There are a billion blogs about 2020 trends. With our years of experience driving customer growth, our team of savvy LIFT-ers distilled all that info into 5 top trends that should be on your radar for the year ahead.
1. PERSONALIZE THE CONTENT
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
On Social: Micro-influencers help target hyper-specific members of your demographic. Using a geo-targeted influencer can help give your audience the impression that their peers and neighbors are using your brand, instantly building trust.
In Email: Beyond using a customer’s name in the subject line, further tailor your content by using that data to inform the imagery. For example, one of our clients, Spectrum, wanted to send an email only to customers in Hawaii. Knowing this we added tropical imagery to match the geo. This gives the email a human touch and helps it stand out in a cluttered inbox.
For Landing Pages: Customizable layouts help users see different versions of the landing page depending on what they’re interested in. For our client Bluprint we used drop-down menus to help change the landing page content based on which kind of craft visitors wanted to explore.
For Direct Mail: Geographic personalization is a great way to show your audience you understand them. It can be as simple as using specific cityscapes in images, showing stock that aligns with certain businesses or just including a city name or nickname in copy. Versioning like this does take more time, but you’re likely to get more engagement if your audience feels truly seen.
All Around: Personalization requires data, and sometimes you have to think outside the box in order to get that data. Doing a little research can provide great opportunities for generalized personalization. For example: if you’re sending out a tune-in email for a big sporting event weekend, consider adding personalized messaging that speaks to the most popular game-day snacks in that area.
2. REMEMBER W*RK IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD
It will surprise no one reading this blog (while likely also juggling email and text pings) that our attention spans are getting shorter. With this in mind, we need to make sure prospects have to do as little work as possible to become buyers. A seamless experience is more likely to lead to a sale than a clunky one.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
On Social: Making posts shoppable is a surefire way to promote engagement. Forbes reported that 72% of Instagram users have bought items directly from posts and with the prevalence of Apple Pay, etc., more people are becoming comfortable with the streamlining of transactional marketing.
In Email: Integrating forms in the body of an email sidesteps the need for a localized landing page. Getting customer data via forms is a great way to make their path to purchase that much easier. If you don’t need customer information, skip the forms and just drop them straight into the buyflow, as we did with our client Frontpoint in the email above.
All Around: Super specific CTAs help prospects see a clear path to exactly what they want. The time for the coy “Learn more’s” is over. Let’s make sure they know right where they need to be. We used prescriptive CTAs in our Bluprint emails to make sure customers could clearly see where each button would lead them.
3. MAKE THINGS INTERACTIVE
People like to scroll, swipe and tap. It’s even estimated that interactive ads have 3X the conversion rate than non-interactive ones. There are several interesting ways to get fingers swiping and minds engaged across platforms.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
On Social: Recently we’ve seen a huge uptick in AR filters, specifically in the form of above-head quizzes. Using AR in this way not only shows you’re savvy, but can also help guide buyers toward products and programming.
In Email: Dynamic carousels add some interactive depth to your emails and allow users to see more than one product in the same amount of space. Mix up the traditional carousel format by alternating between static images and dynamic gifs to really make your products pop. Since in-email carousels are relatively new, guide your audience through them by incorporating arrow icons or illustrations next to each image.
For Landing Pages: Content sliders on landing pages help the user see only the information that’s most relevant to their interests. By giving them a chance to customize their experience in this way, we’re helping clear a path toward an easy purchase experience. Below is an example of how we used sliders to help filter customers of CREDO Mobile into the exact plan they needed.
All Around: Interactive elements can be strictly functional and/or they can be surprising and fun. Constantly challenge your brand to come up with innovative ways to get fingers and eyeballs moving.
4. EMBRACE VIDEO
Between Instagram stories, the golden age of television and those Twitter videos about dogs being friends with babies—we love watching moving images.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
On Social: There’s an appetite for live content and most social platforms make it easy to feed that need. Consider using live video to help users with troubleshooting issues, show behind-the-scenes content, do product demos or even provide continuous soothing images (the ASMR trend is definitely one worth capitalizing on). This live content breaks the barrier between your brand and its audience while making it seem approachable in a whole new way.
Doctors, nurses and other professionals are using creative videos on Tik Tok as a way to disseminate important info, so the platform has clearly started to evolve a bit beyond its simple roots. But it’s important to remember that its audience skews well under 30, so if your audience isn’t still in homeroom, we’d advise you to observe Tik Tok rather than actively participate in it.
In Email: Research suggests that adding a video thumbnail to an email can account for a 300% click-through rate. Adding gifs and cinemagraphs to your emails is also a great way to grab readers’ attention without worrying about embedding a full video.
All Around: Videos don’t have to be 100% polished to make an impact. Sometimes seeing the seams a little, such as in a live video or in a video that’s clearly filmed on a cell phone, makes the content more authentic, relatable and allows it to integrate naturally into someone’s feed.
5. BE REAL
The relationship between consumer and brand is just that, a relationship. Trust is inherent in that dynamic but so is personality. Seventy-one percent of consumers are more likely to recommend brands that they have an emotional connection with. We’ve all seen what happens when brands take this a little too far (we’re still kind of worried about Sunny D), but with a little tact, it’s easy to nail.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
On Social: Respond to all the comments you can. React to commentators like you would if they were your close friends (within brand voice, of course). It might be helpful to create a master doc with examples of how to answer questions or comments in a brand voice; our client Frndly TV does a great job of this in the interaction shown below. Obviously your audience will throw you curveballs, but an ounce of prep can help you improvise when that happens. Individualizing your engagement shows your audience that when they talk, you listen—which brings everyone a little closer.
In Email: Use emails as storytelling tools. Instead of bulleted copy with benefits, consider having a short blurb from your CEO explaining why they’re so passionate about the business and what problem it solved for them. When done well, these human touches go a long way.
All Around: BE AUTHENTIC. There’s nothing worse than a brand trying to force emotional connections or relatability when it doesn’t match its style. Really dig deep and figure out what your brand voice sounds like and who your audience is. Then, speak how they would speak to each other.
With these in mind, you’re ready to take this by storm and engage your audience in bold new ways. Want to incorporate some of these trends into your 2020 campaigns? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.