5 trends in the world of PR & marketing that will define 2018
The world of PR and marketing rotates on an exponentially spinning axis. Things are moving faster and faster, and everyone wants to be the first to adopt the newest trends . Every year, a handful of new terms get tossed around until they become common language around the office.
For me, it’s exciting to witness. But it’s chaos nonetheless. So, if you find yourself in this whirlwind that is PR and marketing, I put together a list of the things you should be aware of for the new year.
When Kyle, the new intern, starts spewing buzzwords, you’ll know what the hell he’s talking about.
Let’s take a look:
1. Customer service bots & AI
With increasing customer demands matched with fast-evolving technologies, humans simply can’t keep up…
and why should we?
The term “customer service bot” or “chatbot” may not insight the imagery of thoughtful, engaging customer relationship. You’re not wrong to think that, but AI already replaces a good portion of the interactions we once relied on humans for. Just think of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
While a core value of PR is its personable approach, there are many areas that AI can fit in without destroying authenticity. This will continue to become a noticeable trend moving into 2018, and the conversations with these bots are only going to get better.
2. Live streaming and interactive broadcasting
It feels like livestreaming has been an emerging trend for years now. The problem seems to be that few have really mastered it. Sure, gamers on Twitch have been mastered the art of livestreaming, but the rest of us may find these waters intimidating to test.
Like all trends, you can either act on them or miss the boat. In 2016, the livestreaming industry was already worth more than $30 billion, and it’s projected to double in growth by 2021. It’s outpacing the growth of other forms of video as well.
Livestreaming is going to continue to evolve over time, and it’s likely to pair up with virtual reality. It doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon, so if you haven’t got your hands dirty playing around with live video streaming, 2018 is the time to do it! It gives you an outlet to be true; unscripted, un-edited, and unapologetically authentic.
3. Evolution of influencer marketing
Some say 2017 was the year of micro-influencer marketing. These are the influencers that typically have 5-100k followers on their social channels. Tons of companies, brands and organizations leveraged micro-influencers’ tight-knit followings to achieve strategic goals. They’re loved because they don’t cost much and the return on your investment is outstanding.
Want to learn more about pairing up with micro influencers? Check out our blog:
How this will evolve in 2018:
-Moving into the new year, we’re likely to see all levels of influencers being incorporated into campaigns collaboratively. Micro, macro, and mega-influencers together, working to achieve one goal.
-Rather than only working on one campaign, influencers will be working alongside brands as a mutually beneficial and continual partnership.
4. The lines between SEO and PR are blurring
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and PR are becoming complimentary fields. PR is about managing relationships, stories and brands, while SEO focuses on making this information as visible as possible online. It only seems natural to pair the two for the most optimal return on your efforts.
This trend will only accelerate as search engines become ever more intelligent. Google continuously updates their algorithm which decides which content is displayed first in searches. It’s becoming harder and harder for any regular Joe to have someone stumble across their website.
This year, get familiar with a few practices that will improve your visibility online. If you’re new to this sort of thing, an easy way to get started is to use a service like Moz.
Moz allows you to run full reports on your website, and gives suggestions as to what you can do to improve where you rank.
5. Pay to play for days
More than a few are frustrated with Facebook’s move towards a “pay to play” system for publishers. If you survived off organic reach on social media, those days are coming to an end. You may have noticed lately that your posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram have bolded call to actions encouraging you to “boost the post”. Likewise, you may have noticed that when you don’t, your reach really falters.
Well, this isn’t changing. For those who aren’t willing to pony up the cash, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised that your posts aren’t getting any love. Organic reach is becoming an unfathomable unicorn in the world of PR and marketing and it’s time to accept this reality. Either that, or hack your way around it.
In 2018, we recommend you set aside a little extra in your marketing budget for these expenses.
But Gabe...I don’t like change
Change is inevitable, especially in this industry. If you’ve read this far and you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. We take away the stress of keeping up with the trends.
Take a quick look at some of our package deals designed to fit your individual needs.