As 2017 draws to a close, its time to take a look at what the next trends in digital marketing will be for 2018.
The importance of video content across social channels was obvious during 2017, however, this is only the beginning and the trend is expected to continue throughout 2018. While social video is effective, businesses need to make sure they’re creating content that actually reflects their business objectives.
In 2018, mobile video consumption is expected to grow by 25% (and video consumption is supposed to decline on laptops and desktop computers for the first time ever), so get ahead of the competition now by planning a mobile video strategy.
Paying Pays Off
2018 could very well be the end of organic reach on social media. The general consensus seems to be that the time for free, organic reach has passed and you need to approach your new social media marketing campaign with some advertising budget. Facebook appears to be at the front of this trend with a lot of social marketers looking to increase their spending on ads via the network as more and more brands use sponsored ads.
Tell Your Story
Using Stories as a marketing tool is still very new to many brands, but expect to see a lot more brands using this feature in 2018. The main reason for this is the fact the feature is relatively new to channels like Instagram as it was only introduced last year. However, over 200 million people use Instagram Stories, overtaking Snapchat – the creators of the concept, and the popularity of the feature doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Stories provide marketers with a new content creation tool that is quick and easy to use and gets right in front of your audience.
Trust The Transparent
Transparency and trust are already a big deal when consumers look for local businesses. Everyone reads reviews and any savvy shopper will search for your social media profiles. Customers want to know everything they can possibly know about you before they come to your business. Google recently added an extra layer of verification and trust to home services businesses with its Local Services Ads. With the onset of new privacy regulations across the globe, brands that sell to customers in Europe and beyond must be prepared to comply. The new European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in particular, will redefine what online privacy means for all organisations, and it will have a massive effect on anyone who sends ezines or any such form of advertising, where they now need to now get customer consent to market directly to them.
Celebrities are often accused of photoshopping their Instagram images, giving their followers an unrealistic standard of beauty to compare themselves to. Fashion retailers are also known to edit their images. Consumers are tiring of highly polished and photoshopped images and media. With these ever-growing cynical audiences brands will start to realise authenticity is key. Content will be more genuine, shunning the airbrush with a surge in live videos and real-life content. Brands such as ASOS already have started to use untouched images of models with social media users praising the brand for its honest portrayal of models’ bodies.
Twitter Will Change
While other social media platforms are seeing steady or rapid growth, Twitter has failed to grow its user base in 2017. The platform recently attempted to revive its reach by expanding its traditional 140 character count to 280 characters, but any success from this has yet to be seen. Some users are actually annoyed that what they viewed as a differentiator for the platform is now gone. Using under 140 characters forced individuals and brands to be precise and succinct in their ideas. It was challenging but fun. Now Twitter will have no option but to make further changes, or continue to die a slow internet death.
Content Will Always Be King
Content has, and always will be the most important part of any marketing strategy. According to a report from Smart Insights, 70% of people said they’d rather learn about a business through an article than an ad. Not only that, but content marketing is also cheaper than many other forms of marketing, plus it can produce more leads. Remember, mix up your content with a range of video, blog posts, infographics and keep it valuable to the customer.