By Rachel Peck
We’re just two weeks away from 2020 and a new decade. A lot has changed in those ten years. In 2010, social media consisted of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, while integrated marketing was just beginning to emerge. As PR and marketing professionals, we’re used to adapting to change – whether it be client-based or technology. As in year’s past, we’ve reflected on what we learned over the course of the year/decade, and now are looking forward to new developments in social media, measurement and media. In an ever-shifting profession, one thing remains the same – the coming year will bring a mix of old and new digital trends.
Here’s what we’re anticipating in the communications world in 2020:
Say goodbye to vanity…metrics that is
If you look at your Facebook statuses from 10 years ago, you might notice you have very few engagement quantifiers. Minimal likes, maybe a couple of comments. You also might notice your statuses were more conversational – for example, perhaps you wrote about what you had for dinner. From 2010 to 2020, a shift happened. We all started caring more about how many likes or comments our content received. This led to more curated posting, and inevitably, the belief that fewer likes equals boring content. This emphasis on engagement metrics increased rapidly over the years, and now is ushering in another shift – in the de-emphasizing of those same vanity metrics.
What this means for 2020: Instagram will likely continue with its rollout of removing “like” counts from posts, while Facebook’s recent algorithm shifts heavily favors paid content and relevant interests. In summary, this means a re-focusing on quality metrics, such as conversions, sales, etc., and not a heavy focus on engagement. However, it doesn’t mean you should become less too formal with brand messaging and it certainly does not mean go back to posting about your dinner plans.
Creativity is back
Did it ever leave? Possibly. Marketing and PR, like many things, have become very data-driven. Focusing on the numbers, the leads, the conversions – while all valuable things, there’s now a problem with over-saturation. There are so many brands, so much content and we seem to have less time than ever before. In 2020, brands will have to focus more on standing out – which leads to a focus on creativity. It’s not so much the “what,” product or service you might be representing, but the “why.” Why should consumers care about you, over another brand?
What this means for 2020: To combat this, communications professionals will be challenged to be more customized in their outreach and marketing. Be thoughtful and considerate in your targeting, while being aware of the new focus on digital awareness. Interactive content like IGTV, quizzes, Q&A’s, as well as videos will all be in high demand for the new year.
Social media – the new shopping mecca
Online shopping, though popular, is definitely nothing new. However, shopping direct through social media, Instagram specifically, is trending upwards. This is not only reinventing the way marketers use social media, and audiences consume content, but it’s also changing sales structures and tactics. Selling straight from an Instagram story, or post, allows for a direct-to-consumer connection.
What this means for 2020: Though the removal of vanity metrics from Instagram will likely weed out influencers who pay for follows/engagements, influencer marketing is predicted to continue in growth. This is highly impactful on the social media shopping scene, as influencers are quickly becoming one of the most popular mediums by which marketers can raise product awareness. Marketers will also have to keep their eye on visual search, as the technology is expected to grow in the coming year.
Marketing trends in 2010 emphasized showing versus telling, building brand trust – all similar themes at the end of the decade. However, as much as those aspects of marketing haven’t changed, so much has. Today, the game is rapidly changing and communication professionals will have to adapt right along with it. At Eclipse Media Group, we’re looking forward to the challenge of adopting many of these trends to fit the needs of our clients and their markets for continued success in 2020 and beyond.