The average user spends 110 minutes a day in one or more social networks. All platforms place emphasis on video, including Pinterest, which was conceived as exclusively a service for photos. Interactivity is more important than ever. Comments, likes, responses allow you to interact with the audience in both directions. Personalization, which means that users create an individual content stream for themselves by watching and liking what they like.
Trend # 1: Marketing = SMM
Buzzfeed UK creative director told about the philosophy that the media company is trying to adhere to in its work with content, and also described where the world of social networks is going.
Buzzfeed creates audience-first content. This is content that addresses the personal, individual needs of real, living people (rather than the masses).
We used to watch TV, and the program could be interrupted by advertising. We had no choice but to wait. Today we have a choice. When a person flips through a Facebook feed, “commercial breaks” are optional. So, if a company, brand or organization wants to be heard, it must fit into the context of the rest of the feed, be native. The line between advertising and non-advertising is blurring.
This will become even more important over time because social media marketing (SMM) will gradually replace the entire marketing. There will be no need to advertise on television because all entertainment (audio, video, text, visual) will take place on the Internet, and especially on social networks.
How social networks will develop, according to Buzzfeed:
Now. Social networks invest in tools, e-commerce, targeting and sales funnels within the network. Social networks are becoming a full-fledged sales tool.
Coming soon. Offline retail is dying off, purchases are completely moving online (and in mobile). All entertainment is on social networks and mobile devices.
In the future. Social networks will 100% absorb other marketing channels and become synonymous with the word “marketing”.
Trend # 2: brands will think like media companies
The Buzzfeed team also talked about how, in their opinion, food companies will approach their development. In a world where all attention is focused on social networks, brands realize that the most effective way to get the message across to the audience is to form your audience on social networks. In other words, to become a media company, and then a grocery.
To do this, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Where is my audience now?
- What is it looking at? Why?
- How can I and my company get into this information field organically?
Buzzfeed cited two examples of projects that successfully answered these questions and built their business entirely from online media.
CarWOW is a platform for buying new and used cars. When this project was launched, they realized that developing in such a highly competitive market would be difficult. They asked themselves where is their audience sitting now and the answer to this question was reviews of cars on YouTube channels.
At that time, TopGear created its channel, and automotive topics began to be in demand among YouTube viewers. CarWOW started creating their content as an experiment and doing reviews on cars, telling viewers about their features and capabilities.
Tasty is a Buzzfeed project that started when content managers saw that food and cooking reviews were popular. They decided to create a separate page on Facebook, calling it Tasty. During the first month, 1.2 million subscribers came to them. Thanks to analytics and a quick opportunity to check demand, Tasty has gradually turned from a Facebook page into a full-fledged grocery company that sells books, recipes, a subscription to a mobile application and much more.
Now Tasty is a separate business created entirely from the media. The Internet and content made it possible to test demand for free, gather an audience and create a company without investing in marketing.
How does a media company think on the web:
- It maximizes engagement (feedback) rather than broadcasting one message to a wide audience;
- It tests, learns, experiments and looks for content/audience fit.
Trend # 3: honesty and openness are the keys to success
According to the founder of the Social Chain agency, companies need to change their approach to communications in 2020. Instead of hanging brand communication and the company’s approach as a marketing director or PR manager, companies need to become a glass box where everything is visible.
In a world where everything can be checked in one click, and in a world where there is no organic increase in the audience (in other words: you have to pay for the growth of subscribers), only honesty and openness wins.
Trend # 4: brands moving towards micro-influencers
According to analytics by Social Chain, in 2019 $ 1.6 billion was spent on bloggers. In 2020, this figure will grow at least three times.
The key metric that marketing specialists and entrepreneurs look at when working with bloggers on Instagram is the Engagement Rate (%). It is considered as the number of interactions under the post (likes + comments + savings)/number of subscribers. But many bloggers wind up and buy followers, as well as likes and comments, to ask for larger fees. Because of this, there have been cases in which 95% of the brand’s advertising budget was wasted.
Also, bloggers used to be profiles that people trusted. This has created a whole advertising market. Now, due to the large flow of budgets of large companies (the opinion of a blogger can simply be bought), the audience’s confidence in bloggers is declining. According to Social Chain, the credibility of microbloggers is much higher, because the audience treats them warmer and perceives them as their friends.
Trend # 5: vertical video is the future
Video is no longer a trend, it is already taken for granted. Working with iPhone, intro video maker, GoPro cameras and various lenses, nozzles, free video thumbnail creator and other accessories allows you to reduce the cost and speed up the creation of video content at times. More and more brands are experimenting with shooting on the iPhone and especially with the vertical format, such as Instagram Stories.
According to the founders of We Are Social, more people create Instagram Stories than they consume. Facebook itself recently announced that it plans to make Stories the central format of its platforms.
For example, a vertical clip was created for the King Princess group, completely in the Instagram Stories format.
The Central Library of New York used the Stories and the vertical format differently, allowing the audience to do what it goes to the library to read books. They created a new genre – InstaNovels.
The vertical (portrait) format is more natural for perception and does not force a person to make additional movement by turning the smartphone horizontally.
The main questions that people who came to the conference began to ask themselves and their colleagues is do we deserve your attention and how can I get your attention.
The attention economy is the name given by the head of the Social Media Week London 2019 conference to the world in which we live. For some people, it sounds like brands will try to interrupt them with their ads more often. Instead of fighting for attention, in 2020 it is suggested to fight for the trust of the audience and the people for whom we work.
And trust is built on the fact that you regularly appear for the benefit of others the way you would like other people to appear for you.