In the last few hours at Social Media Marketing World, Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, enthralled a crowd of hundreds, possibly thousands, of marketers, with some great insights about digital trends coming up in 2015. Mike’s insights are based on interviews with more than 3,700 marketers – I’m assuming in the US, but I might have missed that detail.
Get with video
Interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the top trend is video. It’s all going crazy with video as providers such as Facebook and Twitter try to oust YouTube as the dominant online video platform. According to Stelzner’s interviews, 56% of marketers want to improve knowledge YouTube in the year ahead, whilst 66% of marketers want to increase their YouTube activity in the year ahead.
If you haven’t already discovered it, Meerkat is a mobile app for streaming live video that might – or might not – be the big trend in the year ahead. Either way it’s a great tool to try out, and could just become another tool in your content marketing arsenal.
Michael’s view is that “Native video is the way ahead; Facebook is going after YouTube. ” Facebook has expanded video capability and functionality so that you are now able to have a video on your ‘About’ Page, you can also create playlists; the site is also open about the fact that it’s degrading YouTube exposure on the site and is upgrading Facebook video on news streams. His view? “No doubt Twitter will do the same”.
“This is the year of native video”, according to Michael Stelzner. “57% of marketers say they want to use more video in 2015.
Future social platforms
It’s not over yet for Facebook. There may be new and shiny new platforms and tools emerging all the time, but Facebook is still the one to beat. According to the Social Media Examiner research, 62% of marketers still want to learn more about how to use Facebook. And if you thought Google+ was falling behind, think again – it’s at number 3 on Stelzner’s list and has some way to go.
The next insight from Stelzner was more about being patient than anything else. As we all know, not everything that is bright and shiny will benefit you and your brand in the long run. “Marketers need to wait and see” says Stelzner.
Give Podcasting a go
For Stelzner, podcasts are very much the way to go. “We’re in a new age of podcasting with the emergence of some really successful major business broadcasts from the likes of Tim Ferriss, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
In podcasts, big media no longer dominates the media marketplace; new names are at the top of the popularity lists, including podcasts from people like Pat Flynn, Michael Hyatt and John Lee Dumas who has had immense success with his daily entrepreneur show. In Stelzner’s view, podcasting is a massive greenfield opportunity which is only going to get bigger.
And according to the research, only 9.7% of marketers currently participate in podcasting – 42% want to learn more whilst 26% plan on increasing their podcast activity in the year ahead. “Repurposing is a powerful thing”, as is using older content and re-using your content multiple times.
Final thought from Michael? Whatever you’re doing on social media, and wherever you’re doing it, make sure you stay relevant and useful to those who follow you.
Gay Flashman runs Formative Content, a UK-based content marketing agency helping businesses tell corporate stories. Formative creates compelling, intelligent, multi-lingual content for clients – everything from long-form insight & thought leadership, to infographics, memes, videos and webinars.