2019, It’s a Wrap!

With the holiday season upon us, Proof Strategies would like to keep everyone up to date on what’s trending in the communications and marketing industry. This month, we’re focusing on four topics:  

  1. How apps are driving social media commerce
  2. The continuing growth of stories
  3. The further fall of brick and mortar stores 
  4. The new developments on LinkedIn…there may be a test!

Where Shopping Meets Social Media

Shopping on social media platforms is the modern mall as we know it.  According to the online publication, Mobile Marketing, mobile ads accounted for 88 percent of social spending in the third quarter of 2019. As a result, the retail market is primed for a social media-driven holiday shopping season this December. 

This year, the social platform Instagram added a new feature called Instagram Checkout.  It allows users to buy products within the app, eliminating the need to leave the app for an e-commerce platform. Through this feature, companies hope to reduce the risk of losing customers due to complicated mobile shopping pathways, such as having to download a new store app to make the final purchase. 

Marketing’s Newest Medium

Walking down the street, what is one of the first things you see people doing? 

Everyone has their heads down with their eyes glued to their smartphones. So what does this have to do with marketing? 

With consumers continuing to choose their mobile device over their desktop, industry experts expect to see a surge in shopping experiences with augmented reality this holiday season – giving consumers a virtual peek into product ownership before any money is spent. Phones are no longer simply for personal use or ads, they are the next medium for experiential marketing, and capitalizing on this will only help companies reach their goals. Companies should use this information when brainstorming new marketing strategies and implement campaigns accordingly. Below are just a couple of examples: 

Target: Target is leveraging AR this year to help consumers find their ideal Christmas tree. With its mobile app, consumers can take pictures of artificial fir trees in various sizes to see how those trees will look inside their own homes.

Starbucks: In November, Starbucks introduced an array of new holiday drinks, as well as four limited-edition cup designs — each of which springs to life with its own AR effect on Instagram built from Facebook’s AR platform, helping to make the holiday season a little more magical.

Stories and Its World Domination

Marketing agency, Single Grain wrote that the “story concept” is spreading all over the world and on a multitude of platforms, such as  Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube Stories.  

What are stories and why do we care?  Stories are a collection of photos and videos on one’s profile that are separate from a user’s gallery and only visible for 24-hours.  Stories are now the friendlier neighborhood shop vs. the big box store, due to their more personalized outreach. According to Forbes, users trust who they know more so than the big-budget influencers who have since become stale and inauthentic. As a result, stories have swooped in to be the latest influencing tool.

 To capitalize on the holiday season, companies will leverage stories as a medium of promotion to increase brand awareness, cost-effectiveness, and website traffic. Stories are also optimal for creating highly sought after user-generated content while building a community among audiences. Hubspot shares how some of the biggest brands such as Nike and Airbnb use this hugely popular feature as a more personalized way to engage with consumers. 

Let’s Get Verified… with LinkedIn

LinkedIn continues to shower its consumers with new capabilities, just in time for 2020.

The company exceeds the social networking industry’s expectations with enhanced user experience features designed to better the public’s ability to organize, network, and brand themselves. The app’s latest “Events” feature allows professionals to organize events with others, making it increasingly easy to create smaller private events for those they already work with, or larger public events to meet new people. 

LinkedIn also introduced new bio features, allowing freelancers to effortlessly integrate their services into their bio—increasing the average job seekers discoverability rate. This subsequently simplifies the process for those searching for specific services. 

To further attract potential employers looking to expand their teams, LinkedIn encourages job seekers to put their skillset to the ULTIMATE test. Challenge yourself and take the skills assessment to validate your skills and add a “verified skill” badge to your profile.

Don’t wait until the new year to become LinkedIn certified. Read this full article to learn how you can connect to others and show off your skills.

As we enter 2020, be sure to keep these trends in mind when designing new campaigns. By incorporating these tools, your brands are sure to gain some online traffic! Want more? Check out our other blog posts for additional industry news and insights. 

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