Happy 2018! We’re feeling good and ready to take on a brand-new year. As we move forward, it’s time to take a look into anticipated trends that we can utilize or maybe even steer clear from if necessary. New year, new marketing strategies, right?
Let’s talk about one of our favorite subjects, shall we? That’s right: SOCIAL! Forbes created a very interesting deep dive into five social media trends that are ramping up as we enter into 2018.
- “Goodbye free reach on social media (for real).” We’ve known for a bit that organic social just isn’t cutting it the way it used to these days. The platforms’ algorithms have changed over time to prioritize paid campaigns and boosted content. Basically, meaning that you HAVE to pay to play now. Going into 2018, it seems like Facebook wants to cut it out altogether. Facebook is trying to roll out a new ‘Explore Feed’ that will be similar to the newsfeed but only for company updates. Seems to us that Facebook is becoming more and more a means for putting you closer in touch with brands than it is with your friends and family. What this means: there is about to be a whole lot more ‘noise’ in the social platforms. If you’re not allocating budget towards paid social activity, your target market won’t see you at all.
- “Make more videos (but don’t worry about going viral).” How many times do we have to say that video is supreme now? We’ve talked about how video is now the best way to interact with and engage your audience in a fun and more exciting way. It allows you to relay your brand message in a way that will stick. With that in mind, creating quality video content DOES NOT mean you have to ‘go viral’ (whatever that even means anyway). It goes back to the age-old discussion of quality versus quantity. Sure, going viral sounds great in theory, but if a couple hundred thousand people watch your video and take nothing away from it, what was the point? The goal with video is to reach the right people with the most relevant message. The metrics to look at here are not video views and video completions, but average session duration on the website, conversions, and ultimately, customer retention.
- “Those funny QR codes make a comeback (with a social media twist). Remember those things? It’s been a while, but those QR codes are coming in hot. Apparently, Apple included a code scanner in the new iOS 11 update. If you open up your camera app and point it at a QR code, it will scan and pull up what’s hiding beneath. This feature has a lot of potential as it will help streamline activity in a lot of ways. If there’s an app you want to download or Wi-Fi you want access to, QR scanning is now easier and more efficient. With that knowledge in mind, we now need to start thinking of how we can leverage this with our own brands. This will help bridge the digital gap between the real world and our online presence.
- “Here comes the era of ‘millisecond marketing’ (ready or not).” We live in the age of testing. Which image performs better? What audience should we focus on? Does this headline resonate better or that one? With that testing mentality, time means everything. Yes, even down to the second! There’s no time to waste, my friends! So, because of this, we need to start utilizing automated systems that help easily and efficiently create and optimize these tests. The idea is to take the guessing game out of the system and have a tool that will automate paid campaigns to push the better performing ads into the biggest and most efficient audience. We’re still a little skeptical about this because it takes out the heart of strategy and leaves it all to an algorithm. Sometimes that’s awesome and efficient, but in other cases, you might miss out on the more niche targeting. Again, let’s think about quality over quantity.
- “Business software clouds boost their social media game (finally).” Sure, social media is a logical step for B2C companies. It makes tons of sense! But as we’ve seen (and demonstrated in past blogs), B2B companies can leverage social just as efficiently. You don’t stop being an IT decision maker the second you step out of work and log on to Facebook. More and more big-name business software companies are stepping up their social game. Microsoft purchasing LinkedIn has lit a fire under the asses of a lot of other Fortune 500s. This means more integrations to easily access social data and leverage a more personal experience when it comes to advertising. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see what this means for 2018.
That’s all for now, folks! Let us know what you think and what your favorite trends are for the new year!