How Will Net Neutrality Affect Your Digital Marketing Efforts?

[Part I]

With all the buzz surrounding net neutrality lately, you might be wondering how it’s going to affect you and your digital marketing efforts. Will you be able to reach the same people? Will you have to pay more for your content to be visible? The answers may be unclear at this time but can be speculated upon.

On December 14, 2017, the FCC ruled against net neutrality, the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the Internet the same. ISPs will now be able to slow down or even block certain content from users, possibly forcing them to pay a premium to visit certain websites. One theory is that users will have to pay for certain tiers of content on the internet, such as social media or streaming services. There’s no doubt that ISPs will try to use this to their advantage, blocking competitors’ content. It may even make it harder for small businesses to succeed, if they don’t have the resources needed to make sure they are seen. Large companies may end up monopolizing the markets because they have more resources.

What does that mean for digital marketing? Companies may have to pay more to make sure their content is accessible to all. Otherwise, target audiences may shrink, forcing companies to focus only on the users who can access their content.

With ISPs blocking competitor content, you may see less competitive advertising and see more of a focus on valuable content. Chuck Aikens of Volume Nine thinks that it will be more important for websites to build content to stay in demand and to hopefully remain unblocked. This could include blogs, downloadable resources, recipes, and more.

The net neutrality repeal might present digital marketers with some new challenges and while it might be initially difficult to adjust to this change, the outcome is inevitable. Some might be forced to come up with more creative solutions, but we believe that digital marketing will prevail.