It’s the time of year again when Team Organic HQ decide what digital marketing efforts we think have triumphed in 2017 and which didn’t do as well. We’ll also look at what tech we think will be huge in the digital marketing sphere in 2018.
One of the stars of 2017 for Team Organic’s own social media manager, Donna Costello, was podcasts: “I have absolutely fallen in love with podcasts this year, they are accessible and can be easily listened to at any point in your day so it’s no wonder that they have been such a great marketing tool.
“The podcast ‘Science of Social Media’ has predicted that this social media trend will blow up next year so get on it before the marketplace becomes oversaturated.”
However, something that hasn’t been quite as well received is the increase in Twitter characters from 140 to 280.
Donna said: “I really think that Twitter have just taken away their Unique Selling Point and I don’t think this bodes well for them in the future since it takes away the essence of what makes Twitter so special.
“I hope the 140 characters gets reinstated next year, however I can’t see it happening.”
The piece of digital marketing tech that continues to out-do itself year on year is video, with new platforms added all the time.
Donna said: “Video will definitely become the star of 2018. With LinkedIn launching the ability to include video on your personal profiles (which is proving to be very popular) I expect we’ll be seeing video available on brand profiles in the not too distant future.”
Phil Gemmell, Team Organic’s digital account manager, said: “We say this every year but video marketing is definitely becoming more accessible to all, and as so we’re seeing more high-quality video content being used in marketing campaigns from businesses and organisations of all sizes.”
And this year Phil has also loved live streaming: “I’ve really enjoyed the use of live streaming, on Facebook specifically. The platform has really made itself a viable place for businesses and people to share their stories live.”
Team Organic content writer, Kara Copple, agreed and points out the influence it can give small businesses: “Live streaming videos has taken off, particularly on Facebook this year and has been a great way to try out different types of content and provide an insight into companies.
“It can help businesses stay relevant and more authentic because it’s in real-time.”
And while live streaming is a firm favourite among the team, its younger sister, the Stories feature, has had mixed reviews.
Phil predicts: “I feel the Stories feature on Facebook will eventually be taken out.
“This obvious port from Instagram just isn’t used. However, now Facebook are also using this space to highlight when a friend or page goes ‘live’ I think this area will be more widely used.”
But Instagram seem to have the feature spot on, as content writer Lauren Wise mentions: “Instagram Stories are always good for a catch up and to see what everyone’s up to – including your favourite celebrities.
“After deleting Snapchat last year Instagram Stories don’t seem repetitive, and I don’t need to find everyone’s Snapchat name to see what’s going on, which makes it much easier.”
Small business mobile apps
For small businesses, mobile apps are the way to go if you have the time and budget for them, as Kara notes: “Getting your own mobile app is great if you’ve got the time and money to put into it.
“However, when some businesses go half-way with it and create an app that’s full of bugs or is simply not worth the hassle, it can put people off the brand. Mobile apps are big but that doesn’t mean you have to get one unless there’s a genuine need for it from your customers.”
As we kick off into the New Year, voice recognition is undoubtedly a piece of tech that will be leading the way.
Kara said: “More people are using Google voice search to find things online and this has an impact on how we should optimise websites.”
She added: “We tend to search for things differently when using voice search so when it comes to optimising a website, businesses may need to bear more long-tail and conversational keywords in mind.”
Lauren also said: “Voice recognition tech has really taken off in 2017 and I think 2018 will see it become even more accessible and affordable. Amazon’s Echo set the benchmark and with the Google Home device close behind, it makes sense that even more brands will carry on the trend.”
Unfortunately, something that’s unlikely to be coming with us through to 2018 is the trend of e-books.
Lauren said: “It seems like e-books have dropped off the radar this year, and it looks unlikely that there will be a big resurgence in 2018 – instead the initial novelty has simply worn off and the paperback has triumphed.
“Nothing beats being able to hold an actual book or lending it out to friends.”