It’s that time of year again when marketers are asking, “What will be the biggest social media marketing trends of 2019?”
And after a year of unexpected algorithm updates and data breaches, it’s understandable why marketers would be looking for any insights that would prevent them from being blindsided again. So to help you stay ahead of the curve, we’ve put the highlighting the 5 social media marketing trends that we believe will change the way you think of SEO, chatbots and social ecommerce trends of 2019.
New formats, challenges, and ways of engaging make 2019 an exciting time to work in social media. Here’s our roadmap for navigating and thriving in the year ahead.
1. Social Ecommerce
The news feed has become the new storefront for brands with one in four people having purchased a product or service via social media. And according to BI Intelligence, the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016.
So it’s no wonder that both brands and social networks are investing in creating a more seamless shopping experience for social media users. In 2018, Instagram extended its shopping adding a dedicated shopping feed in Search & Explore and shoppable tags to posts and stories. Advertisers on the social network can now tag up to 5 products per post and 1 product per story. Users that click on a tag are able to view a product image, a product description, the price of the product and a link to where the product can be purchased. Snapchat is also investing in the next generation of social commerce, partnering with Amazon to develop a shoppable AR experience.
2. Video Content
Every year, video content continues to grow, and in 2019, video content is expected to once again dominate the market. In fact, according to some experts, 80% of what we consume online will soon be video content. This is especially true for live videos. Having always been popular on YouTube, the trend has now taken over Facebook and Instagram, to the point when we get notified when someone is going live. And while people are consuming more video, only 60% of marketers are using video in their marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Here are some other video stats that demonstrate why video needs to become a priority within your marketing department:
70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
79% of consumers prefer watching video to reading about a product
84% of consumers have bought something after watching a video
The authentic and ephemeral nature of live videos seems to make them especially attractive and meaningful to social media users. Live videos increase the perceived trustworthiness and relevance of a brand, and it’s a trend that you don’t want to ignore. The main reason that videos have become more and more popular is that it’s getting easier to film, even on a rather good production level. But while your audience will be forgiving – it’s understood that live videos are spontaneous and things can go wrong – you definitely should seek to avoid annoying technical problems where possible. From our phones to our laptops, video content has taken over our screens.
3. Micro Influencers
In the past couple of years, social media influencers have become a major trend. We now have Instagram stars, Twitter influencers, YouTube millionaires. These people have millions of followers – their every post, or vlog, or tweet is instantly seen by more people than TV ad makers could ever hope for. It was grand and revolutionary when the power of social media influencers became clear to everyone – and it still is. However, as the number of social media influencers has grown over time, prices for their services have also skyrocketed. That’s lead more businesses to look at other alternatives, including micro-influencer marketing.
As opposed to major influencers, micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche. They have followings of fewer than 10 000 people, but most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. And they’re very engaged – micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche. These smaller names are not massively targeted by advertisers, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth. The marketing potential is very high and marketers are about to recognize this in 2019.
4. Influencer Marketing (YouTubers)
Remember when we mentioned YouTube? YouTubers are the best example of people who market products and businesses to viewers. Any time you see a sponsored video by anyone with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, you’re watching someone who’s considered an influencer. By reaching out to Influencers on YouTube and even other social media like Instagram, you’re getting other people who come off as normal, everyday people to promote your products.
Again, this comes down to offering personalized customer experiences. YouTubers gain fame by putting out content that relates to tons of people. When they talk about a product or service, they’re taking advantage of social engineering to give off the impression that the product or service they’re marketing plays a significant role in their life and that it can play a significant role in ours. They’re people we feel we can trust and that goes a long way in a market where customers are hesitant to trust big companies.
5. User-generated Content
User-generated content is content created by unpaid fans of businesses that businesses can use to promote their products. It can come in the form of photos, videos, or memes. Doing this is an extremely useful way of getting the customers involved with the business strategy, which — as you can probably guess — leads to a better, overall customer experience.
Word-of-mouth referrals still play a significant role in this technology-driven market. People no longer respond to simple marketing tactics anymore. It’s not enough to tell someone they need a product. They want a story behind the product. Like what we just mentioned about YouTubers playing a big role in social media marketing, people also want to see products being used in real life situations. User-generated content personalizes products in ways businesses simply can’t.