As 2019 spurts to the finish line, we look at some of the challenges and opportunities the coming year will offer marketers. Here are a few marketing trends we think you should pay attention to in 2020.
1. Goodbye vanity metrics
If you haven’t already heard, Facebook is looking to hide public “like” counts on Facebook and Instagram. It is already being tested on Instagram in several countries, including Singapore. The goal of this new change is to shift the focus to content quality instead of the quantity of “likes” and views. This is to alleviate the pressure some users may feel to one-up each other in “like” counts. The obsession with “likes” has been said to have adverse mental health effects on social media users, especially teenagers. Many studies have linked depression to the amount of time teenagers spend on social media.
Instead of an exact “like” count, users will see a vaguer estimate of the number of “likes” accrued by a post. Users will still be able to see “likes” on their own posts.
Even YouTube is looking to replace full public subscriber counts (e.g. 133,017) with abbreviated ones (e.g 133k).
Via YouTube Help
What does this mean for marketers?
If you didn’t believe it before, this move by Facebook confirms it – vanity metrics are dead. The number of “likes” no longer matters as much as the level of engagement your post gets. Marketers should start looking at metrics that are more accurate gauges of follower interest. These include clicks, saves and shares. This means you need to start putting out quality content – content that resonates deeply with your target audience and content that drives your audience to carry out the desired action. Your content should pique interest and entice further interaction. Be more than just a collector of “likes”.
2. Hello Stories
Influencer marketing will no doubt be affected by the removal of “likes” from Facebook and Instagram. Removing public “like” counts has made it more difficult for brands to track social media metrics on their end.
What should brands do then? Should you stop working with influencers?
Before you cut off all ties, consider Instagram Stories.
Several pundits expect sponsored content to move from newsfeeds to Instagram Stories. With many cases of fraudulence plaguing the influencer industry, you probably won’t want to take any chances with newsfeed posts. Instagram Stories is a more transparent alternative. Thanks to its swipe up feature, both brands and influencers are able to track ROI. You can easily track the number of clicks leading from the Story to the affiliate link. This means it will be more difficult for influencers to get away with inflated metrics.
Speaking of influencers, 2019 saw the rise of micro-influencers and we don’t see them dying out just yet.
Micro-influencers are social media personalities with 10,000 to 15,000 followers on social media. They tend to have a niche following and are known to have fairly high engagement rates. In fact, according to a study, it seems the smaller an influencer’s following, the higher the engagement rate.
Via Mobile Marketer
Brands prefer to work with micro-influencers because they are cheaper than those with bigger accounts but generally produce more polished content than nano-influencers. Their reach is also more targeted thanks to their niche audiences.
Find out more about working with influencers here.
4. AI Marketing & Personalisation
Bots are taking over marketing. This isn’t some doomsday message, it’s a reality that marketers have to embrace if they want to stay relevant. Many have already integrated chatbots into their customer service arsenal.
A bot is a software that automates certain tasks. Chatbots offer one-on-one customer assistance without the need for a sales representative. Granted, they can’t do everything but their effect on productivity should not be underestimated. Chatbots free up customer sales representatives to attend to other pressing or more complex issues. Questions that can be answered easily will be handled by the bot. Imagine how much more productive your staff could be if they didn’t have to answer every single question that has already been answered in the FAQs.
Another aspect of AI marketing is machine learning. Machine learning helps create personalised experiences for users of your product. Spotify and Netflix, for example, use machine learning to recommend new music and shows based on users’ consumption patterns. YouTube has also been feeding users recommendations based on their viewing history for a long time now. E-commerce platforms are also providing recommendations based on buying patterns. ZALORA, for example, regularly sends out emails to their customers with recommendations on new products.
Personalised customer experiences are fast becoming the new normal. They give customers a reason stay with your brand. Just think about the hours you’ve spent binge-watching YouTube videos.
There you have it – four marketing trends to pay attention to next year. What other trends do you think we should keep an eye on? Share them with us in the comments!