Digital Marketing Trends of 2018 – Part 2 of 3: Social.
Welcome back to our three part blog series on the upcoming digital marketing trends of 2018. Read part one of the series, on Design.
The world of social marketing is changing, evolving, and powerful. With social marketing, you can totally redefine your brand; reconnect with new and old audiences, run events, competitions, and raffles. You can also gather data on how individuals engage with you and your products. It’s a weird world out there, but the pay-offs can be huge. More consumers than before are not only connected to social networks and therefore social marketing in one way or the other, but studies show they’re spending more time on these networks than ever before, too.
Influencer marketing is one of the easier forms of social marketing, but it can be hard to predict the results. We’ve seen a huge increase in influencer marketing and the tools used to generate expectations and return on investments. But it can be risky – when you use influencer marketing you’re essentially taking a known social figure and asking them to represent your business. Equally, you can send free products to individuals with large followings online in exchange for them advertising your product on social media. However make sure you research the influencer first. You want to ensure that their personal values align to your businesses (or that they at least don’t conflict). It’s not all risky though, if done right and researched correctly, you can drive a whole audience to your business through one influencer. This area of digital marketing is a little less regulated than others though, so make sure you know what you’re getting for what you’re paying.
B2H – Business to Human Marketing.
Sales automation is more prevalent today than it ever has been before. Curiously, some businesses are struggling to ‘sell’ in the more traditional methods more than ever, too. But with more data on consumers available than previously imaginable, why is this the case? According to sales professionals, the lines between B2B and B2C campaigns are blurred, with the key difference being terminology in addressing the prospective clients. Therefore ‘Business to Human’ marketing has arisen from the blurred ashes to address the issues. In a world where we’re apathetic with talking to robots on the phone, going through automated trouble-shooters or email campaigns that send 10,000 individuals the same ‘bespoke product’, Business to Human marketing shines. A service which values human interactions, personal and authentic approaches is going to stand out from army of the automated robots. This goes for online marketing too – you can sell to consumers offering discounts, new products and the like. Or you can try to connect with them personally, make a joke or a reference that a human would get, and you may be surprised what results you yield. Which leads us to the next point….
‘Brave’ Content Marketing
Content marketing has developed over the years at a rapid rate. Initially content marketing was mostly social network posts, blog articles, and the odd image share. Nowadays, you’re expected to have regular posts with photos to gain better results, drive huge amounts of traffic to websites through social media, pay to boost posts, create videos showing off how human you are because you read somewhere that human marketing and videos were a good idea… A lot more is expected nowadays.
Last year, a company with over 45 years in the fast food industry managed to go viral in a very cheap, effective and unique way against huge, market dominating competitors. That company was Wendy’s, the American fast food chain. How did they do it? Twitter. They didn’t pay additional costs, or reinvent themselves – they trusted their marketing team, and got a little feisty. They made jokes, roasted competitors and consumers who tweeted in, and they did a great job. They ended the year by hosting a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’, and featured on the front page of Reddit, one of the largest websites on the internet for almost 24 hours. Whilst difficult to record results, the feedback is that the overall impression of Wendy’s has improved to those who witnessed, heard about or even participated in the activities. This is probably one of the cheapest, most effective, organic and ‘fun’ campaigns of 2017, especially when it comes to getting your name back out there. Be brave, set yourself apart from other businesses and post what they wouldn’t, within reason of course! You don’t want to truly offend consumers.
Read part 3 of this blog series, focusing on technical trends for 2018.
Want to learn more about how to utilise social platforms for your business? Check out our strategy page or speak to our digital specialists today to convey your brand to the world.