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The Organic Reach Apocalypse

The Organic Reach Apocalypse

If you're behind the curve in tech adoption, you might not have noticed that the internet is fundamentally changing. More and more searches are made by voice through devices like Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri. This is the future and our gadgets are quietly listening to us all the time. They're ready to deliver succinct answers like an overachieving elementary school student. Don't worry though, you can totally trust that our already mildly dystopian big tech companies to not abuse or lose control of the widespread surveillance apparatus they're building. All paranoia aside, the way that search is changing is a big deal for the digital presences of brand and businesses who rely on it as a traffic source.

How is social media taking advantage?

Of course, search engines aren't the only ones making big changes to opaque algorithms that have sweeping consequences for marketers. Social media sites are notorious for making "improvements" that wreak havoc on familiar strategies. This includes the decline of organic reach and movement towards being pay to play platforms for businesses. Gone are the days of stuffing a website full of keywords, making a few tweets, and ... profit! It's a brave new world out there. Now, Google will mine your hard built content and deliver sound bite answers to seekers who won't click through to your website. Facebook will show your posts to a fraction of followers while sending emails about how you could be reaching so many more with just a little "boost." In short, we may be facing the death of organic reach online.

The immunity of email

There's one digital channel that's relatively immune to the whims of search engines and social media algorithms: email. Despite being a relative dinosaur in technology, studies show that folks spend tons of time in their inboxes. Many marketers report that email generates more consistent results than any other media. Apocalyptic predictions about the way that organic reach is changing might be taken as a great reason to double down on converting visitors to email subscribers. At the same time, it's a great reminder that nothing is really certain in the realm of digital marketing. The sands are always shifting and agile adaptation is the name of the game. It's clear that content marketing certainly isn't going anywhere. However getting eyes on that content is probably going to get more challenging.

Another marketing technology for achieving organic reach actually predates email and also enjoys relative immunity from search and social filters. It's built on the sheer excitement that comes from having a great experience with a brand and it's offerings. We're talking a "holy crap I just have to tell someone right now about how this widget changed my life" kind of excitement. It's associated expression as word of mouth publicity. Essentially, the goal is to create that kind of experience for clients and customers. As a result your business will survive whatever the tech executive overlords have planned for the organic reach apocalypse. With a little luck, maybe even the real apocalypse too.


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