Apr 26

Is Social Media Under Threat?

The Future of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is the omnipresent and booming voice of the marketplace, forging lasting relationships between people and businesses on an unprecedented scale.

It has sparked an incredible rise in Ecommerce, a sector valued at over £533 billion. As a result, digital literacy has never been so high, with the vast majority of people purchasing (or having purchased) products online.

Whether you’re a part-timer, a home business, a start-up, or multinational conglomerate, digital marketing is the voice that brings your message to the people. And, as the audience grows, so will the need for future marketing investments.

But, as always, we must ask ourselves what the cost of this development is. And, more importantly, we must concede that this cost is not always a financial one.

Is Digital Marketing Under Threat?

In a digital age dominated by issues of ‘fake news,’ ambiguous Facebook algorithms, ubiquitous sponsored pages, and privacy concerns, people have become increasingly wary of the ways in which they are being marketed to.

Recently, Wetherspoon decided to delete its social media accounts, halting all activity on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram, citing online abuse, the addictive nature of social platforms, and concerns over the misuse of personal data.

This mostly has implications for social media, which is widely believed to be at the forefront of digital marketing development. And not without good reason. Mediakix calculated that people spend nearly 5.5 years of their lives on social media, a staggering figure that looks set to rise even more.

In many ways, these growing concerns have already changed the landscape of many social media platforms. Mark Zuckerberg stated in early 2018 that Facebook’s algorithms would undergo revisions, and that emphasis would be placed on what is important: people. More importantly, the people you care about.

It’s a vital reminder that lazy digital marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter could lead to widespread alienation from these platforms. After all, social media should remain social, without developing into emotionless advertisement hubs.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

One worrying trend is that of ‘fake news.’ While at first it only seems marginally related to digital marketing, it does ask important questions of what people trust online, whether that be on social media or websites themselves.

A BBC world service poll in September of 2017 concluded that ’79 % of respondents worried about what was fake and what was real on the internet.’ This has become a serious concern for businesses and marketers, as the authority and believability of the internet is questioned more and more. (You don’t need to be a stockbroker to realise that once confidence plummets, it may not always recover in time.)

No one wants to read something with a sly suspicion that they are being spoon-fed ideas about what to buy or think, or that they are being deceived. After all, the internet was founded on the principles of freedom and independence, and never intended as a glorified billboard. People want to be engaged, pushed, and questioned. They want conversations with companies, not just sales pitches.

It’s not the system. It’s how you use it.

It’s up to us – the digital marketers – to provide that conversation. The future of Digital Marketing will be about recapturing the imagination of the public. Videos, GIFs, online customer chats, interactive experiences, and mobile development will be instrumental in creating new and exciting ways to market ideas to the world.

Holistic marketing approaches will also be vital to any business looking to spread their message and products to the public. Anyone can have several marketing channels, but it’s about how those channels engage with each other that will make all the difference. Unique, engaging, and personable content should be spread out amongst various channels, all delicately interwoven with one another to provide a seamless and streamlined user experience.

Here’s to the future.

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Want to read more about the exciting digital marketing trends for 2018? Read Mystic Mark’s Marketing Predictions for 2018.

 

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