It’s hard to believe we rang in a new decade just a short six months ago, isn’t it? In the same vein, though, it feels as if we’ve lived multiple lifetimes in the span of half a year. Hindsight is truly 20/20 and right now, that feels more applicable than ever. We’re looking ahead to the second half of this unprecedented year to see which predictions forecasted for marketing in 2020 held up and what’s sure to come with the changing tides — for the rest of this year and beyond.
DTC brands place more emphasis on retargeting and retention
It was already predicted that many DTC brands would hit a wall this year, and what with the coronavirus pandemic halting economies across the globe, Q1 sales have proved this theory to be true — and sooner than expected.
According to this article from FastCompany, “One reason many DTC brands now find themselves cash-strapped is the exorbitant costs associated with acquiring new customers.” Digitally native companies spend millions of ad dollars per quarter (a tactic that could also come to an end; more on that below) on potential buyers, but significantly less on conforming current or former purchasers into repeat customers and champions for their brand.
There’s no one-fits-all solution for companies in this sector, but the shifting of ad dollars towards channels that favor reacquisition and emphasize messaging tailored towards former customers could drive slower, albeit forward, momentum. Sound like a plan? Luckily, we know a marketer for that. (internal link to a sign-up or FAQ page?)
Consumers expect transparency
The times, they are a-changin’. Social justice issues are not just being discussed behind closed doors anymore — conversations are taking place both off- and online across every media channel and, with that, comes an expectation for companies to take a stance on major socio-political topics. In fact, 66% of consumers believe it’s important for brands to take public stands on hot-button issues versus remaining silent, while over half (57%) are more likely to purchase or actively boycott a brand based around those beliefs.
In today’s climate, a simple Instagram post or 60-second ad spot won’t suffice when these issues have created more divisiveness than ever. Social media, though, by nature, fosters transparency and conversation, so easy wins include extended community management efforts (internal link to community management blog) that continue to provide clarity around your brand’s unique stance, as well as influencer campaigns that promote diversity and inclusiveness.
Video content continues to be an essential content vertical
Read any 2020 marketing trend prediction roundup from the beginning of this year, and video content will be a headline on almost all of them. Why? Video marketing consistently helps brands improve conversion rates and ultimately drives sales, with over half of consumers reporting that watching a product video boosted confidence in purchasing decisions, as short-form video has and continues to be the main driver of education around new products.
Social media isn’t the only channel that benefits from video content, though — stats show that your website is 50 times more likely to drive organic search traffic because video content is more compelling than text. Neat, right? Luckily, the freelancer network is rich with video producers and editors that have the capabilities to make compelling video content of all sizes and scales.
Sayonara, social advertising?
For years, Facebook (and related platforms) have been under fire for the spread of false information and often inappropriate or violent content. In light of recent socio-political events and shifting consumer mindsets, the Stop Hate For Profit organization calls on businesses to pause their social media advertising during the month of July in solidarity with partnering social justice groups. Major international conglomerates like Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Verizon make up a small portion of a growing list who not only paused their advertising early but intend to keep it off indefinitely.
Look: Social media ad dollars don’t just keep the lights on at Facebook and other channels — they often make up a major chunk of marketing department budgets, particularly to attract prospective customers and drive traffic to highly converting web pages. Already, Facebook stock shares and other revenue streams have taken a hit with the leave of absence from their advertising channels. If more brands continue to join the movement and depart from the platform, will social advertising as we know it cease to exist?
That may be a stretch, sure. North Face and other big brands pulling their social advertising spend doesn’t hurt anybody’s bottom line in the long run. Isn’t it interesting, though, that turning off one of the largest channels of e-comm advertising and taking a deliberate stance on prominent social justice issues could actually win you customers? If there’s one thing we know for certain, the rolling boulder that is 2020 isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Instead of jumping out of the way, perhaps you forge a new path.