1. The (growing) power of Instagram Stories
Over a year ago, Instagram rolled out one of its most successful additions to the app: Instagram Stories. Almost identical in visuals and function to Snapchat, Instagram Stories has already garnered 200 million users, blowing past Snapchat's 150 million users. As the user count of Instagram Stories continues to soar, brands who want to connect with their Instagram followers will need to master this new feature. Here's a few tips on how up your Instagram Stories game:
Use Instagram Stories to post more frequently and candidly about your business than you would on your grid. The attraction to Stories is that viewers have the ability to watch a reality TVesque look into your brand.
If your business's Instagram profile isn't already public, you should do so. Stories of private accounts can only be viewed by followers, effectively turning away potential new customers.
2. Going Live
While "raw" and "unedited" content once felt refreshing, now live videos are mainstream on most social platforms. It's easier for viewers to connect with a business when they can hear and see the people behind it, instead of an elaborate marketing scheme.
For big or small brands, live streaming about a promotion, event, or just to introduce your business can attract new followers and customers. Since its birth in April 2016, Facebook Live searches have increased 330% and Live videos are watched 3x longer than pre-edited and uploaded video content.
3. Meet Generation Z
In 2018 a new generation will reign supreme: Generation Z. After years of buzz and strategic planning to harness the rebellious, innovative and adaptive Millennial, businesses are now looking to Gen Z as the newest and most valuable market. Gen Z — most widely classified as anyone born after 1995 — grew up watching the Millennial's unorthodox approach to life and took notes. These "younger siblings" are wise beyond their years because they've had the advantage of observing the evolution taking place around them. And with Gen Z predicted to make up 40% of all consumers by 2020, learning the ins and outs of this generation is paramount. Here's a few tips on how to craft the right message for this powerhouse:
If you thought Millennials were pros at sniffing out sales-y content, you haven't met Gen Z. Gen Zers are the most technology fluent generation yet, and with hours and hours of swiping, clicking and zooming, Gen Z is immune to traditional advertising. Want their attention? Create value by making yourself a niche resource within your industry.
Don't just claim to be an industry leader, but actually look the part. No matter how quality your message is, if you website looks outdated, your profile and header images aren't crisp and clean, or if your content seems stale, you've lost Gen Z's interest. As internet pros, they judge with their eyes first, and then delve further into the bulk of the content itself. So whether you're a brand-new start up or a community staple that's been around for 20 years, if your online presence is out of style or unprofessional, you won't hold the attention of Gen Z for more than a second.