As we are wrapping up 2018 and preparing for the new year, now is a great time to begin (or if you’re ahead of the game, finalize!) plans for next year. For marketing teams, this might start with a whiteboard and a list of possible themes to focus on in 2019. Over the course of 2018, we’ve seen certain aspects of marketing, such as video and customer engagement, become much more prevalent. At the same time other more traditional marketing tactics like email blasts to entire prospect bases are fading out. As your marketing team plans for 2019, how do you plan to stay on the cutting edge? With marketing technology growing and innovative tactics expanding, it’s more important than ever that you use the budget you do have in the most efficient and effective way possible.
As you begin to align your budget with your marketing efforts, here are a few areas to focus your spend in 2019.
Invest in Social
Social media is no longer a nice-to-have for marketing teams, it is a necessary promotional and engagement tool. Whether you have a full-time social media manager or tackle social media as a part of a larger effort, the old ways of doing social – posting the same link to every network with the same caption – won’t work in 2019. As social networks innovate, businesses need to innovate their use of these networks.
With every user and every business hopping on social, it’s not enough to have a social media presence – you have to be strategic about how you use that presence. To help you do that, let’s look to the numbers. One of the biggest trends on social media in 2018 set to grow exponentially in 2019 is the use of visuals, particularly video. On LinkedIn alone, 98% of posts with images are more likely to receive more comments. Twitter is no different. Tweets with images receive, on average, 18% higher engagement. Make sure that every link you share includes some sort of visual. Even better are visuals of your actual product, service or people. When users are looking at images all day, they develop a trained eye for identifying a ‘real’ image from a fake-looking stock photo.
According to one social media expert, 80% of the content we consume on social media in 2019 will be video. 80%! Whether you’re sharing short demo videos of your product or posting an Instagram Story of your company holiday party, engaging with followers through streaming and recording is critical. Video represents a unique opportunity to provide followers and prospects with an insider look into your business. Ideas for where to start: Try posting an office tour or post an employee spotlight series highlighting staff from various teams. The key is personalization and authenticity.
Invest in Mobile
Here’s another thing that won’t surprise you: people use their mobile phones. A lot. You might be reading this blog on your phone right now (if so, hi). Despite the fact that, as of February 2017, mobile devices accounted for almost 50% of web traffic worldwide, many marketing teams are still designing content and assets for the desktop user.
By publishing content that needs to be downloaded and saved to sharing assets that don’t properly fit to mobile screens, you are substantially limiting your marketing reach. To snowball on the effects of social media on marketing, 80% of those social media interactions are happening on a mobile device. The rise in mobile devices and social media requires an inherent shift in the types of assets we are promoting on social media. They should be clickable, engaging, sharable and easily referenceable later.
Creating content that works for mobile means the death of the leave-behind pamphlet. From case studies to solution briefs, marketing teams should design content for screens rather than print. Even more engaging, however, are those assets that go far outside the bounds of the PDF download. Tools like videos, assessments, infographics and timelines keep mobile users engaged, show innovation, and offer easy sharing and referencability.
Invest in Protection
Ultimately, expanding your use of social media in digital marketing creates risks for your business and brand. The increased use of social media to make informed buying decisions means your brand reputation is reliant on your social media presence. A hacked account or slanderous comment could mean a substantial loss in business and customer loyalty.
In 2019, staying safe on social is critical. With the increase in fake news, fake profiles and fake reviews, you need to ensure that the only people engaging with your followers, prospects and customers is your brand and marketing team.
As you expand your use of social media and mobile tools, it is more important than ever to invest in social media security and digital risk protection to secure that investment. Each post promoting your product represents a great opportunity and a great risk to your business. We help you with the risk so you can focus on the opportunity. ZeroFox’s Brand Protection solution for Marketing teams protects your corporate social media accounts from account hacking, offensive content, brand impersonators and more. We find the bad stuff on social media before it affects your brand or business, so you can spend 2019 engaging with followers and growing leads.
2019 represents a huge opportunity for marketing teams globally. With new innovative ways of sharing content and engaging followers, it’s important to stay on the cutting edge of new trends in the digital world. Make sure you are balancing your engagement investments with protection investments to safeguard your brand reputation and share safely on social.