Came across a very insightful Internet Trends Report by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers – a VC firm that puts together a fairly good view on all things related to internet consumer, consumption and business – a very important topic for those of us involved in business on the internet.
As you can see, this is a very comprehensive slide deck, and I know many of you won’t have the time or inclination to go through each one of these, so here are a few observations that hit home for us.
1.Attention Is Dramatically Changing To Online
While this shouldn’t surprise you (especially if you are like me with teenage kids), the movement of attention from print and regular linear television is incredible in its swiftness. Along the same lines, the attention graph toward applications and content sources online shows every sign that it will be rapid – understanding how quickly Twitter took off and now we hardly talk about it…instead the darlings are Facebook (which is also slowing in attention EXCEPT around video), Instagram and various chat applications including Facebook Messenger, What’s Ap and Snapchat
2. There’s Attention And Then There’s ATTENTION!
What is starting to become more clear is how attention on different social marketing platforms evolves in terms of interest versus e-commerce or commercial attention. When Facebook first came out it was thought of as just WRONG to leverage it for anything related to commercial intent…the argument was that people were simply not on Facebook to buy. Over time that of course changed and now Facebook advertising and commerce is well proven. The same trend is now going on with chat applications including Snapchat where users are ramping quickly and general branding is happening, but how to use Snapchat to really SELL stuff is still largely a mystery. The one that most of you may not be aware of, unless you are already using it that is, is Pintrest. Leading the way by a mile in terms of commercial intent by users…more than 50% of users go on Pintrest expecting or looking to buy something – those are pretty hard numbers to ignore if you have a business where your products and services can be marketed via images (many of you DO!)
3. Social Advertising – There’s Still Time Left
As with any ad platform (TV, Radio, Print, Pay-Per-Click), it begins with low costs to ramp up usage such that there is always a period where your ROI is higher simply because demand for ads has not yet reached plateau levels – with the major social platforms that opportunity is closing, but still exists today. What this means is that you want to place smart ads on Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest now so you can maximize your return as demand and costs will only increase in the coming months.
4. E-Commerce Continues Steep Climb Over Retail
While it may seem slow to some, e-commerce eclipsed 11% of retail sales in 2015 with the trend continuing at a very steady pace…this means $340 Billion in spend, a staggering number when you consider it was barely getting started in the early 2000’s – we have come a LONG way in a very short period of time and where we will be over the next decade is truly exciting and should inspire you as someone who does or wants to build your online business profits.
5. Attention Portals – Where You Reach Your Market
When it comes to grabbing attention, this is exactly what you or I want to know in terms of reaching our online market…we want to put our content and our ads in front of them as effectively as we can. So understanding the trend toward mobile (people spending more time on mobile than desktop computers, gaming consoles, TV’s, etc…) AND understanding that today the main attention portal for our mobile experience is the HOME screen where we tend to access 3-4 apps the most through our day is critical for us to understand. Even more critical is to know that the major platforms like Facebook/Instagram/What’sApp as well as Google through YouTube, Google Messenger (and through what will no doubt be some strategic acquisitions to gain more attention) will want to become a SECOND attention portal. Take a look at this graphic and you will see what I mean…
What this means is that you want to be developing content, ads and connections such that YOU appear on this second portal (Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, YouTube, etc…)
The biggest challenge you have as an online business owner, entrepreneur or marketing expert is getting the attention of your marketplace. When the internet started, that was done via Email and then Google Search, from there attention started to spread to large online e-commerce hubs such as Amazon and eBay. Next, social marketing applications like YouTube and then Facebook began to consume more and more attention. Now we have yet another revolution happening that combines mobile with video content and ads along with real-time video (Facebook Mentions, Periscope, YouTube Live) and social messenger applications.
As an internet entrepreneur you not only want to be aware of these trends, you want to use them to your advantage by quickly pivoting, learning these systems, creating content and testing ads on these platforms so you can be an “early mover” giving you a competitive advantage over the largest of competitors.