10 Marketing Trends to act on in 2018 (Author: Dave Chaffey)

Source: https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/10-marketing-trends/

I feel fortunate to have followed some of the amazing major changes in digital marketing and technology over the last 15 or 20 years. I’m sure you will have enjoyed living through, following and acting on these changes too. Looking back, we’ve seen a phenomenal growth in the importance of organic, then paid search, then social media and more recently, incredible worldwide growth in mobile and particularly smartphone usage.

As well as this article, to help Smart Insights members, we also have a more detailed free download of the marketing megatrends, which are 9 digital marketing and martech megatrends that will help give you an edge in 2017.

Looking forward, in this article, I’m going to review 10 new trends which I believe, based on my experience consulting and training, are relevant for marketers across businesses of a range of sizes. But, first, I’m interested to know what you think will be important to you and your business in 2018.

Which marketing trend will be most important to you and your business in 2018?

We have asked this question over the past few years and it’s been really interesting to see what ‘rocks your digital world’ since there are some common themes amongst the top 3 and some activities surprisingly low. The question we asked was around the most important commercial trends. We had around 850 votes from marketers in different types of business from around the world. Thank you if you voted! Here’s what you thought:

By asking for just one technique from many, this helps shows the top 3, 5 or 10 top-level trends. There are a clear top three techniques, each over 10%, but with a long tail of many other techniques showing the potential for optimising different areas of digital marketing. Let’s take a look at the top three…

It’s no surprise to see content marketing ‘top of the pile’ since this has been in the top three for each of the years we have run this poll. We see content marketing as the ‘engagement’ fuel that powers all digital communications from search to social to email marketing to creating website experiences which convert. Our content marketing toolkit is popular since members want to learn a more planned approach to mapping content against personas across the customer journey.

More of a surprise is that Big Data is in second position. I think this is because marketers are aware of the potential of using data as what we call ‘actionable insight’. To help the decision on which technique to choose, we expanded upon the short labels you see in some polls to help scope the response more carefully. ‘Big Data’ is a nebulous term, but when we expanded the definition to include insight and predictive analytics, it shows the value of the specific marketing techniques for Big Data and this help explains why this is in position number two.

In third position is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We added this to the poll this year with the interest in it and it’s ‘straight in at number three’! It’s good to see the interest in these techniques which we have been covering a lot on the blog and in our member resources this year. In trend 8 we show how different AI techniques can be mapped against the customer lifecycle.

Here is the full listing of digital marketing techniques:

The ten marketing trends to act on in 2018

If you look at the 14 themes that we covered last year, none of these top-level marketing techniques are especially new, so it’s difficult to describe them as new trends or innovations. However, techniques like Big Data and analytics, Content Marketing and Email/Marketing Automation have continued to grow in importance and will be used by many businesses.

So in my look at the trends this year, I’ll be looking at integration as the theme. In our research on managing digital marketing (another free member download) you can see that only 6% of companies thought their integration process was completely optimised, yet many are actively working on integration.

Integrated marketing communications or IMC isn’t a concept you see written about much on blogs or social media since it’s high-level with everyone getting excited at the latest minor innovations from the frightful 5 – at the time of writing we’re getting excited about the Animojis in iPhone X for example. Fun, but they’re not going to help deliver the most relevant message and offer for an individual, which is the aim of IMC.

So, let’s take a look at the 10 trends. You’ll notice that in a lot of these predictions, I’ll refer to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It’s what I see as the biggest trend to consider in the year ahead. There has been a lot of hype around it in 2017 and we’re starting to understand the opportunities. In 2018 it will become more about selecting solutions and implementation.

Trend 1. Integrating Marketing Activities Into the Customer Lifecycle

Given the way the complexity of marketing and digital marketing has increased, techniques like customer journey mapping for different personas are increasing in importance to help define the most relevant communications and experiences for different touchpoints in the customer journey.

To support this, the way I like to think about how to improve the effectiveness of digital marketing is to think from the customers’ viewpoint of the communications opportunity available through the customer lifecycle for different types of business.

We define lifecycle marketing as:

Creating a managed communications or contact strategy to prioritise and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels and experiences to support prospects and customers on their path-to-purchase using techniques such as persuasive personalised messaging and re-targeting.

