Most Important Branding Trends in 2018
One of the best corporate branding campaigns ever is that of Nike. When the company started, the products were made almost exclusively for marathon runners. When the fitness vogue emerged, the marketing department of the company knew they needed to take advantage of it to surpass Reebok which was their main competitor. The Just do it campaign was launched in 1988.
During that year, Nike sales were at 877 million dollars. Ten years later, in 1998, sales exceeded 9,2 billion. The campaign was short and simple. Simplicity is the secret of all big ideas. It enclosed what people felt when they were exercising. People still have that feeling today. You don't want to swim two kilometers? Just do it. You don't want to take the stairs at the university three floors high? Just do it.
Here are the branding trends that I believe will be felt more prominently this 2018:
Authenticity & Personalisation
Authenticity is something that more organisations are incorporating into their marketing strategies. In Greek “authentikos” means original, genuine, or authentic. Authenticity gives your brand personality, which is vital. Whether your brand image is official or amusing make sure it is authentic. Consumers expect brands to do more than just push a sale. With a growing number of organisations wanting to be heard, it’s no longer enough to get your message out and wait for clients and stakeholders to come to you. Instead, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from competition and show the values that your brand stands for. You need to establish a personal relationship with your audience. Engage with your clients ans stakeholders by sharing and listening to their feedback and by acting like a human.
Micro-Influencers will continue to rise
2017 was the year of the influencer. I have been ranked among the Top 40 EU Influencers by Euractiv. However, the focus is no longer on trying to reach the widest audience possible but getting the attention of specific niches. Despite having a smaller following, micro-influencers have a more engaged and invested audience. For this reason, I expect to see more PR firms and communication leaders choose to collaborate with micro-influencers over macro-influencers this year.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for content creation
AI technology has come a long way. It now has the ability gather vast amounts of data and analyse it on a level that no single human working alone could. From the insight it can collect, it can identify what content will best resonate with target audiences. It can even determine what storylines have the potential to go viral based on trending topics picked up through social listening.
To take it a step further, AI can test different versions of campaigns and study audience reactions. With the feedback it gathers, it can tweak the elements of the campaign which include everything from the copy to the images. Breakthroughs in AI and ML will make it possible for brands to automatically generate finely-tuned content from information stored in a variety of repositories across their business - giving every client their own & unique experience.
Video content will rule over other content types
Digital newsrooms and publications are shrinking. People are demanding information faster than ever before. The solution is video content creation which is highly engaging and more impactful than any other content type. Because stakeholders have evolved, communication leaders must keep up with the demand for video content and figure out how to integrate it into their 2018 strategies. A good place to start would be client testimonials, tutorial videos, and demonstration videos.
Testimonials are powerful tools for generating new business. It will always work in the favor of firms when former and current clients are willing to speak favorably about their experiences with your services. According to WebDAM, customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing with a rating of 89%. Testimonials in their standard format are quite successful, but it’s video testimonials that are the most impactful for being more convincing and engaging than their text-based counterparts.
From virtual reality to live video streaming, marketers are going immersive. With boundary-dissolving video marketing trends, the way businesses produce and consumers consume is going to change significantly over 2018. We will jump into the future with techniques and new tools such as projection mapping, live video streaming, virtual reality and 360 degree video.
It’s clear that the digital revolution has reshaped all industries. We see more communication leaders follow content marketing trends and leverage social media tools. Media relations, crisis management, and thought leadership have to be approached differently as the traditional media landscape grows smaller. To deny the shift would mean risking getting left behind.