Ryan Buchanan on Marketingprofs.com offers up 10 online marketing predictions for the new year. His number 10 is dead on as I just posted about Cozi Central which targets parents. The rest of them are compelling as well. Read below:
With 2007 in full swing, here are our predictions for the rest of the year to come. In prior years we have given you a mix of business and personal lifestyle predictions, but this year we’re sticking to just the online marketing world. We busted out our omniscient crystal ball, and this is what it told us:
10. Social networking will get more and more niche. Social Networking has blanketed the news for the past 18 months because it works. YouTube and MySpace have built loyal communities through entertaining user-generated content and great tools for communicating with other like-minded people.
However, Social Networking is going NICHE. People use specific tools to connect, recommend, rate, and communicate within their niche groups. For this reason, there are many types of Social Media now and there will be five times this many by the end of next year:
- B2C: MySpace, Facebook, Gaia, Friendster, Second Life
- B2B: LinkedIn, Jigsaw
- Search: Digg, Delicious, Wink, Technorati
- Shopping: Wists, ThisNext, Woot
- Expert Communities: Blogs, Wikis
- Mapping: Geosearch
- Video: YouTube, TurnHere, Splashcast
- Images: Flickr
9. Viral campaign Web sites will have a purpose. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been forwarded hundreds of quirky sites that are experimenting with viral marketing and have no further purpose whatsoever. There are no calls to action or indications as to why these sites exist.
A few examples of pointless viral sites: Patron’s SimplyPerfect, eROI’s WearShortShorts, and CareerBuilder’s popular Monk-e-Mail. Next year will feature more substantial viral campaign sites, like Philips’s ShaveEverywhere, PassportToFlavor from Kettle Foods, and Snakes on a Plane.
8. User-generated content will be a component on most new Web sites. Many companies are just starting to realize the great potential of Web sites with user-generated content that enable customers co-create with their brands. Ultimately, allowing users to post their stories through text, images, and video helps to build community and long-term brand loyalty. In short, it works, and companies large (Diesel-U-Music) and small (Dunderdon Workspace) will employ this strategy much more frequently next year.
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.