We designed this mind-tool to help members think through all the potential touchpoints across paid, owned and earned media. Then you can perform a ‘gap analysis’ of the use and effectiveness of lifecycle comms you are using against those you could be using to increase the relevance and response of communications.

Trend 2. Integrating personalization into the user journey / customer experience

To increase relevance and response of comms, website personalization has been widely used within transactional ecommerce sectors like retail, travel and financial services for a long time now.

More recently, lower cost options have become available with different types of solutions. There are many forms of web personalization varying from those integrated into content or commerce management systems; those integrated into analytics solutions or standalone Software as a Service (SaaS) personalization options that integrate with your CMS and analytics. A useful method to review your use of personalization at the top-level is this experience personalization pyramid:

the Personalization Pyramid

The three levels shown in the chart are:

  • 1. Optimization. Structured experiments. AKA AB Testing or Multivariate testing. Google Optimize is an example of one of these services that launched in 2017.
  • 2. Segmentation. Target site visitor groups, each one with specialized content to increase relevance and conversion.
    Each one still requires separate manual rules and creative to be set up. So returns for this approach eventually diminish after the maximum sustainable number of audience segments has been reached.
  • 3. 1-to-1 Personalization. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to deliver an individualized experience to each customer. 1-to-1 employs some of the same principles as optimization and segmentation, but by offering a solution to their two greatest limitations-delayed results and inability to scale-it represents a fundamentally different approach.

So, the main trend within personalization is increased use of artificial intelligence rather than manual rules. Plus, we can also expect to see Website personalization services being adopted across more sectors than the transactional sectors it has become popular within.

Trend 3. Integrating machine learning into marketing automation

Personalization can also be applied across the lifecycle in email comms.  Yet, our research on email marketing shows that despite the widespread use of email and marketing automation systems, many companies don’t manage to put in place a full lifecycle contact system like that shown in the lifecycle visual above.

We assessed segmentation and targeting of emails based on the number of criteria that are used from none at all up to dynamic content.

The findings from our State of Email marketing report are shocking: Half (50%) don’t use any targeting whatsoever, less than a third (29%) use basic segmentation for targeting and less than 15% use segmentation and personalization rules to reach specific audiences within their database. This means that they may be missing out on opportunities for automated emails with dynamic content for welcome and nurture of prospects and customers.

Although email marketing automation is another technique where artificial intelligence and machine learning is being applied more often. Using machine learning offers opportunities to automate targeting as it does for web personalization. However, personalization is potentially more difficult since emails, by their nature, have more complex creative. This data suggests to me that many businesses aren’t ready for AI and machine learning within email marketing and they need to deploy fundamental triggered automation features first.

Trend 4. Integrating social messaging apps into communications

The increasing use of messaging apps is a trend we have mentioned in previous trends round-ups. According to the latest Ofcom Communications Market research more than half of the total mobile audience used Facebook Messenger (61%) and half used WhatsApp (50%). Both properties are owned by Facebook. The Snapchat mobile app had a reach of 28%, with 10.1 million unique visitors.

We’ve been looking at some early adopters of marketing applications of these social messaging apps on Smart Insights. Examples include using Pizza Hut using Messenger for booking tables and IKEA for customer research.

Trend 5. Integrating video into the customer journey

Video is also increasing in popularity fuelled by social . This breakdown of Google popularity shows the dominance of YouTube. We used to say that YouTube was the second biggest search engine, but this data shows that it is now more popular than Google Search based on number of users in a given month (this research also from the comScore panel via Ofcom).

This visual reminds us of the opportunities to use video marketing through the customer lifecycle from pre-roll ads in YouTube (just one option, Google has 10 Video ad options), explainer ads on site and retargeting through video.

Augmented and Virtual Reality are closely related to video engagement, but although we’ve been tracking these, we have seen fewer examples and case studies this year. So, do let us know of any examples.

Trend 6. Integrating content marketing into the customer journey using a customer engagement strategy

Video is just one type of content, albeit important. In previous polls about the technique that will give the biggest uplift in future, content marketing has been popular, in the top one or two in the list.

