David Garland just published his 10 predictions for 2010 based on his experience and conversations with some of the biggest experts in the marketing arena.
Here are a couple that I feel are very important the small businesses that we serve
3. Death Of The One-Way Website The corporate-speak, one-way website is dead. It has always been boring, but now it is really on its death bed. Your website is like your clothes and smile. It will be the first thing people notice when they find you and see you. Your website could be your greatest marketing asset.
What is wrong with the one-way “traditional” website?
Customers want companies to be more human. Interactive. Social. Sure, your advertising agency charged you your first born child for that fancy flash intro and cool graphics, but are people buying from you? Can they give feedback? Can they easily connect with you on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Is there a COMPELLING reason I should sign up for your email list?
Is your website you on the top of the mountain yelling with a huge horn (Honnnnnkkkk!) or at the bottom listening to your customers and clients?
How do you listen?
Simple. A well-designed blog pluseEncouraging comments, creating content, adding video (more on all those in a minute). Listening and caring win in 2010.
An extremely well-designed blog optimized for search engines and easy-to-use even for the least technical amongst us costs a tiny fraction of a full fledged outdated website. Sorry web companies and agencies trying to charge an arm and a leg, you know it is true *wink*.
5. Online Video: Forget Viral Focus On Function Everyone wants to create a “viral” video. Sure, a viral video is a marketing weapon if you can do it, but the real benefit of video to marketers in 2010 is content.
As mentioned above, as a marketer and brand, you have the opportunity to publish content and market/interact with new and existing customers.
The price of video? Way down. No, you don’t need a 20 person crew and $15,000 camera.
The Flip Mino HD and Kodak Zi8 are both under $200 and painfully simple to use.
Sure, the videos have to be good, but they don’t have to be masterpieces to be effective marketing weapons. The good news is video can be used for almost ANY business big or small (with a few regulatory issues of course for our good friends in the financial sector but we still love you financial sector…sort of).
For example (I have about 3 million of these ideas but here are three):
1. If you are a grocery store, why not film the butcher talking about meats or talk about the best deals? Then, market it towards your shoppers.
2. If you are a gas station, why not film a quick special on drinks delivered by the employee-of-the-month. and send it to your best customers.
3. If you are an entrepreneur launching a product, why not show yourself using it and one of your best customers and simply tell us why it rocks and why we would want to use it.
Best practices with video are vast, but some quick advice is just be 100% honest, authentic and have some fun. Personality shines through more on video than literally anything else besides face-to-face.
Oh and did I mention that people love video? Youtube is now the #2 search engine to Google.
I really hope we do see more video. For the right kind of company it does give a great glimpse into what it would be like to work with them or buy from them. As far as viral video, you really cannot craft something to be viral as there is no way to predict how viral something will be. Just focus on creating content which shows your true face.