In this blog post I am going to give my thoughts on what will happen this year (can’t believe it’s 2018 and I’m 32 years old this year) in the digital world.
Instagram launched new influencer tools in 2017 and basically told the world that influencer marketing is a tactic for success. This isn't drastic news for most professionals, but when it comes to smaller brands - I think they're going to pump more budget and faith into long term campaigns and relationships with individuals/influencers. Banner Ads and Social Ads won't disappear in my opinion, but I don't believe they will be the course of action when it comes to advertising.
Let's face it, influencer marketing works - the stats show that. And it's even easier than ever to get in touch with celebrities and high profile accounts on social media.
I think the biggest change in 2018 will be the actual content and how it's driven. This year, I imagine most brands will look at the relationships as a campaign rather than a 1 hit wonder. Instead of a celebrity holding a protein shake for 1 post or a brief highlight on their insta story. I envisage this being a thought out plan of engagement over a number of posts timed perfectly.
OK so this one came from a personal experience. 2 years ago we got an enquiry from a father who basically works for his 11 year old son. Both the mum and dad have quit their jobs to help run their sons YouTube channel which has millions of followers. I was in complete shock. I knew kids were out their on YouTube and gaining engagement, and sponsored fees from adverts. But the sheer numbers being mentioned were extraordinary.
YouTube Kids is already in the App Store and I only see this going one way. Kids these days are getting more and more used to digital products, iPhones, iPads etc. and they won't know any different. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don't really want to get into that debate but the kids are coming - there is definitely an audience, which means it will bring big engagement and big money.
Is it now becoming a legitimate career move to be an influencer. No matter of your age. Crazy eh?
It will be interesting to see what happens with Twitter this year. The stats weren't great in 2017 and it's not the first choice destination anymore. I think they need to shake things up a bit and add some extra features to bring back the community. Not sure how they're going to do this if I'm honest. I think we have to accept that Twitter is probably the go to place for customer care feedback and complaints.
It's now known that 1 out of 10 people in the UK work for themselves. I do feel that this will increase over the next few years. We're receiving more and more enquiries from start up companies/individuals who have saved up some money and are giving it a right good go. Many with no experience but sheer determination. I love it. People these days are becoming more fearless.
I absolutely love my job, and I have done since I started when I was 18 years old. But not everybody has this luxury. And if they hate their job, they can either stick with it for security or other reasons, or get away and start something that they are passionate about. Obviously it's not an easy decision to just leave, and there are many factors why people stay in jobs they dislike. But in this particular article, I'm just saying that I think more and more people will take that gamble of starting their own business. With the idea that if it fails, they will assess the situation and go again.
Bigger brands, smaller companies
I've seen over the past 5 years a slow change between big brands and small companies. I think that the trust has now switched. To a certain degree, I think bigger organisations are more open to using freelancers and small companies as long as the work is produced to a certain standard and delivered on time.
When I first got into the industry, this was different. I never really knew of freelancers getting big contracts or smaller agencies with big clients. Maybe that's because of my connections, but I have certainly seen a transition over the peats few years.
These days, here at MadeByShape, we have clients all over the world who are start ups, SMEs and large global organisations. This just shows that big brands trust us just as much as smaller brands do. If the portfolio showcases the calibre of work, the personality, ethos and approach is correct - then let's do business.
We've decided to contain our team and create a close knit group. Our decision not to expand is based on past experience at large agencies, our workflow and the studio environment. Everything is going well, so why change it?
I've had conversations with other business owners, both in our industry and outside. All these knowledgable business men and women have different opinions. But we've decided to do what we think is right for the next 12 month and then assess.
Brands started to use video on their site because people suggested it helps search ranking. That's another discussion. But this year I believe a lot of brands will start to use video in an entertaining way. Real brands, real people, real views, real footage. Customers buy from people and it's important to get personality across. Bespoke video footage is a great way of doing this and engaging with the end user in a friendly manner.
This footage can then be used on a website or cut into snippets for social media which reaches a whole new audience they may have not been targeting before.