Marketing is everything, everything is marketing.
After spending the last 72 hours with the top leaders in the marketing industry at Social Media Marketing World (SMMW), I believe this statement to be more true than ever before.
Marketing shapes the way we think, feel, and buy in today’s world. We are influenced by the people we follow on Instagram and what our friends are sharing on Facebook. Social buying approval is at an all-time high. Businesses are flourishing and failing on social media every day.
What can you as a business owner/marketing ninja do better? What can you as a consumer do to make better purchasing decisions from companies that actually care about you?
I’m about to drop some massive value bombs on you.
Here are 5 marketing trends that are impacting the way we buy and promote:
- Attention – Live Video Recording In Session – Everything is going live people! Blab, Periscope, and now Facebook Live are changing the way we consume content and information from brands. Businesses with Facebook Business Pages are now given the chance to live stream video at any moment to show the behind the scenes view of their business. This means we will get to see the raw, uncut versions of celebrities, brands, and influencers.
Fun fact: Facebook’s algorithm (at this moment in time) is actually giving preference to Live Streaming videos over anything else. Meaning if you’re live streaming, Facebook is going to not only notify the people that follow you that you’re live streaming, but also put you on the top of everyone’s newsfeed that follows you. Mari Smith (the Queen of Facebook) suggested a live video stream needs to be at least 5 minutes long, but preferably 20 minutes of added value for peak engagement.
Don’t you want to know the personalities and thoughts behind the perfect pictures on Instagram? Live video shows you that. It’s no longer about perfection. People really just want to connect and see someone being real. It’s an amazing way to stand out in a noisy online world and it also builds a strong sense of loyalty between you and your fans. I’m hopping on this train quick and I suggest you do too.
- Don’t be afraid of this Ghost – Snapchat is arguably one of the most intimate social media platforms there is. Want to share a clip of your 15 minute commute to the office with your followers? You’ve got 10 seconds. Want to show your corky personality? You’ve got crazy face filters for that. Want to show your daily journey with your follows to boost engagement on your blog and get them through the doors of your store? I suggest Snapchat.
What I love most about this platform is that you can send Snaps directly to your followers or add it to your Story to be viewed by all of your followers. I use Snapchat like a picture and video diary of my day that disappears after 24 hours. Snapchat is now being used by massive brands like the NBA, Audi, McDonalds and of course celebrities too. But it’s also used by the every day person like me. If you’ve been following me on Snap (alexisannteich) for a while, you may have noticed I’m snapping more, talking to the camera more, and adding more value.
Here’s why: people want to be entertained. But in the process, they want to know YOU more. They want to know if they can trust YOU or not. Snapchat gives your audience a behind the scenes look at your life without having to commit to watching a full 20 minutes Facebook Live video. This platform is widely popular for the 13-34 year old demographic. If you are trying to reach this demo, use this platform. And don’t just post a bunch of selfies either. Add value and show them who you are in the process.
- Stop – pose it right there (click click) – This next marketing trend was no shock to me. Would you like to know the secret to booking more clients, selling more products, and getting the attention of media? High-end photography. This one came from my personal idol, Lewis Howes, host of The School of Greatness podcast. In his breakout session, he shared that the key to him gaining so much attention from the media was in fact the overall high-end look of his brand.
If you are posting blurry, dim lit, low quality images of yourself or your products, you can’t expect high engagement. I’m going to use this opportunity to tell you that photo collages aren’t a good idea either, they never have been and they look cheesy. Where do you want me to look? What are you trying to get me to buy?
Think before you post. Ask yourself if your images match a particular theme or aesthetic. The answer should always be yes. When you elevate your photography, you automatically elevate your brand, therefore elevating your image and the probability of collaborations and purchases.
- In Marketing We Trust… Or not – This particular trend was mentioned the most at almost every session I attended. Marketing is going “human”. What I mean by that, is brands are catching on to the fact that the average human just wants to feel just that, human. Millennials in particular have such mistrust against big box brands because they are seen as disconnected from reality and too “flashy”. So marketing campaigns are shifting more towards “real life” scenarios and you’ll see brands sharing more behind the scenes content.
Above all, we all just want to trust that the people we are giving our hard earned money to, care about us and see us as more than just dollars signs. Yes – that last sentence might’ve seemed a bit naïve, but it’s true. We want to trust brands. We want to feel valued.
Trust is the currency. Using features like live video and being more authentic with your Instagram captions builds this trust. You need to be authentic to be seen by the consumer with a trustworthy lens. Building more awareness around who you are and what you stand for is a good place to start. Awareness leads to trust and trust leads to loyalty.
Loyalty trumps everything.
- *Screenshots* picture of cute outfit on Instagram and sends to friend – Social buying is here and it’s here to stay. Brands saw this and implemented “Collaboration Takeover” (this is my own term). This is when a brand partners with a social influencer and sends them free product to feature on their Instagram or Blog. This creates a ripple effect of the Influencers followers 1) becoming aware of said brand and 2) purchasing said product because they love that Influencer. There are several different ways collaborations can go, I just happened to share this one scenario.
As a blogger, I do this. I’m in the middle of a few really exciting collaborations right now. Collaborations are incredible. They are good for the Influencer and they are good for the brands. As a business, if you aren’t working with any social media Influencers, I highly suggest you start. This will increase brand awareness and potentially even increase sales if you pick the right Influencer with high enough social engagement.
Social media, and marketing in general, can be very overwhelming at times. There are so many platforms and technology is changing quicker than ever before. Here’s the key in actuality: Platforms change slowly. Strategies change quickly.
You must be quick to change your marketing strategy at any moment as a result of rapid market changes. Don’t be an expert on executing one core strategy, become an expert at shifting lanes quickly.
Each of these trends may not be for you. And that’s okay. But you do need to be aware of these trends and how they are affecting the buying market.
Find a social strategy that works for you. Overcome the intimidation of live video and show your followers who you are – in real life.
Jump into the beautiful social sea of authenticity. Be real. Show your humanity. You’ll be surprised at the impact you have and the positive digital footprints you’ll leave behind.