Blogging, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are now the staples of any digital marketing conversation. With companies pushing for change and innovation in an increasingly wired world, one has to wonder what could possibly come next. And yet, there’s always another frontier, even for marketing and advertising. Especially for marketing and advertising.

 

This year, it seems that creating a virtual space for “real life” interactions will be at the forefront for advertising campaigns everywhere. Some strategies will build on existing standards – real time chat services, Q&A forums, social media integration- and some will stand on the cutting edge with digital marketing optimizations, addressing increasing privacy issues, and mobile marketing.

 

Our favorites? Mobile advertising and group messaging.


1. Mobile advertising

There’s a plethora to choose from. Mobile apps, mobile websites and now, Apple’s latest shiny new toy, the iAd platform. Some businesses are picking mobile websites over mobile apps because they’re readable across multiple platforms; and they may have a valid point since HTML5 and CSS3 are making it much easier to build interactive content into websites. For developers, creating ads is going to become a lot more fun with the iAd – Apple’s new platform for creating ads for the iPhone, iTouch and the new addition to the family, the iPad. While an iAd campaign may come with a hefty price tag, there’s no denying the coolness factor. The iAds are engaging, interactive and being called ads with emotions. Take a look for yourself.




2. Group Messaging


With free group messaging services like GroupMe and Beluga, reaching a demographic with similar tastes, gauging rich data and offering deals and special offers through Twitter and Groupon has become much easier and faster for marketers. Timing is a great keyword to incorporate into the “location, location, location” mantra. Todd Wasserman, at Mashable.com, writes: “A well-timed coupon or even just a reminder that a store is nearby can create a sales opportunity out of thin air.”




3. QR Codes



And finally, if the buzz created by QR codes at SXSW 2011 is any indication of their popularity, we’re bound to see continued growth of their use. QR codes are like bar codes that carry more information about a product than a standard 10-digit bar code. Originally created by Japanese company, Denso-Wave for inventory purposes, they’ve been around for almost a decade. The good part about QR codes is that they’re very accessible and can be used to code images, websites, and personalized messages. And now they’re showing up everywhere from clothing stores and restaurants to being folded into the tourism industry. Even interactive infographics. QR codes have a huge potential for being incorporated into marketing strategies because of their ease of use and ability to reach customers instantly.