1. Live StoriesIf we're being honest, as a user, I never really saw the appeal of live stories. But when you think about how curated most social media posts are, this format gives us a new way to be our authentic selves to a select audience without worrying about the permanence of traditional social publishing.
While Snapchat pioneered live stories, Facebook has successfully applied the concept to Instagram. Since then, the photo-sharing platform has grown into an even bigger marketing powerhouse with over 200 million active users since April.
In response, Snapchat introduced SnapMaps to let you check out stories from across the globe, while Instagram has made their own version of Stories more marketing friendly.
2. Live VideoAs with live stories, live video offers the ability for users to share an experience moment-by-moment with a large audience. This is the perfect tool for brands to interact with their community, and invite them to comment and participate in real time.
3. Mobile VideoWith more and more people engaging in social media while on the go, it isn't surprising since 2015 mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views. Can you remember the last time you checked out Facebook or Instagram feed? Chances are that 95% of it is video content.
Videos are more likely to go viral than any other form of media, making 2017 officially the age of mobile video. It's time we embraced it.
4. Mobile First StrategyIt doesn't just end at mobile video. When you consider the internet traffic is now being driven more from mobile devices than desktops, it's easy to see why marketers are saying that the future is mobile.
It's so much more than just optimizing content for mobile. With users' lifestyles being so on-the-go, marketers also have to ensure content gets integrated so that it doesn't feel like ads are being pushed on them. Everything, from content and ads to online experience should be conceived particularly for mobile users.
5. Interactive Content
If a picture says a thousand words and a video speaks to millions, what is the power of interactive content? Content you can interact with is beginning to gain more and more popularity, especially with Gen Z.
As a millennial, even I admit to taking more than my fair share of Buzzfeed quizzes. Think about how this particular type of content gets readers actively participating instead of passively consuming. Interactive content can include things like quizzes (such as the classic Cosmo Quiz setup), polls, surveys, infographics, brackets and contests.
6. Native AdvertisingIt might be hard to believe, but sometimes consumers get tired of consuming, and many are getting wise to the tricks of advertisers. The line is pretty thin; it’s becoming harder and harder to retain their attention and earn their trust.
Native advertising seems to be much more effective. It’s all about integrating advertising into content that already provides value to readers and viewers. Content writers are finding more ways to weave products and offerings into a larger narrative, instead of just bombarding their audience with ads.
7. Micro-Influencer MarketingLast but not least there’s Influencer marketing. And while not exactly a new trend, it is on the rise, which makes sense. Don’t people tend to trust recommendations from people they respect? The right influencers can establish credibility through each social media post or advertisement.
Then comes micro-influencers with around 100K followers or less. Whereas celebrity influencers charge anywhere from $3000 to $100,000 for a post or campaign, micro-influencers generally cost much less. With more engaged audiences than bigger influencers, investing marketing funds into micro-influencers can give you more bang for your buck. Some only ask for a few hundred dollars or even just a freebie of your product.
So there you have it, these are seven of the season’s must-have trends that you need to follow now. Just remember, trends come and go so you need to stay up to date unless you want to be left behind.
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.