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21May/18Off

5 Social Media Marketing Practices That Are Dominating 2018

5 Social Media Marketing Practices That Are Dominating 2018

Digital content marketing is reaching maturity. Companies have a pressing need to ensure that their content marketing strategies and campaigns keep up with the times.

More importantly, it is necessary to remember that great content is great content. The kind of technology you have in place, or the systems you implement, don’t matter if your content is not resonating with your target audience.

Digital marketing is advancing and evolving, just the same way traditional publishing evolved decades ago. Content marketing will follow the same trajectory. The only significant difference is the speed at which things will change. Many digital brands, in a bid to be more efficient, forget to be human.

Whether you write on stone tablets or papyrus scrolls or are using augmented reality to pass your message; it must be relevant and interesting enough to motivate a desired reaction from the customer.

From a branding perspective, generating and distributing compelling content via social media is not just important but necessary. The key to creating a bright future for content marketing on social media is to use modern approaches that embrace being human.

Below I have listed five important social media marketing practices you need to be aware of this year.

1. An increase in talent investment

As it is now, from a consumer-engagement and brand awareness standpoint, many companies have realized how crucial social media is.

For this reason, you will notice an investment of tangible resources in social strategies. There is a continued emphasis on finding and hiring individuals who can create consistent streams of quality content for social platforms.

Image Source: Chronus

Automating and promoting similar content on every social platform is not going to cut it any longer. In 2018, the savviest companies are employing individuals who know how to grow audiences for their brands across social platforms and also know how to create engaging content to keep that audience glued across every channel.

They need to be highly organized, tech-savvy and have sufficient communication skills that go beyond the use of acronyms. This requires dynamic specialization. In the digital ecosystem, an editor-in-chief in publishing yesterday can become a content strategist today. You still need people to create your image and brand story.

Automation by itself is not the way to go in 2018. You need to be human.

2. More content becoming mobile ready

ComScore reports that mobile now represents about 7 out of 10 digital media minutes. Smartphone apps alone account for half of all the time spent in engagement with digital media.

Image Source: Infographic List

According to ComScore’s 2017 report, Facebook ranks as the top mobile application of the year (measured by its penetration of the US mobile application audience). Snapchat and Instagram follow closely in the top 10. This obviously implies that consumers are spending quite some time using social media via their mobile devices.

Thus, we expect to see brands devoting more focus, and spending more resources in creating content for the small screen specifically. Mobile-ready content is always expected to be simple and easy to navigate, with only a little scrolling and few key presses required for engagement.

3. A rise in the production of richer forms of content (More videos and polls)

Those who have worked in the digital marketing space know that richer content drives more engagement.

But what exactly is the meaning of “rich content”?

The answer to that question depends greatly on who you ask. However, most people would agree that it refers to any kind of content that can facilitate and enhance user interaction.

Image Source: Infographic World

An example: videos are generally considered as rich content because they require the viewer to click on “play” (unless you use autoplay ads, which I don’t recommend unless your objective is to annoy your customers and turn them away).

Another great example of the use of rich content in social media campaigns is running a Twitter poll. The poll allows you to ask Tweeps (Twitter users) to weigh in and give an opinion on a certain subject. It’s a win-win situation; by doing this, you are distributing content that encourages users to interact while collecting consumer insights simultaneously.

4. Brands leveraging user-generated content

In advertising, Nielsen’s Global Trust Report suggests that 66% of people trust consumer reviews posted online, while 83% of consumers trust product opinions and recommendations from people they already know.

Image Source: Nicho

Those numbers are substantially higher than the 46% of consumers who trust adverts on social networks. Now since we know that “average joe” consumers trust opinions from each other rather than celebrities and social influencers; it’s no surprise that we are seeing brands target content generated by users more heavily in their social strategy.

Simply reposting or re-tweeting or sharing a happy customer’s photo is not going to be enough. Brands need to spend time fine-tuning user-generated content and embedding it into social campaigns in such a way that it looks organic but professional.

5. Marketers doubling down on ephemeral content

In the past, marketers were known to produce evergreen content that can be re-circulated and referred to. This would drive engagement for months on end. But all that has changed, especially in the social media world.

Image Source: TheSelfEmployed

Snapchat pioneered the idea and inspired the popular usage of ephemeral content. Its success has proven that consumers love to engage with this kind of content because they know it runs on a clock and won’t be around forever. Ephemerals have an inherently exclusive flavor to them.

Given the huge amount of engagement Snapchat Stories drive, it is no surprise that Facebook and Instagram quickly followed the trend and launched features that support stories on their own networks. Due to this discovery, brands will continue to develop ways to create interesting stories on all three platforms. This is in order to generate consistent waves of ephemeral content that will keep consumers addicted and coming back for more.

