Social media, like technology, is everchanging. The industry evolves every day, and it can be difficult for companies to keep up. However, digital marketing is crucial for the ongoing success of businesses.

“Social media has undoubtedly become a critical platform for marketers,” said E.J. McGowan, vice president and managing director of Campaigner. According to a digital marketing forecast survey by Campaigner, 73 percent of digital marketers believe it was a top strategy in 2017.

It’s important to leverage these trends as they’re occurring and to anticipate any new ones. Doing so will prepare your company for competitive marketing strategies and set you apart from other businesses. Here’s what the future of social media marketing looks like.

Video is a growing marketing strategy that fares well on social media. Consumers would much rather watch a short clip than read paragraphs of text, especially while browsing social platforms.

“Video creates a longer lasting engagement and is generally more familiar to advertisers,” said Ian Wishingrad, founder and creative director of BigEyedWish. “They like buying it because it feels like a TV-buying experience – it’s familiar and therefore more brands/advertisers want to be a part of it.”

Video also personalizes user experience, helping you connect with your consumers on a more relevant level, said McGowan.

“In their easily digestible format, videos serve as an excellent way to convey a brand’s message in a creative and interactive way,” McGowan added. “As a result, social networks and other media have made it easier for individuals to consume and broadcast video. As video continues to grow at a prodigious pace, marketers must learn to adopt this disruptive technology or risk falling behind to competition.”

To attract and retain attention, you can implement video on your business’s website, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, but recognize which integrations work well and which do not. Don’t expect as much success with video marketing on LinkedIn as you would on more informal platforms.

A popular way for companies to promote their brands is to get someone else to do it for them. These people are often well-known personalities or even celebrities sponsored to endorse a business’s products or services, often on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media.

While you might think that you’ll find more success with more renowned endorsers, statistics prove otherwise. Companies experience a higher level of sales when they sponsor individuals with a smaller, yet notable, following.

Typically, lesser known influencers attract more relevant consumers than celebrities, whose audiences are primarily attracted by their fame. To this end, Courtney Reum, co-author of “Shortcut Your Startup” (Gallery/Jeter Publishing, 2018) and co-founder of brand development and investment firm M13, advised shifting endorsements to these micro-influencers to personalize the experience for potential customers.

According to McGowan, one trend on the horizon is social media integration, which leverages two or more media or marketing tactics at once.

“While the concept itself isn’t entirely new, the benefits have gradually proved effective, and its implementation has only become even more seamless with new technology,” McGowan said.

The idea is to combine marketing strategies to impact a broader audience. For instance, you can broadcast your Twitter feed on the side bar of your website, or include a video of your brand’s mission on your company’s Facebook page.

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