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Influencers, Facebook, mobile – Oh my!

Influencers, Facebook, mobile – Oh my!

By Kim Bode

Originally published in the January/February 2019 issue of Focus Magazine

As an integrated communications firm, we would be remiss if we didn’t share with you the big things happening in the marketing world that may affect your 2019 strategies. While you may be familiar with several things on our list, there are a few new developments that might come as a surprise.

Read on as we predict the future…

Influencers
The term “influencer” is pretty self-explanatory; this is someone who “influences” other people to do something, like get out their credit card and make a purchase. Influencers have found their way into the lucrative business of advertising and are slowly taking over the world (or at least Instagram).


According to Social Media Today, a whopping 99 percent of influencers are found on Instagram, with the next highest being 70 percent on Facebook.


If you follow any celebs on Instagram (we know you do), then you have likely seen them occasionally post to promote a new credit card, baby product, toothpaste, fitness item and so on; this is indicated by the #ad or #sponsored at the end of the promotion.

Love ’em or hate ’em, influencers are not going anywhere. We have seen a significant increase in influencer marketing in the last year and there is no indication this will end in 2019.

When working with influencers, make sure you have good metrics in place to measure ROI, as the cost to collaborate with influencers will only increase as their follower numbers grow.

Facebook
2019 is the year Facebook finally figures out who it is. It's like your little sister who has tried college, trade school, retail, and now suddenly decides she really wants to be an influencer (seriously, just make up your mind already!).

The social network has had some good ideas over the years—ideas that they seemingly “borrowed” from Instagram (before buying them in 2012 for $1 billion), Snapchat and LinkedIn. Just recently they announced the addition of a new job board. Hmmm...that sounds vaguely familiar.

Some of the other big things coming down the pipeline are augmented reality ads, Facebook Stories ads, playable ads (these give you the chance to try an app before you buy it), and value-based lookalike audiences (Facebook identifies and targets people similar to your customers based on online and offline behaviors).

Our biggest hope for Facebook in 2019 is that they stop having data breaches, which puts us all at risk when it comes to our personal information.

Mobile
Whether you care to admit it or not, you spend a lot of time on your phone—scrolling through social media, reading the news, shopping, using various apps (try Wordscapes—you’ll thank me later) and more. According to eMarketer, in the last year mobile ad spending in the U.S. grew 20 percent to over $70 billion and is set to be an astounding 75 percent of all digital ad spending. This is set to increase in 2019, with video being one of the most useful ad tools. In 2017, mobile video ads reached a 65 percent increase from the same period in 2016, and generated $2.6 billion in revenue.

Big takeaway here? People want to see moving pictures.

Social Media
Social media as a whole is going to become a lot more challenging for companies to manage and it has the ability to majorly affect a brand’s reputation.

Think about it. You head to a local restaurant, the service is terrible, food is cold, hostess is rude and you’re ticked. What is the first thing you do? You pick up your phone, open Twitter and unleash! Then you screenshot and share on Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, Snapchat...you get the drift.

Reputation management will be increasingly difficult as more and more people use their phone to share their “in the moment” reactions online.

As a business, it will be a full-time job to monitor mentions and ensure that your staff is properly trained to respond. A single wrong tweet can negatively impact a company for years.

A few other items that didn’t make our list, but that should definitely be on your radar for 2019, are webinars, webcasts, voice search, chatbots and artificial intelligence, just to name a few.

It’s a lot, we know! Welcome to the digital age where everything changes with lightning speed.

Kim Bode is the Principal of 8THIRTYFOUR, an award-winning Communication Strategy, Event Planning, Social Media, Media Relations and Design firm located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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