It is no secret that the performance of Social Media has accelerated to bigger and better trends once again. Connecting a business directly to the consumer is easier than ever now, through multiple platforms, the accessibility of scrolling through a feed and the ability to absorb information on the go. During the past few years, the huge visual impact of Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter (etc, etc.), has had to evolve in the way each site continues to engage consumers due to competition and continuing active consumer interactivity. Everyone expects new as the ‘norm’, new apps, new tricks, new gadgets. Expect 2017 to be no different.
The gravity to which the consumer expects to see and experience the advancing of online and tech is very much present. Here are some emerging trends that are sure to come on leaps and bounds over the next coming months.
Kicking it on Virtual Reality
Remember back in the day when VR (Virtual Reality) was just an idea that people thought was pretty cool? Then suddenly in 2016 anyone who was anyone would be strolling down the street on Pokémon Go, trying to catch the very best of them all – augmented reality (AR) had arrived in style. Now it is possible to pop down to a shop and buy a cheap headset (you know those cardboard ones that were used as a stocking filler?). Numerous companies launched VR gaming and simulation apps, which have all made an appearance on the top charts for downloadable apps and it is without a doubt we will be seeing more of these, better and improved.
The reality of VR and AR, is that it is incredibly engaging, more so than the current videos and images that dominate streaming social media currently. User engagement has increased immensely from this unique experience that this medium gives to the consumer, and this medium is being rightly noted and recognised by businesses and brands. “30% of Consumer-Facing Companies in the Forbes Global 2000 will experiment with AR and VR as part of their marketing efforts in 2017.”
Currently, the public is awaiting the transition of VR and AR into normal day-to-day life. There are a selection of games, simulations and media content which are widely available (just have a scroll through your app store), yet it is the progression of content creation and development that is the essential next stage.
Once the technology and content generation is more established, the potential of brands and businesses using VR and AR in marketing campaigns will be huge. A virtual shopping experience, a virtual holiday experience or virtual hot-air balloon ride experience – just think of how many avenues can be accessed.
There still might be someway to go for processing and implementing perfected VR and AR ideas, as well as the potential to launch these into usable social media platforms (can you imagine the day we could scroll through a feed which uses VR? Incredible). There is no doubt that some brands will try and test this technology out over the next year, what an exciting time for the VR and AR arrival on the marketing scene.
On Point Live Video Streaming
The concept of live video streaming is now pretty much covering all bases on social media. Facebook (to name just one) consistently advertise their live video streaming feed, of which anyone now has the opportunity to post a “broadcast”. People can be anywhere in the world, doing anything and it is delivered with a ‘right here, right now’ mentality. As the competition continues to rise for all social sites and to keep people online and interactive, the expansion to live video streaming was clearly a logical one, “By 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic.”
Marketing content can be broadcast in a number of ways. Brands may find a moment where they can live video stream events, choosing singular or multiple social platforms to post on. A business may decide that a live video stream Q&A on a specific platform will target their most relevant audience. Or a company could decide to launch a series of live streaming videos, possibly a weekly content marketing strategy, which has the potential to engage consumers on a weekly basis, increase followers/subscribers, as well as develop brand and consumer relationship.
The chance to deliver progressive and engaging content, as well as targeting the ever-expanding influencer marketing realm, is widely accessible – watch this space in the coming year to witness which brands do what.
The Life of Temporary Content
The success of disappearing content has overwhelmed us over the last couple of years. How do we know it is successful? Everyone who uses Snapchat will full well know the capabilities of this platform, you use it, your friend uses it, your dog probably uses it. A post comes and goes within 24 hours (if you really want to save that picture of you eating the world’s tastiest sandwich, it’s possible). Even if you don’t use it, the fact that another social media platform (Instagram) then followed suit and launched a similar picture/video feature, which disappears too, says it all.
It’s not to say that photographs posted on social media sites must all be ephemeral, there would be no Instagram if it wasn’t for the want/need/desire to share photos on social media. It just so happens that temporary visuals are a brilliant way to reveal your business and brand in a ‘different light’. Using Snapchat and Instagram to expose your brand through a personality, can deliver authentic content to users, which is both engaging and personable. So how can you do this from a marketing angle? Perhaps through: the reveal of a new product, a competition or promotion, brand news announcements, live event streaming, interviews, how-to videos, behind the scenes e.g. office life, photo shoots, out in the public eye - the list goes on.
Whilst some may think the platform is somewhat ‘amateur’ in its non-rehearsed and real-time content, it is actually considered raw and honest. The material that can be posted in this temporary style, gives the opportunity for brands to be real and more than ever, people in 2017 are more open-minded and keen to connect through the social media platforms in this approach of real people appearing on their screen (ironic right?). “Overall, Snapchat continues to present a huge untapped opportunity for marketers with only 5% of global marketers reporting that their brands are using the platform.”
Influencer marketing is a fast growing trend that goes hand-in-hand with the temporary trend. Businesses can use an icon or celebrity to aid the promotion of a campaign or product to be part of a brand strategy on a platform such as Snapchat or Instagram, which would certainly mirror the tactical exercise of influential marketing. Just wait and see what is to come over 2017 for marketing campaigns in such a fast-progressing visual era.
In 2017, there are countless opportunities for brands to make their mark via social media. Although there is plenty of development to be continued, it is imperative to keep updated with what is happening now and set yourself up to understand what is fast-approaching, including the potential for future marketing campaigns.