New decade, endless opportunities for digital communications
I still remember the first iPod I bought. I was beyond thrilled about having a touch screen for the first time. I mean – how cool would that be – I kept on telling myself.
The second I plugged it in though, I panicked. I actually had no idea how it worked. In despair, I called the only guy in my school that had one on my landline telephone. For a minute, I felt defeated by a piece of aluminium and I could forgive myself for allowing that to happen.
More than a decade – and many more pieces of aluminium – later, technology does not quite have the same effect on me. I am one of those people that, one way or another, grew up with technology. One of those people that used analogue phones and single-use film cameras but was still young enough to learn side by side with Windows XP. Simply put, one of those people curious enough to take new discoveries with a thrill and roll with it.
The beginning of this new decade could not be any more exciting. As if globalisation 4.0 was not enough of a novelty, the speed at which the digital sphere is evolving has so changed the rules of the game that the only option left for people and businesses alike is to either stay behind or get on board with it. Get on board with it now.
Despite how scary and unpredictable it may all seem, what current developments show is an attempt to make the digital world more human; an attempt to gain back all those real connections we seem to have lost on the way. How? Hidden behind likes, shares and cryptocurrencies, here’s 5 key trends that will shape the digital narrative in 2020:
1. Gamification and interactivity
Busting the myth that our attention span is almost the same as that of goldfish is not quite the same as working towards making online content not only relevant but also engaging. Whether it is through online marketing, educational campaigns or websites’ UX design, the number of increasingly interactive content is growing by the hour. We are getting savvier, more creative users. We like challenges and practical examples. It is likely that with the increase in availability and the reduction in cost of augmented reality/ virtual reality technologies there will be wider usage of playful content, especially in learning contexts.
2. User Generated Content (UGC)
The good old mantra “Customer is King” is more valid than ever before. Thanks to social media, the audience has the opportunity to be part of “the conversation”, and shape it. While creating new content can be a very time consuming and often expensive task for businesses, learning how to maximise and take advantage of UGC is a game-changer for increasing brand-awareness, authenticity, and – ultimately – profitability.
3. Widespread usage of video and audio content
More than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. For years, studies have shown how videos have the ability to catch – and keep – people’s attention better than text. But is that enough? Based on recent data, the answer is not as easy as it seems. The most viral videos are short (12 seconds or less), mostly in vertical form, and with background music or subtitles. Alongside voice research becoming more and more popular, podcasts definitely stand out. They are a great platform for both B2B and B2C businesses. They allow to tell a story, share information and yes, be personal at the same time. Better watch out for those.
4. Brand Activism
The internet is more political than your uncle Jerry after a few glasses of wine on Christmas day.
It turns out consumers care. They care about the products they buy and who’s behind them. They care about standing up for something – whatever that might be – and feel great pride in being part of a movement. Brands that declare their political views and proactively act towards social causes (e.g. being environmental-friendly, ensuring their workers are paid fairly, investing in gender equality etc.) are much more likely to be able to count on loyal customers and their social outreach.
The risks involved with becoming too politicised are high, very high sometimes, but the ROI for firms that get this right can really be significant.
5. Reactive Content
Almost like a Mario Kart race, strategic content marketing today is very much tied up to the external environment. What’s around you matters greatly.
Differently from traditional marketing where coming up with new ideas is a fundamental first step, reactive contact is based on current news and trends. The action can be as small as replying to a trending hashtag. The most important element is timing. For better or for worse, the right content at the right time can place your brand in front of the world within minutes. Sure, you must have specific guidelines and a savvy digital team, but adding value – maybe with a little sense of humour why now – to an online conversation truly has a great potential.
Are you excited about 2020? What will be your next steps? Share your thoughts and fears with us. #Our2020