Today, November 14 marks an anniversary for me. It was exactly 10 years ago on November 14, 2008 that I published my first blog post here on fiveminutemarketing.com. Little did I know as I pressed “publish” that day, that it would lead to 10 years of mostly weekly contributions as a thought leader, which has also led to publishing two books and far too many client projects to count. Posts were a little less regular initially, but I soon learned how weekly content was rewarded with a growing readership. The merits have been plentiful.
For fun, I took a look back at that first post HERE: Social Media and the Age of Conversation
Curiously, it was about social media and the coming “age of conversation.” The post itself documents how bloggers initially started the age of conversation, and how at the time there was a growing sense that people were spending more time online, but that media budgets allotted for reaching them there were still very small. Estimates of 20% of our media time being spent online were statistics meant to shake us at the time, along with estimates of 12% of “experimental budgets” being spent against it to reach early adopters.
Oh, how times have changed.
I don’t think it’s a mistake that 2008 was a pivotal year. Indeed, when you look at what was happening economically, we were at the beginning of a downward spiral into the “Great Recession”, the news of Lehman Brothers had just been released, and the massive collapse of the American housing market was just beginning to tip. The EU had yet to spiral into debt and unity crisis. It was a time of fear, but also hope.
Facebook had started in 2004, but had only opened access to everyone in 2006. It was still a free connections site, held by a private company, with no monetization model, and certainly no paid content distribution. Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest did not yet exist. Youtube had started in 2005, and in the fall of 2008 had just agreed with MGM and CBS to post full length films and TV episodes. That move would signal the beginning of ads being shown with content the following year.
Many now successful blogs launched in 2008. Some because the owners had the vision to see a new future unfolding. But many others just started blogging about passions, simply because they were out of work, and looked to online connections to fill their days.
Out of the ashes always springs hope. And often out of small beginnings, comes seismic shifts. I thought it would be interesting to take the major finding from Social Media Examiners 2018 industry report, a drop them in against where we were 10 years ago.
Here is a summary of major findings
Facebook Uncertainty: Only 49% of marketers feel their Facebook marketing is effective and 52% said they’ve seen declines in their organic Facebook reach in the last year. However, 62% plan on increasing their organic activities in the next year.
Marketers focusing less on developing loyal fans: For the first time in years, generating leads has become more of a focus for marketers than cultivating a loyal fan base. This could be a sign that metrics and automation are becoming more important than engagement.
Facebook dominance still strong: A very significant 94% of marketers use Facebook (followed by Instagram at 66%). Two in three marketers claim Facebook is their most important social platform.
Facebook ads reign supreme: Facebook ads are used by 72% of marketers (followed by Instagram at 31%). Nearly half of all marketers increased their Facebook ad activities in the last year and 67% plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads over the next 12 months.
Facebook Messenger bots pique marketers’ interest: While only 15% of marketers are using Messenger bots, 51% plan on using Messenger bots in the next year.
Beyond what these finding represent, what I found most interesting is the fact that ALL the effort to connect with customers online now, is being done in a way THAT DID NOT EVEN EXIST 10 YEARS AGO. Ruminate on that for a while.
What will be the most important thing 10 years from now? Something that likely doesn’t exist yet. But beyond that, there are some hints…
My bet is on direct messaging platforms and one-on-one communication. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation will also no doubt be at play. But I also suspect, and in direct contrast to technology and automation, but within the same trend of connecting one-on-one at a personal level, we will also see a return to the importance of personal connections and face to face, which is the original one-on-one channel anyway.
If you’re curious about the “Age of the individual” and the rise of direct messaging, you can link to my post about that HERE.
What do you think the future will hold for marketing and media 10 years from now? Leave a comment below. And if you just want to natter or congratulate me on 10 years of blogging, or simply tell me what’s in your cup as you’re reading this, feel free to leave that comment too. For the record, my cup has a little Baileys to celebrate this morning!