It’s hard to predict the future. A lot is written about "the next big thing" - and sometimes the sheer volume of people making the same predictions gives them a momentum that they perhaps don't deserve. Here are four marketing opportunities that may just have been overstated. Exercise caution before investing too heavily in these areas.
For the last couple of years, everybody has been yelling how video is the be all and end all. We should all be making videos because that’s all that millennials will tune in to. Just maybe that is a little bit overblown.
It turns out that some of the growth Facebook talked about last year wasn’t growth at all, but them misrepresenting their data for the last two years. Even the growth that was there might have been more supply-side than anything else (as in, people watched more video because there was more video available, not because they necessarily preferred it more).
In fact, for news articles the majority of millennials prefer reading it to watching it. So does that mean video is on the way out? Hardly. It just means that you should most certainly not rely on a video-only marketing campaign. People like to read articles – particularly if they’re looking for certain information. And so, make sure that you present information and are marketing in multiple formats.
Previously, we might have expected Facebook to fight Instagram for their commercial crown. But why would they now? After all, they own both companies. And so, instead of trying to prevent companies switching platforms, we’ll see them encouraging it. Indeed Instagram advertising is now integrated right there in the Facebook advertising platform.
That will mean that if you’ve got a product with any visual appeal whatsoever you'll no longer market it on Facebook alone. Everybody and your nephew Alfonzo will be selling on Instagram this year. So, you better make sure that you’re there too. Right?
For a long time people were happy reading content that didn’t really say anything. They let themselves be caught by clickbait headlines and clicked on anything with a number in it. But that won’t work anymore.
I predict we’re going to see a drastic swing back to quality. In case you’re one of the guilty ones and creating fluff only, here are some tools to improve what you’re writing about.
1. Google Scholar: Don’t depend on journalists to tell you what scientists are doing. They often misinterpret or completely miss new trends. Instead, go straight to the source. Read the articles or at least the abstracts and tell your customers what they really want to know.
2. mastergrades.com: Alternatively, instead of doing the research yourself and spending a whole lot of time writing the articles, get a professional writing service to help you out. Their roster is full of graduates who’ll help you out.
3. Quora: You can also use one of the question-asking services like Quora to find out what the latest development and trends are. I’m always surprised with how much the people on this site know and how freely they’ll share their information. Give it a try. Just remember to ask precise questions.
4. Wolfram Alpha: Want to give your content a bit of statistical power? Then check out the search engine Wolfram Alpha. It is all about giving you the numbers to back up your claims.
Yes, the majority of people now access the internet with their mobiles. What they’re not doing, however, is buying there. People rarely use their phones to purchase online. For that reason, we’ll see a swing back to laptops and desktops.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that your site shouldn’t be mobile compatible. That is still essential, as that is how people search for information. One more thing is needed, however, and that is that your website and your content needs to be savable and synchable between devices, so that people can do their searching on their mobiles and then switch over to their bigger devices to actually make a purchase.
If they can’t do that, then they’ll have to find your website again. And when that happens, chances are good they’ll end up switching over to a competitor’s website instead.
We’ve got a herd mentality. That means very often we think that because everybody else is doing something, it must be good. Quite often they’re right. Quite often as a group we do better than as individuals. At the same time, that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of situations when we end up getting too exuberant and caught up in the next new trend. So apply a common sense filter before jumping on the next big thing this year - and assess whether what you have been doing to date is genuinely working or not.
This guest blog was contributed by Steven Mehler. Follow Steven on @Steven_M_Mehler