Social media marketing is a very competitive industry. With all the digital noise coming from all directions, businesses will need to figure out a unique approach of getting heard or seen out of the noise.
As a student, you can see market competition as a battle royale scenario. The players are different businesses, while the stage is a specific market or industry and the trophy for the winner is the attention and purchasing power of customers. In order to survive, participants should come up with different strategies on how to prevail in the game and win the grand prize. They can use different tools and tactics to survive, what’s important is winning the game fair and square.
Going back to reality, online marketers must become critical thinkers who have the ability to think outside the box. This will help them come up with strategies that effectively reach their specific target audience. An exemplar of this is staying up to date with the latest trends in social media marketing.
Trends are constantly changing and marketers should be aware with the latest developments in order to stay in the game. This is needed to have an advantage over competitors. As for 2019, here are the trends that will affect social media marketing.
Trend #1: A New Wave of Customers: The Generation Z
Over the years, Millennials are gradually taking over of the Baby Boomers in the workforce. A lot of Millennials are now acquiring respectable purchasing power to buy what they want and what they need. As this generation enter and leave the workforce, a new generation is going to take over — and they’re called the Generation Z.
Born within the mid-90s to the second decade of the century, the Generation Z is slowly entering the workforce. Same as Millennials, this generation is heavy social media users and “digital natives.” According to an infographic from Upfront Analytics, this generation is consumers and will have a tremendous impact in the market in terms of their purchasing power.
The same infographic also said the Gen Z prefers Instagram and Snapchat over Facebook, Twitter, and Linked. So, if you’re new in the market, make sure to take into consideration the Gen Z for they have purchasing power as early as now.
Trend #2: The Power of Augmented Reality (AR)
As a customer, they want to be involved; they want to have an experienced tailored for them. Through AR, customers feel that they are interacting with something associated with the business. For starters, AR is a technology that provides an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated objects.
One example of this is the world-known game Pokémon Go. Players walk around and get alerted when a Pokémon is near them. Once the player taps the located Pokémon, they get into “battle mode” and see the Pokémon where you “found” it in the real world. Basically, if you found a Cubone near the dining table, then the app will show a Cubone near the dining table.
Going back to social media, different social media platforms are applying the wonders of AR to their functions. Snapchat offers geofilters, which allow businesses to create snap overlays — or digital stickers — that are only available in specific locations. Geofilters change depending on where people took a video or picture. If your business has an event in Melbourne, then attendees will have access to your geofilters.
Trend #3: Foster User Participation
Marketing is an expensive strategy; it’s an investment. Businesses need to allocate money for the whole process of marketing. Just like marketing in the real world, digital marketing also comes with a price. Unfortunately, the costs are also increasing. In fact, Adobe Digital said through its 2017 Digital Advertising Report that digital ad costs are expected to rise five times faster than US inflation rates. With this, reaching your target audience will only get tougher and more expensive.
One strategy that businesses are resorting to is user-generated content or customer advocacy. Through this strategy, businesses rely on what customers say about their experience. User-generated content comes in many forms — photos, videos, or memes — that can be posted on social media. Allowing customers to participate and getting them involved helps in generating attention from other customers.
Even in this tech-driven world, word-of-mouth referrals are still an effective strategy to get heads turning. Customers don’t want the same old tactics all over again. Customers are now educated in terms of knowing if they need the product or not. As a business, you will need to tell a story about why they need it. And through stories of other customers through social media, they’ll get the idea of how wonderful your product is.
If you’re familiar with influencer marketing, the landscape is also the same as this. A striking difference is having a famous person plug your product, Imagine a famous person using your product and posting on social media how good your product is. This will definitely make thousands or even millions of their followers on social media to have an idea about your business, products, and services. As a business, never underestimate the power of word of mouth and influencer marketing.
Trend #4: It’s Time to Try Live Streaming
As a social media user, you’ll eventually see features being rolled out to social media. One of the major updates is allowing users to perform live videos. As for a business, especially if you haven’t tried one, it’s time to take advantage of it.
Creating videos is a long process; there are necessary steps your team needs to do in order to come up with a fully-polished video that meets your marketing objectives. It’s time to cut out some steps because live streaming will also allow you to show a video; the only difference is live streaming happens in real time.
As a marketer, if you want the business to have a fresh way to interact with customers, it’s time to try live streaming. This function in social media platforms allows you to show behind-the-scenes footages and, most importantly, a natural call-to-action, all in real time. As a business, you can announce promotions or offers through the live feed, creating a sense of urgency for customers to stay tuned. You can also interact with customers as they voice out what they want to say through the comments section of the video.
Social media marketing trends are always changing; it’s up to the digital marketer to establish strategies revolving around these trends to provide the business with fresher gimmicks and promotions. If you’re willing to take a career in digital marketing, MCIE offers social media marketing courses that will definitely equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to kickstart their career.
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