Let ‘em go.
Hard to believe that just a decade ago, many people still read actual newspapers with their morning coffee instead of browsing apps on smartphones from the moment their eyes open. A lot has changed, and even year by year the pace of progress is lightning fast. What we took for granted as good online marketing practice in 2017 might need some reassessment, stat.
Take a look at this list and see which tactics you may need to let go of in the new year in order to keep current with fresh trends, and above all, keep your customers happy. Let’s get ready to rock 2018!
Old trend: Lots of pixel-heavy images
New trend: Bandwidth-friendly visuals
Of course, visuals are important in conveying your message. But according to Google, 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, so you need to be really intentional about every component of your page. With mobile being the go-to platform, pixel-heavy images are set to be replaced by the vector-based and scalable SVG format, and we’ll be seeing an increase in the use of bold colors and striking typography that add interest but not bulk. Super-short bite-sized video and snarky little gifs that get the point across succinctly are ever more popular ways to pepper written content. Overall, simple and functional yet powerful is likely to be 2018’s style.
Old trend: Picture-perfect images
New trend: Authentic-looking images
Recent years have already taught us the importance of authenticity in marketing. People want REAL, not perfect because it’s relatable and trustworthy. Those generic smiling families rolling in the grass without a spot of dirt on them? Snooze unless you include fun and engaging content to go along with it. Choose interesting images with character instead. Stay away from generic-looking photos and videos and enjoy the diversity that companies like Promo can offer, even with stock. When possible, try getting your customers to post their own unique content as well. User-generated images are as authentic (and effective) as marketing gets.
Old trend: Static content
New trend: Dynamic content
Audience engagement has always been key, but now it is taking on new meaning. Customers don’t want to be talked at; they want to be a part of the conversation. From virtual reality to live streaming, marketers are making content immersive, and audiences are showing their love: a recent survey showed that 80% of users would rather watch a video than read a blog post, and Facebook users will comment 10 times more during a video while it is broadcast live. Giving your customers every chance to interact with you anytime you can make good marketing sense going forward.
Old trend: Evergreen content
New trend: Ephemeral content
Once upon a time, companies would invest in producing one piece of advertising that could drive continued engagement for months on end. That has definitely changed now, especially with social media flooding us with constantly updated feeds. Content is valued more when users know it won’t be around forever — the rise of Snapchat has proven this, and Instagram and Facebook quickly followed suit with their own temporary story-type features. Evergreen content is being replaced by ephemeral content, and that means slick budget-eating overproduced campaigns are being eschewed for less-polished productions that focus on instant gratification. This happens to dovetail nicely with the authenticity trend as well.
Old trend: Horizontal video
New trend: Square video
Traditionally, video is filmed horizontally, and indeed YouTube is geared towards the landscape format. Snapchat recently pioneered the vertical video, which made perfect sense for the app’s mobile platform. But as it turns out, square is the user favorite for video on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — view rates for square videos are 28% higher than horizontal video overall, and 54% higher during the first 10 seconds. Viewers are also 67% more likely to watch a full-length square video than a horizontal one. Square videos maximize mobile screen real estate, so there’s still plenty of room in the frame for text or other graphics.
A marketing strategy that includes taking advantage of the newest technology while creating engaging, dynamic and user-centric content is a sure winner for the coming year. Here’s to making your business stand out in 2018!