3 Days, 11 Sessions, Countless Takeaways
There are clear trends and shifts emerging, which will impact how we conduct our marketing activities. Join our free virtual summit to discuss how we can tackle 2021 one marketing trend at a time.
Day 1Feb 16
Day 2Feb 17
Day 3Feb 18
Yearly Reflections: Looking Back Over 2020
Which of the 2020 digital marketing trends predicted did we get right and which were a miss?
We kick off the summit with a look back on the 15 digital marketing trends of 2020. We're going back a year to see how we did - were they a hit or a miss? This time around, that’s not an exercise for the faint-hearted – a global pandemic, enforced lockdowns and the deepest recession in living memory were not exactly high on the marketing world’s agenda when we published the 2020 Digital Marketing Trends. However, there is only one constant for marketers these days: everything changes.
The Year of Disruption: Social-in-Place
When the whole world is focused on the same thing, we rely on social media to express ourselves and feel connected.
When the whole world is focused on the same thing, we rely on social media to express ourselves and feel connected. 2020 has been the year of disruption: Climate Crisis, COVID-19, Racial Justice, #BlackLivesMatter. What can we take away from all this in a business context? And what on earth can we say on social media — as a brand — when the entire country/world is laser-focused on one hot button issue? Apparently, a lot.
Ephemeral Content: Point, Shoot, Story
Crafting something that will disappear is naturally counterintuitive to marketing. But Stories have the FOMO effect, it provokes users to take an action faster.
Raw, unfiltered fleeting content is overtaking picture-perfect newsfeed posts as the preferred format to engage with. This year, stories and other ephemeral content have continued to explode in popularity across social channels. The disappearing content format has become a full-fledged engagement powerhouse across multiple platforms. Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Linkedin, and even Twitter have all jumped on board the ephemeral content train — and it’s not slowing down any time soon. So perhaps it's time to leave high-production-value at the door.
A Fork in the Advertising Road
Can privacy and personalization coexist and should marketers be satisfied with trading reach for relevance is the million-dollar question?
Personalization has grown increasingly necessary — but with new data privacy regulations, a strategy shift may soon be required. Today, personalization plays a key role in the effectiveness of digital marketing and advertising. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they are presented with a personalized experience. Given this, it seems obvious that brands should be doing everything they can to make their ads as personalized as possible. And many are — but the complete picture, especially in regards to the future, is more complicated.
The Rising Tide of Social Commerce
Both at-home shopping and social media usage have created the perfect storm for social commerce to flourish.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted far more than the way we socialize and interact. It’s altered the way we work, the way we travel, and, perhaps most importantly for consumer brands, the way we buy. Lockdown measures have accelerated the shift to e-commerce by 5 years — and social commerce is rising along with that wave. Most brands have already embraced digital — and consumers are largely accustomed to buying online. Now, with people spending more time than ever on social media, the stage has been set for a huge uptick in social commerce. But what exactly will that look like?
The Expanding World of AR
Augmented reality is more than a buzzword. Move over human influencers; virtual beings might be the next-gen in the near future of marketing.
As AR continues to blur the line between digital and reality, brands are harnessing this tech to elevate the customer experience. Though augmented reality and virtual reality have existed for some time now, they’ve dramatically risen in prominence over the past year. More and more savvy brands are adopting AR and VR tech to reach new audiences, build immersive experiences, and significantly increase sales. So, the question is not ‘if’ — but, ‘how?’
Data Privacy: Under the Microscope
Marketers should embrace data privacy and not view it as an obstacle. This will help shift the focus from short-term leads to long-lasting trust and brand value.
Two years after Cambridge Analytica, personal data is still at the forefront of the conversation. Consumers all vehemently care about what companies do with their data. Privacy is on everyone’s mind (not just the older, wealthier bracket). The pandemic has only accelerated these concerns, which marked 2020 as a significant year for data management. As businesses face new technological challenges amid COVID-19, the topic of privacy has drawn an increasingly bright spotlight. This sensitivity regarding data privacy has only been growing — and companies are responding accordingly.
Niche Social Media Platforms Like TikTok
Do you get in on the fun or sit back and let others figure out a new platform first? What are the perks of going niche and when not to?
Branching out and building a presence on niche networks can be the key to unlocking valuable new audiences. Social media evolves rapidly. Yet a handful of social channels have consistently dominated over the past several years, giving the appearance of stability. But, even with this dominance of the ‘Big 5,’ you should never get too comfortable in social media marketing. Yes, Facebook and Instagram are powerhouses, but TikTok came out of nowhere in the back half of 2019 and soared to 800 million active users in 2020 — illustrating the importance of staying agile.
Outspoken Brand Activism
Is brand activism good for business? The short answer is: it depends yet experts recommend brand activism over brand neutrality.
Companies that take a public stance on controversial issues garner affinity from consumers — but with some risks. Today, offering a fantastic product/service at an attractive price isn’t always enough. Consumers want to buy from authentic, purpose-driven brands that stand for something and align with their personal values. In an era of divisive topics and staunch opinions, the statements a brand makes about socio-political issues can be the ‘X-factor’ that draws a loyal community of customers and followers. Events in 2020 have given new meaning to “brand voice” and we’ll discuss what that means for you.
Diverse Video Formats Open New Doors
What makes a great video? What keeps viewers engaged? Is it a good story? Or maybe it’s all about reaching the right audience at the right time.
Video continues to be an essential online medium — and new formats allow for increased interactivity and engagement. For years, video has been steadily rising as the dominant form of online content. Cisco estimates that, by 2022, video streaming will comprise over 80% of consumer internet traffic. Given this, it’s no surprise 92% of marketers agree that video is an integral piece of their overall strategy. But it’s not just video in general that’s on the rise. Technology is expanding the number of video formats available — increasing engagement, heightening user expectations, and allowing brands to cut through the noise more effectively than with other visual content.
Social Media as ‘Public Relations 2.0’
It is safe to say that the new way of word of mouth marketing is social media marketing. But what happens when PR meets Social?
While social media is well-known for marketing, it’s also an integral piece of modern PR — and are the two even related? By now, most companies are already using social media as a marketing channel. Why? Many would probably say that it’s a way to connect with their audience, build relationships, frame their brand in a positive light, and, most importantly, to remain visible. But...isn’t that the job of public relations?
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