Although marketing trends are always changing, barely anyone was able to anticipate the drastic changes 2020 would bring. Brands were driven to revamp marketing structures and were compelled to strengthen their online presence. Overall, the competition increased as everyone turned their attention to social media. Indeed, Pew Research Center statistics show that over 72% of adults in the US were avid users of some form of social media last year. Though Facebook still reigns, expect Instagram and TikTok to overtake the platform in terms of user number and engagement.

And because most of the world is still coping with the pandemic, marketing is still predicted to continue revolving highly around the internet in the coming years. The good news is that we can take a look at what the past year has taught marketers around the globe, and use them to increase our brand’s online presence moving forward.

New app features

As the virus kept consumers at home, e-commerce sales reached record highs in 2020. Most social media platforms quickly saw this as an opportunity for growth. They responded by releasing new shopping features that cater to users who are both actively and passively looking to purchase online. Presently, apps are continuing to adapt to changes they observe. For instance, Instagram is shifting away from being primarily a photo-sharing app, as they plan to enhance their features in other key areas: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. In fact, they already have shoppable buttons on the app.

Credit: @milkmakeup – Live Your Pride Campaign

Similar to what we highlighted in our feature on ‘Planning for Growth: Is Growth Necessary?’, growth entails active decision. This could mean making your brand known by seizing opportunities as they present themselves to you. So when social media platforms attempt to grow and implement new features, make it a point to keep up with these trend changes and use these new features to your advantage. So with Instagram’s case, because it’s developing into an all-around entertainment platform, you’ll want to adapt your future posts into more entertaining and engaging content.

Beating the algorithm

Algorithm issues continue to pose a problem to many marketers, especially for large platforms with millions of users. Instagram’s algorithm is notorious for being hit-or-miss when it comes to brand engagement. Unlike chronological feeds wherein you only have to factor in social media primetime, Instagram marketing calls for viewer interest, timeliness of content, overall account engagement, among others. This means you need to note which of your posts do particularly well, and determine the factors that contributed to its traction—was it engaging to your audience? Does your post discuss a relevant topic, or did you use a popular hashtag?

Thankfully, there are Instagram analytics tools and scheduling services available that can determine stats like demographics and engagement to help you fine-tune your marketing strategy.

Source: Chipotle on Instagram

Short-form storytelling

Following the success of Snapchat stories, most social media platforms have developed a stories feature. This feature banks on its momentariness and a more personal feel. Because it disappears after a short period of time, audiences are enticed to view them immediately to avoid the fear of missing out. Stories are usually less curated than posts, which makes viewers feel as if they are glimpsing into the behind-the-scenes of a famous personality or brand.

But the story feature has now evolved further into a different medium entirely. Short-form videos have taken center stage alongside the rise of TikTok, as many people prefer watching clips condensed into 90 seconds or less, as compared to a five to ten-minute video. TikTok is now a hotspot for people itching to take their businesses online, and the app knows it. This is why Vimeo is integrating software into the TikTok app targeted at small and medium-sized businesses to help them trim production times and costs. This is the perfect time for brands to enter into the stories and short video platforms and diversify content.

Credit: Vimeo on TikTok

Although the social media sphere has now grown to be more fast-paced and competitive, it’s also now a space that offers plenty of opportunities for small and big businesses alike. Marketers that are adaptable and are able to channel their creativity effectively will surely shine.

Written exclusively for groyourbiz.com

By Julia Rose

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