It was difficult to anticipate the year we are in, considering that the trends that shaped 2019 were so influential that they simply had to stay in 2020 as well. And these trends were even more dominant in 2020 than last year.
It seems that the year in which we are and which is coming to its end was a year of consolidation, a better focus on really important channels and messages, but also a year of adapting to the changes that have taken place this year. We have tried to capture and explain some hints of change in the global market and in the digital marketing industry.
If we had to choose just one format for effective and engaged communication with consumers in 2020, it would be a story – or format that sells. Although the year we are currently in is the year of Instagram, the winner is still a story. And not only on the Instagram platform but also on Snapchat, primarily, through Facebook, WhatsApp, to Youtube, which also recently introduced this format. According to Facebook, adding the story format increases ad recall, purchase intention, brand association, and CTR. This especially implies if your Instagram profile reaches 10k+ followers or gets verified.
That way, purchase intention increases as you will be able to place the link to your website that can be, preferably, enchantingly designed whether you are technically inclined or not. The story currently has 500 million daily active users on Instagram, and that number continues to grow. The story format has almost ‘killed’ the feed this year. For a start, on Instagram, but we will see what will happen on other platforms.
According to Facebook, one-third of the most-watched stories are posted by business profiles or brands, which obviously shows that branded content on the story successfully engages the audience.
2. Digital Will Reach a Record Price
The prices of digital services, as well as the budgets that clients will set aside, will reach a record price in the coming years. We even expect it to quickly exceed the prices of traditional advertising services. Although everyone now offers digital services, there is a wide range of their qualities. Therefore, the price range will grow.
The growing problem of better quality staff in the industry and their retention will also affect the pricing policy of agencies. If you opt for a quality digital service to your clients, you will pay staff more and more in the coming years, which will certainly affect your agency fees.
Whether the market in the country in which you operate or the regional markets will be able to withstand that or there will be some other disturbances, was a big question even before the appearance of the coronavirus, that is, the economic consequences it produced. And in the world, the year 2019 was the first when digital advertising spending exceeded half of the entire budget globally.
3. Digital Agencies Are No Longer Just Digital
Digital agencies will increasingly compete with traditional agencies, first and foremost, as equal players in many local and regional creative contests. Clients no longer hesitate to check and engage the creative capacities of numerous digital agencies.
More and more clients are encouraged to entrust digital agencies, in addition to digital campaigns, with identity development, employer branding communications, all the way to traditional campaigns. This has been a trend for years in some more developed advertising markets. So, we will witness further strengthening and growth of primarily digital agencies and transformations into creative agencies with a complete service in full swing in 2021 as well.
4. Bye Bye LIKES
We finally got the expected radical change in digital KPIs, that is, we finally turned to what matters. Facebook helped us a little in that, or at least directed us to its mill. Likes in any form, which is a metric from the beginning of digital, go down in history. As they claim, engagement or, more specifically, like – has no correlation with the measurable sales success of the brand.
Thus, in 2020, we increasingly chased reach and conversions. Consequently, performance marketing and advertising have gained even more importance in digital.
We are witnessing a growing trend in the last couple of years – influencer marketing. This trend will not weaken in the coming period either. Influencers are present in all spheres, from social networks, YouTube, and even outside the sphere of Internet marketing.
They create interesting and original content, and each of them has its own audience to which they place that content. For this reason, influencers are still relevant in marketing strategies.
The podcast flourished this year but also in 2019. At a time when we are constantly on the move, listening to podcasts is a real refreshment.
The podcast format is ideal for those who do not have time to read or watch videos, so recording a conversation on an interesting topic is an ideal way to place content. If it makes sense for your business, consider this format for the next period.
7. Voice Search
More and more brands will be optimized for voice search. Namely, for some time now, Google has been enabling search by entering data by voice via mobile phones.
This is easier and faster for users, which is why it is used more and more often.
8. Digital Conferences – Indispensable in 2020
This year, from Lisbon to the Netherlands, digital conferences seem to be the most visited events in the advertising industry. In the year we are in, it seems that there has been a migration of marketers from traditional agencies to digital knowledge.
There was a demand for more digital events, and the fact that you can list traditional and relevant marketing events on the fingers of one hand supports this.
9. Anti-Trend Brands and Communication
If we take into account the fact that an increasing number of brands cannot cope with the daily changes in digital, there will be an increasing number of those who will decide to ‘swim’ in the opposite direction of the others.
Thus, in 2020, we had several examples of anti-trend campaigns and communication strategies. Some brands have canceled their social media accounts and thus drawn attention to themselves, either positively or negatively. On the other hand, Diesel, with its global campaign “Be a follower” in 2019, is an example of a brand that creates trends even when they are anti-trends.
10. DATA vs GDPR – the Gap Is Widening
There has never been a greater need to manage brand communication with the help of data and there have never been greater restrictions on the collection and processing of personal data, at least in Europe. That gap between needs and possibilities, necessity and complexity, will be growing. And it will seriously affect the entire industry in the coming year as well.
While clients are already looking for more advanced data services, agencies are increasingly taking data collection and processing in the face of rigorous GDPR regulations.
Larger agencies go even further and launch their data departments. While some of the digital agencies have their own data teams, some global chains, such as Wunderman Thompson, are repositioning themselves into the Data-Creative-Technology agency.
The year that is coming to an end has been a year of challenges due to a pandemic but also of changes, and we have seen significant changes in the field of digital marketing.
We expect these trends to develop further in the next year as well, and following the trends will certainly help your brand to record growth and achieve its goals.