The trend I’m seeing here is that businesses are getting serious about treating content as a strategic resource, that means developing a customer engagement strategy using different media as shown in the lifecycle diagrams above, and at a practical level, developing content for different audiences using techniques like Personas and Content mapping. Our research shows that these customer-centric analysis techniques are growing in importance, which has to be a good thing for consumers and businesses!

Recommended resourceContent Marketing Strategy guide

Trend 7. Integrating search marketing into your content marketing activities

If we look at the top digital sales channels, search marketing is dominant. Social media is far behind in most sectors, despite its ongoing popularity with consumers. We now know that in many sectors social media can be a great tool for engaging audiences with a brand and improving favourability and awareness, but it typically doesn’t drive lead volume or sales. So I haven’t given social media it’s own section, although integrating it with other channels like web, search and email marketing remains relevant. See our recap of SMW London for the latest social media trends.

However, within search marketing there is today relatively little innovation that we get to hear about compared to the past. Looking at natural search shows that the Moz algorithm change history has no entries since the non-specific ‘Fred’ update in March, whereas in previous years it would have had 5+ with new updates to Panda and Penguin. This is partly down to Google sharing less, with Matt Cutts no longer actively evangelising, although updates are available from John Mueller in their Search team.

Within organic search, one trend I think marketers should be aware of is the changing face of the SERPs as shown by the Mozcast SERPs features update which shows the types of links within a bundle of top 10k keywords they monitor.

It shows the importance of techniques such as Knowledge Panels (important for brands and local businesses); Related questions; featured / rich snippets / quick answers and reviews. We have found that the way these vary across the top 3 to 5 positions can make a big difference in the volume of visits from informational searches.

Within AdWords, referencing Google’s list of new features shows more innovation. Much of it is around reporting compared to new ad features for mobile in previous years, but there are some new options like with Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bidding and Smart Display campaigns. This is an example of Google deploying different types of machine learning including Automated bidding Using Target CPA as a basis; Automated targeting which means your ads increasingly show where they’ll get you the most business and automated ad creation from the building blocks you provide, like headlines, descriptions, logos and images.

Trend 8. Integrating marketing technology

If you follow applications of marketing technology you have almost certainly seen Scott Brinker’s Martech landscape which has grown to over 5,000 vendors this year.

Our own digital marketing tools wheel seeks to simplify this, but has over 30 categories of insights and automation tools which shows the challenge of integrating marketing technology. The trend here is that there is no let up in tools offering innovative methods to analyse or automate. Our final two categories highlights some of these.

Given the plethora of martech, the most apt definition seems:

‘very large amount of something, especially a larger amount than you need, want, or can deal with

You might expect there would be a trend to increasing use of marketing clouds, but our research suggests there isn’t widespread adoption of these.

As we have mentioned throughout this article, machine learning and AI is one of the biggest trends here, see this article and infographic for AI marketing applications across the lifecycle.

Trend 9. Integrating different data sources

This challenge was highlighted to use recently in our members’ Facebook group where a member asked about tools for integrating insights from different paid media ad serving tools which can give the best results if managed separately, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ads and Google AdWords. Rivery.io is a new option that has launched recently, that should do well. The trend here is new integrated media insights tools other than Google or Adobe, which can help you compare performance of different media.

These services are surprisingly expensive, particularly since they are additional analysis tools. They’re not martech that directly increases leads or sales to the business. For example, I was recently recommended this service (Funnel.io ) that costs a minimum of $200 / month, even if it’s solely used to integrate data from multiple sources into Google Sheets. It’s a lot when to get the value from these tools you have to ringfence time so that the analytics are reviewed and acted on sufficiently.

Trend 10. Integrating digital marketing insights sources

Our digital marketing tools wheel contains many free and paid sources of insight about your digital marketing. Here, I’m talking specifically about services which help you stay up-to-date. We’re avid users of these services since they help us keep readers up-to-date via our own blog, twice weekly newsletters and monthly What’s Hot feature.

In a recent article on keeping marketing teams up-to-date, Mark Kelly explains that we recommend using Feedlyas a way of aggregating primary marketing news sources via RSS. Plus, I recommend taking a look at Zestwhich is a Google Chrome extension, new in 2017, which I and the team at Smart Insights use and is well worth checking out. Its curated content is specifically designed for and updated by marketers. Like Feedly, you can use it to review the most useful content recommended by ‘the crowd’, in this case ‘your tribe’ of marketers.

