It’s safe to say that 2017 was an unprecedented year for agencies and marketers–we grappled with widespread internet meddling from bots and trolls (and Nyhus had some thoughts on how your business can stay out of the fray), we saw the FTC and FCC crackdown on tech giants like Google and Twitter and watched organic reach dwindle away on Facebook. So what’s next for 2018?And what should your business invest in? We participated in webinars, read the research, did some furious note-taking and put together our recommendations for your digital marketing strategy in 2018.
Paid social is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’.
Perhaps now more than ever, marketers must factor in a budget for their social campaigns. Due to increasingly sophisticated algorithms and social network ad revenue strategies, content simply won’t be seen unless dollars are behind it. But if you’ve been steadily growing your audience base, don’t stop now! Although paid social strategies are important, so is community management–at its core, social is about relationship-building. Continue finding genuine ways to connect with your followers and cultivate loyalty and trust.
Be a better social listener.
Ever heard the term ‘social listening’? It may seem like an odd idea, but it’s actually pretty simple. Brands can use media monitoring tools to observe and track digital conversations that are unfolding across the internet. Having a pulse on how your customers feel about your brand gives you an opportunity to put your brand values into action, in real time.
The people want video.
A recent study from Cisco estimated that by 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the US. That’s a number worth paying attention to. And some authenticity wouldn’t hurt, either. Audiences are seeking brand content that aligns with their values, and brands have to go the extra mile to deliver.
Get ready for more bots…both good and bad.
Last year, “bot” was a word that struck fear into even the most hardened of marketers. But in 2018, the evil bot’s friendlier counterpart is making an appearance, in the form of “Chatbots.” A chatbot is a computerized program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. You’ve likely seen them popping up–consider Atticus, AT&T’s entertainment chatbot, or locally Zulilly’s chatbot that connects with consumers via Facebook Messenger providing relevant sales, price checks and access to customer service representatives.
Give virtual reality a chance.
It’s no longer out of reach for brands or consumers. From Snapchat’s New World Lenses and filters to military training simulations VR is here to stay. One of the first steps in successfully using VR to your brand’s advantage is remembering how powerful it can be to show, instead of tell. Think about what you’d like customers to see through your brand’s eyes.
Think smaller…no, seriously.
According to Melissa Koski Carney, social strategist at Fahlgren Mortine, 2017 was the year of “micro-influencers,” or influencers with smaller followings (1,000-10,000+). Aside from being more affordable, micro-influencers can target a niche audience and may be seen as more authentic and personable.
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