On Jan. 15, Co-Communications presented its inaugural Co-Comm University, an opportunity for current and prospective clients to gather in an intimate roundtable to gain insight on important public relations and marketing strategy.
We kicked off the New Year with: “Social Media Trends to Watch in 2016,” touching on the necessity for being mobile-friendly, the rise of live streaming, sponsored content, and video advertisements, which all play a critical role in every business’s marketing goals.
Here’s a recap:
1) Think “Mobile First”
- In 2015, more Google searches were conducted from mobile devices than from desktops in 10 countries, including the U.S.
- 39 billion of Facebook’s 1.55 billion monthly users access Facebook from mobile devices
- The rise of mobile isn’t just affecting social: ExactTarget found 27% of consumers will leave a website if it is not mobile-optimized
Takeaway: From what you post to where you link, think about how it will look on a mobile device first.
In 2016, making sure your website is responsive and your social content is easy to digest from mobile are mandates. Best practices to ensure your website is social- (and mobile-) friendly include:
- Responsive design for your site (and online forms)
- “Share” widgets on your blog
- Links to your social media pages prominently featured on your homepage
- Social media feeds on your homepage to keep it looking fresh
2) Live Streaming & Your Social Strategy
- Snapchat is the third most popular social app among millennials with more than 6 billion daily video views
- Periscope was named one of the top apps of 2015 with more than 10 million users
- Facebook launched “Live” a video streaming app for celebrities in August 2015, now available to all users at the end of December
Takeaway: Content on Periscope and Snapchat is finite. The challenge from a measurement perspective is, you can’t catalog or evaluate the content even a day later. These events are often unscripted and authentic which can be beneficial, but risky.
3) Sponsored Content
- eMarketer Studies’ 2016 projections:
- Facebook advertising revenues will increase another 31.5%, following a 41.8% increase in 2015
- Instagram advertising revenue will increase 149%, reaching $1.48 billion globally
- Twitter advertising – 45%; LinkedIn advertising – 20.5%
Takeaway: Sponsored content is growing rapidly because:
- A 2015 study by Contently found 40% of readers can’t identify which content is sponsored on online news and content sites
- Ability to target audience by geography, demographics, and interests, which is economical
- Opportunity to grow audiences and get more eyes on your news
- Industry exclusivity on online news/content sites
- Declining organic Facebook reach
- Opportunity to drive audiences to specific locations and generate inbound links for your site
- Ability to measure results
- SEO value
4) Video Just Keeps Growing
- Forrester Research estimates a 1-minute of video has the value of 1.8 million words
- Video ads are projected to be the most popular digital ad format by the end of 2016
- Facebook averages 8 billion video views each day
5 Types of Videos That Can Help Your Digital Marketing
- Q&A with thought leaders
- Behind-the-scenes footage
- Event footage – from galas to conferences
- Company profile
- Man-on-the-street interviews
Takeaway: You want to capture brand voice, be authentic, and give people content they can’t get elsewhere. Know what you can shoot on a smartphone and when to bring in professionals. Cross-promote the content across your social networks, website, blog, and email marketing to maximize your investment.
So, you might be wondering:
Which trends should I embrace?
Ask the following questions:
- Which communication channels are best suited to reach my target audience?
- How much budget can I allocate?
- What metrics will I use to measure success?
- What fits best into my existing marketing strategy?
Where does good content come from?
- Credible third-party content (media, trade associations, research organizations)
- Original content (you’re the source)
- Existing thought leadership assets (blog posts, bylined articles, newsletter content, industry conference presentations, whitepapers, e-books)
- Inbound marketing ties content generation and social media marketing together as the basis of a measurable lead generation program
What else should I keep in mind?
The most effective social media marketing programs are part of integrated marketing strategies. They embrace trends and rely on tried and true best practices to generate measurable results (ROI):
- Being audience-centric
- Consistent messaging
- On-brand visuals
- Providing value
- A consistent frequency
Stay tuned for more tips of the trade. Co-Comm University will be back in session this April with details coming soon.