One of the many challenges — and opportunities too — of working in digital communications and the social media space is keeping up with trends. While the fundamentals of best storytelling practices don’t change, the distribution platforms we increasingly rely on do. Not only do they change, but they change quickly.
How do you keep up with the changes?
As a communications and capacity-building agency, we know that not only is it important to be on these platforms — it’s also critical to stay up-to-date with the latest data and with industry reports.
Social Media Examiner — an excellent resource for keeping up with the latest in digital media news — has released its 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. The report surveyed more than 5,000 digital marketers on how they are currently using social media to meet their goals, and how their plans may change in the future.
Since we spend a lot of time playing in the digital sandbox here at Moonsail North, we’re not surprised to see our strategies and tactics line up pretty well with the report’s findings. You can view the entire report here, but here are three key issues we wanted to highlight:
Snapchat is growing fast: We love experimenting with Snapchat at Moonsail North (and we’d love for you to add us!). While only 5 percent of marketers are currently using Snapchat, 16 percent plan on upping their Snapchat game, and 28 percent want to learn more about the platform. That’s not a surprise to us — our blog on Snapchat’s face-swapping filter has been our most read post so far in 2016.
Facebook ads continue to dominate: If Snapchat is the cool new kid on the block, Facebook — particularly its robust ads platform — is the steady old warhorse that continues to get results (even if your niece or nephew likes to tell you that Facebook is for old people). Eighty-six percent of marketers use Facebook ads, while 76 percent of marketers want to learn more about them. We’re happy to help there—we’re big fans of Facebook ads, particularly for driving traffic and increasing brand awareness.
Video has become essential: Years ago, video was a luxury that only the biggest brands could afford. Today, 60 percent of marketers use video as a tactic, and 73 percent plan on increasing their use. This is a message that we strive to hammer home to our clients — we live in a visual world, and video is vital for telling effective stories. We’ve been doing a fair amount of strategy and training sessions lately and smart video is a big part of what we’re recommending. Note the emphasis on smart, though — no one is going to watch a 5-minute talking head snooze-fest. For social, we suggest keeping videos short — under 45 seconds if possible. And remember, social video usually auto-plays, so if it’s not interesting in the first few seconds, you’re going to lose audience immediately.
Interested in learning more about our social media marketing philosophies? Check out the Moonsail North blog – we’ve addressed how to improve your social media photos, cutting edge mobile advertising platforms, the amazing resource that is Google Ad Grants, and much, much more.