Brand marketers, listen up
Brand marketers, here are some forecasts for your consideration this 2020: Expect to fall in love with artificial intelligence; think about your consumers’ social media wellness; and blaze a new trail in marketing by trying new platforms, like TikTok.
These are just some of the top trends listed down in the report Social Media Trends for 2020, published recently by social media listening and analytics firm Talkwalker and Hubspot, developer of marketing and sales software.
The report compiles six months’ worth of data (from the first half of 2019), which were identified using Talkwalker Analytics and Quick Search. Mentions of topics were gathered from a variety of media including news sites, social media channels, blogs and forums.
Sentiment analysis, video analytics and image recognition were also used, and were powered by the Talkwalker AI Engine. Sentiment analysis was performed with an average of 90-percent accuracy, with the ability to detect sarcasm and snarky comments. Images were compared to a database of over 30,000 brand logos, to help identify brand images in social media photos and videos. Also included in the report are insights from worldwide industry experts, PR professionals, and social media gurus (download the full report on www.talkwalker.com).
These are the trends identified in the report:
1. TikTok will be part of your marketing strategy. Talkwalker found that Instagram hit 1 billion monthly active users in 2019 (making it the fifth largest social media channel), TikTok appears to be catching up. In 2018, the platform had around 500 million active users; now, it may be closer to 750 million, the report states. And it’s popular among the younger consumers, those ages 30 and below.
What this means for brands and marketers: If you’re looking to pioneer a new marketing method, and build new online communities, then TikTok may just be for you. The report makes an example of Pepsi India’s marketing campaign on the platform, which is driving user-generated content thanks to its #SwagStepChallenge. “Social is moving beyond mainstream social,” says Onat Roldan, president and CEO of AdSpark Inc., one of the experts quoted in the report. “Social media patronage is constantly changing, especially with the younger generations. This is, and will continue to be, a challenge for those of us who wish to have a clearer understanding of these emerging consumers.”
2. Social media wellness will be an essential part of your consumer engagement. As people become increasingly more connected, they are also becoming more aware of the need to unplug. According to the report, there have been around 78,000 conversations online surrounding social media wellness as of last year. This comes hand in hand with the increased awareness on mental health, particularly social media addiction, and the report states that the hashtag #DigitalDetox is “invigorating users to balance their social media usage and their mental well-being.”
What this means for brands and marketers: It’s time to focus more on the quality, rather than quantity of your messages. Also, be conscious of your consumers’ social media wellness, and engage them in a way that is meaningful—and allow them to opt out of the experience, if they want to.
3. You will harness the power of data privacy and rein in “fake news.” Data privacy and the spread of misinformation are two issues surrounding trust when it comes to social media. The good news is that platforms are now working to address these problems so as to rebuild their “brand trust.”
What this means for brands and marketers: Do not put your consumers’ brand trust at risk, so strike a balance between personalization and data privacy. Also, avoid having your brand associated with any kind of “fake news” so as to keep the trust of your consumers.
4. AR and VR will be used effectively in your marketing. According to the report, conversations about augmented reality and virtual reality had over 13 million engagements last year—and five percent of those conversations were related to marketing. The introduction of 5G opens up these two technologies to a world of possible uses.
What this means for brands and marketers: Think about how you can maximize AR and VR. For retail, AR could enhance the in-store experience through interactive shopping activities. As for the use of VR, the report makes an example of Japan Airlines, which allows customers to “preexperience” their trips.
5. You will use artificial intelligence—and love it. AI is the report’s most-talked about trend, with 4.7 million mentions, or more than double the others’ total. Social listening reveals that while people are still on the fence about AI—their biggest concern revolves around automation’s threat to certain jobs—more are starting to understand its potential.
What this means for brands and marketers: It’s time to invest in AI tech. Chatbots, says the report, a particularly significant investment, since it improves customer experience through 24/7 service, and manages customer data.
6. Gen Z will only engage if you pivot your strategy. The report states that in the last year, conversational data around advertising indicates that people “no longer want to be sold to,” with 84 percent of millennials saying they don’t trust traditional advertising. The demands of Gen Z are similar, especially since both generations are tech-savvy and therefore appreciate innovation, creativity, personalization, brand purpose and transparency.
What this means for brands and marketers: You’ll need two specific tactics to capture the Gen Z market, says the report: Understand your audience, and take measured risks. “Learn which channels they’re using, when, how and why. Be part of that conversation. Maximize usage of these channels, with all their features,” the report further states.
7. Your influencer marketing will go small to go big. The report calls influencer marketing “a double-edged sword” because, while consumers do rely on them for recommendations, there’s still no specific framework for measuring this strategy’s success. Plus, there’s also the problem of fake influencers, which, according to the report, had over 9,000 online engagements during the first half of 2019.
What this means for brands and marketers: Consider micro and nano influencers—instead of going for one big-time influencer, invest in smaller ones, for the same cost. The report lists these four advantages of going for micro and nano influencers: you get to focus on specific audiences; improve your engagement; minimize risk; and, ultimately, spend less for potentially better returns.
8. You will invest in user-generated content. User-generated content now generates about seven times the engagement that branded content does, states the report, because these are more authentic, easily shared and are created outside of the brand sphere.
What this means for brands and marketers: Instead of just selling something, build a community for your consumers. You can also incentivize content creation among customers by offering, for example, product discounts, prizes, or special events, says the report. Make the content easy to share, and, lastly, plan a strategy to maximize distribution of such content on different channels.TikTok
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