The year 2019, shall bring in many new social media trends. Trends that shall further solidify the medium as the prime agent and means of showcasing and displaying a brand’s value, further cementing the brand’s perception on the minds of people, to help target its audience more effectively.
Social media has become central to any marketing or brand-building endeavour – it presents a platform where customers showcase their preferences, ask questions, pose opinions and put forward their complaints, making it mandatory to every brand’s narrative of reaching out to its end consumers.
So let’s take a look at the social media trends that the industry foresees will rule the roost in India as well as globally and the tactics that marketeers should adopt in 2019, to make their social media strategies more effective.
First and foremost messaging apps are slated to slowly gain precedence. The audience is no longer only using social media to stay connected with their friends and brands but also increasingly showing preference for a one-on-one connect with people and brands that matter to them. The one-on-one connect helps marketeers understand the consumer’s psyche better as well as establish a better connect with them.
Messengers like WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, hold dominance as popular messenger services, tapping better into markets through additional features like ‘Stories’, ‘News Updates‘, ‘Automated Bots’ and E-Commerce Functions, etc. It is increasingly being noticed now that users spend more time on messenger apps than on social media, making it pertinent for brands to stay connected with consumers via them. The audience that brands could keep in touch via messengers, make for a large, untapped market. Marketing via messengers, can enable marketeers to get in touch with a large new, demographic set of users.
Data on active users of popular messengers
A massive reason that has contributed to the increased usage of messengers, is the lack of trust in social media sites. Concerns around sharing social media data and privacy being compromised, have gained precedence, after a prominent social media site was found to comprise on the privacy of users’ messages by giving third-party access to them.
The Video Wins:
‘Live-streaming’ is the word of the year. Internet users are increasingly showing preference for video content, to get to understand the brand and its products better. Videos have become a decisively important way to engage on social media. According to research by Go-Globe, 82% of all internet traffic is supposed to be video content in the year, 2019. A research by Wyzow, suggests that 97% marketeers state that videos have helped users gain a better comprehension of their products and 71% state that it has played a crucial role in increasing web traffic and sales. It has been concluded that 95% people have watched explainer videos to know more about the product and 81% people have made the decision to buy the product because of videos that they have watched.
Videos make branding more personal, allowing the company to put a face to the business. It enables customers to know about the business and who has created it, who leads it and what its overarching goals are. It enables consumers to not only know about what the business sells but also who the business is, helping them gain a better understanding of its legacy and lineage, making it easier to create trust.
Gauging that videos shall rule the roost in 2019, Facebook has changed its algorithm in a way such that more videos show on the users’ feed. With the increasing popularity of YouTube, the introduction of IGTV as well as the increasing use of podcasts, it is only pertinent that more and more brands start using videos as an effective means of marketing on social-media.
Here’s a look at the types of video-formats that are slated to continue finding popularity in 2019.
Short-form videos with captions: These are used extensively as ads, Facebook favours their algorithm, and these are also watched widely by mobile users and can be found on any platform.
Vertical videos: Vertical videos appear on SnapChat and Instagram Stories and are swiftly gaining popularity as more and more ads are being watched in the vertical format. This format is likely to grow more in popularity, given the improved viewing experience on mobile screens that they are associated with.
Long-form videos that enable powerful story-telling: Long form videos make for a powerful means of crafting a narrative and enlightening the user of the brand and its various nuances. Finding relevance across platforms like YouTube, Facebook and IGTV, these long-form videos bear testimony as to whether the brand and its content, is being able to sustain the user’s attention, for a long time.
Brands becoming publishers: Brands can now publish videos and content and users can now turn into broadcasters through live-streaming – a trend that has captured the imagination of users and brands alike.
Podcasts: In addition to videos, podcasts, too, have become immensely popular. Across silos, brands are experimenting in greater measures with podcasts, with an emphasis to build their brand, as well as to promote their business.
Influencer Marketing Holds importance:
Influencer marketing is becoming a crucial element of the marketing mix, when it comes to social media marketing. The popularity of influencer marketing has made it difficult for small businesses to seek the help of big influencers. This has made way for many micro-influencers to gain prominence and make the requisite impact within their own social media group of followers, that could be as little as even 40,000 in number.
Stories are the Star:
‘Storifying’ content has become a big trend that has gained popularity. The vertical, ephemeral video-sharing format created by Snapchat, is now being used 15 times more than feed-based sharing. According to a Hootsuite Social Trends Survey, 2019, 64% respondents have either already implemented ‘Stories’ as a part of their Instagram strategy or plan to do so, soon. Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, recently shared information, stating that Stories are all set to surpass feeds as the primary way of sharing content with friends and this transformation is said to happen within the span of the next year. Nearly, a billion users across platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, are turning to Stories, to share content.
Number of users across platforms who use ‘Stories’
Long Form is the Way to Go for the Written Word:
When it comes to the written word, long form content, was found to make a deeper impact on its target audience and shall continue doing so, in 2019. SEO experts suggest that a long-form article, definitely makes a greater impact than a short-form one. It is being stated that a well-written article that is over 1,600 words in length, is likely to outrank an equally well-written 500 word article. As a result, 2019, shall see more companies embrace long-form content for their blogs, opinion pieces, articles, among others. Combining rich insights and robust information, these pieces of writing shall do a better job in attracting the reader’s interest in addition to ranking better on search engines.
It’s the Era of Pay to Play:
The reach of organic content has diminished significantly. Even about 5-6 years ago, brands could expect at least 16% of their audience to view their posts, organically. Now the reach of organic posts, has gone down to about 6%. With lowered reach of business content, most marketeers will need to invest in sponsored posts and boosted posts.
Augmented Reality Takes Center Stage:
Augmented Reality (AR) is slated to have greater application by marketeers to further their campaigns in 2019. AR can make brands more engaging and fun. Activities planned around it, can lead to an increased number of sales, given its ‘uber-cool’, ‘technologically advanced’ appeal. Facebook is investing in AR ads to add an extra-edge to social commerce. In addition to this, Augmented Reality camera effects are also being made part of messengers to ensure that customer experience enhances as does customer satisfaction.
Coming to the end of this blog-post, we sum up what these social-media trends mean. They indicate that social media is going toward a stage that is focused more on ROI, innovative technologies as well as a relationship based on trust, between the brand and the customers, whilst carrying out campaigns, in the wake of a climate where the audience is having trouble trusting prominent social media sites.
In a widely competitive world of social media marketing, it is important that brand’s should increase their engagement with customers. Simply following a trend might not guarantee success for a brand. Marketeers have to try and test the right blends of mediums to figure what uniquely works for the brand. It is crucial to remain consistent as it is important to stay innovative, for any social media strategy to show results.
It is pertinent to understand the audience and listen to them – as only a businesses’ audience can give valuable insights that can improve a brand’s social media strategy and help keep it ahead of the curve.