Web 4.0 means something different for online marketers than for other people. That gets confusing.
The way it's used in marketing circles is useful though.
So, what does Web 4.0 mean? How does its meaning in online marketing change? And is there a better term for it?
The internet has gone through 5 different stages. From Web 0.0 to Web 4.0.
Web 0.0 was the very first, short lived stage. It was how the computer scientists in CERN who came up with the internet used their invention to exchange messages with each other.
Web 1.0 was the era when web browsers and websites became common place. The web was mainly used for reading these static sites through browsers.
Web 2.0 was when blogs, forums and social media emerged. People weren't just reading content, they were submitting their own on comment sections, forums and their social media profiles.
Web 3.0 is what we were are living through. Computers are reading online content. If Web 1.0 was human reading and 2.0 was human-writing, 3.0 is machine-reading.
Web 4.0 will be the stage where humans and computers talk to one another. Early stages of this can be seen with apps like Alexa or Siri.
So, what is Web 4.0 for online marketing?
It lays out a strategy for reaching people online with a message you want to share. So, if Web 1.0, in this context, was writing your own blog or website, 2.0 was using other sites and social media to spread your message. 3.0 was using video content and 4.0 was making your message heard through podcasts.
These different stages of online marketing didn't replace the one that went before. Instead they are all things you should do now. Web 1.0 is your home, it's where your content lives. It's your blog, your website.
Web 2.0 then is how you use other sites, like Blogger, to get people to visit your blog. Social media is also leveraged. You might make a quick Twitter post to get people to click your link.
If you turn your blog content into video, then welcome to Web 3.0! It opens a new audience who want to watch rather than read. And now people are doing the same with podcasts – Web 4.0.
It's a lot of work, but Web 4.0 marketing … works.
So, how do you do it?
Web 1.0: This is the content on your blog.
Web 2.0: Put together a brief summary of the content and spread it around. Put it on Medium, Tumblr or others and link back to your blog.
Web 3.0: Make a video of you reading summarising the blog, its key points and takeaways. Then post it to YouTube.
And for Web 4.0? Record yourself reading the article and upload it as a podcast.
Finally, if Web 4.0 is a confusing term what should this type of marketing be called? Content Repurposing. It is a strategy that makes your content go further and is already a well-tested strategy that works.