Social media elements, devices and technological developments are relentlessly being churned out in order to meet high consumer demand. This probes us to question Facebook’s longevity, and discuss marketing shifts whilst giving you an inside scoop on a revolutionary development coming 2020.
See below for our digital marketing forecast, that includes marketing predictions which we believe will take place in the New Year.
Facebook following set to decrease
Relentless algorithms, feature updates and data violations mean that Facebook users are starting to divert to competitive platforms. Stats reveal that “numbers have dropped significantly since 2015” and we predict they’re going to decline even further.
As a Facebook user, whilst scrolling down a noisy newsfeed, you can’t avoid the omnipresent threat of surveillance that looms over your every click. Adverts are being tailored to your personal thoughts, third parties are buying and selling your data, and there’s a persistent threat of being hacked.
But what’s really getting on users’ nerves is a sheer lack of exposure. Recent stats from GlobalWebIndex reveal the primary reason users (41%) engage with social media is to “stay in touch with what friends are doing” and this is becoming a difficult task for users to carry out with Facebook’s stubborn algorithms.
Moreover, statistics found by Web Hosting Rating prove Instagram boasts higher per-post engagement rates than other social platforms, doubling the monthly active users of Twitter, and more than tripling the number of users on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Reasons why we think users may ditch Facebook in the New Year:
- Users will head to platforms where their content will be seen
- Users will opt for less-ad driven platforms
- Users will opt for platforms that have similar features to Facebook, without the ads and the algorithms. Instant-messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram will be preferred – stats support this with evidence that claims “multi-networking has reached its peak”.
- Influencers or celebrities who have a large following will go elsewhere, diverting their traffic to the likes of podcasts, where they won’t have to compete against noise or pay for reach.
- There will be a decline in active users on social platforms altogether – users will repel against time-consuming ‘anxiety-invoking’ networking sites.
- Users will seek more meaningful, networking sites that favour creativity, photography, blogs and news sources – such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
Other predictions for ‘19
Back to basics: print communications
We also predict that businesses will revert back to more traditional ways of advertising such as print, as a means of standing out against competitors.
Now print communications are never going to convert billions of consumers. With “one-third of the world” using social networks, businesses will always preference digital campaigns in an attempt to target the masses. However, delivering strategic print advertisements can be successful when capturing the attention of selective audiences in hyper-targeted locations.
Print communications may be adopted more by small businesses who simply can’t compete with the digital giants. As for some small businesses their lack of online interaction may detract consumers. Competitive brands (bigger and smaller) are compared online for when a consumer is looking to make a purchase – if the bigger brand has more online hype, then consumers are more likely to sway towards them. This makes print communications perfect for SMEs who are looking to direct from the mainstream, differentiate from the online noise, and capture the attention of consumers on their terms. It’s also a great strategy for SME’s – in their early stages – who’re looking to grow a loyal following.
And some firms are already starting to tap back into print, with Amazon cleverly releasing a nostalgic paper catalogue this year and a business who’s been creatively distributing printed newsletters as an alternative to e-blasts via Mail Chimp and HubSpot. Such efforts from both businesses have already been deemed as “extremely successful”.
Advanced technological consumer searches
Already consumers can talk to a virtual-cylinder – which goes by the name Alexa – to hear a joke, set important reminders, find out the weather and call their nearest and dearest.
Yet developers are taking AI even further, working on AI assistants that can “understand user-intent and behaviours through available data and information.” Such developments will streamline voice-generated-search, using consumer-insight to provide personalised recommendations and suggest relevant actions for users to take.
The developments have influenced tech analysts to predict that by 2020 “50% of all searches will be made through voice search” – with the search set to become “more conversational in nature” to adapt to the demands of consumers.
We predict that advancements to voice-generated search will begin coming into usage from next year so that businesses can test how well consumers respond to the enhanced developments.
We also predict that businesses, in turn, will begin adapting their content strategies, making their marketing copy compatible for voice-generated search. This will include creating content tailored to popular voice searches and building context through the employment of schema markups.
We want to know what you think! Comment below with your mystic marketing predictions for next year.