2009 Web Predictions from Website Magazine

One of my favorite Internet marketing publications, Website Magazine has made its 2009 Web Predictions. Website Magazine shares the mRELEVANCE view that despite the current economy, the Web will continue to see growth in 2009.

Here are the Predictions! We have posted an abbreviated version here.

A Major Social Media Shift
There will be a noticeable, albeit slight uptick in social media usage (blogging and online networking sites) due to increased and continued layoffs across all business sectors. Few small enterprises, however, will effectively master social media, despite claims that it’s possible. Genuine creativity and original thought will have its moment in the social spotlight for sure, but those instances will be few and far between and overshadowed by massive social media campaigns initiated by those with the biggest budgets and resources.

E-commerce and Internet Retailers Get Smart
Once reserved for only the most elite Internet retailers, small and mid-tier merchants will embrace innovation in the form of recommendation technologies and alternative payments which both increase their margins and the profit of their enterprises. Those shopping cart providers that do not provide even the most basic merchandising and marketing tools will see an exodus from their platforms to more sophisticated offerings. While the record-breaking growth and profits of past years will not be met in 2009, gains in technology efficiency and will  force the e-commerce industry and Internet retailers to get smart and creative.

Internet Advertising Will Rebound – Big Time
While Internet advertising growth has slowed on the whole, an increase in spending is expected for 2009, thanks to advances in geo-targeting, greater local advertising opportunities and a general “me too” attitude among small local merchants who refuse to go down without a fight. This presents an opportunity for search marketing agencies (on both the SEO and SEM sides) to create new revenue streams and further drive growth in the future.

Affiliate Marketers Will Reap What They Sow
As Internet merchants find ways to reduce costs, a shakeout of massive proportions will negatively impact the opportunities of many affiliate marketers. Affiliates who develop their own active communities – not just a sales-driven message – will be the only ones left standing in the end.  Social networks will crack down through new assessment policies and remove participants which are not abiding by community-established guidelines.

Video Will Become Truly Viable for Marketers
Online video is continuing its explosive growth, thanks to everyone with a recording device and an idea. It’s no different for marketers, except that promotional opportunities are set to boom. Video delivery is getting more sophisticated, evidenced by YouTube’s ability to broadcast HD videos. Existing technologies allow for minor video customization, but new abilities will go even further. Companies like ZunaVision are taking product placement and custom in-video advertising to a new level – blurring the lines between ads and content, without impacting the viewer experience. And for now, it’s free – leveling the playing field for advertisers of all sizes. It’s up to marketers to get creative and have their videos sought-after, rather than eating up valuable hours forcing videos through social networking and bookmarking sites. User embeds are easier than ever – no social profile is complete without a good video. BlendTec is perhaps the best example out there.

For the complete article, visit Website Magazine.