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Top 10 digital trends in the global steel industry

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Alistair Ragg, Communications Specialist for Worldsteel, has provided an overview of digital trends that need to be understood by steel producers and traders.

Top 10 digital trends in the global steel industry

Worldsteel has examined digital trends, potential challenges and potential responses from both the steel industry and external speakers who provide insight into their current and future performance in this ever-changing landscape.

Here are 10 digital trends we need to look at in 2019, along with a few examples of metals companies that are already trying their hand at digital services.

  1. Messaging apps and metallurgical chatbots development

Don't worry, it is highly unlikely that we will be chatting with bots until we die. Instead, AI-powered language learning promises to dramatically improve the digital experience.

Why is this important? Well, first of all, you will be “on the same page” with your customers and together increase the use of instant messaging applications. Facebook Messenger alone has over 1.3 billion active monthly users worldwide.

Chatbot technology provides available 24/7 support and proactive, not just responsive customer interactions. Let's say a problem occurs on a production line, resulting in delayed orders - your chatbot can notify customers and instantly answer questions, ahead of requests before they ask you about it, relieving pressure on other communication channels.

Metals companies are already using chatbot-based technology such as voestalpine's Jobbot to help people pursue career opportunities.

Interest in chatbots has increased over the past 5 years and Google Trends has seen a marked increase in search volume. Therefore, it is worth looking at the possibilities they can provide.

  1. Migration platforms and demographic shifts

Facebook remains king in terms of audience size with 2 billion monthly active users, but the network is facing slower user growth in most age groups with the exception of over 55. In contrast, Instagram is seeing growth in use across all age groups, especially among young people, with the most active users between the ages of 18 and 34.

If you want to build relationships with clients or future decision makers, this is something worth considering. Severstal has already decided to join Instagram and have created an impressive selection of network solutions.

  1. The video has become closer to the viewer

Video content is widely regarded as the most effective form of media for engagement and conversion. And CISCO predicts that worldwide video will account for over 80% of all internet traffic next year.

TDo Steel Ltd's #DoorsOfIndia Award-winning movie is a great example of the potential of video, with over 65K views on YouTube alone.

Creating your own video is arguably more complex and resource intensive than creating traditional forms of content, especially for small groups. However, for smaller users there are tools - WIBBITZ or Magisto.

Live video streaming is also due to start in 2019 with an estimated 15x growth over the next half year. Steel companies are following this trend, with the recent live broadcast of Thyssenkrupp AG's AGM being a prime example.

  1. Paid content started to make money

Organic reach has been in decline on Facebook for some time. But a change in the network algorithm last year brought that barrier down. There will be many factors, but, in essence, content that encourages active engagement through comments, shares and reactions takes precedence in the news feed over more passive interactions such as clicks and views. This means more personal and people-centered content.

This might be less of a problem for Tenaris, whose One Plant, One Fan Page approach to Facebook has already benefited from community pages. The active customer engagement created this year has generated over 450,000 interactions across 14 company pages.

On the other hand, Twitter and LinkedIn have the most predictable and consistent performance of any channel.

What is all this supposed to mean? If you haven't already, start re-evaluating the weight and energy you put into your organic and paid effort.

Increasing organic activity may not bring any clear benefit, and in some channels, paid promotion is now practically necessary. Most importantly, what is your goal? Is it clicks or interactions? Or how m

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