2015 was a big year in the world of social media with large learning curves for digital marketing. Snapchat, though had been around since 2013, exploded onto the scene leaving brands and agencies alike scratching their heads on how to capitalize on its popularity. Similarly, Periscope, which Apple rated as one of 2015’s top apps, made live-streaming easy and accessible for individual users, but a little perplexing for marketers.This confusion came from the learned behavior of paying to play from the likes of our familiar friends, Facebook and Twitter. Plus, the already major players in the social media pitch made some impactful ecomm moves this year too--Twitter with their Buy Button, Pinterest with their Promoted Pins, and Instagram with their Sponsored Posts.
You can’t give mediocre content extra legs by putting money behind it on live-streaming platforms, so like it or not, Snapchat and Periscope force your hand in a major way--commit to a brand personality, create awesome content, and build trust with your followers.
Therefore, the trend of equality is one we foresee in the future of social media. So, inspired by the dream of an equal playing field, what else does SILVR think will be the biggest social trend of 2016? The resurgence of good old fashioned storytelling.
Here’s what we think it will look like:
1. We will continue to see editorial quality content as the way forward for successful digital marketing campaigns.
2. Traditional methods of persuasive advertising ("buy now", "fast", "easy") will no longer be effective, sorry, car dealerships! Instead, there will continue to be significant advancements in behavioral retargeting and personalization of ad campaigns bringing humanity back to human interaction; therefore creating lasting relationships built on trust, loyalty, and quality.
Sarah Dawber, one of our fearless leaders and co-founder of SILVR, further explains the role of digital marketing agencies in this new sphere of brand-consumer interaction, “I believe our focus as marketeers will become the art of choosing in. We will take notes from psychologists on trust building, seek out dating advice from relationship experts and reference speeches of historical leaders and political rallies in order to be successful in this new economy.”
3. As Snapchat and Periscope already demonstrate, the demand for instant, live, and entertaining news is of utmost importance in the changing waves of social media behavior. Younger generations are demanding minute by minute updates on events around the world, and have the need to share their everyday experiences as well.
Live streaming is only going to get faster and better, and sharing will continue to advance as well. Because of this, all users will be empowered in 2016, not just those who have the ability to participate. This envelope pressing tactic of what’s private and what’s free game will be taken to the limit. Over exposure and privacy rights already place social media use in the gray area of good and bad, and the future doesn’t appear to get any more black and white. In fact, we believe that we will see an increase in users and opinions because of the ease in which all can join the conversation.
4. A positive and convenient user experience will be crucial! With sensory overload from all platforms and websites, functionality will become more and more integral to a brand’s success. All the beautiful pictures in the world can’t distract a consumer from a glitchy website.
That goes for mobile compatibility too. There is nearly nothing worse than trying to buy something on your phone from your favorite brand and their mobile-friendly website being not so friendly. Sarah’s partner in crime and SILVR’s brilliant co-founder, Loryn Lyle, crunches the numbers and explains why website mobility is the future, “On average, 44% of traffic to our clients’ websites in 2015 was from a mobile device. With apps, social media platforms and the rise of business performed on a smartphone, mobile traffic will continue to increase, especially as social media strategies send people away from the platforms and over to their business' website to capitalize and gauge effective advertising strategies. With the influx of mobile traffic, I predict that there will be a huge emphasis on creating a better user experience in mobile compatible websites.”
5. Cat memes. Forever cat memes!
What are you expecting in 2016? Think we missed something on our list, let us know!