The trends marketers adapt in the Middle East region tend to be a year after their counterparts in the West test and experience results in. While the rest of our region is fixated on creating reactive content strategies, more success can be found with predictive content strategy. Given that, there are six trends marketers of our region will be experimenting with at scale in 2018.
1. Social Media as Premium Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Tagxit are now premium platforms for reaching consumers. The chat apps have a higher width of users than the top social media networks. This is due in part because of the convoluted ecosystem around developers and application programming interface. Marketers will turn to either creating their own messaging apps (bad move unless they are prepared to burn cash for five years) or they will work with mobile messaging apps to create branded content in the form of emoji’s, GIF’s, and bots.
2. Social Media as Support Platforms
People will continue to use mass social media as the channel through their thoughts, perspectives, and opinions are voice, regardless of how controversial.
3. Mobile Advertising in Real-Time
Perhaps one of the most impressive workarounds the rise of ad blocking has been the development and commercial deployment of playable ads. The most notable player in clutter shattering mobile advertising has been AdColony, with its newly launched Aurora HD interactive video ads to engage mobile users. As marketers move away from static and the confines of what an ad blocker considers “intrusive irrelevant spam”, marketers that want to reach eyeballs will experiment with platforms that break through the noise. Similarly, marketers on the publisher side will diversify revenue streams in mobile advertising by adding on header bidding in their revenue ecosystem.
4. Social Media as a Conversion Drive
As algorithms in post-IPO social media change to overprice attention and platforms experience ad fatigue, marketers will wonder what role networks are playing across the buyer decision journey. Expect to see the rise of social media as a means for footfall generation and conversion.
5. “We’ll Do It Live”
With Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Periscope, and more, expect to see marketers create LIVE stories about their impact for depth based community building. Here are a couple of guidelines to get it right.
6. Privacy Regulations
Marketers with foresight will come to grips with the reality that even in the face of business interests, they will need to be the champions of a value system that values the privacy of all humans. That means, adhering to business practices that are non-intrusive in the digital world, even if the competition is hammering away. Given the court rulings in the West and laws against defamation in the Middle East, and in the Asia Pacific, brands would be wise to side with platforms that are vigilant about the legitimacy of content hosted on their sites.