Arguably, in the last 10 years there's been no better growth driver than leveraging internet trend opportunities. And over the last 20 years, there's no better person to analyze those trends than Mary Meeker. As Wired Magazine points out, "she has nailed the most important dynamics of the tech and investment climate, from the spread of mobile computing to the rise of China."
Her annual internet trends report is eye opening. You can view the entire 355 page slide deck here or explore the internet trend opportunities summary in the post that follows.
The second of three installments, this summary highlights her presentation covering topics including internet advertising, internet search using images and voice and augmented reality. It details the key trends and outlines specific steps you can leverage to impact your business.
Read the Internet Trends installment one here. It analyzes how mobile device usage and digital media consumption impacts your business.
The Impact Of Online Advertising
Online Advertising will surpass TV advertising in late 2017. Furthermore, in 2016, mobile advertising exceeded desktop. However, there's a gap in the amount of mobile adds served on mobile devices which creates an opportunity. Here's why.
For baby boomers, generation X and even older millennial's, it's hard to fathom an advertising medium more powerful than TV. But it's time to pass the torch because later this year, Internet advertising will exceed TV. In reality, Internet advertising isn't just more powerful because it has a higher share of expenditures. It's more powerful because businesses small and large can economically leverage the medium to generate leads and revenue.
And the ecosystems keep growing. Facebook exceeded 2 billion users worldwide. Nearly 68% of all searches take place on Google. Therefore, it's not surprising that Facebook and Google represent 85% of the online advertising dollars spend. With Facebook's demographic information and Google's on-going geo targeting improvements, each network provides even more effective ways to target your end consumer.
But that's not all. With dollars from mobile advertising exceeded those from desktop to over $73 billion, businesses haven't adjusted their expenditures accordingly. And with the continuing growth in digital media consumption through mobile devices, advertising on those devices creates an opportunity. If you use Adwords, Facebook Ads or other online advertising tools today, or benefit from lead generation, online ads represent untapped potential you can leverage.
Ads are becoming storefronts. With the precise targeting capabilities exhibited by Google, Facebook, Instagram and more, delivering ads is like delivering a personalized storefront to prospects. And even with a small budget, targeted ads are worth exploring.
The Future Of Search
Search is evolving. As a matter of fact, 20% of mobile internet queries use voice search. And, future search will be about pictures.
How will prospects find you in the future? With mobile devices and virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant, consumers will use voice search to find your products and services, requiring an adjustment to site optimization practices. For example, consumers simply ask their device a question using a conversational voice. Instead of typing in "best content marketing company" the voice search might be "where can I find a content marketing company that works with the commercial printing industry?"
But, how do you determine the type of questions a consumer might ask about your company when using voice search? Detailing the questions they ask your sales and customer service team is a great start. Once you've identified this information you can start to include the long form questions as search phrases in your website content.
In addition, these natural language questions are perfect to highlight on a Frequently Asked Questions page.
But the future of search isn't just reserved for voice. In fact, images will provide consumers access to both business and consumer products. Using and optimizing images on your website and engaging with platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest will impact how prospects find you in the future.
It's important to maximize the opportunity for prospects to find you through the use of effective site optimization. However, when a prospect is engaged, providing an effective user experience, will further bolster your relationship. Used effectively, augmented reality (AR) improves the user experience. AR assists consumers in many ways and represents an internet trends opportunity you can leverage.
For example, Lowe's uses AR to help shoppers find products within their stores.
A university in China used augmented reality when sending applicants their acceptance letters.
Here's how it worked. Upon opening the app, the applicant saw a virtual model of the university. In addition, history and information on subjects the school is famous for, including aeronautical, astronautical and marine engineering fields, were also featured.
Furthermore, AR applications may accelerate. Although the information isn't confirmed, it's believed that augmented reality could prove to be the biggest addition to the upcoming iPhone 8. Apple has been bullish on augmented reality for quite some time. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated he believes AR has more appeal than virtual reality. VR places you inside a virtual environment instead of placing virtual elements over the real world like with augmented reality.
Finally, Graphic Arts Magazine believes one of the biggest opportunities for integrating AR into print is in packaging and POP signage. But printed materials of all kinds including training manuals, print advertising, direct mail and catalogs, sales collateral and more are viable options for augmented reality.
Internet Trend Opportunities
Mobile ads, image and voice search and augmented reality are three internet trend opportunities that businesses can leverage. Stay tuned for the next installment covering additional topics including:
- Using social media and chat boxes to enhance customer service
- Integrating video game applications to impact your business through improved learning and engagement
- How gaming tools provide the foundation for enhanced internet services