Social media has become an integral part of our lives. People spend most of their time during the day scrolling, surfing and shopping online. Addiction to these social networking sites has increased so much among mankind that most of us check out the feeds on social sites as soon as we wake up.
In order to tap the upcoming opportunity of marketing online, business groups and marketers have flocked to social sites to reach a wider section of people and increase their customer base. In the present time and age, social media is becoming synonymous with digital and influencer marketing.
It all seems so very easy, but the most challenging part for all is the competition and how to stand out among a number of other players. It’s very important for any magnate to completely understand the needs and demands of the target customers and plan their social strategy accordingly.
Keeping these things in mind, here I have listed a few trends to be followed in 2020 and beyond, which could help people stand-out in the crowd and make the best out of their social media marketing.
Stories Tell A Story
Many of the platforms like Instagram and Snapchat provide its users with an amazing way to express themselves with pictures, videos, stickers, music, graphics and what not. Such kind of ephemeral content is being very fantastically used by marketers and various brands to display their content. People get an idea of what the brand or page is all about through creative stories. Moreover, these are quite engaging as people spend hours watching stories of others one after the other.
Stories also help businesses to keep their customers updated on a daily basis, regarding any new things which will be coming up, webinars which will be conducted, any job vacancies in the company. In all, stories are very much helpful in keeping close touch with the old as well as potential customers, serving as a means of interaction between the buyers and sellers.
The show must go on!
Influencer marketing has always dominated social media and will continue to do so in future. Many new social media influencers have cropped up since the previous years. Big companies and brands hire these influencers to advertise their content to the general public. Such establishments spend a huge lot of money to hire these public figures, and not one, but prefer to collaborate with too many of them at the same time, to reach a vast multitude of people.
These influencers are being paid exorbitantly a big amount just for a single post. People like Selena Gomez, Christiano Ronaldo and Kylie Jenner are some of the personages, preeminent in the market. They possess a large traffic on their accounts with a huge fan base. People try aping their clothing, lifestyle and culture. When this socially active human race sees their idols promoting a brand, they blindly start using the same products.
Huda Jattan, the proud retainer of 29 million admirers on Instagram is transforming the way make up is done through her tutorials.
Instagram Without Likes
How about trading “liked by the_wanderer and 999 others” with “liked by the_wanderer and hundreds of others”? Social network giant Instagram is considering removing ‘Likes’ from its site. It has already experimented in some countries and soon the World will be posting more and more without caring about the number of likes that have been conferred upon the content.
As stated by the CEO Adam Mosseri, the big move is aimed towards easing the apprehensiveness of the people of receiving enough likes and promoting the central idea of ‘connecting’.
One of the biggest disadvantages of this big leap will be faced by influencers and the top business parties. There would be no distinguishing factor between a post with 100 likes and the one with 10,000 likes. Consequently, for the sake of taking a lead, buying followers and likes would be futile. Unless you don’t really come up with assorted foolproof stuff, you won’t make the grade.
Targeting The Locals
Target customers refer to the group of personnel any business wish to tap at a particular point of time. For example, the target for a toy- maker will be kids whereas, for a cosmetic brand, the target customers will be women.
As we all are aware, slow and steady always wins the race. Before aiming towards outlanders, first of all aim at firing the local people staying nearby. Create your brand image among them and they will publicise your pursuit through word- of- mouth.
Locals can be easily identified on social media with the help of location tags- Instagram’s geotag can be cited as an example. Geotags can be used by both a local retailer searching for nearby customers or by a multi- national brand setting sights on people of a particular region or country. Businesses have to just add their location to whatever they are posting so whenever people will surf content from nearby places, those posts will come up. And thus, local people can easily find your brand.
Express And Impress Through Videos
Video blogs or vlogs at the moment are on a boom. Just after Facebook, YouTube bags the second position in terms of mostly used social sites with users watching over 1 billion videos per day.
Almost the lion’s share of the marketers are huddling towards YouTube to advertise for their companies using both, long and short videos. Instagram is also promptly striving to bring it’s IGTV back into the race. Short video platforms like TikTok, Likee, Dubsmash and many others can also be used for spreading a word about your brand name and the content.
Advertising and marketing through videos can yield stupefying upshots, if such opportunity is adequately leveraged by the businesspersons.
Technology- The Campfire Around Which Stories Are Told
AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are among the latest technological advancements which are being embraced by marketers, besides traditional methods. All must have seen filters on Instagram and Snapchat which gives your face a nice bizzare lipstick, thickly glamorous eyeliner, fake hairs and stuff. It’s nothing but Augmented Reality.
Some of the big cosmetic companies like L’Oréal, Sephora and Ulta Beauty have invested heavily in AR tech and providing their customers an easy approach to check what suits them and then take purchase decisions accordingly. How cool it is to try various lipstick shades just sitting at the comfort of your homes and then buying the shades which look the best on your face!
Correspondingly, Virtual Reality is also being used by marketers around the globe to give their customers a real-time memorable experience of using a product. Automotive car retailer Vroom has used this applied science to their greatest advantage. They are providing test drives to their potential customers with a VR box. Isn’t it marvellous?
The 6-Point Summary
- Trend#1: Stories staying up for 24 hours can keep the audience engaged and updated.
- Trend#2: Influencer Marketing is the new normal, gaining more and more popularity and business.
- Trend#3: Ig with hidden likes to bring equality and depressurize the users.
- Trend#4: Tapping local market before going for outsiders.
- Trend#5: Video content can effectively display the content.
- Trend#6: Optimal use of technology like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
Is Digital Detoxification A Challenge?
Digital Detoxification refers to a time period when people refrain themselves from using mobile phones and other electronic devices. During this time, they go to the World out there, connecting themselves with nature, and getting rid of their internet addiction.
The big question that arises is whether big online companies can survive in this era? The answer is in affirmative. Some of the hotels and restaurants have taken the first mover advantage by providing their customers a beautiful environment in their hotel without their phones which are locked up by the resort staff.
Many big companies have started a number of campaigns urging their audience to put their phones down and think highly of what’s in front of them. KFC’s campaign ‘Phone Stacked’ timed how long people can avoid touching their phones through an app.
The more they are away, the more the KFC reward points will be awarded. Similarly, Amstel Beer created an application which can track how much smartphone users are staying away from their phones. It gives a beer bottle free to the ones who do not touch their phones for 8 hours at a stretch. So, it is clear that with changing scenarios, there also comes an opportunity of marketing creatively.
Social media environment is a dynamic world and it is mandatory for each and every social media marketer to be well acquainted with the changes taking place in the trends, plan accordingly and inculcate them into their initiatives.
The three basic requirements in order to bag a lead are: right resources, up-to-date plan of action and creative skills. Now, it is the time for companies to focus their attention on devising unique ways to engage with customers and reflect on the ways to determine what’s working and what’s not on the social media platforms.