By Tim Hyde, Founder and Director of Social Media Marketing Agency, TWH Media
The world of online marketing changed dramatically in 2019, and it’s not unreasonable to expect this transformative period to carry on well into 2020 and beyond.
Alongside the continual growth of social media and video content, we’ve now also seen podcasts come to the fore and take their place as one of the online marketer’s most important weapons.
Podcasts will become one of your key assets
In the UK, there are a lot of podcasts with micro-followings and SMEs can use podcast sponsorship as a way of aligning with a particular subject or influencer, as well as leveraging more media distribution. Sponsorship opportunities can be lucrative, but it’s important to be selective. Attaching your brand to the wrong individual or partner can have major consequences.
Podcasts can also be used to promote your business by featuring someone from your organisation, such as an ambassador or director, as a guest or speaker. This helps you to position yourself as an expert on a specific industry or matter and, in turn, raise your profile in your sector.
A move away from traditional social media spending
We will also likely see media buyers continue to distribute budgets across a variety of performance channels. The effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram, while usership has increased, has taken a downward turn,on average decreasing year on year.
The improvements in Snapchat and Pinterest’s media platforms have proven to be something worth exploring for marketers. Many businesses are now on Snapchat; however it is now easier and more affordable than ever to create a custom sponsored filter or lens for your business, allowing snapchat users to share your business’ event, logo or even product.
Several brands are now building campaigns which contribute to society, whether it’s planting a tree or donating to an NPO each time you make a sale or a local business venue providing a platform for speakers or activists.
In 2020, SME’s will invest more into brand campaigns or activations which build positive sentiment and alignwith popular cultural or political beliefs.
For example, brands will run campaigns which improve awareness for gender equality, LGBTQ+ issues or climate change.
However, there can be pitfalls of implementing activism into your business marketing. It’s important to support something your business aligns with but none of your operations can be contrary to what the cause stands for, or it could be a media disaster. It’s essential that you remain human while supporting a cause, otherwise your actions will seem disingenuous, losing credibility for your business.
Influencers will continue to boom
The influencer marketing industry is forecasted to be worth a mammoth $10bn in 2020, having topped $8 bn in 2019, so, love them or loathe them, you’re guaranteed to see more Instagram posts tagged #ad and #spon for the next 12 months.
One tactic which can be used to great effect is front-loading brand awareness campaigns through influencer marketing and then leveraging the content created in that campaign for performance.
Many businesses will be promoting themselves through running an influencer marketing campaign and repurposing the content for performance ads – influencer content, videos and reviews can provide a fantastic basis for ads, blogs and social media graphics.