One of the key steps for developing a future-proof and digital-forward marketing strategy is to keep upcoming trends at its very core. Talkwalker and Hubspot have co-authored a report outlining the key trends for 2020 by consulting industry experts and social media gurus. Here are five tips to help you leverage these trends when putting together your 2020 marketing strategy:
1. Change your mindset about artificial intelligence (AI)
The AI fearmongering is widespread. Based on Talkwalker data, there have been more than 4.7 million mentions of artificial intelligence in the first half of 2019, and 50% of emotion around them has been negative. Understandably- as people are worried about losing their jobs to automation. However, this challenge presents an opportunity. If marketers start embracing AI, and integrating it into their marketing strategies, they can free up their time from a lot of the tedious tasks, and spend more time doing what humans do best. Interpreting the data that is collected and segmented by AI can make or break a marketing strategy. By having a deep understanding of how AI can be used to empower marketing efforts, then adding the human touch of leveraging data to engage communities using human connections and emotions, marketers can future-proof their strategies for 2020 and beyond.
2. Keep customer data privacy a priority
Social media has suffered a trust issue in the last few years, due to two major issues: data privacy and disinformation. If your brand has suffered a similar issue, your 2020 marketing strategy should tackle it, and center on rebuilding brand trust. If your brand hasn’t suffered a data privacy issue, that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be focusing on data privacy either. Tread the line between data privacy and hyper-personalization very carefully. The privacy paradox shows that consumers have less trust in brands when it comes to data privacy, but are still more likely to give companies data in exchange for more personalized services. Harness the power of AI and advanced analytics when building your social media strategy to select relevant data that would resonate with your audience in a meaningful and non-intrusive manner.
3. Boost user experience through augmented and virtual reality
As Mariano Bosaz, Vice President of Digital Transformation at The Coca-Cola Company puts it, brands need to be relevant to a generation that doesn’t see a line between “the online world and the offline, the reality and the augmented reality.” Indeed, augmented reality and virtual reality are set to take 2020 by storm. AR will be integral technologies to boosting traditional retail experiences and engaging customers on-ground and VR will be essential for boosting these experiences online. Definitely a technology to consider investing in- in ways that are relevant to your brand and industry.
4. Understand that your audience changes. (All the time.)
What worked last year, won’t necessarily work this year. Changes in the market and in the technological landscape are changing the way audiences are reacting to advertising. According to Talkwalker, the conversational data around advertising has dropped significantly in net sentiment over the past year, whereas new methods like voice search and social media e-commerce are driving more conversations (172,000 and 226,000 mentions respectively). Your marketing strategy needs to be adapting to these changes and changing with them. That could mean switching from search engine advertising to more social-led marketing or voice search. It could also mean harnessing the latest updates that social media platforms, such as Instagram, have introduced to facilitate in-app shopping.
5. Incentivize your community to create content
Building an engaged online community is only the first step and -arguably- the hardest one. Brands need to leverage that hard work by incentivizing their communities to create content for them. 90% of purchasing decisions are led by user-generated content (UGC). Consumers are more likely to trust a regular person that they can relate to more than the brand itself or a celebrity endorsing the brand. It therefore comes as no surprise that UGC generates 6.9 times the engagement that brand-created content does. When putting together your marketing strategy, think about the incentives you can provide to your community to encourage them to create content. Whether it’s a product discount, a prize, an exclusive event invitation, or just the sense of community and belonging, make the incentive stand out, and make it shareable! Don’t forget to then use the content, and share it effectively to further engage your online audience.