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Vivendi’s innovative vision for mobile TV (Source: Business Insider)

French conglomerate Vivendi hopes to usher in the next era in digital video via a Netflix-like app built specifically for mobile. The service, dubbed Studio+, debuted in Latin America last year, and features International Emmy-nominated short-form episodic content that can be accessed in full with a $4 monthly subscription.
Source: http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/vivendis-innovative-vision-for-mobile-tv-2017-12/?utm_content=bufferbd16c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
streaming video in public
BI Intelligence

With Studio+, Vivendi aims to seize a sizeable portion of video’s next major battleground — mobile. As time spent with traditional linear TV wanes, and incumbents (chiefly Netflix) continue to dominate long-form digital video, mobile is emerging as the next frontier. Following the trend, media companies, large and small, are pouring resources into developing a mobile video strategy.

  • Studio+ is subscription-based, contrary to most efforts in mobile video which aim at ad dollars. Unlike the majority of moves in mobile video, such as Snapchat Shows and Facebook Watch content, Studio+’s business model is based purely on subscriptions — a largely untested model in the space. Although services like Netflix and HBO can be accessed on mobile, mobile-only variants of subscription video on-demand (SVOD) are non-existent, with the exception of Studio+.
  • Like Netflix, Studio+ seeks to take short-form mobile SVOD mainstream, but with a significant twist. Dominique Delport, chairman of Vivendi content, explained that Studio+ targets the modern “content connoisseur” — someone who is deliberate about the shows they watch and not fully satisfied with the typical slate of digital and social video. This audience, in Studio+’s mind, would revel in high-quality, short-form episodic programming.
  • The app features scripted shows that look and feel like TV programs, but are optimized for mobile. These shows follow an innovative 10×10 format: One season consists of 10 episodes, with each episode lasting a maximum of 10 minutes. A season costs $1 million to produce ($100,000 per episode), and takes a year to develop in full and launch in the app, making Studio+ shows pricier than ordinary digital video to develop, yet much more time- and cost-efficient than TV programs.

Studio+ leans on partnerships with telecoms around the world to distribute its content and grow its audience. The app launched in Brazil in 2016 via Vivo, the country’s largest mobile operator, before arriving in France via Orange and Bouygues Telecom, and Italy via Telecom Italia. Meanwhile, the US version of the app launched in early November. Delport, in conversation with BI Intelligence, said a deal has already been reached with one of the Big Four US telecoms and Studio+ is in ongoing discussions with another two. Thanks to this strategy, Studio+ has grown to more than 5 million paying subscribers globally.

The app taps into synergies across the Vivendi network, namely Canal+, Universal Music Group (UMG), and Havas. Studio+ shows are produced with the help of Canal+, a leading European film and TV producer and distributor, and UMG, the world’s largest record company. Delport also described how Studio+ can be offered to Havas’s advertising clients for branded content opportunities, citing “Farmed and Dangerous,” an original comedy series by Chipotle, as an example of the kind of work he envisages.

The emphasis on high-end scripted shows structured in a 10×10 format and delivered in a mobile-only app makes Studio+ unique. At its core, the product is a bet that consumer behavior is shifting towards watching and paying for high-quality video on mobile, and that people’s preferences for mobile video are maturing beyond short-form, bite-sized content. If Studio+ goes to plan, Delport, and Vivendi, could have the Netflix of the mobile era on their hands.

 

Six Digital Media Trends That Are Going To Shake Up Marketing Forever

Source: Six Digital Media Trends That Are Going To Shake Up Marketing Forever

Ross Simmonds is one of the best marketers, growth hackers, and businessmen we know, and he is about to give you some real gems you should pay attention too. Dig in, grab a notebook, and get this brainfood while its hot.

If you want to create a brand in the future, it’s unlikely that the exact same roadmaps used in the early 2000s are still going to be applicable. Some of the philosophies will still hold weight but many tactics are going to have been abused and no longer effective. Similar to how marketers have evolved from radio & magazines to programmatic advertising and social media as an avenue to drive results — change is coming.

