5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch For in 2018 | Richard Takemura

5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch For in 2018

Social media is leading the way into a new era of marketing.

Experts expect social media spending to make up over 20% of a brand’s marketing budget in the coming years. That’s why it’s so important for brands to have their finger on the pulse of social media.

Marketing is always evolving. But there are a few dead certs in store for 2018. Read on to discover next years’ social media marketing trends.

1. Influencer Marketing

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that grass-roots campaigns pay off big-time.

Influencers now form the backbone of many major marketing campaigns. Brands will often seed campaigns with influencers to promote widespread marketing engagement.

With traditional marketing, there’s a trust barrier between the advertiser and the customer. Customers know companies have a vested interest in their own product, so their mistrust is somewhat justified.

Influencers get around this by appearing to be part of the customer’s peer group. They’ve built up prior trust as a voice in their niche. Marketers make use of this trust to bridge the gap between customer and company.

Marketing influencers now occupy every corner of interactive online spaces. They have their own Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, and also accrue followers through YouTube. These platforms allow influencers to engage with customers in their own ‘language.’

Customers aren’t always able to distinguish between opinion leaders working with or without brand support. This makes influencers an effective ‘in’ to the audience.

Social media marketing trends are driving toward increased use of influencers in everything from politics to selling video games. As a result, we can expect this to continue and even grow more prevalent into 2018.

2. Native Advertising

Native advertising is in a similar vein to influencer marketing.

The intention of native advertising is to appear like it belongs on the social media platform on which it’s featured. Like influencer marketing, this bridges the gap between the customer and the brand.

Native advertising has a few benefits. On social media, it’s relatively inexpensive. Ads can take the form of a single image and a line of text.

If the ad does its job, users will share it widely. That means widespread coverage without a dollar spent on additional promotion.

Advertising in this way also builds trust. It puts the power on customers to like and share the ad.

Plenty of users will see your ad when it appears on their feed due to friend recommendations. This bridges the trust gap we discussed earlier.

Native advertising also lets you engage with your audience on their own terms. It’s important that native advertising feels authentic. You’ll engage with your customers using the same tone and content they choose to interact with.

In short, it’s more personal and direct than a traditional ad.

Customers are embracing native advertising, so expect to see it continue into 2018.

3. Video Content

The statistics show: video content is now.

Video content is driving engagement across social media, ensuring it’ll be one of 2018’s social media marketing trends. Social media platforms have tweaked their designs to allow better sharing of video content.

Users can now engage with video content with or without audio. They can continue to watch even as they scroll down a page. Videos often contain built-in subtitles.

This all means that videos are engaging, accessible, and eye-catching. That’s a winning formula for advertising.

Users love to share videos. Brands are waking up to the possibilities and putting more effort into creating engaging and identifiable videos for social media.

High-speed internet and devices make this more possible than ever before. Now users are equipped to watch video content even on the move.

Expect video to become one of the driving social media marketing trends of 2018. Social media will likely continue to move away from a reliance on static images and text.

4. Content Curation

Facebook blazed a trail for personal content curation. That trend is likely to continue to inform social media marketing trends into 2018.

Customers have more options than ever for controlling their own experience. This allows customers to select the content displayed to them, which drives increased engagement for marketing campaigns.

But this is also a huge benefit for marketers. Customers now openly volunteer their preferences, which makes targeted marketing much easier. Social media sites themselves gain goodwill with customers by offering this possibility.

We’ve talked about native advertising and influencers, but content curation is a branch that actually builds on traditional marketing instead of subverting it. By telling brands what they want, customers are actually choosing which ads they see.

Once again, this breaks down that trust barrier. Although many customers see ads as a necessary evil, they’re often happy to see ads that are better suited to their interests.

5. Huge Data

Behind the curtain, the rise of big data will continue to drive social media marketing trends.

Marketers now have huge amounts of analytical information on any marketing campaign. They can minutely tweak campaigns to better target their key demographic.

The continued growth of conglomerates like Google allows marketers to draw this information from multiple sources, too. They gain unprecedented macro-level insights on their marketing campaigns.

These analytics will help marketers more effectively target wide audiences. But they’ll also let marketers hone in on niche audiences, too. Analytics provide granular feedback, from engagement rates to appreciation levels.

Brands are spending more than ever on marketing intelligence. Social media provides the biggest pool of active customer habits to analyze. The interactive nature of social media provides more data than ever about customer reactions.

Social Media Marketing Trends in 2018

These are just a few of the trends sure to dominate social media in 2018. But marketing always has a few surprises in store.

Be sure to keep your finger on the pulse to find out what the big brands are doing. Regardless, expect social media to shape advertising in the near future.

Want to know more about the future of the web? Be sure to follow my blog.

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