Plan Your Social Media Campaigns To Win at Marketing in 2019
We are offering the best tactics and updates you should prepare for if you want to launch a successful social media campaign in 2019.
Access exclusive SMW+ content by marketers whose careers you can emulate with a free 30-day trial!
Social media platforms are constantly updated with new features to appeal to users. The good news for businesses and marketers is that they too can use these changes to improve the way they engage with their social media audience.
During 2018, there were plenty of new features introduced and new trends emerging across all popular platforms. So for the coming year, you will need to plan your social media campaigns based on these changes.
In this post, you’ll discover how to effectively plan your social media campaigns for 2019.
1. Prepare for Increased Ad Spend
One of the biggest social media challenges for marketers is that it’s getting more difficult to reach their audience using organic content.
This is particularly true with Facebook and Twitter, which prioritize relevance and engagement before recency. This means that the algorithms of these two platforms will choose to display posts by users and pages that you engage with the most first, instead of showing the most recent posts.
Instagram also switched to this algorithm for a brief period. Due to increasing user complaints, they switched back to the recency algorithm in March 2018, showing the most recent content first to keep news feeds fresh.
At the same time, you will have a hard time reaching a relevant audience with organic posts if they don’t follow you.
So there’s an increased need to invest in paid ads to reach a wider audience on social media. It’s no surprise that marketers in the Social Spending Report from Social Media Today spent the majority of their social media budgets on advertising. Also, 68% of marketers in the survey were planning to spend even more on advertising in 2019.
These numbers show just how important it is for you to plan ahead for increased ad spend on social media next year. This will ensure that you can improve the way you attract a new and relevant audience, since paid ads allow you to precisely target the most relevant users on social media.
2. Go Live
Although live video has been around for a while, its popularity has grown significantly this year on Facebook and Instagram. And the proof is in the numbers. According to a study by Livestream and New York Magazine, there was an 81% increase in live video viewership between 2015 and 2016.
80% of consumers prefer to watch a brand’s live videos rather than reading their blog; 82% prefer a brand’s live videos over their social media posts. This goes to show that brands and marketers need to gear up and prepare for more live video content on social media during 2019.
Live video presents an excellent opportunity for your audience to interact with you through Q&A and chat sessions. You can invite them to participate in ongoing discussions while they tune in to your live streaming sessions. This is one of the reasons why live streaming is so successful for engaging audiences on social media.
Live video also adds a sense of authenticity that helps brands build trust and boost loyalty with their audiences. 87% of consumers in the survey said that they would watch more video online if it could give them a behind-the-scenes look. So you could plan for more behind-the-scenes live videos or live event videos as a part of your social media strategy.
3. Tell Recurring Stories through IGTV
One of the most significant developments in social media this year was the introduction of IGTV on Instagram. This feature enables users to create long-form video content unlike the usual Instagram videos or Stories. Users can create videos of up to an hour using this feature.
According to TechCrunch, however, a lot of content creators aren’t getting as many views on their IGTV videos as compared to their usual feed videos. These content creators were getting 6.8X as many views on their feed videos as their IGTV posts two months into the launch of the feature. But that doesn’t mean that IGTV is a failure.
With plenty of experiments and strategizing, content creators have learned that episodic videos tend to perform really well on IGTV. Lilly Singh, for instance, has been running a show covering comedy news on IGTV and called it “Spice News.” For the first 10 episodes, she averaged 434,000+ views per episode.
Image Source: Instagram
So for 2019, you could come up with a plan to create more episodic videos through IGTV. You could tell recurring stories or come up with a series that will be relevant to your brand or industry. You could interview industry experts, tell your employees’ stories, or even showcase how different customers are benefiting from your products in a series of videos.
4. Optimize Your Video Strategy
The use of social video has been increasing rapidly among brands. 81% of businesses in a Wyzowl study said that they are using video for marketing. These numbers are impressive considering how only 63% were using it in 2017. And 78% of marketers in the study said that they’re getting a good ROI out of video. In some cases, video ads even manage to outperform image ads in terms of engagements and clicks.
