Predictions for 2018


Demonstrating a tangible return on investment will be critical in 2018. With clients looking to demonstrate more bang for their buck – and to appease multiple stakeholders – it will be more important than ever before to demonstrate measurable results. As the industry (at last!) starts to move away from the age-old AVE model, campaigns need to ultimately deliver for the business bottom line.

But demonstrating lead generation and sales uplift is by no means an easy feat. Whereas PR can often be KPI’d on the number of clippings, how do we as comms professionals make sure that this is working as hard as possible? Having a clear vision on who your audience is and how they consume their content will help provide the routes for how to engage and mobilise them in the first place.

For example, if you are targeting a C-suite audience, LinkedIn represents a very powerful means of reaching specific audience groups. Through delivering a live stream to LinkedIn on a subject of interest, your pre-promotion of that broadcast directly to specific C-suite groups via this platform will mean that you are crucially engaging with your audience with zero wastage. Everyone watching that live stream will be important. The data and analytics that come via live streaming – from number of live views to tracking enquiries – will ultimately provide you with hard results to canvas its success. A tick in the box for your ROI, and tangible leads for your client to convert.


Importance of B-Roll

If 2017 was a year for the explosion of video, 2018 will be the year when the media gets a lot smarter with its use of video. We are already seeing the media invest in their digital divisions. You only have to look at the likes of Time Out for example to see how important video is to media channels. The amount of views that Gulf News receives for its videos on its Facebook page is phenomenal!

But what we will see next year is the importance of how B-Roll – the loosely edited media footage – can add value to media and clients alike. Just as you craft your video content for news, a short B-Roll edit of the same footage, means that media can then craft their own video content from what you provide, and therefore put their own stamp on it. By pre-planning in advance and giving the media time to allocate resource, well curated B-Roll is just the ticket to working hand in hand with the media.


Video working harder than ever before

Just as brands create beautiful content for their websites, we predict that 2018 will see video content working a lot harder, so that it has value across multiple channels. We often see great video content being produced – but when asked where this video is going – we hear that it often ends up sitting on a YouTube channel or buried on a  corporate website somewhere, with very few people actually engaging with this let alone seeing it.

We very much evangelise the importance of taking your video content to your audience, rather than expecting your audience to come to you. Video content has so much value; brands can make it work a lot harder than many of them do, and can reap a lot more rewards from it through some careful editing. So yes, create a video for your site/YouTube channel, but then use the same footage to do a slight edit so that it works for online news. Then a further, shorter 60 second edit will then see it work across social channels, so it immediately becomes shareable. A further edit to create B-Roll will then provide opportunities to secure TV and online coverage just by delivering a short edit.

Ultimately the harder you make the footage work, the more value it will deliver.


The explosion of live

In 2018, live streaming will really start to gather momentum. A recent survey we conducted via our market research agency showed that 75% of consumers find live content more exciting than pre-recorded, and that half were more trusting of this than anything else. This stands to reason: it’s live and happening in real time, therefore it suddenly feels very transparent. But just as multiple events are live streamed to websites, this also has huge opportunities for press conferences, news announcements, launches and discussion points.

The mechanics of live streaming have also evolved. We have been live streaming for over 13 years now – starting on simple dial up connections and evolving this to fully fledged live TV style productions that are broadcast online. Whether it’s live streaming to online media sites, LinkedIn, Facebook or a client’s website, the power of the live is here to stay.


Author: Cheryl King – Markettiers