There’s probably no holiday more cliché than New Years. Year after year, you break out the champagne, don a paper top hat, sing “Auld Lang Syne” and make empty resolutions. We’re not saying these traditions are passé. In fact, Electrum compiled annual lists of brand resolutions to keep your brand competitive in 2016 and 2017 that are still relevant today.

Therefore, for 2018, we are compiling a list of marketing trends brands should be aware of in the new year.

Social’s Continued Growth

It’s no secret that social media isn’t going away.  However, you may be surprised by how ubiquitous it truly is.

  • According to GlobalWebIndex’s study of 50,000 internet users aged 16-64, 98% are using social networks each month and 78% of them do so on a mobile device.
  • 41% of global internet users say they use social to research new brands or products. And, among 16-24 year olds, social has overtaken search engines as a brand discovery and research channel.
  • According to comScore, daily time spent on social has increased every year across all markets and all major demographics. Today, one in every three minutes online is spent on social networks or messaging apps.
  • Zenith Advertising Expenditures Forecasts reports that 20% of all global advertising spend goes to Google and Facebook—nearly double the figure of five years ago.

Getting Strategic About Social

BuzzSumo analyzed 880 million posts in 2016 and 2017 and found that due to increased content competition, average engagements on Facebook content are falling. In response, brands are learning that what was once a free playground is now an exclusive club where you must “pay to play.” Although that term may reek of political corruption, sponsored content is, in fact, a cost-effective tool for brands to reach a targeted audience not already following its content.  And, like all digital advertising, it can be highly targeted, easily evaluated, quickly tweaked to improve performance and is more cost-effective than traditional media.

Rise of Video

With our ever-shrinking attention spans, video continues to perform well on social because it’s engaging.

  • BuzzSumo reported that the average video post in April 2017 reached 12.05% of the total page audience, just ahead of photos at 11.63%, links at 7.81%, and status updates at only 4.56%.
  • According to L2, video made up 21% of brand posts in Q1 2017.
  • In 2017, social video advertising spending leapt 130% year-over-year.
  • According to HubSpot, a Facebook executive predicted that the platform will be all video in less than five years.
  • The world’s second largest search engine is YouTube.

With that said, video content is not automatically engaging.  Your content must be brief, authentic, entertaining, and add value to the viewer.  Great examples of video content are product demos, expert interviews, and those that offer insight into your corporate culture.

Employees as Advocates

In 2017, consumer trust in mainstream institutions sunk to historical lows. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 50 percent of global respondents say a company’s social media page is more believable than advertising and individuals are more believable than institutions.

Therefore, your employees have the potential to be your single most valuable touchpoint because they are trusted by their peers. They can provide massive reach and engagement for your brand. Data shows that on average, employees have 10 times the reach of their employer’s LinkedIn company page. And it’s not just about sheer volume of impressions either. Those impressions also generate better engagement.

So now that you know what’s coming, it’s time to take action. Electrum Branding can assist you in preparing a social media strategy, an employee-driven promotion and video content to make 2018 a success.