For the past several years I have been invited to offer a prediction for the upcoming year for the Content Marketing Institute. Joe Pulizzi has been collecting and then sharing these predictions at the end of each year.
It began at the end of 2008 when I said:
Name: Scott Howard, ScLoHo
Prediction: In 2009 the smart brand marketers will reach out via text offers and Twitter offers to the college aged crowd, money saving offers that they can use repeatedly to build brand preferences for the future.
At the end of 2009 I made the following prediction for 2010:
Smart Marketers will be the ones who understand and use Twitter and Facebook with hyperlinks to pull potential clients to their websites and blogs.
Smart Marketers will understand the power of real conversations via Twitter and Facebook and use these as communication tools, not just P. R. machines.
Smart Marketers will insist that their Marketing Messages are using Social Media, Traditional websites, and Traditional Media in a cross-platform culture that includes everything from SmartPhones to HDTV screens.
At the end of 2010 Joe changed the format of sharing the predictions from a simple list on his blog to a Zmags.com format.
My prediction for the year we just wrapped up was:
Value will be the true measuring stick in 2011.
Questions consumers are asking themselves, “Is there a value to me if I follow you on Twitter or Like you on Facebook?”
Business owners are asking themselves, “Is mass discounting via Groupon (and similar sites) providing me with customers that I value, or am I just offering loss leaders without any true long term value to my business?”
Social Media skeptics will place little value on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, etc because they haven’t grasped the social interaction value of the media.
Social Media users and believers will continue to grow and increase their value to their friends and followers because they understand that despite the trackability of the web, relationships are not as easily measured in simple R.O.I. terms.
Every decision made in 2011 will be based on the value each of us as individuals assign to the choices.
And when Joe published the predictions for this year, he used Slideshare.com.
Smart Marketers will stay on the leading edge of emerging social media trends and
platforms and invest the time, money and manpower into the efforts required to be
where their customers are.
Social Media will slowly replace old style internet marketing methods such as banner
ads, pop-ups and other annoyances that are driving customers away from websites.
Because of the increasing importance on the most current, relevant content by
Google, the marketers that are producing and publishing content that meets both
the requirements of Google and the interests of their customers will win over those
that are ignoring these trends.
However only a small percentage of companies will connect all the dots from
outreach via social media, inbound via search to creating a website that effectively
answers website visitors questions, pulls them through the entire buying process
including the appropriate call to action, followed by order tracking, customer data
collection and personalized follow up after the initial visit.
Here’s the entire 2012 Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions, listed in alphabetical order by first names. Mine is on page 71, but take the time and read the others too: