2020 Marketing Trends
By now you’ve likely seen tons of 2020 Trend lists but we’ve noticed a significant overarching theme that will be critical to your strategy this year. In 2020, customers are looking for personal, intimate connections with brands online. They want to be able to communicate at close range, in a meaningful way, so that your brand feels like a trusted friend. Regardless of the trend, they all tie back to this critical connection piece.
While it may seem counterintuitive, digital transformation allows for a deeper personal experience with your audience.
Automation & AI give marketers the opportunity to maintain consistent, personal contact across multiple channels based on where, when and how your audience wants it.
AR/VR creates an experience many would not have otherwise. It allows customers to truly touch & feel your brand in ways they never have before. Giving consumers a way to really know what’s inside an image brings marketing to life, driving huge increases in engagement and the feeling of genuinely knowing/having experienced something
Social media is also seeing significant shifts this year as well. Gone are the days of wide spread, broad messaging that talks at your audience. Large scale influencers that reach large audiences are less popular and consumers are losing interest. Audiences want a close intimate connection with a brand that makes them feel a part of the action and engages them in real conversations.
Niche platforms and those that allow for private groups/forums are becoming more popular. LinkedIn and Facebook offer the tools to build online communities that are very specific and customer focused where direct conversations are even more meaningful.
User Generated Content has quickly become one of the years top trends. With the explosion of platforms like TikTok, users want to share a look inside their lives. Brands that leverage this will be the frontrunners as more customers look to capture the lifestyle of their brand choices and share it amongst other like minded consumers.
The rise of the microinfluencer is another notable social trend. Microinfluencers have become popular because they are much more specific and audiences can feel much closer to them. From a marketers perspective, you can also get your message out to numerous microinfluencers, increasing your reach and impact, for the same cost of working with a major player. Customers want to engage with people and products that they can relate to.
While video has been a trend for several years now, expect video to continue to increase in popularity and effectiveness. If it fits for your brand, consider adding YouTube as a primary piece to your marketing plan, as well as Facebook Live, IGTV and other platforms that allow your audience to get a real glimpse “behind the scenes” of your company and what you’re up to. Gone are the days of the highly polished video as consumers move towards wanting real-time, authentic views that can only come from much more raw sources.
Lastly, customers are looking for overall meaning behind who they follow and where they spend their time & money. Gen Z especially is very conscious of the value of their dollar and look for meaningful opportunities before spending. Even movements like #digitaldetox are causing users to rethink their online usage and make decisions on what is really worth their time. Creating content and communication that respects the value of a customers time, money and loyalty is the best way to build buyers into advocates.
In order to create meaningful connections, humanize your brand. Show your company out in the real world participating in regular life. What does your brand story look like when translated to the offline world? How do you solve real life problems or improve the day to day?
Social consciousness is becoming critical to the success of a brand. What do your customers care about and what is your company doing to impact those issues? Customers want to know what your values are and how you’re making a difference in the world. Most business has an impact on society or the environment – how are you offsetting that? Many businesses are in a position to help or influence positive momentum – do you take that responsibility seriously? What are you doing to help the world be better for the next generation?
While this closeness can seem like a lot to deliver, the key is to focus on the specific niche areas where you can build the strongest connections. Really focus on what matters to your customers and talk to them where they want to be found. Leverage the growing body of tools that help you meet these needs. Remember that your customers are looking for a human connection to your brand so it’s okay to share your failures & successes, engage them in the process and figure out together what really works!