It’s closing in on the end of 2010 fast and it’s been another bumper year for the digital industry. As ever, at this time of year there are hundreds of blog posts popping up reviewing highlights and lowlights of the year, along with some predictions for 2011. Within the Social Media world this is an opportunity for some creative posts on various highlights and mishaps, but what I find most interesting are the predictions for the coming year.
One of my most used resources, Mashable, have released many posts along these lines, but today what I would like to do is have a look at their post on ‘6 Predictions for Digital Advertising in 2011’. The author of this post is Jesse Thomas, CEO and Founder of JESS3, a creative agency looking after such high profile brands like Google, Nike, Facebook and more.
The first thing I noticed from the list is the predominance of Social Media in a list of digital agency predictions. The first point on the list is:
1. Local Advertising Becomes Relevant Again With Location
Location based software has begun to play a bigger part in companies marketing strategies and with this has seen the increase in popularity of tools such as Foursquare and Gowalla and the introduction of Facebook Places – a sure sign that location based software is here to stay.
Foursquare, Gowalla and many other location based applications have seen a rise in their user numbers, but Facebook are looking to take a huge chunk out of their success with the introduction of Facebook Places. Along with GroupOn, there is now a wealth of marketing tools for companies and brands to use to become increasingly local in their marketing efforts, but who will be the most creative in 2011?
2. Silicon Valley Will Be the Next Madison Avenue
2010 has seen huge valuations of social media based companies. Only in the past few weeks have we seen Twitter be valued at an estimated $3.7 billion, whilst Facebook reaches an estimated $56 billion.
With these sorts of figures, it’s no surprise that some of the top marketing and advertising talent are migrating to Facebook and Twitter for the industries top jobs. The need for the worlds best creative individuals is from the leading brands, some of the reason that brands like Starbucks are seeing over 12 million ‘Likes’ on Facebook. Well wouldn’t you follow the money?!
3. Influencers Will Be the Celebrities of the Social Web
Just how influential are you when it comes to the world on the web? Klout has seen massive growth this year, with the application being used an integrated by a wide variety of companies, and rightly so. With the popularity of social networks and the sheer reach that can be achieved, brands are latching on to celebrities so that they will promote their brand via the celebrities Twitter or Facebook accounts.
There is still talk as to whether Klout is a useful tool on its own, but there is no doubt that people are certainly paying the tool more attention. Some of the early adopters of Klout’s scoring has been Virgin America and the Palm’s Resort in Las Vegas. I predict that throughout 2011 there will be a significant uptake in the travel industry using Klout scores as a means of creating brand advocates, much like the Palm’s Resort has already with their Klout Klub.
4. Small Will Be the New Big for Social Networks
The growth of these social platforms has also seen the increase of ‘noise’ on social networks. By this, I mean the sheer amount of information flowing through Twitter streams or Facebook newsfeeds is sometimes overwhelming. This has seen the need for applications like Path and Fast Society, focused on targeting and building smaller communities, narrowing the groups dynamic. Facebook have once again developed their own take on this new phenomenon of building smaller, more focused communities with the development of Facebook Groups, whereby you can segment your friends to however suits – online friends, family, business and so on.
This makes a lot of sense, as with the eye watering numbers of Facebook members and Twitter users, your online community can become very cluttered. It will be very interesting to see how big brands utilise this new need for smaller, targeted communities – what do you think will be the trend in 2011?
5. Brands Will Become More Like Media Companies
Nearly all big brands have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, allowing them to ‘break’ their own news, no longer relying on PR agencies. Press Releases can be coordinated through Social Media.
Budgets are growing for Social Media and seeing varying success, but one thing is for certain, creativity is key. Engagement is paramount and it seems that however you want to do it can lead to massive results, with Skittles adding hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’ with their social mobbing campaign “Dazzle The Rainbow”. I do feel the marketing industry will have to develop more value for money with these campaigns in 2011 as some campaigns have been so ‘way out there’ they have flopped.
6. Facebook “Likes” Will Be Important for Your Brand
A great video, well worth a watch details the value of the Facebook ‘Like’. Beth O’Reilly from Kraft Foods talks of the success Oreo have seen using Facebook, currently adding hundreds of thousands of ‘Likes’ a week. Raising the question of whether companies in the future will need a unique URL, Beth gives the example of where brands such as Coca-Cola see around 300 thousand unique visitors a week to their website, whilst have over 10 million ‘Likes’ to communicate with in Facebook.
“Over 93% of Mum’s are part of a social network” so ‘Likes’ are increasingly important, but not just that, how you communicate with these followers is increasingly being developed. Some larger companies are employing the use of technology driving the cost of CPA (cost per acquisition) down, the key to 2011.
From this short list of predictions for digital advertising in 2011, I can agree with many of the points raised, but what I do see as needing to happen is the continued need for focusing advertising needs to offer a valuable service, not just innovative and creative ad campaigns. There have been many imaginative campaigns this year, but few have fulfilled the need to provide users or followers a valuable service.
What do you think of the predictions? Have any of your own? I would love to hear from you, so leave me a comment.