2020: What trends will influence marketing?

Marketing will always be centred around building relationships with your customers and driving your business forward, but it is always changing. Trends can have a huge impact on the way brands act. You need to be proactive with your marketing to keep your brand relevant and stay ahead of the competition.

Being Social

Social media marketing is nothing new - almost every brand has had some form of social media presence in 2019, but deeper connections will be expected in 2020.

The negative mental health impact social media can have has received a lot of attention in the last year, therefore people are trying to manage their time on social media more effectively. This means brands need to move away from overloading consumers with diversified content to actually making their time online more worthwhile.

People spend more time in relevant communities online with people like them rather than the general public. Usage of social media has shifted to include private groups, communities, messaging apps and stories. In fact, 60% of internet users in the UK and US opted for these “Dark Social” platforms over open alternatives in 2019. The phenomenon of “Dark Social” is expected to grow even further in 2020, so marketing aimed at specific communities will provide a more personalised approach.

Brands On Film

Brands in 2020 will need a social media presence that reflects their belief system and causes rather than just promoting their products. One of the key ways of doing this is through video. Since users have become more sceptical of being influenced, video provides more personalisation and more authenticity in the eyes of the consumer.

Video will presumably remain the most dominant and engaging form of content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin. Yet there’s a new kid on the block – TikTok. The video-centric platform appeals to a younger demographic, with 66% of users being under 30, but its popularity is already being leveraged. Big brands such as Pepsi, Nike and Sony Music are already building communities and taking advantage of user-generated content such as the #SwagStepChallenge that had millions of TikTok users uploading their own version. This shift to user-generated marketing allows brands to be more reactive to cultural trends and stay relevant.

Under the Influence

User generated content leads 90% of purchasing decisions according to Hubspot.com so putting the customer in the spotlight is going to be more important in 2020. For instance, fashion brands that photograph their customers in their clothes tend to appear more authentic and tend to generate more engagement than those using models or celebrities.

Although influencers aren’t likely to be going away any time soon, people are becoming wise to these sponsorship deals and are less inclined to take recommendations at face value. Using influencers who are powerfully matched to your brand can definitely attract attention, but “micro influencers” who have a smaller following but authentically use the product are likely to become a big trend in 2020. Samsung successfully showed how micro influencers can be used to influence public opinion. In backlash to the negativity surrounding not owning an iPhone, they started a #greendontcare campaign that generated an authentic conversation from people who genuinely use Samsung’s products.

Getting away from reality

In the first half of 2019, Artificial Reality and Virtual Reality had 13.2m engagements (Hubspot.com) therefore it is a strong move for marketers. At first, AR technology was viewed as being complex but new technological developments such as 5G make 2020 a perfect opportunity to use these new technologies to build deeper connections with consumers.

The high street is changing to become showrooms for brands that maximise experiences and create an environment where products can be experienced by customers. Turning a shop into a dinosaur hunt or integrating AR into products such as Coca-Cola’s scannable coke cans can attract emotional equity into a two-way relationship.

Marketing is always shifting so it can be difficult to know where to begin to stay relevant and make the most of the trends that can make you stand out in all the noise. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness with a long-term marketing strategy or need additional support for a one-off project, Sixothree can give you all the support you need. Contact us to drive your business forward in 2020.