The world of marketing and advertising is an ever-evolving landscape; what worked last month will land you with zero results the following month. As a result, we’re constantly guessing and adapting. But, if you can figure out which trends will make a difference and establish a presence then you’ll ride a wave of success. Being one step ahead is the best option for any savvy marketer or director looking to stand out in this crowded market.

So, with that in mind, I thought it’d be beneficial before the end of 2018 to list my top 3 trends where I think there’ll be significant traction in 2019 and beyond, so you can enter the new year with some fresh strategies and approaches.

Before we get started, here’s my little caveat. Do you research and plan properly before you implement it into your marketing mix? Too many times we attempt to jump on a new trend, yet give it minimal effort and expect big results.

Instead, conduct market research and determine whether your audience will use this platform. Assign yourself some measurables and determine end goals from this new strategy, ensuring your deadlines are attainable.

1. Video marketing in all forms will make a difference.

The use of video in marketing has long been flogged as the trend to jump on and it’s by no means new and fresh. However, video continues to rise in popularity, especially through platforms like LinkedIn.

The best part of video is that it makes you stand out in what can sometimes be an extremely busy feed. Social platforms give huge preference to native video content and if the content in the video is value-adding, it’s likely it will get views.

Throughout 2018, we’ve been experimenting with video content and have found that if we align the content of the video to our persona’s pain points and create something that is value-adding, it’ll perform remarkably well.

Here are my top tips if you want to get started with video:

  • Do not get too precious about the recording quality, people usually don’t care. Focus on the content instead.
  • Make your video short and snappy – 40 seconds is a good time.
  • Add subtitles to the video, through editing or use a service like rev.com
  • Don’t add a link to the copy. LinkedIn and other social platforms will favour it considerably.
  • Bright colours in the content will make it stand out more.
  • Start with a quick explanation of what the viewer will get out of the video in the opening few seconds.
  • Finish with a related question to encourage discussion in the comments.

From my experience working with various recruitment agencies, video is growing in popularity and becoming an actual KPI for consultants, so it’s a trend you really need to get on immediately before your competitors.

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2. Facebooks groups are becoming big

I recently stopped using Facebook and refused to go on it. Every time I logged in, I saw a feed of nonsense and poorly matched content. That was until about a month ago when I began to join Facebook Groups which were related to my professional interests. These groups have very active communities with people engaging in valuable discussions.

The more you interact with these discussions, the more Facebook’s algorithm will favour group activity at the top of your feed. Consequently, my Facebook is filled with value-adding threads about marketing, design and ads and has now become my go-to social media.

This has happened to many users and is down to a recent pledge.

Facebook announced at their first ever communities summit that they are “Setting a goal to help 1 billion people join meaningful communities”. This is a PR friendly way of saying that they’re going to be pushing their Groups feature.

When Facebook makes a pledge with one of their features, it means their algorithms will be programmed to favour content from that feature, much like we saw with Live video the last couple of years.

So, how can recruiters use facebook groups?

A big topic of debate and sometimes considered as a ‘holy grail’ for recruiters is to foster a closed garden community of relevant candidates in which the recruitment agency can almost cherry pick the best talent for their clients. It’s a huge bargaining chip for securing clients and an efficient way of meeting briefs. If Facebook groups are used properly, they can achieve this for you.

Here are my top tips if you want to get started with a Facebook Group.

  • Build a group which is designed for a specialism you recruit in  e.g. Java Developers
  • Lean on your existing candidates to build out the group when you first get started
  • Create a sense of community by assigning active users admin rights as well as having a set of guidelines and rules.
  • Don’t sell directly or straight away in the group – give it time to foster & keep any recruitment talk through private messaging.
  • Create your group and the subsequent threads around your target audience’s pain-points.
  • Invest money in ads to build your audience.
  • Offer incentives to users who help build and grow the group.
  • Offer unique value-adding content to entice people to join your group.
  • Keep the group private and give an easy but interesting test of 1/2 questions to those wanting to join.
  • Gather email addresses through sign-ups and contact them weekly with popular threads or related value-adding content.
  • Remember this is a slow burner and will take community management and effort.

3. Get yourself a bot.

Following our previous blog, in which we covered chat-bots in the recruitment industry, I thought for my final trend we’ll touch on the tech that has been a big talking point in the last 3 of our marketing workshops, the chatbot.

Chatbots sound intimidating like you’d need a degree in computer science to even attempt this. However, it’s really quite simple and is quickly becoming the ‘Email 2.0’ of our generation. I find myself using chatbots more and more as time goes on and with open rates in the range of 80%-90%, we’re currently sitting in the golden age for an exciting new form of communication.

Marketing with chatbots is being dominated by Facebook, with WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) trailing behind. One of our preferred apps to set up a messenger bot would be ManyChat.

Beyond those generous open rates, a messenger strategy will be able to open up a new form of communication with an intimate community which you’ll build very similar to that of email.

With this platform, you can create a fantastic channel which will allow you to share content to your audience, which has a vastly higher chance of getting viewed but also automatically creates the possibility to create a meaningful conversation with your viewers.

If you wanted to get started with ManyChat (which is free), please check out this excellent blog.

Here are my top tips if you want to get started with a Chatbot:

  • Use a value-add to build your audience like an eBook (ManyChat allows you to do this)
  • Experiment with automation for users.
  • Don’t be afraid to use emojis.
  • Ask your audience survey-like questions and feed back the results later.
  • Don’t spam.
  • Try to add as much value as possible.
  • Try to segment your users by what they’re interested in.
  • Use the platform to create a line of communication with the user.
  • Try to respond to messages as soon as possible.
  • Create a job alert chatbot for active candidates.
  • Plan carefully in order to implement properly.

We’re currently implementing our very own messenger strategy within The Recruitment Network for our TRN World platform, which I’ll be creating a case study from later.

This article is a brief insight into all the trends and tech which will be not only be making an impact on marketing, but the recruitment industry as a whole. It’s a fascinating time where data and creativity need to work effectively hand in hand. 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year and I’m excited about it!

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