How to build a robust social strategy

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Kristina: What trends from 2017 do brands in the social space need to begin implementing now?

Ricky Ray Butler, Global Chief Campaign Officer, Branded Entertainment Network: We saw the groundwork being laid for influencers to become a worthwhile marketing investment this year. In 2018, brands will be implementing more data-driven strategies to effectively incorporate influencers into their wider marketing plans. Brands who have invested in the influencer marketing space will have no choice but to embrace the use of artificial intelligence in the new year. We’re seeing this technology’s role in combating fraud and transparency issues within influencer specifically. AI will be the future of optimization for influencer content, which will ultimately help inform marketers of the entire consumer journey.

Kristina: How can brands ensure their social strategies are in-line with the rest of their digital profiles?

Ricky: Influencers are the masters of engagement and understand how to best communicate with their audiences. Therefore, involving influencers more in the strategy and planning process of campaigns should be a major priority for marketers in 2018. This kind of partnership has to happen earlier on in the development of a campaign.

Kristina: What impact do you believe social channels will have on marketers in 2018?

Ricky: I think Instagram Stories will greatly impact the way marketers think about social in 2018. We have seen an average of 11 percent click-through rate with Instagram Stories, which is the highest rate we have seen in 2017 in online advertising. Thanks to the ease of execution and the natural feeling of the stories, marketers can work with influencers to capture moments throughout their day to easily share with followers, this includes Hollywood celebrities that push out Instagram content. This rewrites a lot of the ways marketers are used to working with social channels given the live element of stories. This is also forcing marketers to accept raw content when it has been a huge adjustment for them in the past when working with vloggers on Youtube and Facebook. It is great that Snapchat now provides a link but they need to make it possible to have unique tracking URL, this is one of the several things that makes Instagram stories a more premium platform to use. If Instagram stories are executed successfully, marketers stand to reach a staggering number of consumers.

Kristina: What can brands do now to prepare for these changes?

Ricky: The brands who make a true investment, adding influencers to the core of their planning process and set up an infrastructure to see what influencers do to push sales both online and/or in retail stores, and look at influencer marketing as a strategic media buy will come out on top. Brand marketers need influencers to help them think more broadly about marketing. Allow influencers to become part of your teams and harness that additional insight. Use them to become strategic advisors for the brand. Brands can empower their content to resonate with the new generation of audiences through the use of influencers. Be open to change!



Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.