November Industry Trends Report

November 2018 Digital Marketing and Public Relations News

Now that Halloween is over and many people are looking forward to Christmas, Proof Strategies is here to remind you to not sleep on November! It is the month we vote, honor veterans and celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. Our November industry trends report breaks down the recent public relations and marketing developments as business and marketers gear up for the holiday season.

Snapchat Original Series Coming to a Phone Near You

Will Snapchat survive its decline? Snapchat’s daily users fell to 186 million last quarter—marking a drop in users in back-to-back quarters—and is projected to continue to lose users as the year comes to an end. In an attempt to save itself, Snap Inc. has announced its very own original television series that can only be viewed on the Snapchat app. One of the original series will be a reality TV show, Endless Summer, about the lives of two social media influencers. Only time will tell if this is an effective method of influencer marketing. As far as saving Snapchat from its steady decline, this could yield significant engagement. Netflix consistently experiences subscriber growth thanks to its original series’ such as House of Cards, Stranger Things, and 13 Reasons Why. So, what is to say Snapchat won’t see an increase in users? If we have learned one thing during the past few years, it’s that influencers draw in the eyes of their fans. Let’s hope for Snapchat’s sake, that continues.

Marketing Just Got Political

It is no secret that brands are taking a stance on various social issues, with Nike’s Just Do It campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick being the boldest and most recognizable to date. Now brands are aligning with politicians, the most prominent being Patagonia endorsing two U.S. Senate candidates, Jacky Rosen (D-Nev) and John Tester (D-Mont). Brands supporting candidates is an untested practice with consequences and impacts yet to be determined. Doing so may be incredibly successful if it resonates with consumers that have taken a similar stance, but it may also alienate part of a brand’s consumer base. We will just have to wait and see how this political narrative plays out.

This marketing method is in line with the expectations of a growing number of people who shop with social and political stances in mind. According to Sprout Social, a majority of consumers think brands should use social media to voice their stance on subjects like immigration, race relations and civil rights. Moreover, 54 percent of 16-to-19-year-olds say they have deliberately purchased or stopped using a brand because of its social and political views. This issue can make or break a brand and is pivotal to success among younger target populations.

The Biggest Shopping Day(s)—Just Around the Corner

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are exciting for both brand and consumer. What consumer doesn’t love taking advantage of the year’s best sales and what brand doesn’t love seeing a spike in sales? So, what are you shopping for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Better yet, how are you shopping?

It is increasingly common to research brands on social media, so much that it has become a popular medium for making the purchases as well. According to Global Index’s recent study, Black Friday and Cyber Monday social media checkouts will continue to increase in volume in 2018. Though it might seem counterintuitive to buy from Instagram rather than the web-store itself, it’s because social media apps provide better product previews and richer experiences: you get to see what friends, families, or idols think about a product, and buyers generally have an easier time with mobile payments.

Now that we know how consumers will be shopping let’s focus on how brands can win the Black Friday and Cyber Monday battle? Start early. Schedule social media posts and serve ads to your target audience before they take a brief social media hiatus to spend time with their families. Offer early-access campaigns so that more people can participate—there are a lot of moving bodies over the Thanksgiving weekend so not everyone will be available to shop on Friday or Monday. Show them some recognition and provide alternate opportunities to purchase.

Alexa, Tell Me the November Trends

As mentioned in the August Industry Trends Report, voice search is rising in popularity, so naturally, voice shopping through a smart speaker has as well. Smart speaker ownership has jumped from 14 percent to 27 percent of consumers, with 25 percent of them making purchases through their smart speakers. Whether it be smartphones or smart speakers, homes are becoming “commerce command centers” as people shift their shopping habits to these devices, according to Visa. Don’t expect this trend to slow down either. Visa estimates that voice commerce will skyrocket 1,900 percent in the next four years, but don’t get too comfortable with the present Amazon, Google and Apple devices: only 54 percent of consumers chose those as a possible smart speaker, leaving almost half of the market open for brands like Bose and Samsung to set up shop.

What are people shopping for with their speakers? VoiceBot, which breaks down the most commonly voice-shopped categories, notes that everyday household items, apparel and entertainment top the chart. It is important to know how consumers are interacting with your products so you can tailor your marketing efforts to best reach your target audience. To be successful in a more “vocal” era, brands need to incorporate a voice strategy that goes beyond basic Alexa skills.

That wraps up our November trends report. Interested in more? Check out other posts on Proof Strategies’ blog to gain more insight into the industry.

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