Is your social media strategy ready for 2020?

It is well-known fact that in today’s digitalized world, digital marketing or social media marketing is surpassing the traditional ways of marketing. Different digital marketing trends i.e. social media, content marketing, SEO, etc. have emerged as powerful tools this year (2019) to enhance the online presence of businesses effectively. As per statistics by Statista of worldwide social media usage, 2.65 billion social media users were recorded in 2018. This year (2019) it’s estimated to be approx. 2.82 billion and projected to be at approx. 3.1 billion by 2021.

To meet such robust demand, social media trends are evolving at a fast rate. Below are different aspects or trends of social media strategy that are expected in 2020 which businesses need to incorporate to attain a competitive market position. The required changes in current social media strategy of brands to meet these expectations are defined as well:

1. The boom in Video content marketing:

There is a rapid increase in social media-based video consumption by social media users. Videos are emerging as the most popular trend and content type of user’s choice. As per statistics reports published by GlobalWebIndex, in the present scenario, online videos are watched by 92% of internet users every month. That means more than 4 billion users worldwide were seeking for online video content in 2019 starting. So the video consumption is increasing at a fast rate and to cope up this demand different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc are giving more weight-age to video-based content. By looking at the above stats, it’s right to say that video marketing is likely to be on high demand in 2020 and further years too.

So being the most demanding feature next year, video content requires businesses to re-look their current video quality and video content. The focus should be on more short and great video content to grab the immediate attention of the audience and for an effective flow of video messages. Also, the use of thumbnails and captions are considered as important aspects of video marketing to meet upcoming challenges.

2. Influencer marketing:

Influencer marketing is related to word-of-mouth marketing from influential key leaders to spread the brand’s message to a large audience. Different celebrities or personalities having a large following on social media channels like YouTube or Twitter or Facebook, etc. are considered as Influencers that help market a brand or its product/ service through their social media accounts.

Influencer marketing is growing at a fast rate and digital marketers are taking it as a key social media strategy in the coming years. The future demand for this trend can be predicted through the latest statistics that Influence marketing will be $10 billion industry by 2020 and this will lead to tough competition among digital marketers to tie-up with influential celebrities. Also, the importance of influential people can be seen in the fact that 22% of the social media users in the age group of 18-34 made a large purchase by getting influenced by these influencers on different social media channels. (Source)

So, brands need to strategize their current Influencer marketing or to implement this in their social media strategy if not started yet. Also, while implementing or re-defining Influencer marketing, brands need to take care of choosing the right influencer and social media channel and micro or nano influencers can also be beneficial.

For example, the Sony brand had adopted an Influencer marketing strategy for marketing its new Sony Xperia Z5 cell phone on Instagram as it is a much better social media channel for promoting photography. Sony took services of 30 influencers who helped in spreading a highly detailed zoom photo clicked with the Xperia Z5 in the form of a competition.

This Influencer marketing campaign was very successful and generated 17 million potential audiences. (Source)

3. More personalization:

Today’s customer-oriented world demands more personalized social media marketing. Personalization is a social media strategy to provide a user-specific unique experience to every visitor and emerging as one of the most demanding marketing tactics. This facilitates the audience to build trust and increase purchases. A content personalization strategy drives a great effect if it’s well-executed. Brands who are tailoring content by using data-oriented campaigns according to the interest of their audience are experiencing much better results.

As per statistics, most of the users now prefer those brands that provide personalized experiences.

Different stats on customer’s preference for personalized marketing are as below:

  • 71% of customers get frustrated with impersonal shopping experience (source).
  • 80% of customers prefer to purchase from brands offering personalized experience (source).
  • 72% of customers influenced by marketing messages customized as per their interest (source). 
  • 80% of frequent shoppers make purchases only from brands that offer personalized experience (source). 

Major players like Coke, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc. have already shifted to personalized marketing and getting far better results. For example, Amazon offers recommended products; Netflix and Facebook offers recommended movies and relevant news respectively.

One result-driven example of personalized marketing can be seen in Cadbury’s personalized campaigns that increased brand awareness and its potential market. The company utilized the service of Idomoo’s personalized video content in 2017 to market its special section of Cadbury Glow gift chocolate among the Indian audience. This campaign allowed customers to make a personalized video by incorporating names and pics taken out from their Facebook account. This leads to a 33% conversation rate of viewers.

So, brands need to prepare themselves for an effective personalized marketing strategy to face the challenges of 2020 social media marketing. This can be achieved by knowing the target audience, building data-driven personas based on real-life, using content based on the interest of customers, analyzing preferred social media platforms by the audience, etc.

4. Artificial intelligence driven marketing:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is shaping as next big future of human generation. Its advanced technical features can facilitate in reducing the workload and resemble human intelligence. AI is playing a significant role in both internal and external business communications by enabling automatic learning and automated business processes.

To meet the challenges of complex data management on social media, AI implementation by social media channels into their algorithms is increasing. The algorithms have a role in taking decisions on type of content to display to different users, ranking posts on social media, etc. Chatbot, speech recognition, etc. are AI-based technologies which are emerging as next generation social media strategy.

As per Gartner’s report, 25% part of customer service will integrate chatbots by 2020 across different social media platforms. Also, the share of AI will be 30% in B2B organizations by 2020.

(source)

For example, Linkedin has a powerful AI-based tool i.e. Linkedin Recruiter search to find the right candidates for companies. Linkedin is using AI technology-based algorithms in facilitating the right candidate search to fit in their requirements. The recruiter search uses the title entered by the recruiter in search portion and carry out smart search suggestions to recommend relevant skills. So the recruiter can carry further search despite remembering all required skills relevant to the role. AI technology works by looking for answer patterns that were responsible for successful prior similar searches. AI-based algorithms on Linkedin are trained on mass data and these algorithms can help in predicting the best fit for the role.

 5. More advanced Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR):

Both AR and VR technologies are becoming a great choice of most for the marketing campaigns. Coming years will witness more practical applications based on these technologies and also these will be applied in the social media marketing context. Hootsuite stated that AR and VR will be used more for increasing advertising revenue in different social messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, etc.

As per Gartner’s report, 20% of large enterprises will adopt advanced AR and VR by 2020 in their social media strategy. (source)

For example, the Sephora brand had created an AR-based Virtual Artist app with Modiface that ensures app users to see how their face will look with makeup products by using the camera of their cell phones. Also, it shows the skincare effect of months on their skin.

So, the organizations need to start looking and implementing the latest trends in AR and VR in their social media marketing.