2020 Digital Trends.

_2020_Trends_Blog

What happened in 2019

Digital Marketing grows leaps and bounds each year. If we don’t keep up with the shifting tides of innovation and technology the likely outcome is to be left behind. At Sagittarius we make it our mission to constantly stay on top with the ever growing digital trends. Not only do we need to keep track of visual trends, but also the technology used to communicate these trends.

Last year, we saw a rise in chatbots, AI and Machine learning and an ever growing “mobile first” world approach to not only website development but also geared at creating shareable, stand out content pieces that sets your brand apart from a diluted amount of online advertisements.

But we are not here to dwell on the past, let’s take a look at a few of the digital trends we will be keeping our eye on in 2020:

Spotify

“Social Listening”

Thanks to Spotify, It’s easier than ever to listen to your favourite music and podcasts while on the move. Using Spotify to market products is an appealing way for marketers to go where their audience is via audio streaming to promote their campaigns.

This year, rumour has it that Spotify has an unreleased feature called “Social Listening”, allowing multiple people to add songs to a real-time queue by scanning a QR code. This will allow listeners to hear the same songs at the same time. This new feature takes the social aspect of the loved app to a next level. It is predicted that this new feature could give Spotify a new viral growth channel, with social listening, encouraging longer sessions and boosting ad plays.

Facebook

Facebook plans to launch 'GlobalCoin'

Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency in 2020, allowing users to make digital payments in a dozen countries. The currency, Libra, would enable Facebook’s users to change dollars and other international currencies into its digital coins which can then be used to buy products online. It will also look at paying users fractions of a coin for certain activities such as viewing ads or interacting with content related to online shopping.

Whatsapp

At Facebook's annual Facebook Marketing Summit 2019, Facebook has announced that WhatsApp will be getting Status Ads in 2020 as well introduce changes to Whatsapp Business.

WhatsApp to get Ads in 2020

What form will these adverts take? The company is said to introduce Ads that click to WhatsApp from Facebook, Ads that click to WhatsApp from Instagram and Status Ads in WhatsApp. Users on Facebook will see an ad that will encourage the user to open and share within WhatsApp.

WhatsApp further explains "In order to send and receive status updates to and from your contacts, both you and your contacts must have each other's phone numbers saved in your address book."

Will this help marketers fight the “dark social” battle with whatsapp providing a place to share content with their personal contacts while still allowing us to track this engagement? Will Whatsapp lose its appeal as consumers feel their privacy is breached because their WhatsApp data will be shared with Facebook for ad-targeting purposes? Nonetheless, with over 1.5 billion users worldwide, this is a platform worth exploring.

WhatsApp for Businesses to get richer messaging format options

WhatsApp for Business will get richer messaging format options where users will be able to view Text along with Image in a single message and PDF along with Text in a single message.

5G is here

The fifth generation of mobile networks, 5G, is finally here! Marketers are hoping this faster connection will help enhance capabilities to sell their products via smartphones as well as increase opportunity for any other connected devices, be that a watch, a car or a household device. "When we look at the smartphone, we say, 'That's mobile and everything else is tethered," stated Julie Coppernoll, VP of global marketing at Intel. "I think that is going to change. I think nothing will be 'mobile' anymore because everything will be mobile."

Tiktok

TikTok, which has become massively popular with younger demographics and recently amassed around 1 billion downloads around the world. Initially, the platform appeals to Gen-Z, allowing them to showcase creative videos. Will this trend filter out to an older demographic? This will be the thing to watch this year and will answer the question many brands are posing, "Is getting on this app even worth it?" Having said that, many brands are using this app to engage with a younger audience to gain brand awareness and engage with an audience that in the past, may have been tricky to reach. Guess and NBA are a few brands who are using the platform to showcase a lighter side through creative, appealing campaigns.

Using Tiktok, Guess created the #InMyDenim challenge, which involved users filming themselves in all sorts of places while wearing the brands new denim line. They also had to overlay Bebe Rexha's "I'm A Mess." This was the first branded challenge to go viral on TikTok and proved successful for Guess. A good example how a campaign can quickly spread and gain brand awareness.

2020 is shaping up to be a progressive year for the digital industry. Do you know where your industry is heading this year? Be ahead of the competition and get in contact with us to find out how Sagittarius can help you achieve your 2020 digital aspirations.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill
Account Manager
Prior to working at Sagittarius Lauren was based in a Digital Agency in South Africa where she oversaw digital projects focusing on website design and development as well as Social Media. Lauren also has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing & Management Sciences and thrives on watching brands grow and being a part of this process, from beginning to end. 
Lauren Hill

Lauren Hill

24 Jan 2020 - 5 minute read
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