Growing mobile use
There’s no escaping the fact that mobile phone use is continuing to rise at an exponential rate throughout the world. Almost two thirds of the world’s population has a mobile phone and more than half of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile phones. Everywhere you look, people are glued to mobile phones – creating the perfect opportunity for marketers to reach their target audience. A recent study by British psychologists showed that young adults use their phones an average of five hours a day, which equates to around one third of their total waking hours. Ensure your institution’s digital strategy recognises how important mobile technology has become for students; this includes making your website mobile optimised, looking at adding mobile transactions and ID authentication and exploring the possibilities of video advertising.
Unique video content
Video content will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2018, with more and more marketeers realising the importance of the medium. As we reported on our blog back in November, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, revealed that video content is now a top priority for Facebook and that the company is trialling innovative six-second video ads with certain advertisers. Unique video content has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of users across every media network. With advertisement views on live video experiencing more than 100 per cent year-on-year growth, video should certainly be part of your marketing plan in 2018.
The rise of chatbots
Virtual assistance is a buzzword for 2018. Chatbots are computer programs that mimic human conversations using AI. Many higher education institutions are already using chatbots to improve the student experience, to great effect. Engagement rates with chatbots are much higher than say, email open rates, so using one should be high on your list of marketing priorities this year. Human interactions will become less popular in the future (although still important), with companies opting for digital interactions with customers instead. Done well, most people find it difficult to distinguish a real person from a chatbot.
Love them or hate them, influencers will continue to be on the marketing radar in 2018. Micro influencers (those with 10,000 to 100,000 followers) with good levels of engagement rates are more effective than macro influencers with millions of followers. Use them creatively and an influencer can succeed in delivering a genuine, authentic message in a way that is much more trusted than traditional advertising. Do your research: find influencers who have good engagement across all the social media networks, someone whose views will resonate with students’ and the issues they are passionate about. Executed in the right way, influencer marketing can be a dream partnership for brands in 2018.