posting haphazardly or give up entirely. Here’s a good rule: don’t give up on what you’re currently doing until you have a different strategy (see #1) that you’re ready to implement.
- Being genuine—Unfortunately, and also by statistical necessity, the majority of content created online is average, and gets forgotten almost immediately. Even in the age of content overload, having the courage to be genuine, having a personality, and saying something that really counts will still get you noticed and talked about online.
We hope you don’t find the numbers in this post discouraging. If anything, this post is meant to get you excited about participating in a community of content creators that is constantly in flux and looking for new information. As a content creator yourself, you have the opportunity to say something that will really stand out. Take advantage of it.