I met with a graphic designer a few days ago and we talked about business and clients and different networking opportunities but one of the biggest things that I remember is that he mentioned that he was thinking of providing more recurring services to help out his business and provide some recurring revenue. He talked about possibly incorporating social media and other marketing services.
My initial thought was—you have to. While Blue 16 Media primarily has shifted to working on websites, we are still going to continue to work on and provide SEO services. Initially when I started, I dabbled with the idea of focusing solely on social media–arguably we still are because of business blogging. This is largely because this is what clients ask for and need (especially the smaller ones). Typically, if you are versed in one sphere of digital marketing, you are probably well versed in other aspects of digital marketing especially in comparison to the small business owner that doesn't know anything about it (“I need one of those chatsnap thingies”). They want one person they can go to for flyer design, for website updates, for high rankings on search engines all while their Twitter is updated.
Is that all?
I thought this was interesting but it's hard not to think it's necessary to at the very least have this knowledge and be able to speak to it. Actually, providing the services is another topic for discussion.
Gone are the days (or they should be) where a graphic designer is unable to compress the images of a website so that it also helps with user experience and SEO. It's vital that business owners have a strategy and the expertise to be able to fit the puzzle pieces together.
Recently, I was brought in to consult for on-page SEO for a client that was spending over $30k on a new website to be designed. When I looked at the website, I didn't believe it was incredibly remarkable, and I immediately noticed there were so many things a marketer would recommend while a designer might over look. Some of these were things that would not even be seen visually were overlooked, like compressing images to increase the loading of the website or adding title tag and keywords to the site. Overall, I thought it was unfortunate that this team hadn't thought to at least make these recommendations. While they were focused on design, they were probably providing a disservice to the client by not at least suggesting these things or making them aware of it.
One of my worries, however, is that we will lose out on the experts or gurus in their niches–the non-profit Twitter expert, the Snapchat guru for athletes or the go-to party flyer designer. In short, the person who has the ability to focus on one segment of digital marketing and do it better than anyone else. My fear is we are heading down a path where true mastery of a field will be lost. I still see it here and there but it's hard, especially when you're getting started. Will there no longer be Facebook Experts but instead Social Media Experts? Will everyone be a full-service marketing company?
I think this is dangerous because these platforms change so rapidly that you pretty much have to be aware and “dialed in” every single day to stay abreast of the updates. It's not just SEO that is constantly changing. In the future, I see digital marketing experts dabbling in various service areas but having their “bread and butter” or one thing they are great at. In the future, I'm hoping to see a lot of collaboration between digital marketers especially with larger clients that are able to recognize the important of having multiple experts on their team.
So, while your graphic designer is also running your Snapchat account and optimizing your SEO, you now know why.