When social media was in its infancy, marketers viewed it as a passing fad with limited relevance. Today, social media has evolved into a "must-have to succeed" element of the business world.
Social media marketing is very dynamic in nature - every year, there's a myriad of new platforms entering the social media space, along with the continual influx of new trends and features. In order to keep pace and stay ahead of the competition, companies of all sizes need to stay well informed on the latest digital marketing trends, and identify which ones are worth investing in.
Among the benefits of digital marketing is the ability to communicate in real-time with prospects. By its very nature, social media marketing already possesses "in-the-moment" capabilities, which will continue to become even more vital over time. This became apparent when Twitter acquired Periscope, which gives users the ability to offer live video broadcasts - no longer are you limited to simply posting videos taken at a previous time. Snapchat and Instagram have also been quick to pick up on this trend and now support in-the-moment updates. As this trend becomes increasingly popular, it may no longer be necessary to schedule social media updates in advance of their publication date.
Using in-the-moment updates through tools like Periscope offers a unique way of storytelling that could also eventually set the stage for live televised broadcasts. When used properly, the in-the-moment technology presents marketers opportunities to deepen their relationships with customers while moving away from more traditional venues to the on-the-go mobile platforms. The Weather Channel is just one company that has experienced phenomenal success experimenting with Periscope. The company reports to an average of between 200,000 and 300,000 daily viewers, with more than 100 million people using its mobile apps and viewing 65 million+ videos each month.
In-Platform Audience Engagement
As a marketer, naturally you never want your users to leave your app/s. After all, that defeats the purpose of real-time engagement with your customers. In the past, however, users found it necessary to abandon various apps, due to the lack of in-app functionality. Recognizing the potential loss this lack of functionality represents, an increasing number of platforms are now taking steps to rectify that problem.
Facebook was one of the first platforms to introduce changes to give users the functionality they need so that they stay around as long as possible. For instance, in the past, it was necessary to link to external sources when publishing a full-length article. Today, it's possible to publish these same articles via the platform's Instant Articles feature. According to Facebook, the new features in Instant Articles make the reading experience up to ten times faster for users than standard mobile web articles. In addition to a faster reading experience, Facebook's Instant Articles also provides an arsenal of interactive features that bring stories to life in a number of innovative ways. By simply tilting their phone, users can zoom in and explore high-res photos. Rather than simply liking or commenting on an entire story, users can now opt to like or comment on individual sections of a post. Instant Articles even provides the ability to listen to audio captions.
This is a trend that is expected to continue in the coming months, and is certainly one that even startups should take note of in order to remain competitive.
Increased Focus on Organic Visibility
It's a well known fact that in order to get ahead in the world of digital marketing, your company needs to invest in SEO. Recently, the competition for organic search engine results has intensified even further, and that competition is amplified to an even greater degree with social media platforms like Facebook putting the brakes on organic visibility in an effort to encourage marketers to buy ads. The reality is that in order to succeed today, you can longer ignore the need to invest in marketing. With the cost of advertising is expected to continue rising well into next year, it's become more important than ever for startups to allocate more of their budgets to ad spend. Overall, advertising costs are expected to increase by 5.6 percent in 2016, with mobile devices anticipated to serve as the greatest driver of global advertising growth.
Even if you are just launching your startup, it's important for you stay on top of the latest digital and social media marketing trends. Doing so could mean the difference between falling behind the competition and overtaking your competition.
This post originally appeared on the Launch & Hustle blog