With every year forward every trade analyst and market researcher predicts few trends to watch out for in the coming year. Like every marketing platform, even social media marketing can watch out for some notable trends in 2015. For most of the so called marketers, strategy for social media generally involves throwing some words in a box, posting, and linking it to their latest product or service and it is no rocket science to figure out that this kind of strategy will fall flat on its face. However, change-creators in the marketing industry like to do things slightly different. If we do some research around then we can conclude that most of the top brands go ahead and achieve greater success by using the following four social media marketing trends:
1) Video Marketing To Go Beyond YouTube: In the year 2014 one would have noticed that YouTube was used extensively for video marketing. However a general look on the social media platform will show subtly branded videos are today popping up everywhere—on Vine, Google+, Instagram, Facebook etc. reaffirming the theory that attention grabbing, innovative, short videos will not only be reserved to YouTube in the coming year – 2015.
Moreover the monopoly of YouTube was challenged when about 1 billion video views on an average every day were viewed as per Facebook Newsroom reports on Facebook. In September 2014, Facebook released a “call to action tool” for publishers and content creators where the tool invites consumers to visit a particular website, make purchases or view branded or related videos in an organic and natural way. So I foresee Video Marketing going beyond YouTube in 2015.
2) Expansion of Instagram Advertising: As per early predictions the future for paid social ads in 2015 looks fuzzy as the ROI for such paid ads are well below expectations. According to Forrester, “social media users do not engage with social content very often”. Their findings were based upon a study on 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven popular social networks out of which six achieved an engagement rate less than 0.1 percent for most of the brands. In short for every 1 million fans on Facebook for a certain brand, each post had around 700 likes which was very low.
However one should not get disheartened as the future for one growing social network i.e. Instagram isn’t all that bleak. Forrester’s report showcased that Instagram posts generated 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement on Twitter.
So what are you waiting for? If your brand is not finding success on Facebook, try Instagram instead in 2015. The social network isn’t reserved for youth-centric brands as companies like Ford and General Electric have found success on Instagram.
3) Brand Publishing Will Be The New Content Marketing: Yes you read it right! Brand publishing is the new content marketing as it is more authentic and transparent as it keeps consumers engaged for longer periods of time by building relationships. Unlike content marketing, brand publishing requires a little more care as some marketers foolishly believe that content marketing exists solely to sell a product which it isn’t. AdWeek insists that all content exists to tell a story, no matter the platform—from tweet or blog post. So, 2014s content marketers will evolve into content publishers in 2015.
4) Image-Based Content Will Be The New In-Thing: There is a huge misconception around that social media platforms such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram are only for selfies, home decor and recipes however it isn’t so. The image based social media platforms are going to be the first choice for many small and large businesses to help their businesses connect with their customers and fan-base. Many brands have understood the fact that visual stories help fans and general people to connect and identify with them and their products. Therefore showing off products, events and employees in pictorial format establishes the fact that your brand has a human side and allows your follower to get to know you a little better.There are many social media platforms and there will be many more coming in, however you need to understand that what might be good for one brand might not be good for the other. Understand the strength of your brand, identify your fan-base and then choose your social media platform to connect with them. Hope you and your business has a successful stint over the social networks in 2015!
Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage www.shaijumathew.com or blog www.shaiju-mathew.blogspot.in. You can also check him out on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaiju_Mathew)