While searching through blogs to find new sources, I came across Nial McFadyen's post on virtualmarketingblog.com. Today's post was about five different marketing trends of viral marketing that McFadyen has observed and predicted will come to a front this year.
McFadyen's first prediction is that branded games will become the most as the most effective technique in social network advertising. It may be that the rest of the public is more in touch with the online gaming industry (I think of it as one less procrastination tool for me), but I don't think I will be one to jump on this bandwagon. Yes, I believe that it will become more popular and effective with a particular demographic, but out of the web- savvy population, I'm not sure they'll be reaching many 20-something females. But who knows, maybe a company will find some way to strike our fancy, I'm not one to underestimate.
McFadyen also predicts that internet will be integrated with other modes of media such as TV and game consoles (in which the Web has already been integrated), and electronics and other devices will be designed to accomodate to this integration. Word on the street is that many said products are in development, and as long as they're marketed well, I have no doubt that this prediction will be verified.
Third prediction: Kid’s toy manufacturers will incorporate the internet with their toy concepts, following the success of Webkinz. I will admit, my siblings love Webkinz, and when kids love something, they can't get enough of it. Remember Tomagotchi's and GigaPets? Word to my Webkinz team in Park: take this trend into consideration, how is Webkinz going to deal with the competition?
According to McFadyen, "the improvement in targeted and local search will increase the number of small businesses that advertise online. This increase in advertising will slowly spread beyond text based search advertising and into social network advertising as well as online advertising networks that can deliver results." I, for one, agree that this trend is already in movement. My friend works for a local search engine in Chicago called Fave, and it hasn't stopped growing, and is actually the fastest growing search engine in the Chicago area. There's all sorts of local advertisements and information, and seeing that this site is becoming incredibly popular, I have no doubt that search engines for other areas would as well.
The last prediction is that small business will increasingly start creating low budget marketing initiatives based on free internet services like blogs or Facebook pages. It's becoming an increasingly popular alternative because businesses don't have to spend the cost of website design and hosting. Also, free online video sites like YouTube will continue to be used as an alternative to TV advertising, and in my opinion, commericials will become even more popular in searching since there is more flexibility for content and creativity on these sites.