Fairfax Media, publishers of Australia’s oldest and most respected newspapers, has taken dramatic action in response, to the ever declining print publishing business model, by announcing the imminent closure of two printing presses and the axing of 1900 jobs. The digital revolution is now well and truly here to stay, at the expense of old technologies and those that it employs. Change has been coming for a decade now, but its force is still shocking, and the market has no time for irrelevancies.
Print newspapers have been dying ever since their river of gold, classified advertising, was redirected online. Digital delivered faster and cheaper results. Publishers have known the end is nigh for sometime, but tradition dies hard, and those noble jounalists, whose jobs depend upon the vested interests of their owner’s advertisers, have been in a state of pre-culling for some years now. Well the axe has been sharpened and fell with frightening speed yesterday.
Phillip Meyer, the author of The Vanishing Newspaper, declared the year 2043 to be his guess, when the printing presses would fall silent. With this dramatic restructuring by Fairfax, this date may indeed be overly optimistic. The old game is over and digital is now the main game in town, for advertising and information distribution. For business owners and marketing managers, many of whom were born in the last half of the twentieth century, adapting to the digital revolution has been challenging. The free nature of the internet and social media has gone against the capitalistic grain of business in the developed world. How to value advertising on a free medium and how to best market products and brands in the digital sphere?
The importance of search engine optimisation has never been greater, SEO is absolutely vital in an overcrowded and seemingly infinite digital world. What is the point of having something wonderful if nobody can find it? Search is everything! Businesses who have traditionally marketed themselves through the print media – newspapers and magazines – Australia has had more titles per capita of population than any other developed country – are now in an unfamiliar universe. Websites? Social media pages? What to say, where to say it, and how to say it? These are all challenging and pertinent questions.
New digital strategies that may have been put in place, half heartedly, because the old world still existed, may not stand up to the market forces of an unfettered digital universe. We are, more and more, living in a virtual world and to thrive we need to be seen and found. SEO is number one in marketing terms and following this you better have something worth finding in the end. So the expectation on websites will go through the roof, in my opinion, how they look and function in a highly competitive marketplace.
I think that multiple site strategies will be required in this new purely digital age. One site will not be enough, networks and families of sites will be an optimum way of exploiting the crowded digital highway. SEO will become more important and virtual life, for your company or business, on social media and onsite will be the only way forward. Onsite SEO and offsite SEO will be the main game in successful digital marketing.
I ponder whether Pinterest will become more and more an outlet for visual advertising and that the take-up of online magazines and newspapers will now really lift off? Will mobile Ereaders, smart phones and tablets feed our need for visual stimulation in the market?