As much as the title of this article looks like a pathetic excuse for attention – it’s not. I’ve spent the last several months reading, taking notes, researching and following several “authority” figures online; with the ultimate goal of preparing myself for the future web.
Preparation + Opportunity = Success… Right?
Since the whole web 2.0 stir fry has come to a simmer, there have been some very interesting movements taking place right in front of our faces, yet as a community (niche bloggers, internet marketers) we haven’t really sat down and acknowledged what’s happening – and the importance it has in our careers and lives online.
I’m talking about the 3 most crucial shifts in how people use the web, engage digital media and access information online. Web 3.0 is happening now and if you don’t shift your actions with the organic growth of the web, you’ll be left in the virtual dust pan, inevitably waiting to be swept up and dumped in the trash.
Please, if you do anything at all, pay attention to what I’m about to share with you.
Here Are The Top 3 Internet Marketing Movements To Watch For In 2011
For all of you people who spent 2010 mastering pay per click advertising via Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, I’ve got some news for you – web users are mobile, so why aren’t your PPC campaigns?
The absolute truth is, at this moment in time mobile advertising is still very untapped, which means cheaper clicks for online marketers like you and I. So how can we take advantage of this?
Imagine if you became a PPC master back in 2001-2002 when Google redefined the online ad game – you’d be rolling around in stupid amounts of cash, right?
“As of this very moment, there are over 5 billion mobile phone users in the world.”
Out of those 5 billion people (on the go) over 31% of them access the internet using their web-ready mobile device. iPhone, Android, whatever… people are on the move and smart phones are just going to get smarter, cheaper and more accessible in the years to come.
Enter The Mobile Marketer
How about advertising with mobile banner ads that appear within applications and games? Or running a mobile-only pay per click campaigns, targeting by device or location (within 20km radius) and sending that traffic to a mobile-friendly website? The possibilities are truly endless.
And I’m just getting started… QR codes, mobile app development, mobile design etc. The list goes on and the boom is now, so don’t wait and regret it down the road.
Everyone and their grandmother has been talking about local search, Google Places and Groupon – but the “local” web is becoming much more than that. The localization of the web goes hand in hand with the evolution of the smart phone; as people are searching on the go, the major search engines are being swamped with neighborhood-specific activity.
Here’s one key area to watch for in the hyper local web movement…
Rather than businesses only being interested in local search engine traffic leading to their website, they will start to target mobile search traffic and offer immediate incentive to “walk-in” customers.
Huh? What? Yeah.
Here’s a hypothetical example:
I’ve just finished having dinner in downtown Toronto with a few friends. As we’re cruising around for some midnight suds, I see a bus shelter ad for a pub around the corner. On the ad there is a QR code in the bottom corner which, when scanned, takes me to a mobile-friendly landing page that displays a coupon code for $5 pints. All I have to do is bookmark the web address on my phone and show the coupon code to our server once we’re seated.
Even though there’s 3 pubs across the street, I’ll walk an extra 5 minutes for discount drinks.
That my friends is what the hyper local web movement is all about.
“Over 73% of online activity is related to local content – Google”
Think about the impact this will have on the real estate industry in the years to come. As people are house hunting, you provide them with a mobile web address directly on your “for sale” lawn sign, which when visited allows them to punch in the address of the property and view the photo gallery and listing details – before stepping foot in the house.
Oh yeah, and what about Facebook Places? Offer incentive for everyone who “checks in” while visiting your office or place of business – this really is just the tip of the ice berg.
For the guys and gals who know their online local stuff, the combination of mobile technology and hyper local web usage is creating some very lucrative opportunities. If you can manage a basic PPC campaign, you can easily get local businesses to sign on for a $300-$500 per month mobile ads package.
And when you do, blow their minds with the “click to call” function on Google Mobile Ads and watch their checkbook and pen come flying out.
This is by far one of the most interesting and socially influential movements of all. Again, directly related to the advancement of smart phones and the mobile (social) web.
Twitter sort of acted as the catalyst for the present day citizen journalism explosion, and brought it all together with their stupidly simple format. Express yourself in 140 characters or less… Genius. Throw an iPhone into the pot and all of a sudden EVERYONE is a reporter, with the ability to snap pictures, video or just a few lines of text as stuff is happening around the globe.
Remember when Twitter first hit the web, and most of us thought it was completely useless? I can recall speaking with my mother one night, trying to explain it to her…
“It’s like sending out a text message to the world”
Those were my exact words.
First it was cell phones with cameras. Then it was cell phones with cameras that can surf the web. Then it was cell phones with cameras that can surf the web, upload media to the web and tell everyone that’s interested within 10 seconds.
The combination of these technologies created the perfect machine for citizen journalism. I know you’re probably thinking, “WTF does this have to do with web marketing and making money online?” On the contrary is has EVERYTHING to do with it – just here me out for a second…
As marketers, we need to harness the idea of real-time digital reporting, utilize the technologies available and engage our online communities with the latest and greatest – as it happens!
Smartphones + Micro-blogging + Live video streaming = GUERRILLA MARKETING 3.0
Feel free to quote me on that… Because that just happened.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “life streaming” or life logging, well that term was coined in the late 90’s and basically means a time-ordered stream which functions as a diary for your electronic life online. This concept really fueled other ideas down the road, and all you need now a days is some sort of aggregation service to pull all of your online activity into one convenient stream – like 8hands.com.
I guess my whole outlook on the citizen journalism movement is that no longer are money-sucking news companies reporting the news first, WE ARE! Earthquakes, hurricanes, bombings etc. There is absolutely no reason to believe anything you hear or see on CNN, when you can hop on the internet and get real time conversation – no credit card required.
The true story is always (with proper research) online – not on the television or in the newspapers.
It’s Your Market
Aside from this rant, if you’ve ever had that desire or passion to get up on a stage, host a seminar in your local area or self publish/write a book – now is the time to start. Not later. Web 3.0 is all about you. Market you and you will succeed.
Every one of us on this planet is really good at something, even if it’s just one thing. Everything I’ve just talked about was created with one purpose – for you to use – whether it be a marketing tool, video service or funky gadget for your Android.
Take what you know, what you love and what you’re the best at and turn it into a business.
The tools are all there and 95 % of them are free.
That’s all you need to do. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to make it big so you can pay them to learn how they did (after the opportunity has passed). Learn everything you can, get your hands dirty and create something (whether it’s a blog or a book) then throw up a price on your findings and see who bites.
What do you have to lose?
Sharing Is Caring
In the future web, sharing is caring. Share the best information, share the best ideas and share your most awesome efforts. Share this article and spread the word. Let people know about this stuff because it’s super important, ESPECIALLY for us entrepreneurial type of people. The web is our bread and butter and sharing great info and resources helps feed the industry with yummy possibilities.
This is your year.