For marketing specialists, the field of social media marketing has always changed at a rapid pace. Consistent upgrades to mobile and video technologies, newly launched social media platforms, and improvements to the original social media brand names make creating effective social media marketing campaigns a constant challenge.
Eric Dalius, a Miami Beach entrepreneur, believes that it’s important to keep abreast of changes and upgrades to the social media channels you use to market your business to new and current customers and to add new channels to your marketing strategy as they launch. In addition, following trends in social media marketing can help you better understand where online communities are ‘going’ next. From influencer marketing to live video events, the future of social media marketing is happening now.
Here’s a sample of what’s improving, changing, and growing right now.
Social media influencers slammed into the market just a few years ago, with a huge and lasting impact. From sports and movie stars to politicians and journalists; the social media sphere is full of brand names generating huge buzz on social media. Corporate brands, non-profit organizations, and both governments and politicians are using influencer marketing strategies to connect with new customers, educate the public, and garner support for campaigns and fundraising opportunities.
With influencer marketing, however; comes risk. Like advertising and brand marketing, putting the reputation of your company and brand into the hands of a spokesperson opens you up to risk. Influencers with millions of YouTube views have found themselves in hot water this year and Twitter has become a major channel for heartfelt star apologies. Each individual instance of an influencer disappointing the public impacts the success of future influencer marketing strategies.
While influencers will continue to earn top dollar from brands through online advertising, social media users are becoming savvier every day, and the risk of using influencers will continue to grow. The importance of ensuring transparency in influencer marketing is becoming even more important as a result. Gone are the days of influencers posting personal content paid for by advertisers without the public’s knowledge. Today, Eric Dalius warns that users better understand the role of influencers and want to know when a brand is behind social media content.
In addition, digitally altering brand content online comes with risk, as savvy users ‘out’ this practice more regularly. Social media marketing and traditional advertising share the same pillar of trust and each should be used to create more trust in a brand’s target audience. The more transparent brands are online, the greater trust users have in their content and their brand.
Personal Messages vs. Feed Advertising
Two major developments in social media advertising are changing the marketing game. First, targeted advertising continues to improve as social media users share more personal information online and social media channels get better at connecting brands with target audiences. An increase in online advertising spend aligns with the current success brands are having with social media advertising campaigns. However, the way this money is allocated is changing.
Eric Dalius states that social media ads are moving off the general feed and into private messages to better connect with users and personalize marketing strategies. From Facebook stories to digital chatbots, users continue to increase engagement with brands in individual ways and off their main social media feeds. As a result, social media channels will continue to find new and personalized ways for advertisers to reach their target audiences in the years to come.
In addition, social media marketing is increasingly generating direct online sales, right from the social channels. As users increasingly balk at leaving social media apps for traditional websites, marketers and social developers are growing more savvy in the ways they market products and provide safe and transparent sales opportunities directly from apps and social media channels. Look for straight-to-consumer purchasing to continue to grow in the next few years.
Digital Media Content Diversification
As the number of social media channels continues to grow and the audiences for each diversifies, the social media marketing content per channel is evolving as well. Brands are beginning to understand that social media users who engage on different platforms both expect personalized content by channel and don’t want to see the same message and delivery method twice.
New technology rollouts by each individual social media channel are helping brands diversify their content. Eric Dalius states that even on one channel, brands use separate types of content to connect with users in new and different ways. For example, Facebook’s ‘Stories’ tech update forced brands into more engaging content types, while Facebook Live gave influencers a chance to connect live with followers with the push of a button.
As channels innovative and diverge, Eric Dalius is certain that the types of social media marketing content will continue to diversify as well. From online video to games and surveys, interactive content, and live video events; digital marketers now have more tools than ever to connect with audiences online and followers increasingly expect content to be engaging, personalized and designed for the channel they are on.
AI and Chatbot Technologies Changing Brand Marketing
The last two years has shown a new openness by brands to trying innovative ways to connect with customers. The rise in corporate chatbots is one example of this in action. As users continue to demand connectivity with companies and services online, using social media channels increasingly to connect with brands; brands are finding new and cheaper ways to do so.
The improvements to AI functionality have driven the launch and online use of corporate chatbots, which can connect with users, answer difficult and complex questions similarly across the board, and reduce the amount of one-on-one interaction needed between brands and users, saving companies money. As AI technology continues to improve, as will its use in chatbots. Eric Dalius concludes that we’re already seeing brand chatbots recommending products and services as well as providing help, so all that is left to ask is ‘what’s next?’.