One of the most important factors that can determine a brand’s success is its ability to connect to its target market and to make a lasting impression. An engaged shopper who remembers your product or service is more likely to convert into a sale. If your brand can speak directly to the motivating forces driving these shoppers, you can increase the efficacy of your marketing.
This becomes more challenging as times change and technology advances. Traditional means of reaching your target audience are falling away. What your audience wants is changing, and their behaviours and interests are evolving.
Events like the 2020 pandemic, political climates, and shifts in thought deriving from cultural sources all serve as catalysts. Facebook recently surveyed 12,500 people to discover which emerging trends will shape the future of online marketing. These trends give us insights into how we can adapt our strategies to connect with what matters more to consumers.
Since the arrival of social media, consumers are expecting more from brands. Of course, one of the largest expectations people expressed was that brands respond to a greater desire for connection. In other words, your audience wants to talk to you and to have you respond in a genuine, human, caring way.
This need for a greater connectivity also expresses itself in a desire for more immersive shopping experiences. 73% of the people surveyed were interested in trying new ways of shopping. Live Shopping and Augmented Reality are emerging trends in the evolution of the online shopping experience.
Brands can speak to these needs by using live shopping, polls, questions, and stories or even AR to build stronger connections to their audience. The goal should not merely be the application of new technology. Instead, it should be creating useful digital experiences that will give your audience value.
In the last year, the adoption of digital platforms for community gatherings has skyrocketed. We have lockdowns and quarantines to thank, in part. The trend has, however, been emerging for some time. COVID-19 just gave it a boost. Meeting with a community for a variety of purposes or common interests digitally is now more normal than ever.
Half of Facebook users belong to at least 5 active community groups, while 64% of people surveyed belong to some form of online community group. Social media has been a powerful tool during the pandemic that has allowed families, friends, churches, and many forms of interest groups to stay connected.
Your brand can adapt to this emerging trend by contributing to online communities. Many people join communities to educate themselves, to gather information, to seek perspective, and to connect with like-minded people. Your brand can connect to relevant communities to offer information, connection, perspective, and to sell products or tackle challenges.
With surmounting social and economic pressures, many people are looking to simplify their lives. In fact, this trend shows that 90% of people want to simplify, and it makes sense. Considering the stressors of our times, a renewed appreciation for values like family time and investing in what really matters is prevalent.
This desire for simplifying plays out in consumers prioritising products and services that can increase the convenience in their lives. Things that free up their time so they can spend time on what they value most.
What do consumers want to spend their time on? 65% want more time with their loved ones. 63% want to spend more time exercising. 63% want to spend time learning a new skill. 62% want to travel more, and 35% want to give back.
This trend presents one of the greatest opportunities for brands. Can your product or service save someone time? This means you could truly add value to your audience’s lives and increase the likelihood of conversion by speaking to this need in your marketing.
Local is mos lekker. According to Facebook, the sentiment is global. People are supporting local businesses more often and starting local businesses more often. The challenges of these unprecedented times have resulted in a rise in entrepreneurship and creativity.
94% of people surveyed say that social media has made it easier to start a business, and 91% are actively supporting local businesses. Facebook apps and services can help brands launch new products and help businesses connect to the local interest group.
The platform offers a way for people to find the business or learn more about the business through organic engagement and paid brand awareness campaigns. Businesses can even establish an online presence without having a website. A Facebook page is all it takes. Brands can also take inspiration from this trend. Consider partnerships that could strengthen your local relevance and uplift local brands.
P.tch has over 15 years’ experience in Digital Marketing Consulting and growing eCommerce companies and platforms in South Africa, having worked with brands such as Wantitall.co.za, Netflorsit.co.za, Hairhousewarehouse.co.za, Digital Planet, Hpshop.co.za and many more. If you’re looking for an eCommerce growth and development partner, please contact us.Sources: social media today; Facebook; Global Report;