Irrespective the changes in the industry, the most important agenda for marketers continues to be around engaging audiences. Several channels assist in this. Social media, especially given the role it plays in progressing ecommerce, is one example. Another is creating the right kind of content.
Moses Velasco, Head of Product Innovation at Socialbakers reiterates this as he looks at some trends that will continue their role in transforming the market in 2018. He urged that videos will play a vital role in the industry, and there will be a big shift in people moving towards videos.
In the pursuit to relevantly connect with audiences, producing relevant content is critical. “Marketers need to spend more time looking at what their audience is like and what their interests are. By doing that, they produce less but better quality content, which will generate higher results and bring in efficiencies,” commented Mr Velasco.
To be more efficient in this approach, he emphasized that marketers must understand the audience and then make content specific to that type of persona.
Mr Velasco is also bullish on the increased role that social media plays. He pointed out that with the exponential rise in the usage of social platforms and evolving ecommerce, there is impact on several levels, including local businesses.
“Social media is a form of review and people are more informed about their purchases today than ever before. They seek these reviews. That is why social media influence is significant; it essentially is an extension of a product or a service review,” he explained.
As people tend to believe in the authenticity of other people, ecommerce on social media will drive people to purchase more online. This will lead to a tangible effect on the return on investment (ROI).
Mr Velasco looks at ROI in two separate buckets, each of which playing a part in marketers quantifying the returns driven by social. He said, “I like to break it down into two objectives. First are the soft objectives such as building brand awareness or letting the world know about your culture and why you do what you do. This is the educational approach in helping the market to know more about the brand and building community.”
He dubs the second as hard objectives, defined by the kind of action that marketers want audiences to take. “You create content that drives them to do something like click on a link, go to a website, go to microsite, download a whitepaper or share information. Hard objective emanates from the paid program, and is more measurable. Because it is connected to money, you are more able to communicate the results of the paid activity and that’s where a lot of responsibility lies on the marketers,” he said.
Three data points help in building social media performance. These include the historical performance, the competitor’s performance, and the performance of the industry. With these data points, a marketer can effectively prescribe a goal for his or her company and measure their own social performance. Mr Velasco also advocated the use of analytical software for measuring performance, “You need to know where you are, and where you want to go and you need analytics tool that can look at all data points to help you along that journey.”
Another prediction that Mr Velasco makes is around the role that Instagram and Facebook will play in driving digital advertising.