• Chris Carter

Navigating Technology Evolution

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of the Technology Headlines written by Approyo CEO Chris Carter.

Technology is changing the way companies do business. If you aren’t evolving with technology, you don’t stand a chance in the digital world. As the CEO of a growing technology company, I see technology impacting businesses on every level, from marketing and sales to basic everyday operations. Successful businesses embrace these changes and find ways stay ahead of the technology curve.

One big change that is impacting businesses of all sizes is the “Cloud”. Just a few years ago the question was “What is the cloud?”. Then it was “Should my business move to the Cloud”. In 2018, the question is “How are we utilizing the Cloud?”

According to a recent Gartner report, the Cloud will be the default option for most businesses by 2020. Additionally, it is reported that currently, 3.6 billion internet users worldwide access some type of cloud service on a regular basis. This means that your employees, customers and partners are already using the cloud in some form, maybe it’s for online storage or maybe they are using the cloud for online collaborations. Whatever the reason, the time to address the cloud is today. Whether that means a move to the public cloud, private cloud or a hybrid environment, it is important to know your options and the best solution for your business. The market is demanding the shift to the cloud, your employees are ready and the impact it can have on your business today and in the future, is important.

Another major technology trend that has impacted businesses of all shapes and sizes in recent years is social media. This is something that didn’t exists years ago and now is something that is most likely a major part of your marketing budget and plan for 2018. Let’s be honest, it’s really hard to run a business and keep up with the constant changes in social media marketing and digital advertising too! Facebook is one social media platform that is under going some major changes over the next year. As Facebook changes the algorithm for their newsfeed again, or finally admits that they want to take control of messaging, it leaves many business owners wondering "what does this mean for me?”

Every business, small or large, will need to change their strategy and budget. Facebook has every right to change the direction of their platform and make it relevant for their users, but if you have spent hard earned money to develop your audience, what happens to your investment in 2018?

Should small business owners keep pouring ad dollars into Facebook or is there another platform that will better reach their audience? Can you rely on Facebook to really put your ads in front of your target audience? Will you have to pay for it or will you be able to reach your audience organically?

Digital marketing expert and owner of The Creative Strategy Agency, Alfonso Santaniello, provides us with his insight on the new algorithms, to help us better understand social media marketing in 2018.

The marketing expert says that the last thing businesses should do is leave Facebook. He says that business should be looking at their content strategy, what gets engagement and encourage your customers to start creating more user generated content to help share your business message out there.

Although the new algorithm change makes it extremely difficult, there are still opportunities for businesses on Facebook. Over the next few months, I recommend businesses doing more research and strategy development. Test and test and test some more. See what gets the best bang for your organic buck and focus on that. Don't go right into throwing more money onto your ads without having a proper strategy and goal. Research where your audience is online,” says Santaniello.

They key is to know where your audience is and look at other platforms to get your message out, but Santaniello says before jumping on additional platforms or spending advertising dollars on other platforms, find out where you audience is and build from the ground up. “Look at what type of content performs best,” says Santaniello.

Now that you know where you audience is the key is to deliver content that is important to your audience and engages them. Alison Maloni, a media expert and owner of Alison May Public Relations says that as businesses you must not speak to the client and sell. “Social media content is all about storytelling, your message and providing your targeted audience with valuable information. For example, if you are an IT security expert, provide your viewers and readers with tips and information that they can use to help their company,” says Maloni. She adds that your content should not always be too serious. You should include your team members and behind the scenes content. “The key with social media content is to have fun with it, have a call to action with your ads, and stay consistent”, says Maloni.

Evolving technology can be an opportunity for your business. Embrace the change, do your research, work with great partners and evolve as a business. This will help you be successful now and in the future.

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