Wrapping up

Social media presents adventurous opportunities that enable us to use cutting-edge content to build tangible relationships with our customers. I am really looking forward to seeing how things evolve in years to come.

Guest author: Godwin Adoga has a lot of interest in developing social campaigns for growing small and medium scale enterprises. He is a contributor at HipHopHead.

The post 5 Social Media Marketing Practices That Are Dominating 2018 appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

16May/18Off

Why Live Video Is Your Next Big Win (and How to Start Dominating Today)

Live video commands the attention of the business world.

Projections show that live streaming will be worth a staggering $70.05 billion by 2021.

Unlike ever before, people have a means of interacting with their favorite brands. They can do this at the exact moment that those brands are reaching out.

This means that potential customers can (and often do) direct the action.

Here’s the good news:

You can use live video to engage your customers at the starting price of $0.

So, what’s stopping you from jumping in and using live video, too?

If you’re like most beginners, you’re stuck on choosing which platform is best for your needs. Luckily, live video is versatile, and most platforms are quick and easy to set up.

You can use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, or a variety of other platforms.

Your platform of choice will largely depend on your target audience. Once you choose your platform, live streaming is simple. You’ll be crushing video in no time.

And I’m happy to teach you how. But first, you need to understand a little bit about how live video works.

What is live video?

Video content has proven itself to be some of the most compelling content on the Internet in 2018.

Streaming is in demand.

people want more video content according to survey

In fact, projections show that video will account for 82% of all web traffic by 2021.

Why?

Live streaming taps into a uniquely human affinity for sharing and storytelling.

video is worth 1.8 million word per minute

But what differentiates regular video from live video?

Live video is video that a user broadcasts live to an audience of real people engaging in the same exact space.

The hook is that, instead of it being like TV or similar broadcasted video platforms, this iteration of live video goes through social media.

And on social media, people can have an active conversation with the broadcaster.

Live video streams are commonly buzzing with comments and discussions that build a feeling of kinetic energy.

applegate instagram comments

To be a part of the action is to be included.

This not only allows brands to create more authentic connections with customers, but it also gives them meaningful insights into what customers really want.

The combination of live video and social media access spurred an eruption of public interest
over the past year.

After Facebook launched its iteration of live video, each major social media platform released its own live video feature.

And Facebook Live is still the preferred platform for watching live streaming video.

most popular platforms for live streaming

YouTube Live and Instagram trail just behind Facebook.

Keep in mind that some live video platforms are better for certain things than others. You want to target the one that gives you the most utility for your needs.

If you think that live video is just a fad that’s going to die out when the “next big thing” comes along, you’re wrong. Live video is the next big thing, and it’s here to stay.

Here’s why.

Don’t ignore live video’s exploding popularity

According to Recode, more than 500 million people are viewing video on Facebook every single day.

That’s huge.

And in four years, 80% of all consumer Internet traffic will be Internet video traffic.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Pro gaming is an entire industry that thrives on live video, and it’s booming. And that’s just one industry that drives the popularity of live video!

According to Buffer’s 2018 State of Social Report, 96% of businesses use Facebook, 89% use Twitter, 70% use LinkedIn, another 70% use Instagram, and 57% are active on YouTube.

which of the following channels does your business currently use

Of these businesses, 85% plan to create even more video across their social accounts than they did the year before.

what types of content does your business plan to create more of

As if that wasn’t enough, 95% of brand executives think that live video is the key to training, engaging, and communicating in 2018.

If you choose to ignore the importance of live video, your competitors are going to leave you in the dust. Now is the time to choose a platform and get started.

Choosing the right video outlet is vital to the success of your marketing mix this year. But it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that will work for you.

Developers have had time to smooth out most of the live video platforms, which means that they’re easy for both businesses and customers to use.

For example, Facebook live offers a built-in notification system that notifies users when a page that they’ve liked “goes live.”

mark zuckerberg going live on facebook

Facebook also offers features that allow pages to promote a live video ahead of time. Users can simultaneously set reminders so they don’t forget about the broadcast.

reminder to go live on facebook

If you want to expand your reach and gain exposure for events or product launches, this is a great feature.

Your posts and ads won’t get lost in a sea of status updates. Streaming brings customers straight to you instead.

But how are people interacting with streaming video as a whole? And how are brands specifically using it?

How are people interacting with live video?

Brands aren’t the only ones using live video. Ordinary people use live video on each and every one of the social media platforms that offer it.

Like with videos and photos, social media users are leveraging live video feeds to share their own stories.

It’s more personal than a typical, all-text post.

