«As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply in 2020 – by 3%, which is much worse than during the 2008-09 financial crisis.» This is a thesis taken from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s report on the world economic outlook.
«The risk of the worst outcome prevails,» the IMF emphasizes. Experts claim that the 2020 economic crisis will be the most devastating since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The IMF chief economist also notes that global GDP losses caused by the spread of COVID-19 could reach $9 trillion, which is more than the economies of Japan and Germany combined.
Large companies will survive thanks to layoffs and cost optimization. But small business owners might lose everything. One way to stay afloat and even succeed is to master the art of online presence.
The dynamic development of online advertising did not stop during the quarantine. On the contrary, statistics show that the number of Internet users has grown, and their advertisement engagement has not diminished in the least. So, at the beginning of 2020, the number of Internet users exceeded the 4.5 billion mark, and there were more than 3.8 billion social media users, which translates to a 9% growth compared to 2019.
Our agency projects further growth in the number of internet users. More than that, the quarantine has shown that online advertising is often more effective than advertising through other channels. New social media users increase ad engagement due to lacking «banner blindness.»
But the question remains: how to reach this vast audience? Targeting, contextual advertising, SMM, creating your own website – these are tools that are already working and will keep working in internet marketing in the near future. At their core, they are tools and technologies that are easy to learn but difficult to apply. To use them competently, one will need not only the technical know-how, but also analysis of external indicators: the reaction, needs and requirements of the target audience.
For the proper analysis of external indicators, our agency is constantly monitoring trends in online marketing. After analyzing the market, we identified five main trends that will stay dominant in the near future:
- Live contentLive content is the main digital marketing trend in 2020 which, by all indications, is going to stay here for at least another year. If we are talking about Instagram, what people currently enjoy more is looking at other people’s reactions, unstaged photos and various interactions with the audience.
- PersonalizationOn the internet, there is a ton of information about you as a user. By visiting a website, publishing posts on social networks and making Google queries one leaves a digital footprint. If this data is used correctly, it’s possible to customize your advertising so that it completely suits the consumer’s needs. People are more pleased to find exactly what they need, so advertising will become less intrusive.
- Gamification and interactive contentJust displaying your ads on the internet isn’t enough. You have to entertain the client and pique their interest. Big and small brands have started making their own games, interactive content, educational advertising content, organizing seminars, festivals and friendly meetings. In other words, for a client to trust you, you have to give them something of value in turn, something they would like sharing with their friends and acquaintances.
For example, such interactive content includes AR masks on Instagram. This was the main and most prevalent trend last year. And now the «offspring» of this tool is becoming even more functional and technological: Lamoda has partnered with Wannabe to create an AR fitting room. Their app, WannaKicks, allows you to fit sneakers before buying.
- Lifecycle marketingLifecycle marketing is the logical continuation of the three trends described above. It’s an approach where the digital marketing strategy is built from the point of view of the customer’s interaction with the company. It includes studying the client’s journey, working through their doubts and reasons, identifying deal breakers and motives for a repeat visit. All this helps create a personal line of communication with each client.
- Facial codingFacial coding is a technology that recognizes the user’s emotions while viewing content. With the help of face capture and emotion recognition tools, it’s now possible to find out how much an audience likes or dislikes an ad.
Looking at these trends, it becomes clear that people are tired of talking to bots, of mass mailing (graymail), of calls from managers with their memorized lines. This isn’t saying that all mass communication tools are going to disappear soon. They are evolving. And at this time, for your business to succeed, you need to focus on face-to-face, genuine communication with your customers. Ultimately it will bring you recognition, trust and sales for your company.