Consumers are not simply exposed to new products or services as they enter a store or browse the internet any more. Multiple devices, platforms and social media channels surround them daily, or if I must be 100% correct, hourly; even every minute. We are exposed to a digital world filled with exciting new products, services and digital innovations.
Looking at the trends for 2018, and you’ll see them in a moment, it takes creativity and an analytical approach to execute these trends, but it is totally worth it. There are still a few questions surrounding some trends, but we see it as an opportunity to provide answers and build up our own knowledge. The trends here are tailored to the Nigerian adverting landscape.
#1. Search and e-commerce will go beyond Google to Facebook and Twitter
Take a step back and think about that headline for a second. Imagine “googling” on Facebook and being able to buy products through a messaging app on Facebook? How great is that. What is even more amazing is you can use it to your advantage for your customers/clients. At the moment Facebook is working on a test for their own search engine, which will result in stronger search capabilities within social media. Brands will also get an automatic (visibility) boost with these search capabilities. But what is really tingling our excitement is the Businesses on Messenger launch.
Companies will be able to interact with customers through Facebook’s messenger app. In return consumers will be able to buy online through the app, receive order notifications via instant messaging, tell their friends about their purchases and share what they bought, all without having to go to the e-commerce site they want to buy from.
This is such a great opportunity that should not be put on the back burner.
#2. Snapchat: Advertisements with an expiration date
Snapchat took the social media world by storm. It was embraced by the digitally savvy users and thousands, more like millions of photos, videos and drawings are sent monthly. It was a ‘given’ that brands and businesses would start embracing the app as well. If you have never heard of Snapchat, it is a video/photo messaging app that allows users to take pictures, record videos, add text to images and send them to one of their contacts.
Very few brands have used Snapchat as a marketing medium, but in 2018 you won’t be able to ignore it. The hook is the time limit to content and the expiration date. You can create integrated marketing campaigns that offer exclusive content to the younger generation, which is quite difficult to do. Create teasers for upcoming products/services either with photos or videos that only exist for a few seconds. This creates an exclusivity to your campaigns, which users love.
The key takeaway here is that real-time marketing is becoming more and more popular, and companies need to create platforms which allows users to be a part of the experience, not just experiencing it.
Have a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s #Lastselfie Snapchat Campaign which Raised Awareness about Endangered Species.
#3. Advertise to users through Instagram
Instagram took a need and turned it into a super successful business. The society we live in today thrives on visual stimulation and Instagram just feeds that need to share your life and your experiences with the world. It was only a matter of time when the big heads at corporate would use it to their advantage.
Instagram has recently been offering paid advertising opportunities through selected developer partners such as Ampush, Brand Networks, 4C, Kenshoo, Nanigans, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SocialCode and Unified. For now it is not yet available to everyone, but in 2018 Instagram ads will be available to all advertisers. I suggest your start preparing now. Get those creative juices flowing and start thinking of ways how you can promote whatever you are selling through Instagram. You can either create a carousal ad that allows you to produce multi-page ads or create 30 second video ads.
#4. Identity-Based Pay-Per-Click Marketing, changing the future of advertising
AdWords has given all digital marketers an early Christmas present this year with their reveal of Identity-Based Pay-Per-Click Marketing. You can now target people with specific ads, wait for it, based on their phone number or email. That means that you can direct ads or content, that exactly answers a need or want, to a targeted individual person.
Think of yourself as a magician, a PPC magician. Magically you are presenting consumers with content they are thinking about and answering their needs or wants before they could answer it themselves.
Another really interesting thing I read was the fact that PPC has never really been considered as a method of making content go viral, but it can help the process. PPC ads can get incredibly interesting content in front of a much targeted audience, which can in effect turn into viral content. Look at targeting people with big social profiles, on top of identity. This can really help to get your brand noticed and can greatly increase the chances of your message being picked up by your target market and taken viral.
#5. Capitalise on the merge between healthy living and wearable technology
The rise of digital tools and technology use among consumers is having a major impact on healthy living. Consumers are showing more independence on digital platforms than ever before. People are searching for health related information and making decisions related to their own health. We as digital marketers should take advantage of that.
Integrate this need for being healthy with wearable technology or apps. Give consumers the answers they are looking for. A lot of businesses have started already. Apple have partnered with Nike and have created an app called HealthKit. Users can now set goals and track their progress through a single dashboard. There is even an app called FitBark which allows you to track and monitor your dog’s sleeping patterns and eating routines.
And out of all this effort and creativity there is even more. Data will be generated from these technologies. Data you can use as a secret weapon to retarget consumers or to create even more cool ideas.
#6. Let consumers be the marketers of your brand
If your buddy tells you how awesome this new product is he bought, then you will 95% of the time believe him. You might want to try it yourself, because your friend tried it. Marketers should use that exact phenomenon to their advantage. Enters, User Generated Content.
Brands should use and share their customers’ experiences as content. Let your target audience market your brand for you and use platforms such as Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, Meerkat and Periscope as your marketing channels.
Let’s look at Microsoft’s #MakeItHappen campaign. In December 2014, Microsoft helped 31 people from all over the world complete 31 new year’s resolutions. Users had to enter and then each winner was given a Microsoft Lumia to help them complete their new year’s resolution with the help of its various apps. It was filmed and consumers were shown how their peers are using the phone and how it was helping them. It was a huge success.
#7. Create an omni-channel experience
Now you might wonder what on earth an omni-channel is. If you google it you get various answers. I like the answer from SearhcCIO. They give the following explanation: “Omnichannel (also spelled omni-channel) is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a store.”
Basically, you want to target consumers with the right message at the right time in the right place. Just like digital remarketing online, based on a consumer’s browsing history and related behaviours, you must start digitally remarketing to ‘in store’ customers as well.
Let me give you an example to fully understand the opportunity of an omni-channel.
Disney created an omni-channel experience and gained great insights into the lives of their customers:
- Their experience starts on their mobile responsive website.
- Users book a trip and then use the My Disney Experience tool to help them plan the whole trip from booking hotels, obtaining passes etc.
- Once they arrive at the park, the app helps users locate attractions and waiting times.
- But the experience gets better with their Magic Band which acts as a hotel room key, photo storage device for any pictures, and a food ordering tool.
Disney has new insights into what their customers are doing throughout the whole trip which will help them find out what is working and what they can change about their experience. Now that is any marketers dream to have that much insight into their target audience.