Because live video allows you to share content in real time, many businesses have taken advantage of the free-flowing nature of the medium to create experiences that wouldn’t work anywhere else.

Kohl’s, for example, does this.

kohls live facebook video

The people who engaged with this video were watching Kohl’s models work out live.

If it weren’t live, the event would have looked like a basic, obvious infomercial. But because it was fully interactive, 37,000 viewers got to experience it together.

That’s virtually impossible when it comes to television ads unless it’s Super Bowl Sunday.

top super bowl ads by online views

80% of people would rather watch live videos from brands than read their blog posts while 82% prefer live videos from brands over regular social posts.

Here’s the bottom line:

Live video is ideal for human interaction.

It brings people out of their shells on Facebook, for instance, where broadcasts receive 600% more engagement than regular posts.

Brands, influencers, and regular users can all access live video to share the most interesting parts of their days.

So can you.

Live video brings traffic to your business

With Facebook Live, customers can literally engage with you in real time.

You’re able to address viewers by name, which boosts active engagement and participation.

To put it simply, live video allows brands to “break the fourth wall” between them and their customers.

Search Engine Journal found that their live video posts on Facebook like SEJ News Live receive more attention than their regular updates.

search engine journal facebook live

In fact, their live videos packed an engagement punch that was 178% higher than the average engagement on their regular posts.

Over two months, live video increased the brand’s referral traffic by 213%.

increased brands referral traffic

And with live video, customers are always in the loop about events whether they’re serious or outlandish.

For example, back in 2016, BuzzFeed held their audience’s attention for 45 minutes while two employees were putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it “blew up.”

buzzfeed watermelon blew up

Even though it was a rather silly event, the suspense of the live broadcast kept the audience watching.

The content wouldn’t have been as interesting if BuzzFeed had posted it on their social media accounts as a regular video. The fact that it was live created a sense of community for viewers.

Viewers waited for the watermelon to pop together. While waiting, they speculated on the number of rubber bands it would take for the fruit to reach its breaking point.

Live video also helps influencers because they can learn exactly what viewers are interested in talking about.

Influencer Brian Fanzo advises creating a strategy for live video ahead of time but keeping things flexible.

Here’s what he told Convince and Convert:

“I was giving a tour behind the scenes with the goal to make the streaming a ‘backstage pass’ event, when several viewers started asking questions about my new Samsung phone.”

He switched gears and started talking about technology with viewers since that’s where participants wanted to take the conversation.

You have to be willing to go with the flow.

If you work with an influencer on live video campaigns, both the host and your brand will be able to access the wants, needs, and desires of your audience more authentically.

Tons of brands are finding huge success by broadcasting recurring live videos.

Consider HelloFresh, for example. The brand hosts a live, interactive cooking show where their customers cook along with the host. They get tips from professional chefs and immediate answers to their questions.

hellofresh live cooking show on facebook

This helps viewers improve their cooking skills and prepare tasty meals with help from an expert.

Viewers can find the Facebook Live Cooking Party series on the HelloFresh Facebook page.

live cooking parties facebook video

And HelloFresh isn’t the only big brand utilizing live video for all it’s worth. In March of 2018, Nissan live streamed the reveal of their new 2019 Altima.

nissan altima live reval on facebook

But you don’t have to limit live streaming to simple product launches.

You could live stream a Q&A like the developers of the popular game Hearthstone did back in June of 2017.

live stream q&a

Pepsi got creative by partnering with Nature Conservancy and using the power of live streaming to protect watersheds nationwide.

The possible uses for live video are virtually endless. The technology opens all kinds of doors, and it’s here to stay.

One reason that you can count on live video continuing to grow in popularity is that it’s a great tool for SEO.

Consumers are eager for more content from the brands that they follow, but as many as 80% of them say that they would prefer to consume live video to blog posts.

And since most platforms notify users about live content in their feeds, they don’t have to look very far to find it.

If you launch a live video and don’t have many viewers at first, don’t get discouraged too quickly.

Let’s say that you host a small event and decide to live stream it. When you first go live, only 15 people are watching it. That might not seem like many viewers.

But while you’re live, some viewers might post the video to their page and ask their friends to watch it. The longer you’re live, the more people will continue to share the video.

Who knows? You could end up racking up a total reach of thousands of people from one live stream.

rising importance of live streaming

To sweeten the deal, you don’t need a huge marketing budget to broadcast live video.

In fact, it’s possible to share an effective live video on pretty much every platform without spending a single dime.

Here’s how to choose the live video platform that works best for you and start using it.

How to choose a live video platform and get started

When it comes to live video, the options are (almost) limitless.

If you’re not sure which platform to go live..