A New Decade of Media: Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2020

From producing video content to using twitter, here are ten things for brands to know going in to 2020

Media and marketing changes on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis. As technology progresses, and users become more adept at using platforms, apps and their devices, businesses must keep up, not only with their competitors, but with their users as well.

As we say goodbye to 2019 and move into a new decade, brands must navigate the ever-changing universe of marketing to find success. Here are the top 10 media trends that businesses should lean into, as well as a few to take a step back from, in the coming year.

1. Video content is king

Video content will be on the rise in 2020 like never before. According to a study by Cisco, 82% of all online content will be video based by 2022. Additionally, Fast Company recently reported that the average user now spends around 45 minutes per day on the video-based app TikTok, which is more time than the average user spends on Facebook.

Attention spans are short and connecting with your audience immediately through video will get your point across and keep their attention, while maintaining a direct dialogue with the brand and allowing consumers an opportunity to connect with your brand’s message. Brand marketing strategists can also tap into this trend with Instagram Stories, a cost effective, engaging video ad platform that gives brands the opportunity to reach new audiences.

2. Influencer marketing and micro-influencers

Did you know that you don’t need 500,000 followers to be considered an influencer? Companies are turning to people with a much smaller social media following to leverage as influencers and reach a targeted audience. By utilizing these trusted third-party sources, marketers can reach new eyes and grow audience numbers through their influencer network at a less expensive rate than a traditional media buy.

3. “Going live” has big rewards

You may have heard or seen accounts you follow “go live” on Facebook and Instagram. Live videos are a great way to increase engagement and are watched three times longer than videos that aren’t live. “Going live” gives your audience a sense of transparency and provides a medium to convey personality that isn’t always apparent in pre-scheduled posts and content. Plus, because they are positioned first on Facebook and Instagram, ahead of all other stories, there is a greater chance your audience will watch these videos.

4. Get on board with branded podcasts

We all listen to podcasts these days, and for good reason; they can be informative, funny, heart-warming and all around interesting to listen to. That’s why this year, consider producing your own branded podcast. This is a way to branch into the lifestyle aspect of marketing, putting a voice and a theme to your brand’s products. Podcasting enables marketers to create self-owned media outside of social algorithms and include variety in media offerings overall. With the entry-level investment into podcasting being fairly low many brands will begin adding this to their marketing mix in 2020.

5. Consumers as curators

Do you comment on, respond to or repost social posts that your brand is tagged in? Encouraging your followers to create original content using your product or service can be a powerful tool for community growth. Posts, images and videos that are created by real people will resonate with your followers. Once you share this content, other consumers will likely follow suit. Be diligent about engaging with any content you’re tagged in, including re-posting it when possible to show your audience you care about their content and loyalty.

6. Streaming ads

If you’re streaming, it means you chose what you wanted to watch or listen to, and that is a positive feeling. Choosing the content you see triggers a high level of satisfaction among consumers, which leads to a better perception and positive attitude toward the ads that inevitably come along with the content.

Utilizing ad space on streaming platforms like YouTube, Amazon, Hulu and others is a great way to reach new eyes outside of your target audience. However, with an uptick in ads on platforms like Instagram, be aware of burnout from consumers who feel it takes away from their user experience, so choose wisely.

7. Vertical video and IGTV

In 2019, Snapchat shared that full-screen vertical videos had 90% higher completion rates than horizontal ones. Further research shows that attention for vertical video ads is twice as high than it is in other formats. The use of vertical videos and long-form content on IGTV (Instagram TV) will continue to rise in 2020 thanks to recent platform changes on Instagram. Share your story with extended, vertical video content and then post the videos to your feed and encourage more views. This change will lead to increased interest, fan base and engagement.

8. Twitter is back

A well-written, well-timed tweet is an incredible tool to create viral magic, reaching millions without paying big media bucks. Twitter will continue to offer brands the most cost-effective opportunity to reach many people, as brands return to the platform. Twitter allows brands to showcase their voice and personality in a more casual, grassroots way, chiming in on current events in real-time.

9. Interactive content FTW

In 2020, content marketing will shift its focus to give audiences more of what they want: shoppable posts, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), 360-degree video, quizzes and polls. According to Hootsuite’s 2019 Social Media Trends report, 91% of buyers are looking for more interactive content online. In addition, 60% of Instagram users say that they discover new products on Instagram and 72% have purchased within the app. The study further showed that in a survey of 4,000 Pinterest users, a massive 70% said Pinterest helps them find new products. Shoppable posts and ads cut through the noise and give your audience a reason to stay, engage and share that post with others, expanding your reach even further.

10. Facebook Groups

As young Facebook users continue to leave the platform in droves, Facebook groups are one of the reasons for brands to stay. For brands, Facebook groups provide a level of personal engagement that traditional pages do not, because people are more likely to start a conversation in a group rather than on a company’s post. Having a more personal relationship with your audience builds trust, and with trust, you can build brand loyalty.

As we start the new decade, the only constant in marketing and advertising will be change. Getting ahead of these trends and utilizing them while they’re effective will put your brand in the best possible position to succeed.

The bottom line? Consumers enjoy personalized marketing campaigns. Generic ads that your audience can’t connect to are much less effective than personalized advertisements. A recent PR Daily report on 2020 trends states that 90% of people surveyed said that they find personalization appealing and 80% said that they would be more likely to give their business to a company that served them something personal. Taking the extra time to get to know your customers, and their interests, will pay off in increased engagement, and ultimately sales.

Juli Dimos is the founder and managing partner for VOCO Creative, a Colorado-based marketing agency that specializes in savvy marketing for brands.