— June 23, 2017
At the beginning of 2017, we had a look into marketing trends and what to expect for the year ahead.
Now we’re half way through the year – which seems mad to be saying already – what will the second half of the year have in store for us?
Here’s five trends from across social media, marketing and digital that we think will thrive in the second half of 2017 and onto 2018:
In with the old: Direct mail is making a bold return
In an increasingly digital world, how often are you surprised by an excellent piece of direct mail (DM)?
By ‘bold return’, I mean that over the last few years, it’s been a marketing activity of the past. However, DM can make a real impact to your target audience and stands out where other mediums cannot.
A tangible piece of mail that’s presented well and includes a personalised message is likely to be a hit with the recipient, and better received than a standard email that clutters an already overflowing inbox.
Instagram Stories: increase in storytelling brands
With the introduction of Stories to Instagram in August 2016, the Facebook-owned social network has used Snapchat’s story feature to enhance their offering.
Where originally Instagram was all about posting images and videos, Instagram Stories as a form of ephemeral marketing, provides businesses with an opportunity to tell a story daily.
At an impressive 400 million daily active users, Instagram Stories surpassed 200 million daily users at the end of April this year, compared to Snapchat’s 166 million daily users in total.
Interviews and Q&As, product announcements, events and breaking news all provide a great opportunity to share a story with your loyal following.
(Image: Digiday UK)
VR: everyday engaging visual experiences
As the cost of the technology comes down and cheaper virtual reality (VR) headsets are being introduced to market, more and more people are likely to be demanding content to provide an immersive experience.
Where initially brands have tried and failed with VR content, the rest of 2017 is likely to see a surge in VR activity that accompanies social media efforts.
Originally associated with the games industry and perhaps a bit of a ‘gimmick’, businesses are now taking on VR to showcase their product/service. From healthcare screening to tourism, and from property viewing to internal training sessions, VR prevalence isn’t likely to slow down in a hurry.
Social ROI – Less vanity, more actionable and better conversions
Social attribution remains a real challenge for marketers, with businesses and agencies alike calling for more detailed analysis around social performance and ROI.
Although social media is unlikely to be a platform for acquisition, brands are now identifying the importance of tracking conversions from social networking and using actionable metrics.
Whether you’re using your sales team’s social efforts to nurture a lead, or encouraging potential customers to visit your website whereby you have tracking tools in place, actionable metrics (for example A/B testing or a specific metric against a sponsored promotion) will mean you can take stronger evidence to your board meetings when sharing campaign performance.
So instead of a focus around the vanity metrics – impressions, followers, likes, RTs etc. – ultimately, pick the metrics that align with your business’ goals; test the content that works with your target audience and monitor conversion performance accordingly.
Emojis here, emojis there…emojis everywhere
As well as there being a forthcoming release of The Emoji Movie, these mini-icons are popping up everywhere.
We’ve seen brands creating their own suite of emojis, used within social campaigns and reactions shared on Facebook. These instantly recognisable small images provide businesses with an opportunity share information quicker, given that we as humans process visual information a lot faster than text.
A good example is by adding them to email subject lines, to which the recipient can immediately get a feel for what the content of the email is going to include.
? Time’s running out to register
? 3 trips you should be considering this summer
These jokes should be shared ’round your office