Change is constant.

How’d you like to ensure that when change comes, you’re ready? How would you like to hear some of the latest media trends that are going to shake up marketing industry forever?

Well…

Luckily, today that’s exactly what I’m going to share.

Over the years, I’ve rode the waves of digital media opportunities. Whether it’s generating more than 1M views on Slideshare or helping brands grow to hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram — I’ve leveraged and capitalized on many of the latest trends. And in this post, I’m going to sharesix digital media trends that will shake up the industry for years to come.

1) The Consumerization Of Media & Influencers

The body scrub company, Frank Body was one of the first brands to capitalize on Instagram fame. With an estimated sales of roughly $20 million ≈ Organized labor 2011 political donations

≈ Annual hurricane research funding in 2011

“>[≈ Typical endowment, liberal-arts university] in 2015 — the brand has grown rapidly thanks to influencers and the consumerization of media. A quick look at their newsfeed and Instagram search will show you models and regular people promoting the product:

Some of these posts are fans.

Some of these posts are paid shout outs.

When talking about Influencers in a recent interview with Nathan Chan the co-founders of Frank Body expressed that they paid Jen Selter, $20,000 ≈ Per capita income – Australia, 2005

“>[≈ Per capita income – Taiwan, 2005] for a product placement on Instagram & Twitter. At the time, Jen had around 6M followers on Instagram but today she has more than 8.2M followers and some believe she’s charging $50,000≈ Median US household income, 2009”>[≈ cost of Ford F-150] per Instagram post.

Here’s one of Jen’s posts featuring the brand:

Influencer marketing isn’t new.

What’s new is a shift from the people with millions followers being compensated for shout outs to people with thousands.

The influencer marketing company, Markerly recently conducted a survey of2 million social media influencers. In their study, they found that influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers had a higher like rate than those between1,000 and 10,000 followers. While it’s possible that these individuals low engagement is related to Instagram’s algorithm and inactive followers — the idea that almost anyone could be considered an influencer is valid.

Today, millions of dollars are being exchanged for shoutouts on Instagram, Snapchat takeovers and retweets on Twitter. As more and more people begin to create mini-brands and followings, it can be expected that more people will monetize their reach and compete with media companies for their budget as it relates to digital marketing.

According to TheShelf, brands are quickly committing to this investment:

Sites like BuySellShoutOuts.com offer brands the ability to pay influencers with all accounts sizes and covering differenttopics to promote their brands:

But this is just the beginning.

Thunderclap is a social media platform that allows people to sign up in advance and share a unified message at a specific time. Many brands have already started using this tool to drive buzz around events, non-profits and products raising money on Kickstarter. In October 2015, a project called Phonebloks generated a reach of more than 381,745,40 with supporters likeElijah Wood signing up for the campaign.

Examples of campaigns that people signed up for

Users of Thunderclap don’t currently get compensated for their tweets but I’m willing to bet, it’s coming. The willingness to offer brands the ability to tweet on your behalf isn’t new. It’s something that has been tried by many companies over the years but the trends surrounding influencers and the markets understanding of the value is an indication that this is a trend worth watching.

2) Bots Are A Media Opportunity For Brands

One of the first media companies to launch a bot was the team at Quartz. The team launched an app that feels like a friend sharing news via SMS that you read with ease. It comes with gifs, emojis, articles and of course ads like the Mini Clubman banner you see on the left.

Bots have been a hot topic for the last few months but when Facebook announced during f8 that messenger boasts 900 million users per month and it was launching a bot marketplace — it became a new ball game.

Facebook is betting on bots.

As more bots are developed we will begin seeing different more use cases. Whether it’s bots being used for the news or bots being used for shopping; the ability to connect with people through a conversational interface is an opportunity that media companies and marketers should watch.

Native content and advertising is a trend that has been soaring over the last few years. Native or Sponsored content is a model in which brands pay to have their content distributed (sometimes created) by media companies directly into their channels in a way that is often viewed as regular editorial.

Here’s an example of native content from Delete Blood Cancer on Blavity:

So what does this have to do with bots?

Well.. Imagine you’re using a fitness app.

