Winning digital trends for 2018


We recently saw the announcement of the top five digital marketing trends for 2018 according to The Drum.

We’ve been banging a drum at Cirkle for a lot of these for years.

So how can we use these trends within our client campaign planning and who is already ahead of the trend and winning on social media?

Video is not slowing down, in fact, if you aren’t including video within your content, is there really any point? Facebook users consume over eight billion videos every day and 82% of the content viewed on Twitter is video. The variety continues to grow from a simple gif to live stream so the opportunity for brands to be creative and bring their audience into the brand is bigger than ever.

Video is particularly prevalent in the world of food (relevant for so many of our clients), especially when it comes to recipes. Anyone else addicted to Tasty videos? Style instructional food porn is by far the most popular thing on the internet. It all started at a division of BuzzFeed and since its first post, the ‘Tasty format’ of overhead recipe video has tuned in to a phenomenon, everyone wants a slice of the cake. This is the go-to style, simple, mouth-watering, engaging content. Despite only being around for 2 years, Tasty videos on average get over three billion views a month

Simplicity of video is what appeals most to the viewer and what brands should keep in mind. Showcasing product versatility and encouraging people to get hands-on in the kitchen is what makes these videos so popular and why so many brands following this format. Technology continues to play a huge role in how we consume recipes in the kitchen, if it’s not viewing a video on your phone or iPad you can now have Jamie Oliver speak you through the direction of your favourite recipe via e.g. Amazon’s Alexa. Voice is the next big thing.

The trend that most caught my attention from The Drum’s round up was Social media influence gaining more….influence. We work a lot with social media influencers and have a wide range of social media influencers, bloggers, vloggers as part of our Social Inner Cirkle community. A winning strategy is around LONGEVITY and AUTHENTICITY in terms of relationships, sources and content.

One of our campaigns for HiPP Organic – ‘Wean Team’ had these two strategies at the core. We embarked on a 12-month programme which tapped into our exclusive blogger community, working with a group of parenting bloggers who became credible trusted advocates for HiPP Organic. Throughout the partnership, they shared key baby milestones, used the HiPP product range and produced over 500 pieces of editorial and endorsement with 100% positive sentiment, engaging over 10million mums combined.

Another brand winning at this is ASOS and its ‘ASOS Insiders’ campaign. Instead of using sponsored posts, it has creates a group of sponsored influencers which primarily post images of themselves wearing ASOS clothing including links for their followers to ‘buy the look’. The ASOS Insiders are authentic and are genuine fashion, beauty or lifestyle bloggers meaning they already have a captive and engaged audience. By encouraging the influencers to build natural, authentic content, ASOS is able to widen its reach and create long-term engagement without spending money on big advertising campaigns.

Brands need to provide real value in consumers’ lives and play a clear role, which the ASOS example does really well. The mechanic it has used is simple, acting as a source of inspiration via influencers that are real, credible and trusted by their communities. The aspiration, views and authenticity they provide is what leads the end user to purchase, simply by the click of button.

We have worked on a number of campaigns over the years that follow the same approach of recruiting a group of influencers that are authentic in that field, already have an engaged audience and are willing to partner with us (our brands) for the long term including The HiPP Organic Wean Team and the Royal Salute virtual tastings. For this campaign we worked with key online influencers renowned within the drinks industry to have exclusive access to the ‘man behind the magic’ at Royal Salute Whisky. Our targeted influencer activity led to an increase in positive social media sentiment and endorsement for the brand. The live Google Hangouts were a cost effective way to engage these key influencers and unite together from the comfort of their own homes.

Consumers can easily detect brand collaborations that are forced and will shy away from them. To win in ‘influencer marketing’, we need to continue to educate our clients on the benefits of building long term, relationships that naturally fit with their brands.

Sam Eden
Account Director

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