The world is moving at an incredibly fast pace.
In some ways, it’s exciting. However, for entrepreneurs looking for their next big idea or for business owners trying to keep up with changes in the market, it can be dizzying and exhausting.
History is rife with examples of companies who tanked because they didn’t heed the warning signs brought by new technology. And with new technology developing at a faster pace than ever, the chances of this happening to virtually any business owner in any space are much higher than they used to be.
So, what should you look out for? What is the next big revolution? And what will change in the next five-to-ten years?
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
– Stephen Hawking
Below are three digital marketing trends that entrepreneurs can’t afford to ignore. They will soon become integral business practices (if they aren’t already), and your ability to adapt and evolve will affect your success.
1. Widespread frustration with social and other media platforms
This is a big one and perhaps the most important on this list.
Ten years ago, social media was the revolution. It was all anyone could talk about, and it still is, but the dialogue is different.
Where before it was, “What will be the next big social network or equivalent advancement in technology?”, now it’s, “What X platform just did wrong” or “X frustration with X platform”. Read through the comments section on any Reddit post about Facebook or Twitter and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
So, what does this mean for your business? Social has been fully integrated into the way that modern society functions, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, but the way you use social needs to change.
People are tired of being hit with advertising when they’re just trying to see what their friends and family are doing. And I’ll be the first to admit that I agree with this sentiment — after all, that’s what social was supposed to be about. Now, it’s turned into an engine for pumping cash to investors and the average user is pissed.
Because of this, your content needs to be fresh, organic, and honest. Your message needs to be about providing value and inspiring your audience to act. I’ll take that over deceptive sales tactics any day, and don’t mind seeing advertising made in that vein.
2. The visual media takeover
Content on the internet has always been about connection and telling a story (how we connect).
What is the most effective way to connect? To stand in front of another human being and interact with them. Virtually all technology being developed for use on or in conjunction with the internet is being developed with this idea in mind — whether the developers realize it or not.
Of the three, this point is the easiest to see right now with YouTube videos gradually taking over Google listings in place of written articles and blogs (unless they have video!) and live video spreading through social networks everywhere.
If you’re not already advertising, creating valuable content, and telling your company’s story through video, and at least looking into how you can incorporate live video, you may fall behind fast.
3. The rise of Augmented & Virtual Reality
First, it was Pokemon GO and those hilarious YouTube videos of people freaking out while walking a virtual tightrope or fighting a zombie hoard with a VR headset on.
But next? It’s university classes, corporate meetings, and live events being held entirely in virtual reality.
You might think that this sort of thing is decades away, but it’s more likely to be a matter of just a few years. Retail chains such as Toys ‘R’ Us and Ikea have already begun implementing AR (or “augmented reality”) into their in-store experience, allowing for the beginnings of a bridge between their physical locations and digital presence. And, as they develop, these two technologies will only begin to appear more alike.
So you’re not a big retail chain that can develop its own AR technology. Why should you care?
As AR and VR develop, they’ll become much more common, cheaper, and more accessible and their uses will become more widespread, to the point where there’s virtually no business on Earth that won’t be affected by AR and VR.
For now, there may or may not be much you can do with either of these technologies. But ignore them over the next five years and you’ll regret it.
The opportunities are ripe for the plucking, but to be a successful entrepreneur in the 21st century, you need to anticipate them.