It's time to plan for the future
It’s that time of year again: Christmas carols are starting to play in shopping centres, shop windows are filled with snow (even though it’s 30 degrees outside) and we’re all planning to meet up with our estranged relatives. It also means that it’s time to start thinking about where our next year in marketing will take us and planning the next 12 months of outreach.
We may not be able to see the future, but based on what’s been big in 2019 and looking at what’s developing in the industry, we can make some likely assumptions for what’s to come. Here’s our top 5 predictions for where social media marketing and online outreach to customers are headed in the next
Instagram’s decision to not allow clickable links in its post has annoyed marketers for years, but it looks like there’s now a solution: Instagram’s shoppable posts feature, which was rolled out in 2018 and isn’t set to lose any traction in 2020.
If you have an Instagram Business account and primarily sell physical goods, you can now get approved to sell straight from the Instagram app. Once you’re approved, you can effectively turn your entire Instagram page into a visual store. Your customers will then be able to buy your products without even needing to visit your website.
There’s even talk that Instagram may be set to launch a standalone shopping app. Although we don’t have any information on when this new marketing and ecommerce tool will launch, IG Shopping (as it’s been nicknamed) will almost definitely retain its roots and functionality in the original Instagram app if and when it makes it into the real world.
What does all this mean? If you’re running an ecommerce site and aren’t also running an Instagram business account, you’re missing out on some valuable features which could become even more valuable in the coming years. It’s definitely a good idea to start your Instagram journey if you haven’t already.
Back in 2015, the rate at which a person watching a video ad would complete it was just 47%. As of last year, that number is up to 83%, and it looks unlikely to decline in 2020.
Whether it’s for your site’s content, social media, or advertising campaigns, video is an invaluable tool in your marketing toolbox. 76% of consumers say that they’ve been persuaded to buy a product or service after watching a video, and 72% of businesses who use video say it has improved their conversion rate.
Video also has a hugely positive impact on your site’s SEO. By adding a video to your site’s homepage, you’re making it up to 53x more likely to appear in the top position on Google’s search results page.
99% of marketers who have used video in 2019 are set to continue doing so in 2020, and 74% of businesses who aren’t say they expect to start doing so in the year ahead. If you’re in either one of these categories, good on you! You’re set to improve your marketing in 2020 by using the most shareable type of content on the internet.
Stuck on what to put in our videos? Check out our blog post for some content ideas.
Personalisation was also a big deal in 2019, and it’s not set to stop being one any time soon. Thanks to advancements in both AI and the marketing world, it’s becoming easier than ever to personalise content to individual audiences, and 70% of marketers say it’s important that their prospects receive personalised content in 2020.
And they have good reason to! 70% of consumers get frustrated when the content provided to them is irrelevant, and frustrated people are unlikely to turn into strong leads or conversions.
At its heart, content personalisation is simple. Your clients are grouped according to traits specific to your marketing (like age, location, income, occupation, etc.) It can be time consuming and needs a level of expertise, but it often leads to a great ROI. In 2011, BMW found that they were able to make an extra $500,000 in revenue by personalising their MMS messages to a small portion of their US clients.
In 2019, 50% of B2B marketing leaders said that not having personalised content is the biggest deficiency in their marketing, and 78% of those with ineffective content identified personalisation as their most desired area to improve. Plenty of businesses are jumping on board the personalisation train in 2020. If you haven’t already, why not join the pack?
Social media stories
Why would you dedicate your time and resources into creating content that vanishes after 24 hours? Because it improves your brand awareness, constantly engages with your online followers, and is a huge drawcard to younger markets. It’s also set to remain a top method for maintaining your online presence in 2020.
A stories function is now available on most major social media platforms (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, SnapChat, and others), but is most popular on Instagram. It’s used by all types of
businesses from almost every industry to provide their following with info on new products, updates, and a daily (or sometimes less often) reminder of their brand.
Still worried about losing your hard work at the end of every day? Don’t worry, Instagram now lets you pin your favourite stories to your bio with its Story Highlights function and save them indefinitely. This means you can create stories which introduce your business and team, show off your products and services, or amplify any part of your business, and use them to transform your Instagram bio page into a handy introduction to you.
More than 500 million accounts already use Instagram’s story function every day, but only around 50% of them actually make stories. The rest just like to watch, which leaves plenty of room for your business to reach out. And since a third of the most viewed stories on Instagram are created by businesses, so you can rest assured
that stories are a tried and true outreach method.
So tried and true that 96% of US marketers who use stories on Instagram say that they intend to keep using them in 2020. And why wouldn’t they? They’re free, as easy to make as a regular Instagram post, and can even gain more functionality as your brand gains more followers. What’s not to love?
User generated content
In previous years, 90% of consumers have reported that UGC (user-generated content) has an influence on their purchasing decisions, and 97% of those aged 18-29 even reported that UGC has an extreme influence on their purchases. In 2020, it looks like UGC is here to stay.
UGC is content created by the fans of your brand, and there are plenty of ways to start using it. With permission from the creator, you can put it on your site, socials, and even feature it in your ad campaigns.
Some businesses create entire marketing channels exclusively for UGC. GoPro has done this with their YouTube channel, which is made up almost entirely of videos submitted by customers and fans of GoPro’s products.
Visit Indy even found that their click through rates tripled when they started using UGC instead of stock imagery. Why does it work? Because your average consumer can tell if something looks set up or fake, and imagery that’s more authentic inspires trust. 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.
If you already have streams for content generated by your customers and fans, 2020 is definitely the year to start using it. If you don’t, 2020 is the year to start building your online community of dedicated fans and making use of their creations.
We're here to help!
A lot is set to happen in the digital marketing world in 2020, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If your 2020 New Year’s Resolution is start improving your social presence and outreach to your customers and clientele, contact us to get your vision underway.