There’s a good chance you’re already using video in your social media and advertising strategies. However, you should plan to optimize your video strategy further to get even better returns in 2019. If you aren’t already using videos, make sure to start in the coming year and use the following optimization tips for success:
1) Optimize for Sound Off
Avoid making videos that only make sense with the sound on. 85% of video views on Facebook are reproduced without sound, so you need to make sure that the videos you create make sense even when there’s no sound. You could add subtitles and text in video. Or you could create video ads with a storyline that clearly conveys your message without the need for sound.
2) Choose the Right Format
A majority of social media users access social platforms through their smartphones. So you need to keep these users in mind when creating your social videos. Choose a format that looks great both on a desktop screen and a phone screen. This means either letterbox or square videos, which have managed to get more views and engagements than landscape videos in an Animoto and Buffer study.
3) Keep It Short
Your feed videos and video ads should not be too long, or you could stand a chance of losing your viewers’ attention. Try to engage them immediately in the first few seconds to ensure that they continue watching. But don’t make it too long if you want to get your message across effectively.
5. Prepare for In-the-Moment Consumption
Ever since the introduction of Stories by Instagram and Facebook, there has been an increasing need for brands to create in-the-moment content for immediate consumption.
One of the main factors that contributed to this trend is the rapid rise in usage among consumers. As of May 2018, there were 150 million daily active users of the Facebook Stories feature. And from 300 million daily active users in November 2017, Instagram Stories now have 400 million daily active users.
Stories give brands the opportunity to engage and interact with their audiences through polls, reactions, and votes. These features allow consumers to get more involved in the content creation process and social media activity of brands. It enables them to lend their voices and directly influence how brands deliver content to them.
There’s also the fact that the content you deliver on Stories tends to be more authentic than pre-packaged content. You’re likely to use this feature to deliver in-the-moment content and showcase what’s happening at that moment. So rather than polishing and editing your content for your audience, you’re delivering something that’s real and authentic to win the trust of your audience.
For 2019, you can use the Stories feature to take your followers behind-the-scenes of your brand. Show them how your team is working to deliver the kind of products and services that they expect. You could also conduct polls and votes to see exactly what your audience likes. Ask them to vote on what topics or content formats they like the most, which influencers they’d like to see an interview of, and more.
The Q&A feature is an excellent option for brands that want to better engage their audience. You could conduct a Q&A session during which you answer some of your followers’ top questions.
Or you could use it in your influencer marketing campaign, where you have an industry influencer answering your followers’ questions. This allows your audience to actively engage with your Stories content and your brand.
Some brands like Lorna Jane, an activewear brand, take it one step further and use their Stories to feature their customers. This way, they can prominently showcase their appreciation for the community and make them feel included. But since these last for only 24 hours, they don’t have to worry even if the images are of low quality or do not fit their aesthetics. And they can still fill up their actual feed with professionally-taken photos.
6. Optimize Your Social Influencer Strategy
As mentioned earlier, social media algorithms are changing in such a way that a brand’s organic content has a harder time getting visibility on users’ news feeds. The content from accounts they interact with regularly gets more priority and visibility. So this has made it even more vital for brands to partner with real people such as influencers to improve their brands’ visibility.
People look up to influencers and regularly engage with their content, which is what helped them earn their influencer status in the first place. The ability to drive authentic engagement and reach a relevant audience has urged many brands to work with influencers even in the past years. In fact, influencer marketing doubled on Instagram during 2017, according to Klear.
At the same time, people are starting to lose trust in some influencers because of the multitude of endorsements they’ve signed up for. If someone is promoting a lot of brands without a bad thing to say about any of them, there’s a good chance they’ll lose the trust of their audience. So it’s crucial that you look for authentic influencers with a niche and relevant influence for 2019.
For increased authenticity and relevant reach, brands are looking to micro-influencers rather than top-tier ones. According to a Launchmetrics study, 45.8% of brands wanted to work with micro-influencers in 2018. And only 9.3% wanted to work with mega-influencers, who had over 500,000 followers.
So you could shift your focus to these authentic micro-influencers for your social influencer strategy in 2019. Micro-influencers also charge less, which is perfect if you want to realign your social media budget and prioritize on other tactics such as ads and videos.
These are some of the best tactics and updates you should prepare for if you want to launch a successful social media campaign in 2019. It’s clear that the biggest change will be to the importance of different types of video content. You will need to realign your budget and focus on ads and video for a bigger impact.
Write for Us
Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.