2017 is drawing to a close, and we can only bet that brands are now scrambling to get their brand plans and social media strategies ready to welcome 2018. If you haven’t gotten started, now’s the time! Here are our 2018 predictions to help you out with that:
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Increased focus on Gen Z
Gen-Zers are those aged 22 years old and below in 2017. A research conducted by Goldman Sachs found that Gen Z are more valuable to most organisations than millennials because of their increased purchasing power as they are just starting to enter the workforce. As the largest consumers of social media, you need to bear in mind the Gen Zs, and not just target millennials anymore.
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Video consumption will continue to rise
If you haven’t integrated video into your content strategy, it’s time! Data is no longer a barrier for users when they consume content, and they are now open to consuming various types of content without worrying about how much data it will cost them. Current content trends show that video is on the rise, and will continue with growth of the Gen Z population. In fact, Social Media Today found that audiences spend an average of 40 minutes on YouTube daily, 5 minutes more than they do on Facebook.
Image credit: comScore
Content will need to be optimised for mobile
Marketers need to start leveraging on vertical content that is optimised for mobile, as studies have proven that vertical content is effective in marketing to Gen Zs, and ad recalls are reported to have been higher when ads are mobile-optimised. A study by comScore found that 33% of Malaysians aged between 15 to 24 and 25 to 34 are reliant on their mobile devices to access digital content, which provides the perfect opportunity for you to curate vertical, thumb-stopping posts!
Image credit: Econsultancy
User-generated content will remain popular
Much like in previous years, 2018 will see user-generated content as being an integral part of a brand’s social media strategy, as users tend to see UGCs as a source of credibility when considering whether or not they want to buy a particular product. According to Econsultancy’s 2017 Digital Trends report, UGCs that depict a particular product or service are 68% more effective for brands compared to just photos, videos, and text ads. 85% of marketers surveyed agreed that this can help deliver trust in the products.
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Content marketing will reign supreme
Users are more inclined to relate to stories, and that’s why brands are now noticing the power relevant content has in influencing customer behaviour. With content marketing, brands can expect an increased conversion potential, more social traffic, improved brand reputation, and even a stronger brand-consumer relationship. A survey conducted by Econsultancy and Adobe finds that 29% of brands consider their top priority in 2017, and we predict that this will not just continue, but also grow in the next year.
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Offline to Online Ad Targeting will be introduced
With Facebook testing ad targeting to people who’ve visited physical stores and vice versa, brands will now be able to convert their existing customer bases into an audience they can target on both Facebook and Instagram, and vice-versa. On top of that, brands can also use this audience to find people with similar interests, who are likely to drop by their brick-and-mortar store.
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Influencer marketing will continue to be effective
Marketers should not leave influencer marketing out of their social media strategy in 2018. It is likely that brands will continue to leverage on influencer marketing to connect with audiences in 2018, particularly younger ones like Gen Z. In fact, a study by Linqia finds that 94% of marketers who utilise influencer marketing believe that it is successful. If you don’t want to fall behind, be sure to include this as part of your plan for 2018.
Augmented Reality (AR) use will rise
With the release of iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Zenfone AR, all of which have implemented AR technology, mobile gaming and social media platforms will see a rise in AR experiences. In 2018, expect to see live events and video entertainment being a major consumer-centric application of AR.
Ephemeral content will grow
With over 200 million daily active users worldwide, Instagram has surpassed Snapchat since the launch of Instagram Stories less than a year ago. This means if you want to appeal to Gen Zs, you need to incorporate Instagram Stories into your social media strategy.
Do not be afraid of social media strategies – bear in mind your objectives, back it up with data, and explore creative ways to help you get there, and voila! We hope this guide helps you get a step closer to figuring out your 2018 strategy.
Otherwise, we have a better idea… Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!