What will 2016 hold for you? Will you have a chance to be authentic? Or will you keep the same old business practice and just manage in the Year of Fear 2016?
I have a bunch of marketing predictions, and they are based on the following factors.
Factors To Influence The Year Of Fear
- Social media shares are on the down tick. Large niche sites are feeling the pinch as fewer shares happen on the largest sites. How will they measure? If no one is coming to the content, then no one is sharing and no one is clicking and no one is buying. When was the last time your blog hit 100 shares on Twitter? Why is sharing down? Is social media dead?
- Twitter removed its share counter. Whatever for? I guess Twitter takes direction from its engineers as that’s on whom the company is blaming its decision to remove one of the most critical metrics a content marketing specialist relies on. (Those poor engineers at VW and Twitter! What a great department at which to point fingers.) Maybe Twitter is in cahoots with Google driving more emphasis to its analytics versus delivering more Twitter usage ROI to users. And, let’s face it; Twitter, and others are striving for higher utilization from mass audiences, not just we marketers and brands that love the channel for what it does now. Because Twitter is public, it could also be a move to generate a paid option; lots of thought around the move, but Twitter didn’t ask us either.
- I use Triberr, and for sure the blog posts I write do not get the same shares as they used to; in fact, this blog may as well be invisible for all the traction it doesn’t get. Love in, love out. If you don’t put in the time to keep your blog growing with daily love, you will not get much in return. As for me, I went MIA for a year and left this poor blog dormant. I didn’t have a choice, as life happened. Coming back like a rock star is truly a challenge. I see some pretty poor content on Triberr these days and a lot of the echo chamber. Are bloggers going MIA like I did and having a struggle returning to the daily time-intensive challenge?
- Blogs are robotic. Perhaps robots are actually writing the blogs of today, and if they’re not, no one is home. The blog post gets posted, put in queue for a later date, published and then forgotten. If a comment or two rolls in, there’s not always an answer. (I know because I left a few comments and got no reply.) We have become on automatic pilot with a driverless car.
- The IPOs of the last few years have wreaked havoc on the social media customer experience. It’s all about that dollar and being profitable at the expense of the experience and the pay for results that will only become increasingly annoying and unattainable for owners of the smallest budgets.
- What about that advertising revenue the entire media world requires to stay solvent? Marketers are pulling back on the budgets as the ad blockers remove the ads they have paid good money for. You can listen to a podcast about this very topic right here on the Heart of Marketing. Meanwhile, advertising is screaming bloody forward and taking the biggest slice of the marketing pie it can. It seems to be we’re quickly being relegated to silos again and advertising isn’t waiting around to care.
- Can Millennials build relationships like nurturing and 1:1 engagement in blog comments and Twitter streams? Do they even want to? There is a good chance that those marketers on the scene for 5 or 10 years don’t have the same social media experience as established leaders. That means authenticity, what little is left, is at risk.
Marketers Killed Social Media
When you put 2 and 2 together, you get this — Marketers Killed Social Media. Everyone was hell bent on capturing a piece of the conversation share and audience reach with proven results. The experience is now oriented directly to profitability vs. relationship building and AUTHENTICITY.
Which brand is authentic anymore? Are there brands that engage 1:1 with customers and prospects online? Is there any engagement without a pop-up ad, click and capture or offering of a sort? I’d like to know what happened to authentic conversation without the underlying pressure of a sale.
Have marketers won? Do marketers believe they have the equation to get in the face of prospects and customers with cold advertising that lacks heart? I believe they are trying…and failing.
Soulati Media Predictions in The Year Of Fear
All of the above factors are contributing to my marketing predictions for The Year Of Fear. I predict:
- There will be a return to livelier blog comments with people sharing conversation on each others blogs, just like in 2007-2011.
- A return to more traditional public relations that puts the human connection first. The new PR we see today that is totally blended and invisible with marketing will begin to segue back to our old roots. That’s when we did more influencer relations and thought leadership. We created relationships with journalists to help them publish our stories with sources and facts they didn’t have.
- More consideration for authenticity with a heartful connection that resonates more because it’s personal, genuine, from the heart, and believable.
- A back to start from chaos and disruption to consistently strategic customer connections. The scurry to programmatic advertising to predict the sales opportunity for real-time, online conversation will wane with the rebellion of consumers who resent the intrusion (even though the advertising budgets will sky rocket as brands believe this is the way to dessert).
- The disappearance of advertising budgets and the appearance of public relations budgets oriented to heartful humanity in a community.
- When you’re being authentic, it’s less about putting on airs and more about making heartful connections. Back in the day when I started blogging in 2006, each of us developed authentic and genuine relationships writing for a community. We will again nurture our communities with authenticity, integrity, and heart connections to build brand loyalty and earn the sale.
- The rise of the successful, nimble small business — quicker to react, quicker to earn results.
If you ever knew what being authentic truly was like in the earliest days of social media, then you understand what I’m talking about. If you never knew what authenticity was like in the earliest days of social media, then you haven’t a clue and are likely never to miss it.
To manage in the Year of Fear 2016, Marketer, you’re going to need to find some heart. Perhaps you’d really like tuning in to The Heart of Marketing to find your way there.