Top Social Media Trends for 2018

As the digital marketing era matures, brands must constantly innovate their strategies to remain competitive. What does this mean? Well, with the decline of organic reach and customers being saturated with content, brands must re-evaluate and refine their digital tactics from the ground up. To start, ask yourself if you are pushing out engaging content that is hyper-relative to your target customer? Do your present social platforms align with your brand? In 2018, less is more and quality over quantity of content will take precedence. 

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Here are the 5 social media trends you should be implementing in 2018:

 

Ready, Camera, Action – Video is taking over.

Video has been making its steady rise and with the introduction of newer features like Facebook Live and Instagram stories, it’s not going anywhere. It's estimated that by 2019, video will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. It also generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.

Keep in mind that your video content will garner significant more engagement when it is unique and on brand. What you can do with video is endless, for example: take the opportunity to educate your customers on a new product, bring them behind the scenes or conduct interviews with different departments. Video is a great way to build a friendship with your customer and with so many easy editing programs, there is no excuse to not be creating video content.

 

2018’s Best Friend -- The Cellphone

Mobile now represents almost 7 in 10 digital media minutes, with smartphone applications alone accounting for one-half of all time spent engaging with digital media (2017 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus report). When it comes to creating and sharing mobile content think of apps like Instagram and Snapchat. This creative should be uncomplicated and visually compelling. Not to mention, if your website is not mobile responsive this could be a detriment to your success and a huge waste of marketing dollars, so before you drive customers from social media to your website always make sure your mobile web user experience is seamless.

 

Living in a Fantasy World -- Augmented Reality

AR is the leading edge when it comes to virtually connecting with your customer. This interactive brand experience is unique and can leave a lasting impression on a potential customer. Snapchat was the first AR social media app and other apps like Facebook are not far behind. Be ready for when AR takes over by beginning to think “if and how” AR could enrich your brand marketing efforts.

 

At Your Service  -- AI and Chatbots

With the immediacy of social media traditional customer service strategies are no longer working. An unhappy customer can tweet at your brand with an issue and there it is for the entire world to see. Brands have had to scramble to find what it means to give great customer service in this instant messaging era, so it’s no wonder that AI and Chatbots have become necessary to real-time engagement. If a brand is not easily accessible to the public, this could be a deciding factor between you and a competitor. AI and Chatbots make real-time customer engagement more consistent for the customer and achievable for the brand. Something to think about: 38% of enterprise brands used AI in 2017, by 2018 this will increase to 62%.

 

The Niche Influencer

You may have noticed there’s a saturation of influencers on platforms like Instagram and Youtube and no, they aren’t going away. 49% of Twitter and Instagram users say they rely on recommendations from influencers, so it comes as no surprise that 94% of brands who used influencer marketing believe it’s an effective strategy – because it is! Most customers have grown wary of traditional marketing strategies and while still effective, influencers have a more authentic way of reaching customers. With that said, not just any influencer will work. Be sure to choose carefully, the influencers lifestyle should align with your brand. For example: a niche influencer in tech with 10k followers may be more effective for your tech product than a fashion influencer with more 20k followers. Social ROI can be ambiguous at times but influencer marketing has a proven 10x rise in conversion rate.

 

Thinking ahead can lead to sustainable success. Generation Zers, born from 1995-2012 are considered the ‘true digital natives’ and already have an estimated $44 billion in buying power. If you have been putting off true consideration for the power of digital marketing, 2018 is a time for change. Feeling overwhelmed? We can help you execute a strategy that is right for you. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Brand Consultation. 

 

 

Other sources: Socialmediatoday.com, Narrative Science

 

Influencer Marketing - What Is It & Why Is It Trending

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A trend we began seeing taking stride in 2007 has exploded, the influencer. With the rise of social media so have internet stars, from fashion and lifestyle blogs to Youtube and Vine talent, many influencers have reached followings in the hundreds of thousands to millions and landed contracts with major companies like Chanel and BMW. Some could even argue that influencers are the new celebrity and with good reason. The age of the influencer has major selling power and with the popularity of Instagram, it doesn’t look like they will be going away anytime soon.

 

Still confused on what an influencer is? Just look up bloggers Aimee Song of Song of Style, Chiara Ferragani of The Blonde Salad, Bryan Grey-Yambao of BryanBoy. Not all influencers are in the fashion realm, you can find many bloggers and vloggers in beauty, fitness, food, tech, comedy and the list goes on. These influencers are essentially their own walking talking brand and master content creators with a very loyal following of people around the world. Anyone that has an Instagram has been exposed to an influencer.

