3 Trends to Give Your Social Media Marketing A Springtime Boost
Deirdre Lopian, Social Media Chair, PRSA NJ; Creative Director/Consultant, DLPR, LLC
One quarter down, three to go…how does your social media marketing calendar look for the rest of the year? If you’re looking for ways to boost engagement through social, here are three trends you should start including in your social media strategy right now.
Trend #1: Video, Video, Video
Video is not new to the world of social, but putting it at the top of your social media strategy list should be.
Last year, we began to see brands incorporate both recorded and live video campaigns into their social media strategies – and the results have been astounding. Studies show video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines, a 105% increase of time on site, and 2 times overall conversion compared to non-video marketing strategy. These statistics make video one of the most valuable forms of content for brands to leverage today.
The reason video is so appealing to consumers is because it conveys a vast amount of information in a short amount of time. From Facebook and YouTube to Instagram and Twitter, all the major social media platforms have video and live video capabilities, making it one of the most effective ways to enhance brand awareness and deliver your brand message.
A strategic video campaign allows brands to build an emotional connection with consumers by showing them you are aware of their problems and are committed to solving them. From a company story to an explainer video, brands have the an opportunity to gain trust and loyalty from their audience. When consumers see the personality behind a brand, they feel more confident in making a purchasing decision. According to Forbes, 64% of consumers are likely to purchase a product after watching a video online.
While blogs and visuals will always have value, brands will need to incorporate video into social media marketing to stay in the game. By 2020, video will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic. So whether it is recorded or a live stream from the conference room, it is time for brands to get serious about video content.
Trend #2: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is more than just Snapchat filters and Facebook camera effects. It is a chance to create engaging interactive campaigns that enhance the consumer experience. AR is an opportunity for brands to transcend the digital/real world boundary.
In July 2017, Acura experimented with a unique AR campaign by setting up a racetrack in Southern California, and having four influencers drive racecars around the track as quickly and safely as possible. The drivers were wearing augmented reality-equipped helmets that overlaid HD graphics on top of the real world view to make it appear as if they were driving through a jungle and snowstorm, making it difficult to stay on course.
Viewers were able to livestream this event via Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, resulting in a reach of 3.58 million and nearly 44,000 reactions. Acura’s campaign proves that brands have the ability to enhance the consumer experience via interactive social and digital campaigns that are informing to the consumer and, like video, could result in a purchasing decision.
But be aware: AR is not a one-size-fits-all type of marketing tool. Campaigns have already proven to be successful for the retail, automobile, healthcare, sports and entertainment industries. However, the jury is still out as to whether or not it is right for industries such as insurance, finance, or B2B. What we do know is that spending on AR is expected to reach 220 billion dollars by 2020. So it’s worth looking into this trend to see if it’s the right fit for your brand’s needs.
Trend #3: Influencer Marketing
I dubbed 2017 the ‘year of influencer marketing’ in a blog I wrote for PR Daily last year. Well, not only is influencer marketing still on top, it has evolved into something even more valuable – long-term partnerships between influencers and brands.
In today’s digital word-of-mouth advertising, prospective consumers are seeking recommendations from people they trust online. Statistics show that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a reference from a social media influencer.
Gone are the days when the one-off post or video promotion were considered effective. The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign is for brands to focus on building a long-term collaborative relationship with the influencer. The advantage of having influencers as part of the creative team is that while brands understand their products inside and out, influencers are closely connected to their audience and know what content they will respond to.
Johnson & Johnson’s Band Aid has already proven this method to be effective by partnering with lifestyle blogger Joy Cho of Oh Joy! to create band aids with playful designs. The result was high quality content produced by the influencer, and a higher level of engagement with consumers.
With the elevated role of influencer marketing, you can expect influencers to bridge the trust gap between brands and consumers. According to Mediakix, influencer marketing is currently a $1 billion dollar market and is expected to grow to a $5 to $10 billion dollar market by 2020.
If your social media strategy is lagging, allocating marketing dollars into these current trends (as long as they are right for your brand, of course) will maximize your online storytelling and social media strategy into 2018 and beyond. Good luck!