The year 2009 and 2010 has been a lot about the Web 2.0 and Social Media. But the recent trend doesn’t seem to show anything new or ground breaking as such. Instead, it will be more about different ways of executing the already existing methods and fine tuning them.
Display Ads will still prevail
Display Ads such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are gaining lot of traction between small and mid-sized business and the trend is more and more adoption of the platforms. Off course Google Adwords has always been the popular choice for banner ads, but Facebook is picking up fast. This can already be seen through rising pricing of average Facebook bidding charge in different regions.
More of Branding exercise
Digital medium such as blogs, twitter, Facebook will be more used as a platform to create your brand rather than do some hard sales. Activities such as engagement, customer services and running social campaigns are some of the key trending activities in the social media, which will continue.
Currently, we are already seeing many top brands spending a lot of money into Facebook campaigns and apps to engage with customers and create an experience. The doubts over the existence of social media as a core element in the business is already over, in coming future every other company will have to have online social presence as they will be in more demands.
Increasing involvement of customers
Today, new businesses are increasing adopting Freemium models to make it easy for customers to try out the application and then make a purchase or give feedbacks. Encouraging different pricing models, companies are gaining many users and paid customers and balancing their revenue through coordinated communication with each type of customers. This way of marketing and doing business over the internet is creating a lot of delights among customers.
A lot has been talked about design thinking and importance of user experience in product development and marketing. But the new trend towards marketing in social media has been about creating customer delights through providing unique and sharable user experience.
This is where the concept of gamification comes; it’s a unique method of engaging with customers in terms of point basis and providing unique gratification to winners of the game. For example, recently Google has implemented this particular strategy to promote and leverage their news platform.
Emergence of ad agencies into Social Media
Traditional Ad creative agencies are quickly catching up with social media through viral video creation and viral app development. Because Creative Ad agencies are already apt with the understanding of human psychology, there domain expertise has given them a lot of advantage over online digital content creation and distribution.
Content is Back
There has been a lot of speculation over the future of blogging due to the advent of micro-blogging. But it seems that heavy duty content creation is back in action and is slowly demanding more and more recruitment of content writers. Along with blog posts other forms of content such as video, animation, info graphics, application and games are also becoming popular.
Integration of traditional CRM with social media
Social media is already an elephant in a room which you cannot ignore. Hence, traditional CRM products are quickly adopting social media in their crm system. This has been further fuelled by the acquisition of Radian6 by Salesforce (leading CRM solution). Today many organisations are looking to manage customer support through social media space by implementing twitter or Facebook. But the future could see more tight integration between them.
Automated Lead Tracking
Lead tracking has become very essential for the entire organisation venturing into social media strategy. Hence, the immediate question of lead generation is being asked by the entire organisation. Though lead generation is quickly implemented through keywords search in the entire major social networking platform, more intelligent systems are emerging to cater to this need.
Data as Service
Social conversation over the entire internet has become a valuable assest to any company for either research purpose or marketing strategy planning. Hence we are already seeing new trends into data as service providers existing in the web eco-system. Already, twitter’s data can be bought through third party and integrated in your software. These kinds of new form of processes and engagement are increasingly going to drive new software products in the space of social media analytics.
Coupon based marketing
The growth of Groupon has hinted the new age of marketing where it’s all going to be about driving sales through coupon. This is being widely adopted by retail and restaurants where the concept of free vouchers and gifts are more prominent. Beside Goupon, every other region have started seeing their own Groupon Clone which makes coupon based marketing more relevant in urban areas.
The increasing use of Smartphone by consumers is giving lots of opportunities for brands to communicate with their audience easily. Services such as Facebook Places and Foursquare are not only implementing the concept of gamification but they are also localizing it which will be benefiting restaurants and retails shops to advertise their offering and attract attentions.