The bot will remind you to go for a run, offer advice for meal plans and even tell you what you should do for sciatic pain — but it will also send you an article that talks about Six Reasons Why You Should Invest In The Right Shoes. Sponsored by Adidas of course…

Native advertising has been found to consistently perform better than traditional banner ads. Brands will embrace this approach within bots because it works for both the user and the publisher. I predict we will see more media companies launching bots and more bots evolving into full-fledged media companies.

3) How Stories Will Evolve Content Consumption

Facebook changed the way we find our news.

Twitter changed the way news was broken.

Snapchat and Instagram are currently fighting to determine what’s the best way for the new generation to consume it.

The last year has been a big one for Snapchat. DJ Khaled made brands open their eyes to the network as an opportunity to reach millions. Business giants proclaimed it to be the future of TV, social media and media as a whole. The rise of Snapchat resulted in profile pictures all over Twitter & Facebook to quickly change from logos & headshots to snap codes:

Instagram was once a favourite amongst youth but Snapchat quickly became a serious threat. In fall 2015, Piper Jaffray’s survey of 6,500 US teens showedthat 33% of them considered Instagram their most important social network. By this spring, that number had fallen to 27% as Snapchat took the crown.

Fast forward a few months and the momentum of Snapchat continued when Kim Kardashian did what she does best. She broke the Internet.

When she released a phone recording of Taylor Swift and Kanye West on Snapchat, every social network felt it. Journalists, the media and fans proclaimed Kim the official queen of social media and Snapchat the future:

Moments like this, the rise of DJ Khaled and the increase in usage was a clear indicators that Snapchat found gold. So earlier this year, Instagram took and stand refusing to allow Snapchat to run away with this new format and launched their own version of Stories. Creatively, they called it…

Stories.

It shares the same functionality as Snapchat allowing users to create a rolling montage of pictures and videos from the last 24 hours. It’s in this format that brands are already advertising, media companies are being launched and millions of people are watching.

4) More Free-Time = More Media Consumption

In just a few years, the idea of autonomous vehicles have gone from a futuristic dream to a realistic and disruptive product. Regardless of who you think is going to come out as the industry leader in the race towards the first fully autonomous and safe vehicle — it’s going to have an impact on media.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of Americans spend their free time watching TV.

Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for more than half of leisure time

The same trend was found in places like the UK and Canada. You see, the more free time people have the more time they spend consuming content. And if we no longer have to pay attention to the road, it’s likely that we spend more time consuming visual content.

As autonomous cars become more readily available, more time will be available for people to consume content. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. Meaning that over the course of a year you could consume more than 98 episodes of The Wire.

Exactly.

5)The Rise Of Vertical Video Content

Snapchats success with vertical video content has resulted in a the rise of vertical video content. For years, people suggested that vertical video was bad and that horizontal video was good:

In a leaked Snapchat pitch deck the company shared that revenues in 2015 were $59 million. The company projected to reach between $250 million ≈ cost of Airbus A380, the largest passenger airplane

“>[≈ Typical endowment, research university] and $350 million in 2016, and between $500 million [≈ net worth of Jay-Z, rapper, 2011] and $1 billion ≈ box office sales of The Jungle Book, 1967

≈ box office sales of ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
≈ box office sales of The Exorcist, 1973
≈ box office sales of Jaws, 1975

“>[≈ net worth of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, 2011] in in 2017.

What’s a key differentiator between Snapchat and other networks?

It embraces the vertical video. Here’s a slide from one of their earlier decks about the success that brands were having with vertical content:

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a consistent increase in the amount of video content being consumed vertically. According to eMarketer and the 2015 Mary Meeker report, 29% of all video consumed online was vertical.

Lyrical School is a Japanese female band who made a major debut into mainstream with their latest music video. Unlike most videos that are built for TV, the group created a vertical video that has more than 1.3M views:

But this is just the beginning.

More and more companies are developing ads in the vertical video format. More and more media companies are offering it as an ad unit. It’s a trend that offers a more optimal experience for mobile users and a more effective approach for brands and media companies to connect with them.

6) Big Media Begins To Niche Down

Country Side Network

Did you know that there is a magazine for almost everything?

