The year 2020 has proven to be a nightmare for the world economy. From small retail businesses to large productions, everyone has taken a hit, as the world is forced to stay at home to avoid the spread of COVID 19.
While the trend of economies falling apart came to light, businesses that have seemed to thrive are those that have created a strong presence on social media platforms. This year might be the best testimony of the quote, “The Internet always wins!” And it wouldn’t be wrong to say “Those who use the Internet efficiently also win.”
Thriving of business during the restrictions of lockdown was still an abstract idea until we saw a wide range of social media trends that provided a ray of hope. Nobody knew that we would come to a stage where, let alone going to the job place, but simply stepping out of the house will be a rare thing.
Staying updated with social media trends is the key to survival in this ever-changing world. No one can predict the physical state of things in the modern era, but one entity that is meant to stay strong during crises is social media.
Let us take a look at the top social media trends that could help you elevate your business and stay on top, even during crises.
Social Media Influencers
Gone are the days when creating an advertisement campaign and big celebrity endorsements were the only effective ways to launch a new product.
With the organic reach of social media influencers and high-credibility in a specific industry, many rapidly evolving organizations are turning to them for a successful marketing campaign. Labeled as the “new stars of web advertising” by the Guardian, these influencers get the product-promoting job done, without making you spend the big bucks.
On the contrary, there are some fake influencers in the market too. A smart way to hire an influencer for promotion is to check whether the person can substantiate his or her price tag with a legit audience reach.
The key is to create a marketing strategy that thoroughly fits the area of expertise of the hired influencer. The best thing about social media influencers is that they already have an audience; all you need to do is establish a partnership with the right influencer.
Underestimated at the start by the old-school marketing experts, short-term social media stories have become an integral part of any modern-day digital marketer’s plan. Stories are also an excellent way to promote cross-platform content, as you can insert links of YouTube videos and articles to revert your audience to the main content.
According to the data experts from Statista, there has been a significant rise in the daily active users posting Instagram stories. There are approximately 500 million stories uploaded on Instagram every day.
With so much content available online, the attention span of the average Internet user has reduced. Top marketers have taken this into consideration and made Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook stories a key part of their marketing campaigns.
There’s nothing greater than organic relationships with the consumers of your content. Live streaming has become equally as important as the passive posts that build your social media content. Going live allows you to have a more intimate relationship with your consumer.
It is also a great way to build trust by engaging with the viewers. The feedback from the audience allows you to adapt to their demands and improve your content. According to Livestream.com, 80% of viewers would rather watch live streaming of a brand than read about it. During this lockdown, the popularity of going live on Instagram exploded, as everyone from celebrities to common users boastfully displayed their mantras for surviving the lockdown.
Some PR agencies would say that a candid chat with the audience could lead to unwanted disclosure of information. However, if conducted intelligently, live streams prove to be the best way to establish a strong connection with the consumers. Live video streaming was made popular by Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Now, even sophisticated platforms like LinkedIn have jumped on the live train!
Instagram Post Above: Recent Instagram live conversation with Anthony Gaenzle and radio show host David Chiedu
Video Content- A Clear Winner!
Using informative and entertaining videos for promoting a product is still going strong in the year 2020. And, it certainly will be a clear winner in the future too. According to marketingcharts.com, present-day social media content is dominated by videos. Today’s viewer spends approximately 84 minutes of the day on watching video content. It is estimated to increase to 100 minutes in the future.
If you are someone who hasn’t included video creation in the marketing strategy, now is the best time to do so. Even the platforms, which were dominated by images, are now evolving into promoting more video-centric content. The best example for this is the IGTV feature of Instagram, which allows you to upload videos up to 60 minutes long. During the year 2020, Instagram announced an update in the IGTV feature by allowing the video previews to appear in the regular feed. Since then, the viewers of IGTV have skyrocketed. With all the major platforms promoting their video content, marketers have the opportunity to broaden their reach easily.
Year after year, the modern day consumer is becoming more selective about his/her brand interactions. The more engaged a customer feels, the more the chances are of the consumer sticking to the brand.
One great way to target a specific group of audience members and keeping them engaged is via private social media groups. One of the most common examples is a Facebook group. A broad range of brands and start-ups use these closed groups to provide exclusive updates to their customers. This type of interaction makes the audience feel valued on a personal level and feel as though they are a part of your community.
The latest Facebook algorithm makes it difficult for the audience to notice the organic content, as it is leaned towards showing paid promotions. For this problem, private groups are the best solution, as they are only seen by those who genuinely have an interest in a particular content.
According to research from Facebook, users are open to join closed groups, as long as they bring something valuable rather than just for promotion. The best way to make your marketing campaign a success on private groups is to produce content that is more specific and targeted. Private groups can also be found on LinkedIn. A brand can also leverage the hashtag feature of LinkedIn by posting with target-specific content with relatable hashtags.
Shopping on Social Media
In the past, brands used to promote their websites in order to encourage the user to buy their product. This has changed in modern-day digital marketing, as brands have started investing in social ads, even more heavily than ever before.
These social media ads are the best way to promote the product directly. With the recent introduction of personalized ad experiences by Facebook, it has become easier for brands to show off their products in an intuitive way. Instagram has also come up with a new shopping feature, which allows the users to access the website directly, without going to the link in bio. The latest action buttons on Instragram business profiles allow the users to open the app and reach the product directly.
The top guns of social networks are proving to be an extended version of ecommerce websites. Social media shopping is only going to extend its wings in the future, thereby providing more opportunities for all kinds of businesses.
Timing Always Matters
Precision beats power, and timing beats speed. This is true for the world of digital marketing. If you are giving the consumer what he wants and exactly when he wants, you are doing it right.
Everyone, during the COVID 19 period, needed a guide to make their quarantine period convenient. Social influencers and brands who saw this opportunity managed to elevate their popularity off the charts. Gamers around the world went crazy when GTA V was officially available online. This decision was made by Rockstar Studios (GTA producers) by considering that people need a reliable entertainment option to pass their time. According to a report from Bloomberg, the stocks of Video game brands were 10 percent higher as compared to other companies.
Similarly, a lot of fitness-centric YouTubers are gaining popularity for showing new ways to work out at home. Cooking channels on YouTube are proving to be the saviors for those bachelors who stay away from their families. The point here is—Digital marketing is all about timing!
These social media trends are not just effective for present-day digital marketers but they’re most likely to be effective in the future too. All in all, creativity, innovation, and authenticity remain the constant solutions to future-proof your brand value.
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