2018! Wholly … I can’t believe the New Year is already here and upon us. Heck, it’s nearly the end of January. I would love to get into talking about goal setting and planning but, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” That should have been done in December, dude. Here’s why, there’s SO MUCH going on in the digital world that you’re already going to have to pivot and adjust your marketing plans; you’re going to need your goals and plans handy for this one… let’s dive in.
1. Your Influence
If you didn’t know that influencer marketing is a thing, now you know. Influencer marketing is the means of leveraging someone with notoriety or “influence” over a particular audience to cultivate interest and entice an action, thought, or emotion on said audience. But really, you should have known this since influencer marketing dates back to the 1980’s (and probably even before that) when the Davis Milling Company slapped Aunt Jemima on their pancake mix box.
But in all seriousness, brands are snatching up clout with these “influencers” and “micro influencers” (think influencer but on a small, but not necessarily, or local scale, with a super engaged audience) in order to promote their brand. It’s incredible! Marketers thought that social media changed the game for marketing dollars (which it has given it’s laser targeting ability for a fraction of the cost as traditional marketing) but then the social media world brought about influencers. Influencers allow brands direct access to their audience without the nuances and temperament of ad targeting.
Give influencer marketing a try. BUT, the *key* is to find the right influencer whose interest best match your brand.
2. Automated Communications and Artificial Intelligence
In a day of immediate gratification, streamlined communications are a must! If and when your audience reaches out with a question, comment, or concern, they want to hear back from you, yesterday. So, err, how do you do that? AI (artificial intelligence), more specifically for this example, chatbots. The capabilities of these chatbots are pretty awesome and useful. Check out It’s Alive or Many Chat. Not only can you automatically answer frequently asked questions, but you can also invite your audience to subscribe to your chatbot for auto updates and send out broadcasts to really boost your content distribution process and engage your audience.
This is super important as Mark Zuckerberg has recently announced the big changes coming to Facebook’s News Feeds. In short, if organic reach wasn’t already dead, it’s now dead in the water. Facebook wants to go back to its original purpose of connecting PEOPLE. Kudos to Facebook but he** for marketers. Marketers will just have to get more creative! You can read his announcement here.
3. Branded Content and Personalization
Brands can be such sheep on social media. BAAAAAAAA FELICIA (see what I did there?) In the never ending scroll of stock photography photo after photo, stale videos, and unpersonalized email marketing; you NEED, MUST break the norm. The new norm is branded content. Your audience wants to feel welcomed and experience your unique brand, that’s why they followed you in the first place.
Take some time, invest in your brand and marketing; create branded content. More specifically, photos with your brand elements, colors, and relevance to your audience, videos with custom intro and outro music and/or design, automated logos, personalized messages from people within the company, etc.
There’s more hot trends to keep an eye on for 2018. To us, these are the most important and practical; and most accessible trends that you can implement today to enhance your social media efforts to make more meaningful engagement with your audience.
What social media marketing trend will you be keeping an eye on in 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comments.