Moving With the Digital Evolution For companies to survive and prosper in this turbulent environment, they need to be adaptive, agile and able to react quickly to modifications

By Tamara Alaveras

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Since the invention of the internet almost 40 years ago, the digital space has evolved at a rapid rate. In the early days, only a few businesses made the move to the online world with primitive websites popping up here and there across the newly birthed World Wide Web. But now, almost every business is Google listed, has their own URL, and is present across numerous social media pages. Some businesses even exist entirely within the online space—a notion our great grandparents would find unbelievable.

This rapid evolution hasn't just occurred with growing numbers of people and companies jumping on to the digital bandwagon, but also within it. In every facet of the online sphere, something is always either being disruptive or disrupted.

Sometimes as swiftly as an overnight phenomena, changes occur to the algorithms that puppeteer social media platforms, search engines favour different information, and new technologies and innovations pop up that improve and speed up how business is done. For companies to survive and prosper in this turbulent environment, they need to be adaptive, agile and able to react quickly to modifications.

Changing with the Algorithms

Google, Facebook, Instagram—all the leading places where people find businesses online—are controlled by algorithms that favour some content over others depending on words used, creative involved and concepts behind it. So, whatever your product or service, or that of your clients, it's important to be on the pulse with the ever-changing online equations and adjusting your activity to match what they want.

For example, each year Google rolls out between 500-600 algorithm changes. Last year, one of these updates was the introduction of "neural matching", where the artificial intelligence system would match searches with listings based on relevance and synonyms, even if the exact words weren't used. Danny Sullivan, SEO and SEM journalist, gave the example of Google matching the search "why does my TV look strange" with "the soap opera effect". This change meant that the SEO content of businesses could include concepts rather than just specific wording.

Keeping up with Technologies

Keeping up with current technologies and software is also incredibly advantageous for companies operating in the online space. Emerging software and innovations can help businesses to streamline processes, stay ahead of the competition, improve customer services and in-house management, and allow for better work production.

For instance, chatbots were recently introduced and businesses across the Web began utilizing the new tool to improve their customer service. These artificial intelligence bots interact with users on messaging platforms across social media sites and website pop-ups to answer queries and direct them towards what they're after. This speeds up the response rate while also freeing up employees to work on other tasks within the business.

By keeping informed on what's new in the technology space and experimenting with emerging innovations, companies can harness a competitive advantage over their competitors and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of how they conduct business.

Fluid Content Marketing

Content marketing, the cornerstone of how brands connect with their audience in the digital era, needs to be fluid in creation and implementation, ready to adapt with its environment.

If we're looking at algorithm changes, one needs to explore constantly and change according to what the market needs. For example, Instagram captions used to favour long-form captions where posts using these would be bumped up on user feeds. Then, not long after, there was a shift where users preferred short-form captions again and so posts with shorter captions were put back up to the top of feeds while longer captions were penalised and pushed down on feeds.

Changes like this mean that companies' marketing strategies need to be able to pivot quickly and have content that is fluid and able to change as new rules come into play.

Change is an inevitable part of the digital space, so in order to survive in it, being adaptable isn't simply a desirable quality; it is a necessity.

Tamara Alaveras

Co-founder and managing director, 3 Phase Marketing

Tamara Alaveras has more than a decade in marketing roles including experience in Victorian government agencies and corporate teams.

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