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Our Take: ModSquad’s 2020 Digital Predictions

This year’s digital transformation and the ever-changing playing field of social media has us looking to 2020 with a new mindset for the communities we work with. We’re taking into consideration the following:

  • There will be more than five billion people using #SocialMedia in 2020. How are you supporting the people who engage with your brand on social?
  • More than ever, people want transparency and authenticity from brands. How can you be more authentic?
  • Customized content is critical, and that means taking advantage of the specificities of each platform and creating unique experiences. How can you utilize custom content to engage your communities and foster loyalty?

We are digesting more content, and in more places, than ever before. With that said, we’re anticipating a few key trends. Having awareness of these trends can help you stay ahead of the competition. Our predictions last year played out, so, hey, we might just be the voice of reason.

1. Safety and privacy are taking precedence.

The online landscape is evolving. The only constant is change. There are more safety concerns than ever before, and in 2020 we’ll see social platforms adapting and implementing changes, all affected by the need for user privacy. 

Twitter recently revamped its policies to comply with privacy laws which go into effect in January. This comes on the heels of the platform rolling out several new features which all seem to be reactions to 2019’s various privacy concerns. These tweaks included options to:

  • Remove me from this conversation
  • Don’t allow retweets of this tweet
  • Don’t allow people to @mention me without my permission
  • Remove this @mention from this conversation

Meanwhile, Instagram is hiding likes. For some, this change has already taken effect. The stated reasoning behind this is to make less public the interaction between users. It’s another example of more power being granted to the community in an attempt to thwart over-regulation.

2. Influencer marketing will continue to thrive as it adapts to user demand.

As the number of influencers continues to grow, brands’ investment in influencers will similarly expand. This year proved that the cultivation of the appropriate influencers undeniably leads to a strong return on investment. Influencer marketing delivers 11x higher ROI compared to other marketing channels. Utilizing influencers to engage with your audience is a savvy tactic to create trust and loyalty. Their influence may be even more impactful to the customer than a direct message from a brand.

The evolution from macro influencers to micro influencers (generally under 10,000 followers) is a gamechanger for all parties involved. As the number of influencers in niche markets increases, they will become even more accessible to their followers. Influencers are practically going to be a requirement if you want to move the needle on your ROI. 

Instagram influencer marketing is a well-known approach, but there are many other networks (like Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok) to cultivate for influencers. The influencer industry is set to reach $10 billion in worth next year. But what good will a great Instagram influencer do without great content (videos, stories, breathtaking images)? This leads us to our next point.

3. Achieving authenticity is about customizing content and creating experiences.

The evolution of content — generating and cultivating it, how it’s distributed and digested — is never the same from one year to the next. To foster a connection and establish loyalty, it’s critical to understand the community’s content preferences in order to interact with them the way they want. 91% of buyers state that they’re looking for more interactive content online (such as video, which we’ll discuss next). But interactive content isn’t limited to videos; shoppable posts, live stories, quizzes, and polls all drive greater engagement by nature.

Delivering connected, personalized experiences to customers is worth the investment of resources, time, and money. This is vital in a time when 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. That number will continue to rise.

4. Video, video, video.

Having discussed content, we would be remiss to not touch upon the growing importance of video. Every platform has added capabilities driven by video, especially live video. Video is what allowed 2019’s hero, TikTok, to emerge.

Technology and resources continually evolve; where blogs were all the rage three years ago, vlogs are now where it’s at. Video was key for marketers in 2019, and live video is taking precedence now. It’s more interactive and allows for a more engaging storytelling experience. Sharing video on social is direct, personal, real, and shareable. Any sort of visual engagement in general is more enticing than one that’s text-based. Keep in mind that the way you use video on each platform needs to vary. Know which segments of your audience populate each social channel and program accordingly. Again, in 2020 it’ll all be about personalizing the video experience.

5. Work-life balance is not just a company perk.

It’s no secret that there are benefits to both employers and employees when it comes to work-life balance. Now more than ever, companies are offering flexible schedules like the option to work from home. Top talent demands a proper balance to be successful in their roles, and companies are becoming more aware of employee burnout and are competing with other employers by creating more attractive work cultures. 

Creating a work-life balance is not a new thing; we’ve been talking about this for years. But what is on the rise is more companies having a firm understanding of what work-life balance means to their organization. Look for more diverse offerings being made available to employees. It’s ultimately about performance, efficiency, and retention. Happy employees are productive, loyal employees. Now that there are more millennials in the workforce, we’re seeing the work-life balance become more of a priority for all parties.

With a more energized and fulfilled workforce, your company will be better positioned to appeal to your customers’ interests, provide safe online experiences for them, and allow them to help shape your story. As customers become more empowered, brands that embrace their individual voices and needs will come out the winners in 2020.

What’s your take on our predictions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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