Trying to navigate the wacky world of marketing can sometimes feel like whitewater rafting on a blow-up mattress. Just when you think you’re on course, a new challenge or opportunity pops up to curveball your strategy! We’ve scoured the smartest new-year predictions out there to bring you our top 10 ways to increase your brand exposure this year.
LinkedIn will gain prominence
As much as social media is adored, there is also a fair bit of mistrust of its big brother-like methods, data breach scandals and dodgy data sharing agreements with third parties. But while some say #DeleteFacebook, LinkedIn has remained a network with a high level of user trust – especially in the professional sphere. Expect a higher quality of conversation and deeper engagement with the right users. It’s no longer just a place to post a CV: LinkedIn publishes over 100 000 pieces of content weekly, offers group and video functionality and integrates well with third-party apps.
Email Marketing is having its moment in the spotlight
Email Newsletters might feel a bit 1990s to you but if you think about it, it’s actually one of the few digital media channels where the user – not algorithms – is in control. It’s your inbox, your choice to open it and your prerogative whether you want to click further. Done respectfully and creatively, email newsletters can still be a powerful way of communicating with your audience, as well as cost effective. Especially for e-commerce/online shops!
Influencer marketing is going niche
As far as influencers go, the more niche the better. So-called micro or nano influencers (with less than 10 000 followers) are typically more authentic than the ‘big names’ so brands can expect better engagement with customers in exchange for product sampling or a smaller marketing budget.
Video will explode
Video’s popularity continues to grow each year. It’s predicted that 80% of all web traffic will be driven by video by 2021. No longer just the domain of video channels like YouTube, live video is now huge on Facebook and Instagram, where users are notified when a person or a brand is live. This adds another level of authenticity, which is going to be important for brands in 2019. Most popular social media platforms also have their own TV channels now, such as IGTV (Instagram TV) and Facebook Watch.
Although nothing new, the exclusivity (closed nature) of Facebook Groups is making it more appealing than the public sharing nature of Pages. Facebook has revealed that 1.4 billion of its members use Groups every month. Members of a Group can start conversations themselves, which builds a strong sense of community. Facebook is in the process of rolling out the feature where you can post/interact as a company page on public groups.
Let’s get personal (and timely)
Brands will be challenged to look for new ways to speak to customers in a more personalised and timely manner as consumers are growing increasingly distrustful of digital media due to things like fake news and data manipulation. Messaging apps can be used to answer any queries directly in a one-on-one manner while remarketing offers a smart way of upselling products based on personal choices (e.g. Netflix suggesting shows to watch based on other preferences). Twitter chat is one example of having valuable live interaction with your audience. Just remember that social media never sleeps, so you might need to look at things like chatbots to help you answer queries when humans are not around to do so.
Instagram will go from strength to strength
Instagram has over 1 billion users now and continues to offer marketers exciting features such as IGTV, shoppable posts, and stories. First launched on Snapchat, then Instagram and Facebook and now even Whatsapp, stories or so-called ephemeral content (only lasting 24 hours) have become hugely popular and are expected to overtake normal newsfeed updates.
Social media advertising faces strong competition
It is estimated that one out of every four Facebook Pages now use paid advertising, which means that there is a crazy bun fight going on for your customers’ eyeballs. Brands need to invest in creativity and careful targeting to ensure that they get the best impact for their money. Working with a social media expert is, therefore, a good idea! To view our advertising packages, click here.
Improved social shopping technology
We will continue to see improvements to the technology assisting social media users to buy directly from social media shopfronts. Examples include Instagram tags – from where customers can buy directly – and the Facebook shop functionality. In China, Gen Zenners are already doing 70% of their shopping from social media shopfronts so this trend will likely trickle down to our shores.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots
As chatbot entrepreneur Murray Newlands remarked: “Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots.” AI solutions like enterprise chatbots are set to revolutionise marketing and customer service, and streamline every part of your business. Besides answering questions, chatbots can gather a wealth of data that can be used to better customer service across a variety of platforms. Bots can schedule meetings, handle payments, take polls, analyse customer conversations and so much more.
What do you think of our predictions? If you are keen to refresh your marketing or social media strategy in 2019, get in touch with us for a personlised proposal.