Tracking the Trends: July and August 2020

Competition’s brewing in the world of social media as a few platforms have unveiled new features and abilities, and consumers have weighed in on whether they want to see their ads masked up or neutral. With new trends and new ways to reach their audiences, brands must keep a finger on the pulse of what’s in their toolkits on a daily basis. We’ve gathered the top trends for July and August—see how your brand can get in on the social media action.

1. Instagram Takes on TikTok…

TikTok’s uncertain future opened the door for competition—and that’s where Instagram’s Reels came in. The feature, which allows users to create 15-second videos, add music, and layer in filters and edits, debuted in 50 countries. Instagram’s previous success with adapting features from other platforms for their own makes Reels perfect for Instagram users who love TikTok-style videos. Marketers can be on the lookout for ways to reach their audiences who are already on Instagram with this unique style of content.

2. …While Google Takes on Pinterest

While Google has launched social networking platforms in the past that have largely gone unnoticed, the company hopes to turn that around with Keen. Less project-oriented and more geared toward personalized web searches, Keen serves as a content archive, allowing users to collect information on their favorite topics. As “a new way to curate, collaborate and expand your interests,” this experimental platform from Google hopes to help users spend more time researching, consuming, and learning about their true interests.

3. Brands Mask Up

To say the least, face masks have generated plenty of debate in the past few months. While many brands have not pictured face masks in their advertising to remain neutral, a recent study revealed that about half of viewers expressed positive feedback when brands used masks in their ads (with 33% responding negatively). This goes to show that ads using masks in the right context and with the right tone can encourage positive associations with a brand. Regardless, with changes still occurring week to week, marketers must continue to respond and adapt to changing customer perceptions.

4. Remarketing and Lead Gen Ads Hit LinkedIn

LinkedIn is huge for B2B marketing, and now that the platform is allowing retargeting for users who interact with a lead form or view a video, advertisers can implement increasingly specific parameters for targeting their audiences. Once your brand runs a typical campaign with at least 300 LinkedIn users interacting with your ads, you can begin retargeting to the audience that showed interest. This represents a promising step toward more intentional engagement between brands and their audiences on LinkedIn.

5. Smartphones Overtake TV

Snapchat set out to see how video consumption behaviors have evolved, and you guessed it—over the past decade, younger audiences watch more media on their smartphones than on TV. The majority of Gen Zs and Millennials watch short-form, user-generated videos daily, and over half watch long-form, TV-type shows. As younger generations continue to represent buying power, brands must appear where they are: on their phones and on video platforms.

As platforms compete and evolve, how will your marketing plans adapt? We can help you think through how best to reach your audience with what sets your brand apart. Check out how we approach making a plan. Let’s get started today!

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