Around the end of the year the “Top 10” lists for 2018 usually come out. These range from everything like the top trends of 2018 to something like the top 10 hipster foods of 2018. Basically if you’re cool then you have a similar list, and since we are obviously the coolest people around we should go along and introduce our top trends in the digital world of advertising and business. Since the year isn’t complete we’ll only give you half of a top 10.
- Streaming services for premium channels: Our first one is getting us started with a bang. Now streaming services are still relatively new especially when it comes to singular channels running their own services. It seems like this trend actually may have started with Netflix, this is totally not backed up by sources other than my giant brain. Netflix almost acted like a proof of concept service and when they started producing their own shows then it became more obvious to other services that this was viable. Now major cable companies like CBS have streaming services that act as another source of revenue, not just that but the ad buys probably come with an inflated CPM. Lately ESPN launched their own service and within the past couple of weeks Disney announced an upcoming service that comes with original programming and actually takes away from Netflix due to Disney pulling their programming from Netflix and putting it on their own service. With cord cutting becoming more and more of a thing these services are becoming more and more popular.
- Streaming live events: Similar to the streaming of premium channels; live event streaming has become more popular. These events aren’t just streaming on app-like channels ala ESPN+, but actually are becoming more common on sites you wouldn’t expect. For example companies like the MLB and WWE have started using Facebook as a streaming service. Lately Amazon, of course, has gotten in on the action and is using Amazon Prime as a streaming service for Thursday Night Football games. Especially when it comes to the social media streaming services, this is a new way for companies to connect directly to consumers while upping the convenience fee. I don’t know about you but if I see a game going on, no matter who’s playing, on Facebook I’ll watch it because it’s there. On the other hand if that same game is on TV I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it.
- Trolling: Yes, trolling has become a legitimate strategy for companies to use on social media. It may seem a little out there but take a look at Wendy’s or any sports team after they beat a rival and you’ll see the value. When these companies make us laugh by doing something a little unexpected it almost normalizes them. Not just in our eyes but the eyes of the public as well. Blog writers and journalists pick this up and write articles about how this one company “eviscerated” this other company/person/whatever. That’s free press, and more times than not what’s being written is positive of your company. Even if what’s being written is negative, the context that these posts are going out in invite those assumptions. That way you’ll be able to go back to the time tested opinion that any press is good press.
- Social media influencers: Excuse me while I throw up writing about this. I don’t like influencers. All they really do is take whatever semi-fame they have/had and leverage that into basically being paid promoters. It’s either that or they’re professional hot people. These influencers are why the Kardashians are a thing. Yet it’s a tactic that has paid dividends to getting the word out about a product. In fact some companies only tactics are leveraging these influencers to build their brand. At the start of the semester we talked about the segway and how it wasn’t cool but hoverboards were, even though they were essentially the same thing. That’s because hoverboards were heavily promoted by these influencers like Justin Bieber (side note since it’s around Christmas time do yourself a favor and listen to Mistletoe by Justin Bieber because that song is FIRE!!!). Unfortunately, the more and more success stories get built from leveraging these influencers, the more this becomes a legitimate strategy for growing companies. That means these “Insta-Famous” people aren’t going away…
- Controversy: Ask Nike if this is a good strategy. Honestly, this may be the trend in 2018 and it all stems from an ad campaign. Colin Kaepernick is such a divisive figure that no one would even think about using in an ad let alone being the central figure of one. With all the backlash they received you’d think that it would hit the stock price quite a bit, and it did…initially. After the campaign had time to breath Nike actually came out ahead of where they were. This alone gives credibility to this trend. Whether it’s one that we’ll be seeing more as time goes on is anyone’s guess. For now though it has become a new tactic that has a proven sample.
While you’re at it, check out some of our other blog posts below: