The year 2008 was marked by a number of events that have imprinted themselves in the minds of Iowans, the nation, and the world. In June, my community experienced the most devastating flooding on record, in August, the Beijing Olympics and Michael Phelps’ athleticism captured the world’s attention for two weeks, and in November, the nation held its breath as a record turnout of Americans cast their votes for the next President of the United States.
So what will 2009 hold for us? To start with, I won’t be making any predictions about natural disasters, sporting outcomes, or international relations. However, as someone who continually tracks the latest patterns and trends online, I’d like to share a few predictions for 2009 when it comes to internet marketing.
Social Media again in 2009:
Your mom got Facebook this year. In 2009, your grandma will. Just as predicted in 2008, social media and social networking sites will grow and continue to play a large role in online marketing for 2009. However, I anticipate that many users will become more specific about how they devote time to social media, choosing just a couple of social networks to use frequently rather than dabbling lightly in multiple networks.
From the business side of things, I believe many marketing departments will narrow down their social media efforts to just those that provide the greatest value for their time and money. That way, businesses will be able to focus on the avenues that will most successfully drive business back to their site in 2009.
The Ultimate Powerstrip for Social Media: What’s Yours is YOURS:
With the ever growing popularity in social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, users currently find themselves completing similar profile information from one social media site to another. For 2009, your keyboards should get a rest – many social media sites will be providing easy ways to transfer your profile data from one site to another.
Additionally, look for technology that enables you to login at just one site to receive access to your entire online social network. Overall, you can bet that as using multiple social media sites becomes more convenient, more users will look to get connected online in 2009.
“But I Want It NOW!”
Remember the days when information was found in dusty libraries? For most internet users, those days are a faint memory, and in the words of Willy Wonka’s Veruca Salt, they all “want it NOW!”. People online today have a growing impatience when it comes to accessing new information and media content. As a result, in 2009, business owners and industry leaders may want to plan ways they can provide information and feedback online quickly – or even live.
Video has moved beyond YouTube:
Online video use is no longer just for the younger generation. If you are a business owner, or are in an internal marketing position with any business, having video on your website is becoming essential. With online videos expanding far beyond YouTube, in 2009, more and more people will visit your website looking for a more personal connection with your business or product through video media.
Blogging: Keeping it Short and Sweet
In 2009, you will see a big turn from “blogging” as we currently know it, to more “Micro-blogging”. Websites like Twitter will grow exponentially as more people will choose to express themselves more quickly and easily in 140 characters or less, rather than struggle to provide lengthy blog posts.
Can you Digg it?
People are looking less to traditional news outlets and more to the web for the latest news. Each day, more online press release sites are created, with a growing number of press releases being disseminated online. Don’t miss out on this opportunity – if your business isn’t providing news and press releases online in 2009, you’ll be left behind just like yesterday’s newspaper.
A last word of advice:
At this point, some of you may feel like throwing your hands up in the air and shouting, “How can we do it all? There is so much to do when it comes to internet marketing!” Don’t worry. At Metro Studios, we’re here to help. Internet marketing can be simple when you provide users what they’re looking for – an intimate connection with your business. Online marketing isn’t a hit or miss strategy, it’s developing a focused and detailed plan for the ways you can truly connect online with your prospective clients.
I hope you have had a wonderful 2008, and from all of us at Metro Studios, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2009!
Director of Internet Marketing
John Whaley – firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison’s Plumbing – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Waterloo Plumbing and Bathroom Remodeling