Predictions for 2014: Facebook Ads Dominate and Minecraft as a Tool
It’s going to be a great year for agile folks who aren’t married to yesterday’s successes. The driver in 2014 is reinvention: What was brand new a short time ago gets transformed again, or else swept under the rug for even better applications. So here eight predictions, followed by two mandates:
1. Only Facebook enjoys the ability to interrupt a mobile phone user, without suffering backlash, via their news feed ads. Facebook is beating their next closest competitor in mobile, Google, by three times. It will continue to set the pace for the foreseeable future. Your top priority for Facebook ads is how your prospects take the very next step using their smartphone.
2. Facebook’s revenue in the third quarter of 2013 was $2 billion. Facebook will sell $6 billion of ads in the third quarter of 2015. The rest of the world does not ‘get’ this yet, but mark my words, by late 2014 Facebook advertising will be brutally competitive.
My students who jumped ahead of the AdWords curve enjoyed years of superiority over everyone else — and still do. You as a small, agile marketer now have six months to leapfrog the Facebook ads learning curve. Do it now while it’s easy. Consider yourself warned.
3. The venerable, hoary “back link strategy” for search engine optimization is wheezing like a dying animal. Social media is the new SEO. Inbound links are easy to fake. Likes, tweets and shares by key influencers are almost impossible to fake. Stop theorizing about Google bots and just make the humans happy. That worked in 1998 and it still works now.
4. Forget trying to build an “authority site.” Post your content on existing authority sites. If you’re a blogger, blog on a major site, not your own. It’s why sites such as Huffington Post, Patheos, TechCrunch, CNET and major newspapers have so much gravity. It’s why I’m blogging on Entrepreneur.com right now. Want to get ranked? Write your authority site blog post for target keywords.
6. The “free exposure via social media” myth is just as dumb as the “free SEO” myth of 10 years ago. Earth is strewn with carcasses of chumps who lived and died by “free.” Pay for play is the name of the game in social media. In 2004, the hot strategy was you tested your ideas in Google ads, then scaled up. In 2014, you test ideas in your news feed, then pay for them to go quasi viral. Expect to pay for all your fans to see your posts. Expect to pay for new customers.
7. The growth industry in 2014 is turning hobbies into businesses. Social media is making that possible like nothing else before. Since 10 percent of the people in the world produce enough to feed and furnish 90 percent of our “necessities,” hobbies are not trivial. They are golden keys to the entrepreneurial future.