The world of social media and digital advertising is an ever changing playing field.  Between algorithm changes, API changes, as well as ad targeting ability reduction, there have been a lot of ups and downs during 2018. Here are 5 things that we believe will change social media marketing in 2019, and how you can avoid pitfalls.

1. Cost Per Click Is Going Up

The broad range of businesses utilizing Facebook advertising has caused the cost per click to go up significantly, and will continue to rise.  As there is only so much ad space available on the social platforms, the cost for more businesses to utilize advertising means the cost will steadily rise. And this is what has been happening.

In 2016 the average CPC (cost per click) on Facebook was about 28 cents.  By Q3 of 2018, the median cost per click was already up to 48 cents, a very dramatic rise in cost.  This rise in advertising cost is not expected to drop any time soon, with more and more advertisers jumping on board the digital marketing train every day.
Start focusing on growing your organic following on social media, and rely less on your paid social efforts.  Organic social followings are more stable and low cost to manage over the long term, and when managed properly, can be highly effective at driving sales.  Once an organic following is large enough, that body of followers can produce large amounts of sales without having to run ads all the time.

2. SEO Is More Valuable Than Ever

Since cost per click is on the rise, any forms of quality organic traffic are of key importance.  SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization” is the process of optimizing your website and producing valuable content so that search engines like Google or Bing will rank you higher under specific keyword searches.  By effectively proving to Google that you are a valuable resource in your industry, you will gain traffic from users searching for topics related to your brand.

This traffic is highly valuable because they searched for keyword phrases related to you, landed on your website, and now have the ability to learn about your services or product.  This will inherently drive up your sales, without ever paying a dime for cost per click advertising.

SEO is one of the corner stones of digital marketing and business success in the future. SEO may seem hard to implement now, but it will only get harder as competition migrates from paid digital spaces, into organic growth development.  It’s best to start now and get ahead while it’s easier to put your stake in the ground.

3. Influencer Marketing Is Growing

There are more influencers now than ever on social media platforms.  If you are looking for a new way to put some rocket fuel on your marketing, influencer partnerships are your ticket.

Through negotiating with micro and macro influencers to promote your brand in exchange for free product or monetary compensation, you can expand awareness rapidly.  According to a study conducted by Linqia, 39% of marketers plan to increasing their total influencer marketing budget. The study also showed that most marketers will spend anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 on influencer marketing.

Now is the best time to start working with influencers on both a short term and long term promotion basis because just like anything else, they are starting to get more demanding in cost as more brands start to engage with this method.

4. Expansion Of Thought Leadership

With over an estimated 660,000 podcasts and 28 million episodes found throughout the internet, there are more voices than ever trying to share their opinion.  This is why producing highly innovative and thought provoking content is key for engaging new audiences.  Some of the most successful YouTube channels are based off of people sharing their honest opinions while going against the grain of cultural norm.

Becoming a thought leader on a specific topic can take time and effort but is highly valuable in driving your brand forward.  Through sharing inspiring and thought provoking content on social media, high quality articles online, public speaking engagements, etc., we start to create not just a brand but a movement.

2019 is the year to decide what you believe and how your perspective and core values will change the world.  This doesn’t have to be complicated because you can focus directly on the topics that directly relate to your industry, staying focused on your audiences’ interests. 

5. Social Platforms Will Become More Diverse

Normal social platforms are starting to become so saturated with content that businesses are getting left out. Due to algorithm changes in 2018, business page posts on Facebook and Instagram will automatically be pushed far down below other content and usually not seen by valuable users. This has caused businesses to lose millions over the past year.

This saturation has created opportunities for other apps to emerge or become more popular than ever before.  Some new apps are surging in popularity like Tik-Tok, or classic apps that are still reaching their full potential like Pinterest.

In 2019 it’s time to take a good hard look at what platforms you are investing in to make sure that you are really reaching your full potential and staying ahead of the game.  Diversifying your social platform strategy can result in a better long term existence online.

If you are not expanding, you are dying, so start trying new platforms and take risks to expand into untapped pockets.