It is becoming harder for brands to get our attention and brands are trying to connect with audiences across a range of social platforms in as many ways possible. It is challenging to get a client’s attention as competition is increasing and attention spans have decreased to around 8 seconds. Every day, users must scroll and filter through a vast volume of content. This gives brands such a tiny window of time to get the users’ attention. So, how can your brand start developing ideas that work for the speed of feed?
Consider the following for your social media strategy development in 2018.
Story time: Go live
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat stories have led the popularity of ephemeral content and have demonstrated the best engagement rate. Most of this content is shared for up to 24 hours and then disappears. Brands now create content for their social channels as well as having a separate strategy for their ephemeral content marketing. If you are not building this into your planning, you are missing a trick.
Creating a marketing strategy for permanent content is a no brainer but a strategy for stories must be developed as well. Having stories that appear at the top of your follower’s feed helps keep your brand visual and in their minds. There are approximately 250 million stories daily and your brand needs to discover ways to make yours stand out and count.
Suggestion: Develop a plan to reach audiences with the help of an ephemeral content marketing strategy. Aim to be more authentic and offer real-time content to engage audiences in the short time you have their attention. Create a strategy around your storytelling and invest time and thought into this.
Reality check: Augmented reality
The use of Augmented Reality on mobile devices provides a niche and engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience – it’s quick, easy and very interactive.
With Apple recently announced the launch of iPhone 8 and iPhone X which is due to provide users with new augmented reality experiences. It is likely more social channels will now plan on introducing ways of integrating AR into their platforms. Snapchat rolled out a new AR feature which allows users to use their Bitmoji (personalised moji) to project themselves into the real world through the app’s camera. Mind blown!
Keep an eye on the features and tools on big social platforms like Facebook. Brands need to find ways of tap into this growing trend.
Suggestion: If you are planning on using AR make sure it adds value for the user and is shareable. Don’t use AR for sake of it. It’s important to consider how your strategy fits in and what these new features and tools might facilitate in time.
The superstars of 2018: Influencer marketing
2017 saw the rise of the influencer. But watch out, the popularity of influencer marketing has made it hard to know who to trust and so provides its own challenges. That given, you need them to evangelise your product / services, so do your due diligence before you engage.
Consumers demand authenticity from influencers they follow. Brands have found that when teamed up with a real and relevant influencer, engagement rates boom.
Building meaningful relationships with influencers will be key in 2018. Why? Many brands will want to work with influencers and those influencers will become more thoughtful on who they are associated with. Maintaining these relationships is complex and requires time and TLC. As the influencer market is becoming quickly saturated and it is difficult to know who to trust, brands will also need to consider which influencer is an expert in the field. You need to associate yourself with experts in your market.
Suggestion: Understand who your audience regard as influential and build solid relationships with them. Set clear objectives to see if working with an influencer will enhance your ROI.
Video: Motion creates emotion
In 2017, 90% of all content shared by users on social media is video. This means that video is now our main consumption. The challenge: how can you capture your audience’s attention in 3 seconds. That is all time you have.
Brands need to start using video as part of their social media strategy and getting in front of their audience. Not incorporating it as a tactic, means missing out. Video is the fastest growing ad format in the world and has been doubling YoY. 2020 will see video making up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic.
Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter have all been investing in video to help generate engagement and build followers. Use these tools they have provided.
Suggestion: Ensure all your video content is high quality and engaging. Research what your customer and target audience are looking for and test different content to see what works best. Consider the rule of ‘design for sound off, delight with sound on.’
Fast customer service: Chatbots
Chatbots are no longer clunky and robotic. They are bots that can provide an instant connection with customers globally. 2017 saw many brands testing chatbots with varying degrees of success.
Chatbots give brands the chance to interact quickly with their audience in a way that feels personal. As bots become smarter and more human-like you can customise your brand voice and send personalised messages directly to users.
The quickest adaptors to chatbots are currently millennials, with nearly 60% having already used chatbots and 71% saying they would like to try a chatbot experience from major brands.
Suggestion: 2018 might be the year to test chatbots for your business if you have not already. But before you launch a chatbot, test it out on a range of target users from all generations.