Tag Archives: Marketing

Social Media Trends to Look Out For in 2018

Social media marketing trends seem to evolve faster every year. (And don’t expect 2018 to be an exception!) Digital marketing experts are already predicting a number of influential shifts virtually guaranteed to occur during this upcoming year. Here are a few worth watching for:

1. Instagram Stories Will Continue its Meteoric Growth

Until recently, using this popular social media platform used to consist of a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, users had to strive for frequent-enough updates to keep their followers engaged. At the same time, users don’t want to flood their gallery with redundant and relatively low-quality photos and videos.

The perfect solution? A temporary “story reel” that allows users to post photos and videos that last for 24 hours before disappearing! (A feature that, you may have noticed, was virtually 100% copycatted from rival platform Snapchat, which Instagram unsuccessfully attempted to buy. But that’s a different story.) The bottom line is that Instagram stories, released hardly a year ago, have rapidly become one of the most popular features of the site. And this growth in popularity shows no sign of slowing. If you are not yet participating in Instagram Stories, the time to start is probably now.

2. Influencer Marketing Will Become More…Influential

The biggest names in social media keep getting bigger. Influencers continue growing their audiences and developing better content, wider reach, and more sophisticated marketing strategies. Because of this, building relationships with relevant influencers in your industry is more important than ever. Content sharing, blog commenting, and other forms of influencer relationship building should all be on your agenda for 2018.

3. Gen Z Shifts the Paradigm Toward Visual Content

In its earliest days, social media was virtually synonymous with microblogging — short and sometimes quite personal blurbs of text, such as Facebook statuses or even Tweets. With every passing year, however, the popularity of text-based content declines in favor of visual mediums such as video and photography.

Experts have given a wide variety of explanations for this ongoing phenomenon — some attribute this change to algorithm updates by Google and Facebook, while others claim it is simply a reflection off human psychology. One factor certainly in play here? The rise of Gen Z. (Born roughly 1995 – 2010.) This cohort has been shown time and time again to be exceptionally interested in visual content above all else — and their buying power is on the rise.

 4. Live Content Rules

Who doesn’t love live entertainment? Facebook, Google, and many of their competitors are promoting their new live video platforms hard because they know that sooner rather than later, these technologies will dominate the social media scene. Getting a head start now is probably a wise move for virtually any business or organization.

 5. Twitter Will Continue to Shake Things Up

2017 was a disappointing year for Twitter — which, in case you have been living under a rock, is one of the biggest and most influential social media platforms in the world. Considering their power and influence, Twitter certainly isn’t going to lose relevance without a fight! Already, Twitter has committed to a dramatic change when they doubled their character limit. Expect more radically groundbreaking moves of this sort in 2018, as well!

 

For more tips on social media campaign management and online marketing, visit Black and Gold online today!

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Outsource vs. In House: Why Use an External Marketing Agency?

Marketing in the digital era requires regular maintenance and constant innovation. Rather than running your team ragged to keep up, you can save money and get better results by working with an external marketing agency.

Cost-Effective Specialization

When you try to recruit highly talented pros onto your team, you’ve got to offer them something no one else will. The more experience and success the marketing professional has, the more you’ve got to outmaneuver your competitors to bring the right people into the fold. Fail to keep your highly prized team member satisfied and you may find him or her moving onto another job, taking the skills and knowledge they’ve gained since joining your team with them and leaving you in the position of having to go through the hiring process once again.
costs associated with recruiting and hiring. Independent marketing firms want to build long-lasting relationships with their clients, and they aren’t going to be chasing the job with the best benefits package or the most comprehensive in-office perks.

Top Talent on Demand

Working with an external marketing agency not only saves money but also brings in better talent. Recruiting marketers can be tough, but marketing agencies tend to have a special edge in this arena. Marketers who are responsible for taking over an entire marketing operation as a one-person department often find themselves having to work on other tasks not related to their area of expertise, and the people who dedicate their professional lives to understanding the art and science of branding usually aren’t thrilled by this idea.

Specialist firms allow marketing geniuses the opportunity to focus in on the skills they’re most passionate about, which results in focused, creative outcomes. External marketing firms may shift gears between different projects, but they’re always focused on the same essential tasks. Everything a marketing specialist does will sharpen his or her skill set and bring fresh ideas to the table.

A New Perspective


The pervasive reach of digital media has given rise to the age of the highly publicized marketing fail, with major marketing mistakes taking on a life of their own and causing millions to scratch their heads, wondering how something like this could happen. No matter how hard we try to fight it, humans have a tendency to want to fall in line with a group. Speaking out against an idea that everyone else in your office is excited about can be tough.

Bringing in different perspectives helps organizations avoid what often seems like obvious mistakes to everyone but the people working on the project. External marketing agencies don’t operate under the same roof as their clients, and the interplay between the agency and their client introduces a system of checks and balances in which the final result has been thoroughly vetted and considered both by the people who know the product best and the marketing experts who know how to sell it.

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Welcome to the Art + Science of Modern Marketing

Welcome to the new BLACK + GOLD blog “The Art + Science of Modern Marketing.” We’ve created this blog to talk about how we view the current order of marketing and creativity.

Much has been said and written about how much marketing has become a science, with all the advancements in technology and the web impacting eCommerce. As famed consulting firm McKinsey Company wrote recently in their white paper The dawn of marketing’s new golden age:

“Advances in data, modeling, and automated analysis are creating ever more refined ways of targeting and measuring the returns
 on marketing investments, while generating powerful new clues about why consumers behave as they do.”

While we respect and practice the science of modern marketing, at BLACK + GOLD we are firmly committed to the art of visual story telling with great photography, creating images that reflect and celebrate the authenticity of a brand and its products, in a way that no algorithm can define.

BLACK + GOLD is made up of artists, writers and creatively inspired people first and foremost, and we use that lens for everything we do. And we then combine our artistic sensibilities with proven business acumen.

Is freely mixing art + science in business, marketing and eCommerce like trying to mix oil and water?

We think not.

On this blog we’ll be sharing ways that will help you understand and then put into practice both the art + science of modern marketing.

We invite you to comment on and share our posts on social media, and let us know if there is anything you’d like us to write about going forward.

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