Future of Social Marketing
Social marketing is marketing designed to create social change, not to directly benefit a brand. Using traditional marketing techniques raises awareness of a given problem or cause and aims to convince an audience to change their behaviors.
Social marketing was "born" as a discipline in the 1970s when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to "sell" ideas, attitudes, and behaviors. Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as "differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society."
This technique has been used extensively in international health programs, especially for contraceptives and oral rehydration therapy (ORT), and is being used with more frequency in the United States for such diverse topics as drug abuse, heart disease, and organ donation.
Ephemeral Content Will Keep Gaining Popularity
Ephemeral content is something that is available only for a short duration and disappears afterward. Instagram and Snapchat Stories are perfect examples of this type of content.
Today, people's attention spans are short, and the way they like to consume content has also changed. This is why content formats like Stories have become popular. They are short, engaging, and addictive in a way that people can spend hours scrolling through one Story after another.
The Traditional Social Platforms Will Continue to Perform Well
Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media as the largest and most popular platforms. In recent years, several other niche social media platforms emerged and significantly rose to fame.
However, the newcomers have encountered difficulties in their expansion.
TikTok, for example, started in 2016 and immediately gained popularity with youth. It grew to be one of the most popular apps in both the Android and Apple app stores. However, to an extent, TikTok has been a victim of its own success. Its popularity with the world's youth and its Chinese ownership has come to the world's regulators' attention. Indeed, President Trump doesn't want it to operate in the USA unless it changes to having American ownership in that market. The sizable market of India banned TikTok in June 2020.
Social Commerce Will Continue to Expand
Brands have long used social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to sell their products. Social commerce has become a new retail avenue for brands, and this trend is only going to get stronger.
Social commerce is well on its way to becoming a mainstream retail channel on par with other mediums like websites and offline stores. This trend will strengthen further with more and more social networks introducing pro-selling features like shoppable posts.
From shoppable posts to Instagram Storefronts, social networks are continuously evolving to become retail platforms. Brands and marketers will leverage these and incorporate social commerce in their sales strategies.
Hootsuite recently asked their clients what they were trying to achieve with social media. By far the most popular reason for businesses using social media was for the increased acquisition of new customers (73%). This was followed by increasing brand awareness (64%). Driving conversions (leads, purchases, and product inquiries) came in third with 45%.
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