Smarter Influencer Marketing
With an increasing amount of analytical data available on influencers, marketers are beginning to properly understand their ROI.
As the previously opaque view of influencer marketing clears, expect to see brands investing in a smarter way.
This means, a larger amount of influencer integration into 360 campaigns, leading product launches, spearheading PR campaigns, and featuring across social.
Those who work within the frameworks of old will be left behind, struggling to catch up with competitors riding the wave.
Instead of posting on their news feeds, users are increasingly sharing “Stories” with their social networks.
In contrast to static feed posts, this ephemeral content disappears after 24 hours, and they’re growing 15 times faster* than feed-based sharing, with more than a billion users of Stories across Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat.
This requires a social rethink: content is no longer a static block of imagery and copy but more of an intimate—often raw—multifaceted (in the media sense) a glimpse behind the scenes. Integrating video, simple graphics and a narrative arc is key, but it’s important not to lose sight of authenticity.
*Block Party, Oct 2018
Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp
As social media advertising becomes smarter, so too does the relevancy of the content being presented to consumers.
Facebook launched Messenger advertising in 2018 with a limited degree of success and ignored WhatsApp entirely. This year, expect to see operations ramping up on both products, particularly in connection with ‘chat bots’ to improve user experience.
For example, the Flight Centre advertise European summer holidays within Facebook Messenger. Once a customer responds, a bot is able to take the individuals’ details, budget, preferences, and so on.
The Rise of Micro Influencers
2018 saw the advent of micro-influencers; users with followings under 10,000 who have highly engaged audiences within niche sectors.
Their respective audiences hang on their [the influencers’] every word, with strong regard and respect of their positioning within a specific sector. For brands, this is gold.
These users don’t command the cost that the heavy-hitting influencers do and moreover, ensure high degrees of relevancy.
Expect to see brands investing massively within micro-influencer programmes, particularly within fashion and travel.
Instagram To Consume Facebook
Instagram is the undoubted king of engagement. With the platform still growing (hitting 1 billion users in 2018), it is increasingly taking market share from Facebook.
Privacy objections, controversial news pieces, and the under 30 drop off are allowing Instagram to gain new audiences.
While Facebook is currently the stronger platform for advertising, 2019 will see Instagram come onto level terms, if not surpassing it in the product offering.
IGTV is in its infancy, so expect to see a large push behind the platform. This may come in the form of advertiser incentives or more simply, making the platform more valuable for the consumer.
George Turner is a social media strategist at mr.h, a multi-disciplinary advertising and marketing agency that specialises in the travel and luxury sectors. www.mrh.london