03 July 14:31

8 Things That Will Impact The Future Of Social Media Marketing

What do social media marketers need to know to remain relevant and effective going forward?
By Mediaplanet Creative Team

The world of social media marketing is transforming quickly. Facebook is constantly tweaking its algorithm, content strategies that used to be effective suddenly stop working, and then there's all the new tech you have to stay on top of, like AI, VR and chatbots.

So what do you need to know about how our field will change over the next few years? We’ve thought long and hard about it and have identified eight things that will impact the future of social media marketing:

1. Content Overload

There’s more content online than ever before, yet the number of people consuming it is stagnant.

So how can content marketers stand out in this increasingly crowded space? It’s more important than ever to build trust with consumers and also turbocharge your content so it both moves people and converts them.

Producing content that’s a cut above the rest takes time and money, but there are some opportunities…

Every time a new content channel is born, an empty new playing field opens. With channels like chatbots and VR still relatively young, brands that arrive first tend to thrive.

2. Regulations

Increasingly, leaders inside and outside the industry are calling for social media giants to be regulated.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said on CNBC that social networks should be regulated like cigarettes: “They're both addictive, they're not good for you.”

As for Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg claimed he was going to “fix it” this year, presumably so the company avoids regulation.

But will it work? Not as long as Facebook continues to mine personal data in order to make profits large enough to satisfy the demands of its board. 

People hate hearing the words regulation and internet together, but it seems inevitable. We already have GDPR, and we will probably see more tech regulation starting in 2019.

3. The Talent Gap

Studies show that marketing managers can’t find enough talent to reach their goals. And yet, there are tons of marketing professionals on the job market. 

So what’s stopping them from being hired? A lack of digital skills.

To survive in the current marketing climate, today’s marketers need to be proficient in digital advertising and data and analytics, as well as have the ability to quickly adjust and adapt to changes.

This is especially important because the next two years will probably bring more change to the world of marketing than the last 20.

4. Conversational Marketing

Chatbots are the ideal channel for marketers to make their content truly conversational. Just think of the possibilities. Imagine a chatbot that can mimic the conversation style of an Oprah or a Jimmy Fallon? Who wouldn’t want to talk to it?

While engagement in other social channels might be in decline, chatbots will be tailored to each individual consumer, making them uniquely captivating and entertaining. And marketers will be able to store customer information from chatbot conversations to better market to their customers.

5. Public To Private

We usually think of public platforms such like Facebook and Twitter as our most powerful social marketing tools. But did you know that in the fourth quarter of 2015, the number of people using private messaging services like Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat surpassed them?

Social media is still growing, but these private networks are growing faster. This is important to content marketers for three reasons:

  • People are losing trust and patience in social networks. They’re tired of being scrutinized, judged and sometimes bullied online.
  • People are sending fewer traditional text messages and emails and are instead communicating the same information on Messenger and WhatsApp… both of which are owned by Facebook. 
  • Facebook can now mine this rich source of consumer information, presenting an incredible opportunity for Facebook to offer more powerful tools to content marketers.

6. Virtual Spaces

In 2017, Facebook showed the world what the convergence of VR and social media will look like with a product called Spaces. There’s a long way to go before virtual meeting spaces like this one go mainstream, but the platform presents exciting opportunities for marketers.

You might have trouble getting consumers to click through to your new product’s landing page or watch a video. But what about giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves with it in a fun VR experience?

This tech has a way to go, but 2019 could be a critical year in its widespread use in marketing.

7. Smart Speakers

More and more consumers are discovering new ideas, content and products on smart speakers. In fact, analysts predict that most searches will soon be done on products like Google Home and Alexa.

Since most of what we do in social media and content marketing is aimed at helping people find products or services, this is vital. When consumers ask Google Home a question, the response isn’t an endless list of research reports, blog posts or videos. Instead, it’s the answer to their question. 

The trick is to be the brand providing the answer.

8. Artificial Intelligence

AI is sure to touch everything we do. But let’s focus on what will affect marketers the most. 

As Futurist Kevin Kelly writes, innovation will come in the form of applying a layer of AI over our everyday tasks. This will make tasks quicker, more accurate, more integrated, and more personal, ushering in the “Age of Assistance.”

Companies will rise or fall based on how cleverly they can apply layers of AI to give their customers experiences that are helpful, exciting and entertaining.

If you're struggling to keep up with these trends and are looking for a fresh approach, feel free to call your friendly Mediaplanet office for a chat today. We’ll help you navigate the changes and create content that delivers on your business objectives.

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