From sheeps and pigs to technology and boats. If it’s a topic, there has likely been a magazine created about it at some point in the last 50 years. Over time, magazine sales have continue to plummet and many of the niche magazines have been the early victims of this medium’s decline.

The writing has been on the wall for years:

As the niche magazines continue to die — niche web opportunities arise.

It’s the model that allowed Reddit to become so successful. Reddit is one community that is filled with thousands of sub-communities talking about niche interests and topics. Whether it’s an entire community talking aboutBBQ or a community talking about PokemonGo — it’s a place where passionate people can learn, connect and stay up to date on interests.

Media companies are recognizing the opportunity to niche down and are investing in more niche topics to reach niche audiences. Over the last few months, we’ve seen media companies invest in more diverse categories of media content. As a result, marketers will have the ability to be more targeted in their efforts rather than making assumptions about what content their audience is likely to consume.


Are there any other trends that you think will shake things up? Did you learn something new in this post?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want more content like this, check out my semi-regular newsletter.


Ross Simmonds is a the founder of Foundation, a content marketing service company and the co-founder of Crate + Hustle & Grind.

Engagement on field: Emirates’ crew demonstrate a special “safety video” in front of 65,000 Benfica fans, with a twist…

Emirates Airline (EK) signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Lisbon’s football club Benfica in May 2015.

Under the sponsorship deal, Emirates will have its “Fly Emirates” logo on Benfica’s jersey until the end of the 2017-18 season.

On Oct. 25, the derby day between Sporting and Benfica, the official sponsor Emirates led a group of flight attendants to the center of the field and gave a special “safety video” instructions in front of about 65,000 fans.

Emirates already sponsores Arsenal in the English Premier League as well as AC Milan in Italy’s Serie A, Real Madrid in Spain’s La Liga and Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1.

Watch Emirates’ crew demonstrate a special “safety video” in front of 65,000 Benfica fans, with a twist…

Three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019

11 massive predictions about the future of mobile and mobile data | memeburn.

At this stage, telling anyone that we live in a mobile world seems more or less pointless. Our phones are hardwired into our daily lives and, for many of us, can seem more like artificial limbs than everyday devices. They’ve changed the world too. Web designers now think about how you’ll experience a site on a phone or tablet before they think about how you’ll see it on a desktop.

Apps meanwhile have gone from single function curiosities to powerful tools that allow us to do everything from hailing private cars to making investments on the fly.

Given that we’ve come so far since the first cellphone call was made 42 years ago, where are we likely headed to next?

Well, global networking powerhouse Cisco has lifted the cloth on its crystal ball and offered up its predictions for where mobile and mobile data are going in the next few years. And if it’s anywhere near right, then we’re in for some astonishing growth in both spaces.

1. Global mobile data traffic will increase nearly tenfold between 2014 and 2019

Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57% from 2014 to 2019, reaching 24.3 exabytes per month by 2019.

Cisco Exabytes

2. By 2019 there will be nearly 1.5 mobile devices for every person on the planet

There will be 11.5 billion mobile-connected devices by 2019, including M2M modules—exceeding the world’s projected population at that time (7.6 billion).

Cisco devices

3. Mobile network connection speeds will increase more than twofold by 2019

The average mobile network connection speed (1.7 Mbps in 2014) will reach nearly 4.0 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2019. By 2016, average mobile network connection speed will surpass 2.0 Mbps.

4. By 2019, 4G will be 26% of connections, but 68% of total traffic

By 2019, a 4G connection will generate 10 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.

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5. By 2019, more than half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart” devices

Globally, 54% of mobile devices will be smart devices by 2019, up from 26 percent in 2014. The vast majority of mobile data traffic (97 percent) will originate from these smart devices by 2019, up from 88% in 2014.

6. By 2019, 54% of all global mobile devices could potentially be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network

More than 6.2 billion devices will be IPv6-capable by 2019.

7. Nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019

Mobile video will increase 13-fold between 2014 and 2019, accounting for 72% of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.

Cisco Video

8. By 2019, mobile-connected tablets will generate nearly double the traffic generated by the entire global mobile network in 2014

The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets by 2019 (3.2 exabytes per month) will be 1.3 times higher than the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2014 (2.5 exabytes per month).

