Businesses are leveraging the power of social media, using it at an incredible rate. It is time to get your strategies in place based on the marketing trends that will rule social media in 2018. The marketing domain is changing with technology at a fast pace, and that’s why it’s important for marketers and businesses to understand and analyze trends that will control the digital market. It’s always a good idea to improve your online strategies based on past campaigns and experiences. But if you don’t look out for trends that might come in the future, your business might miss the bus! To save you from missing out on these trends, here are 9 marketing trends to look out for in 2018!
Instagram live stories Instagram live stories are taking Instagram by the storm! Even though the concept of live stories is more prevalent with the tech-savvy generation, a majority of the users are more active on Instagram as compared to other social media channels. Although Snapchat started the concept of stories, Instagram is ahead in the game thanks to the nature of its platform. With influencers, celebrities, businesses, and brands wanting to maximize their traffic and exposure, most profiles are open to the public and are therefore more likely to get followed by strangers. With live stories, individuals and organizations have the opportunity to engage with its audience in real time. The concept of stories work on the basis of curiosity and scarcity. Live videos evoke a feeling of curiosity to know what somebody doing in real time; while the thought of never having a chance to see it after 24 hours makes it tempting to check!
Influencer marketing Influencer marketing has been a BIG part of social media marketing in 2017 and we think it’s only going to get bigger in 2018! Unlike pre-2017 when brands and businesses used celebrities to endorse their products and services, influencer marketing seems to be rising to the top of the choice list. Influencer marketing has been one of the most successful techniques for brands trying to promote their products and services, especially because they don’t have to shell out big bucks to get a super-star to endorse these products. Sure, they probably still have to spend money or give out freebies, but it still works out better than spending a million dollars for Beyonce to post a picture on her Instagram. Another reason influencer marketing is doing well is because it comes across as a more genuine recommendation. Think about it! If we see a famous personality promoting a product or service, what are the chances that they really do use and recommend it? Social media influencers are no longer just actors or celebrities; they are now ordinary people with a large follower base. With collaborations between brands and influencers increasing by the day, more and more people are getting in touch with brands (and vice versa) to look for barter deals to promote products and services of their favourite brands!
Connecting with consumers Traditional marketing used to entail some serious brand promotion but over time brands, businesses and individuals have realized that engaging with a user or consumer comes much before trying to make a sale. These days, brands are trying to increase user engagement through story-telling, real customer testimonials, personalization, being easily accessible and by treating users like a friend. A user’s attention can be no longer grabbed by sales and promotional material. Instead, users are more likely to engage with a brand's online communication that successfully offers interesting and unique content, something that a user would genuinely be interested in. Successful Online marketers understand the value of building a relationship with a user in order to instill loyalty. When a user becomes loyal, a sale is made automatically. Of course, brands or businesses must offer valuable products or services in order to achieve this.
Engaging content that connects with customers Digital marketing, successful lead generation, user engagement, and social media is all about content. Whether it’s written, visual or graphic, great content is the deciding factor for successful brands or businesses. Over the years, much has changed in technology and how the world works. But great content has always won when it comes to consumers who purchase products or services or even engage with a brand. For example, Nike has always been successful in engaging its users and making massive profits, even when social media didn’t have a big role to play in our lives. This is because a brand like Nike always offered unique, original and engaging content that did a good job in achieving the end goal: making a sale. Although the end goal can differ from business to business, the bottom line remains that content is what makes communication successful. The sooner brands, businesses or individuals realize that great marketing requires great content, the sooner they will see their efforts pay off. A great way to analyze and arrive at the kind of content that is liked by your user base is to analyze your previous campaigns and identify the kind of content that was more successful as compared to the rest.
Twitter will fade Going by this year’s Twitter analytics, one can observe that Twitter lagged behind and Instagram surpassed it this year. Twitter, which was a hotspot for a certain time duration for businesses, has now lost its charm. Although Instagram is the channel that is known for ‘instant’ posts where every second counts, content shared on Twitter only lasts about 1 minute. This means that posts on Twitter are easily overlooked by users, making it a counter-productive channel for businesses and brand trying to maximize exposure. Ever since Instagram changed its algorithm to showcasing ‘interest based pictures first’, Instagram has taken over as the most used social media channel by people worldwide. We think that 2018 will witness the fall of Twitter and the rise of Instagram to the top.
Rise of artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence is taking over the world of technology at a very rapid pace. From Google’s Self-Drive cars to Tesla’s battery driven cars, artificial intelligence is all set to make our lives easier with advancements in technology. Before we know it, artificial intelligence will be a big part of our lives and 2018 will be the beginning of it. In 2018 we can expect to see artificial intelligence in areas such as marketing, online shopping, customer care and much more! Companies and businesses will start to incorporate artificial intelligence into their daily processes such as assisting customers to make a purchase, or answering questions like what, when, where and why. Artificial intelligence may not make a big entrance in the form of machinery or robots, but will definitely break into the working of software’s and algorithms to help companies and businesses reach new heights of success.
Prominence of Videos There’s something about videos that makes it more tempting to watch. With all the written and visual content available on the internet right now, video content is taking the internet by the storm! From live stories and 360 videos to boomerangs and time lapses, individuals, brands and businesses have experienced success in engaging their users through videos. This form of content is being adopted by more and more people as they realize how people are drawn more towards watching motion than a still image. The fact that a video is a moving image entails much more than a picture or graphics and is easily understandable makes it more clickable and interesting. 2018 will witness a surge in user-generated video content. A great indicator of the shift towards video content can be observed in Instagram and Snapchat trends of stories and live stories.
Rise of the bots Chatbots will replace customer service executives. Chatbots are getting more and more personalized by the day and will soon replace human customer services. These bots are programmed to adapt to a conversation and express and evoke emotion. The increasing demand for providing assistance to customers at their ease has demanded the replacement of humans by machines that are capable of replying to customers and are able to provide a solution to a problem.
LinkedIn will be used by businesses LinkedIn will be the best choice of social media channel for B2B marketers. Just like B2C online marketers, B2B marketers are bound to use socialmedia for business. This will be witnessed in full swing in 2018 with a powerful platform like LinkedIn. Its amazing features make it possible for marketers to broaden their reach to the right people instantly. With LinkedIn becoming a popular hub for content on professional topics, businesses and brands are headed towards maximizing their exposure through content marketing. This helps businesses establish authority and set marketing trends.
Author: Anuja Lath, Co-Founder CEO RedAlkemi www.redalkemi.com