The world of marketing has changed substantially over the past several years. These changes are mostly driven by trends in consumer behavior and preferences, particularly among young people. Getting exposure to members of Gen Z means that companies and marketing agencies alike have had to switch communication channels and refocus on what’s important to young consumers.
Customer engagement through social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram has become a crucial component of any successful marketing strategy. As the world of social media marketing changes quickly, it’s important to stay up to date on trends in the industry so that you can create the most successful engagement strategy possible. Here are 7 trends in social media marketing that will dominate in 2018.
1. A focus on hiring talent for content creation.
In the past, many companies hired freelance writers to create content for their social media accounts. They would then cross-promote new content across platforms. The increased prominence of social media platforms as a method of engaging young consumers will push marketing firms and companies to hire their own employees to focus on content creation.
As young consumers spend a great deal of time engaging with brands on social media, it’s imperative that brands post content that is not only relevant to their target audience, but created specifically for the platform it’s being posted on. The type of content that is best for Facebook is very different from the type best for Instagram, which means that companies have to hire experts in the content-creation space to manage their accounts. Marketing strategies often take time to create and implement, so hiring in-house talent for social media marketing is a great way to ensure success in the space.
2. Increased emphasis on video content.
More and more content strategists are focusing on video content rather than pictures for brand marketing. Expert marketers have found that effectively engaging their target audience is much easier through video. However, it’s important to make sure that the video content you produce is closely aligned with your brand image and connects with your users.
To do this, create videos that your customers can relate to, and focus on showing your product in use rather than showing just the product itself.
3. A focus on user-generated content.
Many brands are leveraging user-generated content on their social media accounts to better engage their followers. For example, lifestyle brands will ask their followers to submit pictures of themselves wearing a particular style of clothing or doing a specific activity. These brands will choose the best submissions and feature them on their page, giving credit to the follower who submitted them.
This is not only a great way to get new, quality content; it’s also a perfect strategy for better engaging your followers. Chosen followers will be excited about being featured, and they’ll be more likely to purchase your products and encourage their friends to check out your page. Instagram perhaps delivers the biggest ROI for UGC. You can use an Instagram analytics tool to measure which posts receive the most engagement.
4. Increased use of Stories.
Facebook and Instagram Stories have become very popular among individual users and brands alike. It’s important for content strategists and marketers to produce content not only for posting directly to their accounts, but to their story as well.
Many users who follow a lot of accounts don’t take the time to view every new post in their feed, but they will take a few seconds to view new stories. You can use this to your advantage by encouraging users to check out newly posted content in your story or by cross-promoting it in your other social media accounts.
5. Brand partnership to engage customers.
Many brands are making use of influencers on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to promote their products to a large audience.
Brand partnerships are a great way to reach new users, and are often much more cost effective than generating new content yourself. To successfully implement a brand partnership at your company, focus on partnering with users who have a clear message and a large follower base, and who actively engage the community they post in. Brand partners often find innovative ways to get customers excited about products, and you can use their talent to your advantage.
6. Live content will appeal to the masses.
Many brands and companies are using live content to get their followers excited and engaged. Product marketers use Facebook Live to do product demonstrations and show videos of real people using their product. Broadcasting to followers in real time is a fantastic way to get people interested in your content and engaged with your brand.
7. Starting conversations with individual users.
Many brands have hired strategists and marketers to communicate with individual users and potential customers. Social media content managers have begun to talk to users in the comments of Instagram posts and reply to users’ tweets on Twitter.
Engaging with individual users directly is a great way to make followers feel important and get excited about your brand. And building brand loyalty and getting followers to actively engage with your content is the best way to convert users to paying customers.