Let’s start this blog post like every email you’ve sent this week : Happy New Year, hope you had a good break! Right, now that’s out of the way… Social Media. Yup she’s a pretty big deal now and, like most things digital, things are changing and adapting quickly. By no means do we have a crystal ball, but here are our picks for what we feel will emerge in the world of social media marketing in 2017. Enjoy.
Four years ago, YouTube made a couple of predictions: by 2020, 90% of all Internet traffic would be video. They weren’t too far off: current projections from Cisco peg 2019 as the year the 90% figure is reached. There is no denying video is taking over social, however drop off of viewers past 20 seconds is huge. It’s key to produce short snappy pieces of video that are quickly consumed. If you want a longer video it’s going to need a good story and nice hook (more on this later). With people watching videos on mobile in public it’s important to use video subtitles, as many people are watching video without sound. Finally, remember to invest time in producing quality creative content, not just promoting subpar ideas. 80% of budget on promotion and 20% on production/creative isn’t the way to work on social.
Mobile, mobile, mobile.
This is a given, but it’s worth mentioning. Mobile responsive sites, mobile ads and mobile friendly content. Over 56% of people ONLY login to Facebook through mobile and with many of Motion Sickness’ clients we see over 80% of engagement through mobile. If your work isn’t optimised for mobile you’re not going to succeed.
One-to-one selling with live chat/AI etc.
Live chat, AI and automated FB chat bots are growing in power. People want direct chat to help them get their questions answered. Brands can use this to their advantage – fast transactions, personal relationships with consumers and a custom consumer experience. Just make sure that you’re doing one-to-one well – if it doesn’t feel ‘human’ your customers won’t have a bar of it.
Yes you will see more ridiculous click bait videos with banners like “man superglues arse together and takes 10 laxatives”. What a time to be alive. Although FB is working hard to legitimise news stories and content be prepared for more click bait until it’s sorted. In the meantime, take some cues from clickbait for your copy/content, but leave the ‘shit’ behind.
More long form editorial content.
I often hear people saying short content is the only answer – I disagree. Short content is crucial, however it’s not the only thing that works. There is certainly a place for longer form content, and it’s going to become more important. Most modern individuals still have large chunks of time to kill – we’ve all binge watched a whole series on Netflix (I watched 10 hours of ‘The Crown’ in one weekend, and it was simply spectacular). The rise of Daily Vloggers is another testament to the fact that we have time to burn looking at our screens. The key with making long form (10+ mins) video effective is having something interesting to say. There is such a large amount of video content out there to choose from – entertaining, informative and useful long form content will win in 2017. Remember, consumers need to get something out of this type of content. Focus on what you’re going to give the viewer, not what you’re going to sell them.
Rise of Direct Response ads.
This is especially true for e-commerce, service as subscription and apps. Motion Sickness has generated a huge amount of value to clients with a DR strategy on social. FBs new generation of DR ads are incredible, there’s lots to utilise. In 2017 it’s only going to get easier for consumers to spend their money within social platforms. Watch out for product tagging on IG, and smart use of product catalogues. If you have an an e-commerce business pull budget out of adwords and pump it into social. The return on investment can be great IF you use ads correctly and have strong creative.
Have some fun and add some character. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking video, blogs, or FB posts, drop the bullshit and give it some personality. With so much content out there people want to be entertained and feel like somebody they’d want to hang out with is on the other end of the post. Remember to know who you are talking to, and adjust your tone accordingly. Strong copywriting can do wonders, and get people talking. And don’t underestimate your audience – they know you have an agenda, you just need them to see past it. Know who you are talking to, speak differently to different audiences, and have some good banter.
Bad influencer campaigns are a marketing issue not an influencer issue. Period.
Influencer spend is set to increase, but more value will need to be placed on creative. A strong strategy and creative is essential for good results. If you’ve read any of the “guess how much this person is earning from instagram” articles on stuff.co.nz you will know influencer marketing is now mainstream. But a lot of people do it badly. If you are looking to grow your social media fan base and see ROI, influencer collaboration can be a fast way to grow. Choose the right influencers, creative authentic conversations, have genuine content collaborations and trust your influencers to know their own audience. Avoid influencers doing a selfie with ‘x’ product at all costs, it just won’t cut it this year.
Youtube growth as a social platform.
Youtube on mobile alone reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the US. YouTube has also announced a group of new social networking features under YouTube Community. The main aspect is a ‘Community’ tab that appears on every YouTube channel. This basically functions as a News Feed for that particular video creator, letting them post text updates, live videos, GIFs, images, and more to their subscribers. The posts will show up in fans’ Subscription feeds, or they can opt-in to get a notification when there’s a new post. YT looks like it’ll grow as a standalone social platform, and brands that can build a following here (or utilise others followings) will do well. Be prepared to utilise the platform for its social abilities, as Google works to get a bigger chunk of the Social pie.
Snapchat and IG to differentiate, IG and FB to overlap.
2016 was all about the battle between Snapchat and Instagram. To sum it up, Instagram copied Snapchat’s homework. More recently Snapchat has rebranded itself as Snap Inc and made it clear that it is “a camera company,” and not just an app. This could be a clue to their long term play of stepping outside the app world to physical products, like they did with snap spectacles. Meanwhile, Instagram continues to be pulled into Facebook’s ecosystem. As a consumer you will see similar ad styles on both platforms. As a marketer you’ll need to stop thinking of them as IG and FB, and start treating them as one beast, as soon (from an advertiser standpoint) they will be hard to differentiate between. IG will need to really pull something new out of the bag this year for it to stand on its own two feet away from other platforms.
Leveraging ‘Live’- FB live/Snapchat/Insta stories etc.
Get creative with ‘Iive’. Some brands, such as Buzzfeed, use it very effectively and have seen great results. People respond extremely well to stuff that’s actually real, not groomed. One issue is that it’s very hard to control as it’s….live. Traditional client ‘approval’ with this is tricky, so clients/managers need to trust their agencies/staff to give it a crack.
Get Smarter with Targeting.
Every man and his dog is using social media advertising these days. Cutting through the noise with good creative is a key way to work more effectively. Another is with smarter targeting. It’s no longer good enough to reach and engage with a whole heap of people – it’s about reaching the right people who are going to convert to real value for your business. And just because Facebook thinks someone has an interest in ‘fitness’ doesn’t mean they’ll sign up to your ‘Shredding for RnV detox’. They’re probably reading articles on how to get a 6 pack while they sit in bed with a 10 pack of chicken nuggets. In 2017 we’re expecting to see greater targeting options, and an emphasis on targeting based on behaviours and where an individual sits in the sales funnel/buying cycle.
Yep, social is good. But don’t forget about creative.
With the rise of ad blockers and consumer ad blindness the death of display ads isn’t far off. We have many clients pulling money out of display and pumping it into social and content. Platforms, data and analytics aside, one thing that doesn’t change is creativity. Strong creative ideas and concepts get the results, not just the platform or back end data work. Start with a strong idea, produce with a strong visual aesthetic then execute optimally on social. Creative is always key. Understand your audience, and don’t underestimate them. Good creative, particularly on social, will not only get your brand seen but can generate a huge amount of trackable sustainable sales. It’s all gravy.