Top 10 Digital Trends For 2020 That Drive Personalized User Experiences

Dec 11, 2019 Claire Nelson

As we head into the New Year, evaluating your brand’s digital marketing strategy should be a top priority. In 2019 we heard Facebook address privacy concerns, TikTok picked up popularity among Gen Z, and Twitter banned all political advertising. Instagram got rid of like counts and LinkedIn started to allow custom calls to action for business pages. 

All of these efforts continue to help personalize users’ experiences while creating a safer space for self-expression. Users expect the same from brands. They don’t want to be sold something, they want to relate, learn and pass on knowledge to others. And while there are 3.5 billion online users, they want a personalized and unique interaction with you. Our digital strategy team put together the following list of predictions to help inform your brand strategy in 2020:    

#1: Video still reigns king.

Over the past two years, video has been a key player in any successful social media strategy - and we don’t see that changing in 2020. Marketers who use video see revenue grow 49% faster and receive 41% more web traffic than those who don’t. While shorter videos have previously performed better across platforms, as features like Facebook Watch and IGTV become more prominent across platforms, we expect to see longer-form video content continue to flow into the newsfeed. 

#2: Facebook Watch isn’t going anywhere...yet.

Facebook Watch was somewhat of a flop when it launched in 2017. While Facebook Watch hits like Red Table Talk and Limetown have created some buzz, the viewership is little to none compared to streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the latest, Disney+. But Facebook isn’t likely to stop here. We’ll be watching their attempt to push Watch again as they introduce a new dedicated News tab, which will include original video news programming. 

#3: More brands turn to IGTV.

You may have seen more of your favorite video bloggers and influencers start to use the video feature on Instagram over the last year. What’s the benefit of using IGTV? For individual users, it’s a way to share longer-form video content (up to 10 minutes for all users and 60 minutes for verified accounts), allowing more opportunity for conversation and engagement. For brands, IGTV is a space to highlight different products and services, and find new ways to both educate and entertain audiences without having to stay within Instagram’s normal 60-second video limit. 

#4: Influencers aren’t going anywhere. 

With the recent removal of like counts, many people (and, well, influencers) are curious about where they stand with certain brands. As we mentioned in a previous blog, we don’t think much will change here. While like counts are important to influencers and the brands who are vetting them, we can expect influencers to find different ways to communicate value to brands they partner with

#5: The rise of TikTok. 

Over the past year, TikTok has proven its worth as a social media platform. It reached over 1 billion all-time downloads and has one of the tightest demographics of any social media platform. It’s the place for Gen Z. Since the beginning, TikTok has had a huge focus on its creators. These creators (or influencers) are able to reach a highly engaged, niche audience that many other social platforms have failed to reach. With the recent launch of TikTok Creator Marketplace, the official platform for brand and creator collaborations, we expect more brands to try and find ways to reach their audiences with the help of these creators. 

#6: More regulations to come. 

In 2019, Facebook took stands against Fake News and Instagram rolled out new updates to combat bullying. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey has also said that the platform will be banning all political ads, making for an interesting 2020 election season. How will these changes impact your brand? You can expect advertising rules to become more strict, more algorithm updates to reflect the new regulations, and in some cases, a loss in followers as platforms continue to purge spam followers. 

#7: Executives turn to social. 

Executives will continue (or start) turning to social media to support their thought leadership platforms. On social, it all comes down to transparency. Done well, an executive becomes more accessible by using social media to communicate their authentic voice and idea. This also provides important cross-promotions opportunities on the brand’s platform. Highlighting this expert voice on the brand’s profile adds credibility to the brand. Bottom line: executives need to get serious about carving out time in their busy schedules to build and maintain their online profiles. 

#8: AR/VR continuing to revamp how people interact on social.

The infamous gender swap AR filter released by Snapchat earlier this year brought the fading social media app back into the limelight. What is it about these filters on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat that grab audiences’ attention? It’s all about making experiences more interactive, something we’ll see more of in the new year.

#9: Mobile advertising takes the crown. 

Brands can no longer rely on TV and print advertising to reach their audiences. As people find more ways to use their phones for everything (work, ride-sharing, etc.), it’s one of the only media avenues expected to see growth. Google has already hopped on this trend in 2019 by rolling out different mobile ad types, including discovery ads, gallery ads, and a new inventory for Showcase Shopping ads. 

#10: Conversational, personalized chatbots for customer service. 

Marketing is no longer a one-way street. Modern marketing has shifted to become a conversation between brands and customers, and if there’s one thing we know about customers, they aren’t always easy to please. It’s expected that chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020, so if you haven’t considered a chatbot to lead your customer service, you’re already behind.

While the pace changing tools and strategies can be overwhelming, their impact on your brand’s digital presence is monumental. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help.

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*This piece was co-authored by Christine Montes, vice president of digital strategy, InkHouse San Francisco

Topics: InkHouse, Marketing, Social Media, digital strategy, integrated PR, video marketing, 2020 predictions
Claire Nelson

Claire is a digital specialist managing social media for clients including Okta, Nutanix, and VMware Carbon Black.

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