Staying up to date with your marketing strategies is not an easy task, especially if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. In this technology driven social environment, you need to be able to keep up with shifting consumer interests by incorporating unique and effective digital marketing strategies. However, identifying the successful tactics and platforms out of the plethora of ineffective technologies claiming to be the “best” can be a full-time job. Put more resources towards product development instead of the time-consuming vetting process warranted by budding digital marketing proposals by staying on top of the latest trends. We’ve compiled five marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2020 and where we believe our partners should be investing their marketing budgets next year.
1. Influencer Marketing
You have probably heard about famous YouTubers like Logan Paul and Ryan’s Toys Review, as well as Instagrammer Kylie Jenner. These are monumental voices in the current social world with a following so large, that their simple endorsement can cause notable shifts in consumer behavior. Although getting one of these personalities to endorse your brand would be an incredible amount of money, a more affordable option is available. For those with more modest budgets, a micro-influencer may be able to give you results on a smaller, more local scale. You might be asking yourself “Why should I invest in a social media influencer?” The answer is simple: it gets results.
Micro-influencers may not have the clout of the big names above, but still entertain audiences between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Followers of influencers tend to want, or already have, values and beliefs similar to the influencer. So, finding influencer support consistent with your brand image will draw similar consumers to your offerings. Word-of-mouth has always been a strong contributor to sales and a mere suggestion, whether from a close friend or social influencer, is often enough to merit a purchase decision. Our own client, BigShots Golf, has taken advantage of this tactic! The Pittman ladies of the “Wherever I May Roam Blog” created content for the recreational golf local and shared it on their Instagram feed which has over 13k followers. This has immediate brand awareness benefits to our client and adds instant credibility-backed by the simple support of a popular local blog.
2. Voice Search
Since 2018 voice search has been a trend on the rise, and in 2020 it’s going to be crucial to have content optimized for this capability. The way we search for content online is changing! Voice-only search effectively removes the screen from the equation, allowing desktop and mobile users to bypass scrolling and clicking in favor of simple verbal commands. Google (and many others) has already made substantial updates on its search engine algorithm, focusing on NLP’s (Natural Language Processing). With over 20% of Google’s searches currently coming from mobile, it’s easy to understand why this is getting a lot of attention from search engine platforms.
Users are looking for quick answers and a better user experience so ignoring this particular trend may actually have a negative impact to your bottom line. If your consumers have trouble finding you or your products/services through their preferred method of search, it is likely they will find someone else who facilitates that process for them. For next year, focus on making sure your website is compatible with this new age user by having your SEO team optimize its content for voice search.
Chatbots allow for seamless communication between two parties in order to accomplish some sort of action. Many chatbots have a structure similar to a search engine, filtering and combining keywords in an attempt to understand what the user is asking. Chatbots are used for a variety of functions like scheduling appointments, answering customer questions or requests, and aiding in the sales process. Having a “trained” chatbot is crucial for brands that offer online customer support. Your website may have a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, however, the user often has unique questions that warrant additional support. In a time of abundant competition, it is critical your company is prepared to address customer concerns in a timely manner or you risk losing the business to your direct competitor in mere seconds. In cases that an FAQ page is unsatisfactory, a chatbot can be programmed to answer questions and make logical decisions on the fly. In 2020, assess how you communicate with customers digitally, and perhaps a chatbot may be a simple solution to streamline your communication process.
4. Micro Moments
Do you know that moment when you reach for your phone to answer a message, turn on music, or Google something? That’s called a micro moment. This is the term for the few brief seconds in time where a decision is made to act on something and where preferences are shaped by the experience you have performing the action. What happens in these micro moments is a unique and assessable exchange of human and technological interactions and brands need to be ready to deliver what’s expected from them in those specific moments. In recent years, mobile usage has increased. Google even has a whole library dedicated to the subject, which means this trend is going to be more and more significant in the near future. How can we leverage these moments to learn more about how our customers interact with our digital marketing? This is why it’s so important to have your brand’s points of contact sharp and concise in every digital channel.
5. Social Commerce
Social commerce is a technique allowing retailers to sell products on social media platforms and therefore connecting the voices of the people directly to the products they love to share. With Instagram planning to hide likes in the near future, brands will start linking influencer content to shopping tools as a way to measure ROI. Besides that, having fewer steps to make a purchase is a no brainer. Users can buy products or services without even leaving the social channel. For example, they can swipe up inside Instagram Stories for access to affiliate stores, or use Facebook Marketplace for local deals and offers. Not only are social channels focused on growing audience numbers, but also building awareness and engagement, which increases the desire to make in-app purchases. This is certainly something that will be growing and being refined in 2020, and could be a way for you to reach your customers where they already spend their time.
As an agency that keeps up to date with digital trends, Strategic Marketing can provide you with solutions that have stood the test of time, as well as the emerging successful strategies that will help brand growth. If you believe any of these trends could be in your marketing plan for next year, don’t hesitate to contact Strategic Marketing so we can show you how to leverage these new tactics for actual results.
Trending for a Reason: Gillette Goes Viral
If you haven’t seen Gillette’s newest commercial “The Best Men Can Be” then you are missing Gillette’s view new take on male role modeling. This commercial is definitely getting people talking and there is a lot of controversy about whether the ad is modeling good behavior in men or simply attacking their masculinity. The ad talks about bullying, cyber bullying and sexual harassment by men but also shows men standing up for one another. So, what is your view on this ad?
What Makes a Man Masculine Anyways?
Many men are raised to believe that being tough is about showing strong masculinity. This is partially true; however, Gillette’s commercial displays a different view of masculinity. Men can still be tough, have strong masculinity AND model good behavior. Standing up for what is right and being at your best can exhibit the strength of a man’s character while still sustaining his masculinity. This ad simply shows men modeling bad behavior as well as men modeling good behavior, and I think the message here is that we need to see more of the latter. Being a mom of two boys, I can say the scenes with the mothers hugging their boys hit home with me. It’s a mom’s gut instinct to always protect her children, and I know I am not alone when I say that bullying is out of control. The man in the video helping that child being bullied is what all of us should be doing, man or woman. However, Gillette does make razors for both men and women, and if they wanted to settle the score with the perceived attack on masculinity then they could have made the ad modeling good behavior in both genders. But, with that being said, it wouldn’t have made such an impact nor would it have gone viral. The ad was intentional, controversial and impactful.
See the Good in All Things
If you ask me, I think that we see enough bullying, sexual harassment and overall bad behavior in the news and not just from men. Getting a little reminder that it is okay to stand up for the underdog and that it’s okay to model good behavior should be seen a little more often. I have two boys that I would gladly show this video. It displays the overall goodness of men’s values and character and is what I try to instill in them every day. Gillette’s commercial gets a five-star review from me. It covers many controversial topics and provides an insight on how some problems can be resolved all while preserving a man’s masculinity, but that’s just my take on this commercial. Any commercial that sparks this much conversation is a win in my book.