tedster - 8:27 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0) [edited by: tedster at 9:53 pm (utc) on Nov 15, 2011]
The way to become a BigBrand is of course to gain exposure. But how do you do that?
In the past you could create better content than the BigBrands and have it highlighted in Google Search. That's over.
The only part that's "over" is initial discovery at a large scale via the Google SERPs - assuming that your topic is not in a "Query Deserves Freshness" area. If you are aiming for a QDF query, there's still some chance for the little guy to be discovered in those SERPs.
The same principles still apply with regard to quality - possibly even more than ever. The explosion of web pages means it might take something more obviously innovative and awesome than it did in the past to gain attention.
But you can grow from a lower level of attention quite effectively using social media marketing, especially Facebook and Twitter. As your brand profile grows, you also begin to get better attention from the Google SERPs.
We started working with a new website less than a year ago, knowing full well the challenges in today's online marketing. We set one year goals for traffic and leads generated (it is essentially lead gen for 160 locations) and launched in Jan 2011, with a one year assessment planned for Jan 2012.
However, we happily hit those numbers in August 2011, and the main mechanisms were Facebook and Twitter, coupled with a growing and potent collection of professionally written content.
[edited by: tedster at 9:53 pm (utc) on Nov 15, 2011]