Throughout the past decade we’ve witnessed the rapid evolution of social media and have experienced how these platforms have increasingly become an essential part of our everyday lives. Our online footprints started by creating a Top8 friends list on Myspace, to being limited with 140-character tweets, and indulging in popular 6-second Vines. We’ve evolved into an improved, mature period of social media where new product launches are happening everyday on Facebook, to people using trendy Instagram Story and Snapchat filters, to millions of people Instagramming their favourite moments and so much more. It’s clear there’s no sign of social media slowing down.

As these developments continue to progress, it’s become more important than ever for brands and businesses, small and large, to establish a strong presence on these platforms. Not for clout or popularity, but because this is where their customers are spending their time. Audiences are focusing their attention on new ideas, discovering new products and changing their buying behaviour – all because of how the Internet is functioning.

So... what's next?


TikTok

Starting off with the most talked about platform in 2019, TikTok has rapidly increased its presence and continues to become the ‘it’ social media platform leading into 2020.

As a brand, you’re probably wondering how can you adopt TikTok into your marketing strategy. We’ll be expanding and going In-depth into what we’ve learned from this platform but for now, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

1. Keep it relatable

If you’re going to start creating TikTok’s for your brand, remaining aligned with your brand and messaging is key, but keeping it relatable for your ideal end consumer is equally as important. What do they want? What makes them laugh? What intrigues them and make them coming back for more? Understanding which TikTok trends are popular that week (or even that day) is imperative to success on the platform, and if you can seamlessly connect your brand in to the videos you create – even better.

2. Consistency

There’s no point posting once and giving up, which is true for any platform.  Consistency is important on TikTok, just like it is on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social mediums. You can’t expect your content to go viral overnight especially when you are starting out but if you frequently keep at it, experiment and figure out what your audience is most receptive to, you’ll start seeing your TikTok success.

3. Influencer Marketing

There are already tons of influencers and content creators that have established a strong profile on this platform, which can create opportunity for you as a brand to engage with these influencers. These creators could either incorporate clever product placement or mention your brand in a captivating way through these short videos. As a brand, you should be thinking about what kind of content you want created, if it aligns with your brand message and how you can repurpose this influencer-created content on your other platforms.

The evolution of AR & VR

Interested in seeing what your living room would look like with products from your favourite furniture store? Or have you tried catching memorable characters around the city on Pokémon Go? Or are you curious to see what you’d look like with a bunch of baguettes on your head? (trust us, it’s a thing!) Snapchat and Instagram Stories have quickly adopted AR filters into their platforms these past few years and more virtual reality experiences are becoming available, which is just the beginning.

We can not only expect to see virtual reality increasingly become a part of our daily lives but as a brand, you’ll have more opportunity to cleverly utilize augmented reality to let customers ‘try before they buy’.

To get you inspired, here are a few ways brands have already started integrating AR features into their brand:

  • Sephora’s Visual Artist – letting customers try on makeup virtually and see how different products would look on their skin before they make a purchase decision
  • IKEA’s ‘Place’ – an augmented reality app that lets you see what IKEA products would look like in your home.
  • Foot Locker used Snapchat’s AR Marketer Tech for a one-of-a-kind experience, showing Lebron James emerging out of an in-store billboard and virtually dunking into a basketball net

Looking to experiment with your own augmented reality? You can start creating your own augmented experiences and filters using Facebook’s AR Studio.

Shopping made easier than ever

Think about the last time you made a purchase on Amazon. You likely found the product you were looking for, clicked a few buttons and by the next day, your package was at your doorstep (the perks of having a Prime membership!) After making a quick purchase and having it delivered in under 24 hours, it’s natural for consumers to start expecting the same from other brands.

We’re currently at a moment in time where convenience and speed is critical. Consumers expect things on time and in an instant. If brands can’t deliver, their customers are on to the next. Buying behaviour is increasingly transitioning from customers physically going to brick-and-mortar stores, to shopping from the convenience of their mobile phone.

If you’re selling products through an e-commerce website, social media platforms are making it even easier for you to not only drive traffic to your website through advertising methods, but are now opening up doors for customers to shop on their platform – so you can be right where your customer is without them having to close their favourite app! Expect to incorporate Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shops and Pinterest’s platform into your social media strategy to help increase exposure and sales for your online store. If you’re looking for more in-depth tips, Shopify has outlined e-commerce trends that you should be aware of & utilize for your business.

Influencer marketing is on 🔥

There’s no doubt that influencer marketing will continue to thrive in the coming year. Influencers can make an impact on purchase decisions and brands can reach new audiences by aligning with the right social media personalities. Not only that, it can be seen as a more cost-effective form of marketing if done correctly. Through the past few years, we’ve seen how influencers can affect a company’s sales and this form of marketing is expected to be a $8 Billion industry in 2020 (Source: Later) As an example: Estée Lauder recently announced that they will allocate 75% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing over the next year!

Throughout the next year we’ll see more brands working with nano influencers (1,000 – 5,000 followers) and micro influencers (1,000 – 10,000 followers) as they tend to have a more engaged audience than influencers with a larger following. If you are a brand just starting out with influencer marketing, start reaching out to a handful of influencers with a smaller following and create a campaign that aligns with your messaging to promote your product or service. . Whether it’s to drive traffic to your website for their audience to redeem a discount code, or collaborating with influencers to host an Instagram-only giveaway to increase your following, now is the time to start working with creators.

Video Content is Still King

When was the last time you created a video for your brand? Or thought about releasing a high-quality video campaign about your company’s must-have services, but just haven’t got around to it?

What we’re here to tell you is: now is the time to start. 

Creating movement on social media is where it’s at. Videos allow you to become a visual storyteller for your brand, showcasing the best parts of your business and allowing your audience to connect with you. From IGTV to Youtube, Snapchat to Facebook Watch, platforms are making video creation more prominent than ever to keep you using their platforms.  Here’s a few suggestions to get the ball rolling on creating your next video masterpiece:

  • Create an upbeat text-only video for Instagram, describing who your brand is and how you add value for your customers
  • Use Boomerangs to bring still-images to life on Instagram Stories
  • Start an IGTV video series on different aspects of your business and the behind-the-scenes of your office life
  • Launch your Youtube channel with ‘How-To’ videos, establishing you as the expert in your industry

Looking for specific ideas for your brand strategy? Schedule some time with us and we’ll help you out!

Podcasts Will Continue to Reign

Huge fan of listening to podcasts? While video is king, podcasting is it’s sister. It’s a phenomenal way to share your message that allows people to listen while driving to work, at home, or while they’re focusing on a task. It seems like everyone started their own podcasts in 2018/2019 and this will continue to accelerate in this coming year. It’s easier than ever to start your own podcast, to share your voice and to build a community of loyal listeners.

Currently, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts with the most popular topics being Society & Culture, Business, Comedy, News & Politics and Health. (Source: MusicOomph) If you’re thinking of starting a podcast for your brand, you can start right from your smartphone, or choose to invest in higher quality equipment and start distributing your message on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Patreon, Google Play and more.

P.S. Check out Bizkey, our Business & Whisky podcast on Spotify here!

 

These are just a few social media trends that we expect to see shine over the next year and we’re excited to see what this next decade brings for the marketing world. Let us know if you plan on incorporating any of these tactics in your strategy. If you need some help getting started, shoot us an email to hello@meiracle.com!