9. The average smartphone will generate 4.0 GB of traffic per month by 2019

That’s a fivefold increase over the 2014 average of 819 MB per month. By 2019, aggregate smartphone traffic will be 10.5 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 60 percent.

10. By 2016, more than half of all traffic from mobile-connected devices (almost 14 exabytes) will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of Wi-Fi devices and femtocells each month

Without Wi-Fi and femtocell offload, total mobile data traffic would grow at a CAGR of 62 percent between 2014 and 2019, instead of the projected CAGR of 57 percent.

11. The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region with a 72% CAGR

This region will be followed by Central and Eastern Europe at 71 percent and Latin America at 59 percent.

Brands will adopt media company traits / Facebook strategy for 2015 (Inside Facebook by Jan Rezab) –

Looking ahead: Facebook strategy for 2015 – Inside Facebook.

The social landscape is undergoing near-constant change, and with that, so must a brand’s strategy. As 2014 closes, marketers are prepping for the upcoming year by strategizing ways to leverage opportunities and overcome challenges. The way in which audiences are consuming content is rapidly evolving and it’s up to brands to make sure that their Facebook strategy is congruent with those habits, ensuring success and growth for 2015. Here are my predictions for the social media network.

Video trumps photo

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much a video is worth.  Brands and users alike are gravitating more toward video content. This year the paradigm has changed as, for the first time, data shows that Pages are posting more native Facebook videos rather than YouTube videos on Facebook. Facebook is carving out their own share of the YouTube audience – a trend that will continue and grow in 2015.

We need only to look to initiatives like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to see how widespread video adoption has become. According to Facebook, more than two million unique videos related to the Ice Bucket Challenge have been uploaded to the social media site – garnering millions of mentions and conversations around the topic. With numbers like that, marketers are now sitting in meetings fielding the question of the year, “Where’s our Ice Bucket Challenge?”

Shareable is the new viral

Content creators have been consistently tasked with making things go viral. However, in 2015 shareable content will be priority one. Increasingly, attention has moved to producing content that is not only shareable, but content that holds meaning – the two working best in tandem. It’s not enough anymore to put a spotlight solely on number of clicks, brands are seeing more engagement when thought is put into the storytelling element of the content.

Additionally, with new Facebook policies announced for next year, marketers will have to pay close attention and evaluate the type of content being posted. Starting in January 2015, Facebook users will begin to see fewer overtly promotional posts in their News Feed. As a result, marketers will need to depend more on ad spend in order to promote posts that are product and sales specific. A benefit from this change in algorithm is that brands now have the opportunity to separate their storytelling strategy from their ad spend strategy. My belief is that this will lend marketers more incentive to develop and execute on higher-quality content strategy, which will in turn produce an uptick in the numbers of shares.

Brands will adopt media company traits 

Brands with a really strong content strategy have always thrived in an increasingly competitive and crowded social landscape, and this will become even more apparent in 2015. Brands need to take on the characteristics of media companies in order to do social well. A company like Red Bull has proven that if the content is good and on-message the audience will not only engage, but keep coming back for more.

Red Bull has become a massive global brand publisher, breaking new ground against more traditional models of social strategy and bolstering brand loyalty with their audience of over 45 million. In 2015, not only will brands adopt this strategy, but they will also leverage it for mobile.

Silence won’t be a virtue

Companies have been responding to customer inquiries on Facebook for years, but we’ve found that it still takes the average brand 33 hours to respond to a fan’s question on Facebook. In this competitive landscape, slow responses and non-responses simply won’t cut it.

In the past, social customer care may have been seen as a bonus – now it’s a requirement, and companies are realizing this. In 2015, brands will be taking customer care seriously and improving how they handle inquiries and complaints on Facebook.

Preparing for the trends above is only step one. It’s crucial that brand marketers stay agile when it comes to social media. 2015 will be about staying one step ahead of social media trends and two steps ahead of the competition.

Jan Rezab is the CEO & Co-founder of Socialbakers, a company focused on social media marketing and measurement, with clientele that includes over half of the global Fortune 500. Jan’s role is to actively push Socialbakers’s global strategy and make customers heard.