Gary Vaynerchuk believes that we, you, all of us, don’t market in the year we live in.
For those who don’t know, Gary Vaynerchuk is a wildly successful entrepreneur and an intensely passionate public speaker. You can check out his website to see his latest videos where he regularly talks about digital marketing and gives inspirational entrepreneurial advice.
You’ll notice while watching his content that Gary is a pretty opinionated guy. He makes a lot of statements about how we should be spending our time and on what.
After watching one of his speeches recently, there was one point in particular that really stuck with me.
Market in the year you live in
We all believe we’re marketing in the year we live in, don’t we? We’ve just wrapped up 2015 – what kind of year has it been?
- Users on Facebook are older than ever, and young people are leaving it behind altogether.
- Twitter introduced their new Moments feature to try to encourage new users (the numbers have stagnated) and keep existing users engaged.
- Instagram reached 400 million active users and achieved the highest brand engagement rate of any social platform with 3.5 billion daily likes.
- Snapchat has become the indisputable social network of choice for young people, and has proven itself as a viable marketing platform.
Despite trends in the market that suggest a clear stagnation of older social network platforms compared to new, there are still brands out there that are “thinking about getting on Facebook.”
But they’re missing a crucial point: It’s already too late.
The natural life cycle
These statistics aren’t telling you that Facebook marketing is worthless. After all, older demographics buy stuff too, right? So just because Facebook’s members are older, it’s not the end of the world. But it does show us an important cycle that, so far, Gary believes many marketers are ignoring.
Facebook began its journey as a college-student-only platform back in 2004. It dominated the social scene for many years, and is still one of the most popular social media networks today. However, teenagers on Facebook have declined 25.3% since 2011, while middle-aged and up users have increased 80.4% in the same amount of time.
Gary argues that this is the natural life cycle that we can expect to see recreated in years to come. Every platform has its golden years, but ultimately we will see a decline. This is why clinging to yesterday’s hottest tools and ignoring today’s is not an effective strategy.
Market for this year
In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram. At that time, the network was still gaining popularity and was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. While that may seem like a lot of money, Instagram was worth an astounding $37 billion in 2015. And we can expect that number to increase in 2016.
Remember when we were talking about the ages of Facebook users? 90% of Instagram users are under 35 years old (2015).
There are many marketers who aren’t spending any time or money on Instagram today. Some believe it’s a risky investment, and others claim that the app is just a fad that will pass (and is, therefore, not worth their time).
But everything is a fad. Every marketing platform has its rise, golden age, and decline. That does not make any of them worthless. In fact, people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Zuckerberg use this life-cycle to their advantage.
Those who “wait and see” when platforms like Instagram are introduced have already fallen behind, while those who jump in early and test the waters reap the rewards. We see this cycle in everything, from popular clothing trends to marketing efforts on Twitter. Something is cool, few people are using it well, and efforts are cheap. Then, people catch on. The general public gets ahold of it and suddenly the market is oversaturated.
Right now, advertising efforts on Instagram are looking very strong. There are no signs of decline right now; but after everything we’ve learned, it would be crazy for us to think it isn’t coming eventually.
Market for next year
Snapchat has a bad reputation – but only among those who don’t understand it. I’ve personally found myself defending the app numerous times against people who clearly believe it’s some sort of proponent of promiscuous behavior. These people aren’t marketing in the year we live in.
Daily stories from influential brands like Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Mashable, CNN, and others provide new and easily-browsable content every day via Snapchat Discover. We’re also given front-row seats to important events around the globe, including major awards shows, sporting events, holiday celebrations, and much more. Snapchat has even started dabbling in live news coverage via their Stories feature. The app has become much more than a simple way to communicate with close friends.
There are still so many businesses that truly believe their time and resources would be wasted on a platform like Snapchat. Others see it as a risky endeavor with an unstable network. But there are also people that think Snapchat is the future of marketing. They’re waiting to see how it all plays out. Although it may seem like the marketing tool of tomorrow, take a look at these recent headlines:
Does it still feel like you’ve got time to see if this Snapchat thing is going anywhere?
This is Gary’s crucial message. Be a trend predictor, or “on the offense,” as he puts it.
“I’m racking up the returns on that expensive cost that later turns out to be obvious to the market…when the market becomes aware and smart about it – it dilutes. That’s basically the way I think about marketing.”
Here’s what you can do
While you shouldn’t get discouraged, hopefully Gary’s insight has helped give a little nudge in the right direction. There are endless resources out there for those who are unfamiliar with social media marketing – anyone can do it!
And as for what’s next? Research and make sure to keep an eye out for the next big thing. If you need some inspiration, take a few minutes and watch the man himself explain these ideas.
If you’re ready to get serious about social media marketing, download our free ebook and let us help you get started.