 

Could collaborating with an influencer be good for your business? Chances are the answer is 99.9% yes. Influencer marketing can be compared to the grassroots technique; it’s more subtle and organic than traditional marketing. The benefits: increased brand awareness/ following, unique shareable content, and of course sales! These influencers, just like celebrities have major selling power. Land your energy drink in the hands of Tammy Hembrow, fitness blogger and 7.5 million Instagram followers and 916K Youtube followers or your beauty products on Ellarie, 1.3 million Instagram followers and 415k Youtube followers and watch your product sell out in minutes.

 

Wondering how to work with an influencer? The great thing about choosing to work with an influencer is unlike traditional print marketing, it can be fairly cost effective for companies big and small. Many bloggers handle their own collabs, which means you can sometimes negotiate placement depending on the size of their following. If you have zero marketing budget, there are plenty of smaller influencers that are willing to do for trade placement at little to no cost. Get creative-- offer them something custom or a choice of certain product for ‘x’ amount of placement on their social networks or run a contest with them. You receive increased brand awareness and unique content and they get free product, it’s a win-win. Many influencers have very strong opinions on what they promote since their lifestyle is essentially their brand, so to save yourself time be sure you are only reaching out to the ones that are on brand for you as well. If you have a larger marketing budget, placement on a top influencer could be life changing for your brand awareness albeit more expensive, but most likely worth it.

 

Would you like to learn more about how influencer marketing can impact your business?  Click here to schedule a Complimentary Brand Consultation.

 

Blog Writing 101 - Trends for Today's Top Blogs

While blogging used to be seen as perhaps a juvenile past time, it is now for many brands a formative part of their content marketing strategy. SEO (search engine optimization) is a serious tactic for driving traffic to your website. Blogging plays a huge role in organic SEO. What this means, is your search ranking on Google or other search engines will increase. For example, you own a fashion e-commerce website and write a blog on “How to wear a wrap scarf” and now your site has just increased its visibility to anyone searching for wrap scarves!

Blogging can sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be, just choose a couple trending blogs styles and follow that format in a way that it applies to your brand. Below are some of the trending blog formats we are seeing: 

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The Personal Brand Blog

If you offer a marketing product or service, perhaps you built an empire and want to share your tips and tricks along the way, Personal Brand Blogs have become widely popular for their consistent motivational quips. These types of blogs tend to demystify the road to success and all areas thereof. Entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk have only added to their success by sharing their pathway to success and helping others along the way through their ‘advice’ blogging and vlogging.

 

The ‘How To’ Guide Blog

Knowledge is power, walking your reader through how to do something can create brand loyalty and is a great opportunity for product placement. If you are an interior designer and write a “How to make the most of my studio apartment space” you have the chance to build a relationship with your potential client without even meeting them. “How to” blogs should open with personality and quickly flow into easy to follow instructions and tips. Think straightforward, more pictures and less wordy.

 

The Guest Blogger

Finding new perspective is key, inviting regular guest bloggers can shake things up and broaden your audience. Collaborating with professionals in like industries and/or having them endorse your product or service through a blog is a great way to increase organic traction. Perhaps they are a known influencer, having your brand name attached to theirs is great for business. Also, guest bloggers are very likely to cross share the content with their followers. Double the readers, double the fun!

 

The Interview

Though it can be lengthy, the straightforward question and answer format is likely to captivate readers all the while there is plenty of room for product placement and SEO creativity. Just like Guest bloggers, it is highly likely the interviewee will share the content as well.

 

The Lifestyle Blogger

Creating a Lifestyle Blog for either you or your brand has a more friendly and laid back approach when it comes to speaking to your readers and/ or customers. This blogging style tends to show the ins and outs of your daily life and befriend your readers along the way. What is your early morning routine, how do you pack for a trip to Tulum, what’s your favorite life hacks right now – are all examples of what goes into a Lifestyle Blog.

 

The List Blog

Favorite books for the summer? Best dressed at the Grammys? List blogs are great for reporting on current events and therefore your SEO is always relevant. They are also super easy to create and your readers are likely to love the quick, easy read format.

 

Would you like to learn more about how blogging can help your business? Click here to schedule a Complimentary Brand Consultation.