The time has come… the final stretch of 2017 wearing thin as we eagerly count down the last few days before a new year is heralded. It’s time for marketers to regroup and brainstorm about what they can do in the year to come to have a successful business year ahead!

2017 has been a roller coaster ride for social media. We witnessed how it took the digital marketing realm by storm with a stream of innovations to accommodate the needs of advertisers and marketers with its various platforms. The improvements and changes evident in the last few years have been so congruous that they left marketers and agencies perpetually on their toes, rushing to radically re-center their campaigns to keep up with the trends.

As the social media marketing field continues to expand, digital marketing companies need to make sure that their marketing campaigns and strategies are keeping up with the joneses. As you look ahead to 2018 and start creating a stellar social media marketing strategy for the year to come, it is important to stay abreast of all the up and coming trends.

Here are four social media marketing trends to look out for in 2018:

Chatbots for Prompt Customer Service

Chatbots are bots that have the ability to solve customers’ issues and respond promptly. They are no longer the robotic machines they were once considered. This year, many brands have incorporated chatbots into their marketing strategy and it is expected that in 2018, 20% of business content could be generated by robotic machines.

Chatbots give marketing companies the chance to interact immediately with their customers with a more human touch. As chatbots continue to evolve, imbued with a personal touch, you can customize your brand voice and send more personalized messages directly to your customers.

According to Facebook, there are around 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger that offer a platform for online marketers to connect with audiences. While approximately 60% of millennials have used chatbots and 71% say that they would like to talk to a chatbot of major brands.

So, if you haven’t started incorporating chatbots into your marketing strategy, now’s the time to test these friendly bots for your business.

The Rise of Augmented Reality  

The frequent use of Augmented Reality (AR) on mobile devices offers a more engaging and amazing way for marketers to increase their reach. Now businesses can reach their target audience quickly, easily and in more interactive ways.

Apple’s iPhone X provides users with a host of new augmented reality experiences, so chances are that more and more social media networks will introduce innovative ways of implementing AR into their platforms. Snapchat has already launched its new AR feature that allows users to create their own cartoon avatars, or bitmojis, and project their images into the real world through the app’s camera.  Regardless of the environment they are viewing through their app’s camera, they will be able to superimpose their avatar onto it.

Brands can also project their products on social media through advanced filters. Let’s take an example of IKEA, when the brand launched an app for users to preview their products in their homes before making a purchase. This is simply an amazing idea to lure in more customers by showing them how their chosen products will look in their own home, before they make a purchase decision online.

Related: Immersive Videos are Reshaping Brands and Transforming Digital Ad Industry

If your brand is thinking to get its feet wet with AR, make sure that you are leveraging this burgeoning technology to add immense value for the user. Carefully consider how your digital marketing strategy perfectly fits in to your business and how this latest technology will help it blossom.

Videos will continue to Take Over

Everyone knows that video content is gaining more traction by the day. In 2017 alone, approximately 90% of content shared by consumers on social media was in the form of video. According to recent statistics, 43% of users want to see more video content from marketers and nearly 51.9% digital marketers consider video as the most important content type that has the potential to create more ROI. Because of its increasing popularity, more and more brands are creating videos to communicate with their target audience. Video content will be more valuable for generating engagement and building your following.

Instagram and Snapchat both give businesses the chance to create interesting and engaging video content and share it immediately with their audience. Businesses that are not using video as a major part of their social media marketing strategy yet need to consider capitalizing on this medium in 2018. As video content is one of the hottest social media marketing trends, your marketing agency should follow in its wake in 2018. But make sure your video content is high quality and engaging for better results.

Influencer Marketing Will Take a Stronger Place

Influencer marketing is not new; almost every brand knows how powerful it could be for their presence and in creating brand awareness. If you still haven’t given influencer marketing a whirl, it is the right time to do social media outreach, find an industry influencer for your business, and leverage the power of influencer marketing to increase your brand reach.

Related: The Rise of Influencer Marketing

In 2018, it is predicted that influencers will take over social media as more and more brands, no matter how small or established, are comprehending the true potential of this effective marketing strategy. According to recent statistics, more than 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust the opinion of influencers more than regular celebrity endorsement. Nearly 71% of consumers are more likely to make a buying decision based on a recommendation from social media.

influencer marketingIt is simply not enough to establish a relationship with some industry influencers. Instead digital marketers should focus on building strong relationships with thought leaders, setting clear goals and choosing the right person who can help deliver the best ROI.

Key Takeaways

2018 is almost here, and it’s high time for marketers to create a solid marketing strategy to maximize marketing results. It is important to stay abreast of all the latest social media marketing trends for 2018 to achieve your marketing goals and stay ahead of the curve. Take advantage of social media, build your brand, connect with your audience, create and distribute engaging, cutting-edge content and it will definitely strengthen your marketing efforts in the year to come


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