During our final #SMTLive Twitter chat of the year, we took time to reflect on digital marketing trends in 2017 and discuss new opportunities we marketers should look out for in 2018. We covered a few major topics we believe will be the next big thing for digital marketers in 2018.
We had a great discussion with the group — here are the major takeaways from the chat.
If you're interested in participating in future Twitter chats, you can see our #SMTLive Twitter chat schedule here.
Q1: What role do you see chatbots playing in 2018?
We see a constant battle between humans vs bots - how do you strike the right balance to improve workflows and maintain customer satisfaction?
Chatbots prove to be efficient problem-solvers but their lack of "human touch" is their greatest weakness in our consumer-centric world. #SMTlive— ARPR (@AR__PR) December 12, 2017
A1: Chatbots are here to stay. They can be very helpful when used appropriately, but at some point, you have to give the customer an out to talk to a regular person. Don't make them jump through hoops!— Ellipses PR (@EllipsesPR) December 12, 2017
Many agreed that chatbots can be very helpful, and hopeful that future chatbots will have better response matrix and have an improved 'personality' component in order to be more efficient.
Q2: Are micro-influencers going to dominate 2018?
Macro-influencers hit their peak at the beginning of last year, but now micro-influencers are on the rise. Do you think micro-influencers will, too, reach their "influential peak" in 2018 or are they here to stay?
I think as marketers continue to get more savvy in influencer marketing the micro-to-midsized influencers will become core to influencer marketing — much better ROI, more engaged audience. Reach will happen through owned media channels, paid promotion, etc. #SMTLive— sasha e. (@sashae) December 12, 2017
We all agree micro-influencers have proven to have stronger connections with their audience. The real challenge is finding the right influencer(s) for your brand.
Q2 A: Micro-influences will be ok through 2018. However, I believe brands who are smart about micro-influencers will ID a few who REALLY align and contract them, like spokespeople. If micro-influencers are smart, they will think through partnerships and longer term contracts.— Mrs. Brandi (@Brandi_Rand) December 12, 2017
It seems that everyone agrees that micro-influencers aren't going anywhere anytime soon. In some form or another, word-of-mouth marketing is always effective and those most trusted "influencers" in the market today are micro-influencers. They have the power and they're here to stay.
Q3(A): How big of an impact do you see AR having on the social media marketing world in the upcoming year?
Some of the bigger brands with larger budgets have started incorporating AR in their marketing campaigns. For the smaller companies, we are seeing some jump on the bandwagon by taking advantage of AR advertising options offered by social platforms like on Snapchat.
It will be interesting to see how the big brands ($$$$) adopt AR. Small & midsize companies should tune it out for now unless they're in the AR space themselves.— AGENCY Tourism Marketing (@EmmaAGENCYTM) December 12, 2017
A3: I see it as a huge driving force to the switch to mobile vs desktop in online advertising (social media included), and for big companies who can afford to do it well, expectations of consumers will rise to quality of AR #SMTLive— Loewe Chan (@sincerelyloewe) December 12, 2017
Q3(B): What opportunities can small businesses take advantage of in AR?
Social media will help AR go mainstream (as already seen on Facebook and Snapchat). Big brands will find their way of implementing AR ads into their campaign, but what kind of opportunities can small businesses take advantage of?
Q3 B: For #SMBs to watch the big brands and learn in 2018. They may find ways to take parts of what huge brands are doing and make it work for them. I agree with @EmmaAGENCYTM that they should tune out unless they are in the space. #SMTLive— Mrs. Brandi (@Brandi_Rand) December 12, 2017
A3(B): Aside from utilizing smaller elements of AR (maybe a filter?), realistically it may be more beneficial to be in the real space of a big company's AR campaign (ex. have an actual ad on a building where the AR takes place) #SMTLive— Loewe Chan (@sincerelyloewe) December 12, 2017
So maybe AR is still just a fun, but mostly impractical, addition to the small business marketing world. There are little ways brands can implement AR strategies (such as Snapchat filters/ads), but most likely we won't see too many of the smaller brands spending their budget on AR.
"We can see that 48% of you voted for #videomarketing as your main focus of 2018. With that in mind... Q4 Which type of video content do you think you'll invest in next year and why?"
Based on our poll of 166 participants, 67% voted for short-form videos and 20% voted for live videos.
short-form video b/c it's consumable, focused, quick and shareable #smtlive— Mordecai Holtz (@mordecaiholtz) December 12, 2017
For social media, short-form video that is informative and to the point. Also, potentially, live video if at an event or we're hosting a live session. #SMTLive— EveryoneSocial (@EveryoneSocial) December 12, 2017
Q4: LIVE. My brands & clients are seeing positive reaction to live video. Anytime is a "good time to go live" as long as the story is there. Any production house, agency or marketing team can create short-form...brands & influencers who get good at live will dominate. #SMTLive— Mrs. Brandi (@Brandi_Rand) December 12, 2017
Q5 What would you like to see from social analytics platforms in 2018? And do you think we'll get it?
There is a clear need for improved social media metrics to better measure (and prove) ROI. What would you like to see from social analytics platforms in 2018? And do you think we'll get it?
Shifts in perception (positive or negative) or i.e. historical trending which is problematic if data hasn't been collected from existing tools. That would be nice :-) if unlikely #SMTLive— Annette Clubley (@zimamayi) December 12, 2017
Q5: Less data. More intelligence, insight and processes to distill information. Also, better tools. Some of the big name tools and native platform reporting is old, cumbersome and lacks a good UX. Overhaul across the board. Will we see it in 2018? Doubtful. #SMTLive— Mrs. Brandi (@Brandi_Rand) December 12, 2017
A5: more sentiment analysis, easier ways to monitor conversations and implement social listening (+ analytics on those as well). Seeing that we don't actually have an edit button on Twitter or a way to schedule Instagram yet, I don't think it'll happen in 2018 #SMTLive— Loewe Chan (@sincerelyloewe) December 12, 2017
Hopefully the social metrics platforms are listening. There is a lot more we need to better measure success -- we'll see who steps up the game in 2018.
We had a great time chatting with everyone once again. Awesome chat and we look forward to seeing you all back in 2018!
If there is a specific topic you'd like to hear covered in 2018, please share your feedback with us here. We are always looking to improve our #SMTLive chat experience for all of you. Enjoy the holidays!