We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase “hindsight is 20/20,” but what about foresight looking ahead into 2020? The social climate and digital marketplace is in a constant state of evolution. It can be confusing and overwhelming, but no worries – we’re here to help! We have for you what we feel are some of the trends and industry practices you should adopt moving forward into the new year/decade. We’ll call them “business resolutions,” so even if you fail to stick to that 6 am gym schedule, you can be sure to adopt these business resolutions as a way to grow your company or brand!
Social Media Shopping
One of the biggest trends to develop over the past year and a half has been the rise of shopping on social media. In fact, in 2019, an average of 130 million Instagram users tapped on shopping posts to learn about products and services every month in the year! These consumers are shopping for products ranging from band tees to laptop computers through social media, and in 2020 you can expect that number to continue increasing as companies work on new technology to ensure safety and streamline the consumer experience. For instance, Facebook has made adjustments to its social media shopping experience through the use of chatbots. A chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation, allowing people to interact with digital devices the way they would a real person. Chatbots are easy to make, not requiring you to be an expert or even a developer. They save businesses money and offer convenience and added services for customers.
Social media platforms are adding more and more features and updates to aid in social media commerce. Instagram, for example, is aware that 80% of people in the U.S. say that Instagram helps them to research new products or services. So what does IG do? Its developers create an update that allows marketers to add price tags to their posts, and they’ve called it “Instagram Shopping.” This lets brands attach links to their products within a post so their audiences can purchase a desired item right then and there. This creates a huge opportunity for brands to capitalize on audiences, pretty much at any time while they’re going about their day.
The numbers are in and the popularity of the “Stories” feature is through the roof! 500 million users are making use of the feature every day, and it’s guaranteed to continue climbing. Instagram/Facebook Stories enable users to post pictures and videos to an album that disappears after 24 hours. Companies have been using it to improve their engagement, visibility, and content. According to a recent report by Hootsuite, 60% of businesses either already have incorporated Instagram stories into their strategies or plan on doing so. Stories allow you to stay top of mind, make use of real-time marketing, and help you connect with your target audience in a more relaxed authentic manner. This leads directly to another important strategy…
Interactivity is an important strategy to adopt as you head into 2020. This is when you get your audience to take some sort of action on or with your post. Whether that is sharing the post with their followers, responding to a question, poll, or quiz, or even tagging their friends. These calls to actions create the sort of brand and personal connections that you are looking to have and build as you move forward growing your brand in the new decade.
Next year will also be the year that niche marketing becomes a focus for specific brands and industries. A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. Products in a niche market are aimed at satisfying specific market needs. An example of this would be the Dollar Shave Club, which is a company that only sells razors. For smaller businesses and even some bigger ones, casting a big net won’t yield the same results that can be seen from concentrated efforts aimed to reach the right people with the right focused intent.
For young brands or those aspiring to get into a specific market, it will be about choosing the quality of engagements over the quantity of them. You want to pick one thing you want to be known for and stick to it. Choose one or two platforms and focus your energy on building your story and brand voice on them. Choose these platforms based on your ideal client, your best performing content to date and the platform demographics. Create a solid hashtag and keyword strategy around your one product or service and keep your marketing efforts laser-focused on it. In layman’s terms, don’t do what everyone else is doing. Do what’s right for your brand to reach its desired goals.
Stay tuned for Part Two where we discuss our 2020 Predictions for advertising and marketing as an industry!