With 2017 in full swing (okay, where did the first half of January go?) – it’s time to take a look at what this year may bring in terms of social and content. Here are some of my thoughts of what will be trending this year.
From the inception of Periscope on Twitter and Snapchat to the release of Facebook Live to the general public, social has been trending towards video content for quite some time. Video content is easily consumable and according to a HubSpot survey, 43% of consumers want to see more video content. Brands now have the opportunity to connect with their audience in real-time, answer questions live and create an even more personal relationship with their customers and fans.
So, while pre-recorded video continues to perform well – the newest trend will be live video. Instagram live stories even has introduced a new ad option where brands can have video ads roll in between stories, or images – multiple opportunities to connect with their audience organically or via paid channels on social.
Okay, so email may not be a new trend for 2017 – but it’s a tried and true trend. When planning out your 2017 strategy, it’s important to consider your email strategy as an integral part of your overall efforts. There are over 1 billion active Gmail users in the U.S. and by 2020, there will be over 3 million email users – so we know there’s an audience there. Your goal, find out how to connect with them and turn them into loyal customers or fans. According to Statista, 86% of customers would like to receive promotional emails from companies at least monthly, while 15% want them daily. Consider your audience and then plan your email strategy accordingly!
Data and audience insights are one of the greatest benefits of running Facebook ads. The targeting capabilities that the Facebook Ads platform offers to advertisers are robust. From targeting people by certain demographics, interests, to targeting people based on whether or not they engage with your videos – the options to connect with an interested audience is unlimited. For 2017, I foresee brands being even more strategic with their targeting. Getting even more specific, and dare I say “Big Brother” with their remarketing ads. It will be a challenge not to buy that watch you’ve been eyeing on Amazon, when it follows you everywhere. Brands aren’t looking for reach and impressions (I mean, they are) but they want actionable results… did their audience convert, did they buy, did they sign up? Plan to show the ROI of social ads this year by connecting with a more specific, targeted audience.
Content & Social
This should come as no surprise, but I foresee the marriage of social and content going even further. The lines between on-site content and social content will be further blurred as brands try to take their personality and interaction on social and bring that to their websites. From engaging copy and witty pop-ups, brands no longer see themselves as stuffy websites. And of course, as someone who works in both content and social – this is my dream. That the content that is created for a website can be used as fuel for social content and vice-versa, that we can take the great personalized content from social and bring that warmth to a website. I expect to see a more cohesive strategy between social and content for 2017, more so than it has been in the past.
To predict the future or try to guess the trends that 2017 may bring is nearly impossible. There’s a different platform update nearly weekly across social and content trends change drastically each year from infographics, to interactive guides, back to white papers – it’s not even feasible to plan for what the year may bring. What you can plan for is to be strategic, thoughtful and as proactive as possible when it comes to connecting your brand to your audience.