There are trends, and there are bandwagons. As a premier digital marketing consultant in Northampton, we’re far more interested in the latter.
Bandwagons come and go, and while the same can often be said for trends, the right ones usually stick and turn into something far more long-lasting.
Now that we’ve broken into 2018, we thought it might be a good idea to look at one of the fastest moving elements of digital marketing: social media. So, without further ado, here’s what we believe to be the five most important social media marketing trends to jump on this year:
1. Increased focus on in-house content
Getting the right mix of social posts is challenging. There’s a whole host of supposed best practices to follow when it comes to how much in-house content you should share versus that from third parties.
This year, expect to see even more in-house content created and shared via social media. From blog posts to video (see below), your marketing effort needs to focus on creating content that is entirely your own and which you can share judiciously (and repurpose thoroughly) via your social channels.
We all know how important video is in digital marketing, but with social media platforms integrating the medium more tightly than ever before, few businesses can continue to give it the cold shoulder.
Engaging your target audience is often far easier if you turn to video, and because it’s so easy to create on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, you can publish social content that will draw in an engaged audience in minutes.
3. User-generated content
By leveraging content generated by your followers and customers this year, you’ll stand a far better chance of engaging your audiences on social media.
Depending on the industry within which you operate and the type of products you sell, asking customers to publish thoughts, videos and imagery on social platforms is a brilliant way to raise brand awareness and demonstrate that you regularly delight your customers.
Encouraging user generated content isn’t easy, but once you get a few people on board, you should find it starts to snowball.
4. Increased use of Instagram and Facebook ‘Stories’
Originally arriving on Instagram, the ‘Stories’ feature is slowly making its way onto other social media platforms.
The premise is simple - you add to your ‘story’ each day with images, video, captions and stickers that give your audience an insight into what goes on within the four walls of your business.
People love a behind-the-scenes glimpse, which is why you should expect to see far more businesses making use of ‘stories’ during 2018. You should, too!
5. Live content
Hosting a product launch this year? Perhaps you’ve got a couple of trade shows in the diary?
What better way to further the benefits of such events than with social media?
Live social media content is set to explode in popularity this year, and that gives you the opportunity to provide a live, on-location insight into what’s going on, and, more importantly, what your followers are missing out on.
Facebook Live is the perfect starting point with this, and you can experiment to your heart’s content, so as soon as something takes place within your world that you think your audience needs to see - start the broadcast!
Social media remains one of the most enjoyable ways to connect directly with existing and potential customers. Is 2018 the year your business finally integrates it wholeheartedly into the marketing plan?