When “King Kong” opened as a film in 1933, its pioneering special effects (stop motion animation and miniature models) amazed and terrified audiences. Sixty years later, we find that same animation laughable.
Audiences learn quickly and rapidly grown in sophistication once exposed to a new media. Remember how we used to have to write “CLICK HERE” next to hypertext links? And now, all you have to do is change the cursor rollover or the link text.
What was once amazement soon turns to boredom. All you needed to do to get people to come to your website in 1998 was to let them know that you had one. Novelty and curiosity drove audiences to your site in herds. But as competition for online attention increased, website promotion became a real challenge. We started putting our URL on everything, running contests and promotions, producing videos and complex campaigns in hopes of rising above the noise level. Pretty much, the race is over.
People don’t have time to come to your website anymore. You are expected to have one, and frankly, you are expected to delight us when we visit it. But we don’t want to go there anymore. We have other places to be and other things to do. What other things?
We are planning our entertainment activities, chatting with friends and sharing baby pictures and motorcycle wipeouts. We’re too busy speculating on ball scores and making fun of the government to drag our browsers over to your site to learn about your product or service. If you have something to say to us, you had better package it up like a burger and fries and hand it to us as we drive by.
That’s why social networking is so important to marketers. [bedtime…more on this later]