A very popular thing to do at the beginning of each year is to make broad predictions of what is to come whether it be fashion, beauty, wine, investments or in my case digital marketing. I normally don’t like to guess what the future holds however I did want to share some online insights with you as to what I believe is hot now and what may become the next big thing in the near future. Here is my list of digital marketing trends to pursue in 2015:
It’s back to Facebook for me! Anyone in the social game knows the site is always changing a brand’s ability to effectively build and grow their Page. As I shared here, Facebook conducted a large study among their users and found that people don’t like so much promotional content in their newsfeed. As a result of the feedback, Facebook has made it harder for a brand’s content to be viewed by all of their followers unless the content is less promotional and the brand pays for the exposure via Facebook ads or Boosts. Interestingly enough, I believe that with this change, there is more control in the hands of the Page administrators than ever before and with a network of 1.35 billion users this is a beautiful thing. My team and I have been experimenting with various pay for play options and it appears that boosting posts and Facebook ads are more effective than ever before which means that for client Pages, we have been able to substantially increase Page likes, comments, shares and more compared to the recent past where results were not overwhelming to say the least. While a lot of this depends on the client’s product or service and their messaging, the exposure is worth the added cost. And the various options are available for small and larger budgets which gives all sized companies the potential to find success on Facebook.
Another great option building steam on Facebook is the call for more video uploads as Facebook wants to take the lead over YouTube as the top video resource online (I am guessing that this would be a call to get some of the teens back to Facebook as a recent study claimed that 50% of teens polled said that YouTube was their favorite site). Between Facebook having a video tab where you can choose a highlighted video similar to the format on YouTube, to getting more views for your Page if you upload your videos to the site, this is the way to go for any brand marketer who wants to expand exposure on Facebook.
If you have read my past posts and tweets, you know I am a huge fan of Native Advertising. While this concept isn’t new either, I find it almost shocking that more brands don’t take this route more often. To me, once you have your social media going into a positive direction, choosing Native Ads/Sponsorships is the logical next step for a brand. I know I am not alone in thinking this as Conde Nast has seen the light too as they have just created a Content Studio that brings together Editors and Advertisers. The Atlantic and its digital business publication Quartz have been masters at navigating the approach of marrying editorial with advertisers. Why not bring the most talented writers on the media team to the table with the advertisers and create interesting and useful content so it’s a win for all? Wouldn’t you rather see this than a random banner ad online and offline? I am betting on it.
I think that up until most recently, it was tough for most brands to wrap their heads around Snapchat. I have heard brand marketers say, “If the content disappears, what’s the value?” or “Do we want our brand placed in a social network that still seems a bit controversial?” and more similar hesitations. But now with Snapchat’s latest option ‘Discover’ where 11 media companies are creating content every 24 hours like CNN, Food Network, ESPN and more, I believe the hottest social media app has found a potential way for companies to appeal to the 100 million active monthly users where 71% are under 25 and 70% are female. If the content is indeed created just for the Snapchat user, then this is a homerun for all brands whether you piggy back on an already existing channel or down the road are able to create your own (which I am sure will be an option in the not so distant future).
Social media always feels like unchartered territory as both the social networks and their followers change so rapidly but between your ongoing efforts on your own channels coupled with the three “extras” I have shared here, I am banking that all of us (clients and agencies) will find Social Media success in 2015!
Valorie Luther, Founder Creative Concepts, @CreativeConsult
(Image from Flickr via @RoonersToyPhotography)