It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year of adjustment as we continue to deal with the covid-19 pandemic. From lockdowns to social distancing, it’s not been easy. But how have the changes impacted digital marketing and how should you be adjusting your 2020 social media strategy? Here are some hands-on marketing tips.
#1 Get Creative with Video
Video has been a great way to boost brand awareness and engagement for a long time. But the pandemic reinforced its power. News viewership on YouTube soared 75% during the pandemic as people scrambled for information while Netflix managed to add a whopping 10 million new subscribers during Q2. One in three adults also now watch online video more than traditional TV while spending a quarter of their waking day online according to an Ofcom report released in June.
Findings from the UK communications regulator also exposed a nation of content creators with 40% of adults and 59% of older children who use video-sharing sites and apps uploading their own content. So how can you use increased video viewership and the love of content creation to your advantage?
Create a branded YouTube channel
Sounds obvious considering YouTube can reach 2 billion people per month. But what sort of content should you be posting? Well, short form works well. And the reasons why are clear. Short form content has been on the rise for several years emphasising its popularity. Now, amid working from home, short-form content makes even more sense as people find themselves busier than before. A home-based economy has led to new consumption habits including shorter attention spans. This, in turn, lends itself to new marketing formats such as teaser videos and brand snippets.
Video streaming legend Netflix has nailed this trend on YouTube by creating playlists packed with short video content – and you should do the same. Check out their ‘New in August’ line-up. Most videos last no more than 3 minutes while promoting longer content that can be watched when the viewer has time.
Adapt to the current environment
Video content can be hugely impactful, but with the weirdness of 2020 lingering, it’s essential to pause any plan you might have made back in January and adapt to the current climate. This means embracing the sentiment of the nation and figuring out what people might be interested in while staying at home longer.
Marvel got creative with their #MarvelAtHome initiative which was promoted across their blog to help fans stay connected with their favourite superhero. Pretty neat so far. They used platforms such as YouTube to provide followers with fun, interactive activities including ‘How to Draw’ tutorials, many of which were streamed LIVE.
Top tip for marketers: Going live is a great way to generate organic excitement, especially if you promote the live event across other social channels. Don’t forget to include a time and date and maybe even a countdown clock to increase FOMO. Also, if you can feature a key team member this will add authenticity. Marvel streamed a real Marvel Artist, which instantly makes the whole event so much more engaging and interesting.
Promote global online initiatives
Arranging any kind of physical event might be totally off the cards this year. Accept it and go digital instead using video to promote brand initiatives. Again, Marvel was on the point with this, creating a Pinned Tweet for their online Summoner Showdown competition accessible to three regions across the globe. This shows that while travel restrictions in many countries are still in place, you can still dream big with the help of the internet. The video to-date has received 50K views which is a pretty good promotion for any business.
Top tip for marketers: A Pinned Tweet will remain at the top of the page regardless of time. So, if you’ve a 2020 promotion you’re trying to push, make the most of this social media functionality. As pinned tweets are the first posts people see when they hit your page, they will typically get higher engagement and traffic than other tweets. All of that engagement works as social proof and makes it even more likely that people will interact with the tweet.
Explore new tools
If you’ve played it safe until recently, sticking with the same old social media channels, it might be time to branch out. During 2020, more and more brands took to platforms such as TikTok with companies such as E.L.F Cosmetics, Too Faced and Milk Makeup using the short video app’s livestream function. TikTok livestream can be used to host Q&As or promote products and services.
Brands are also creating TikTok Challenges. While E.L.F Cosmetics is well known for their Eyes. Lips. Face Challenge, they teamed up with Republic Records once again for a remix called Eyes. Lips. Face. Safe.” Innovative! Check it out here.
Top tip for marketers: Adjusting your strategy in 2020 isn’t about pushy marketing messages, but instead about responding to the mood of the nation and embracing trends. Bored in the house, in the house bored Tiktok cat anyone? Anything that leads to content creation has shown to be popular this year. So, why not encourage people to join in a TikTok Challenge or video/picture sharing contest and offer incentives along the way?
Say hey to LinkedIn Live Video
According to insights from IAB, UK’s Video Steering Group, professional audiences couldn’t get enough of LinkedIn Live during the pandemic. Indeed, 31% of professionals reported watching more LinkedIn Live video content as a result of lockdown lifestyle changes. LinkedIn video content is up across the board too as people continue to work from home. In April, platform users watched 7.7 million hours of LinkedIn Learning, up from 4 million hours in March. People with more senior titles were more likely to tune in to Live content specifically. For example, 35% of directors are watching Live video, compared to 29% of individual contributors increasing their time spend online with Live video.
Top tip for marketers: Live video shows that you’re bold and willing to take risks. They offer a unique and exciting opportunity to create authenticity, give exclusive access to a private online event, celebrate a moment or establish a brand. So, don’t let these opportunities pass you by. Instead, offer incentives, freebies and insider knowledge to anyone who joins your live session. Also, tailor high end content suitable for business leaders. This should be thought-leading, thought-provoking and engaging.
If you’re still not convinced remember…
- LinkedIn Live streams get 24x more comments than native video and 7x more reactions.
- 62% of companies are planning to embrace Live content so why not be part of the thought-leading crowd?
#2 Create an Airtight Instagram Strategy
If you’re not yet on Instagram. Why? It’s a fab business tool. While Instagram had a modest outlook before the pandemic with time spent on the platform projected to grow by just 1.5% in 2020 – that’s all changed. As a result of Covid-19, time spent on Instagram is estimated to grow 14% this year which equals over 3 minutes of additional time spent by each user each day. So, it’s essential to adjust your 2020 social media strategy accordingly. To do this, you should:
Instagram Stories are watched by 500 million users every single day. That’s huge. 1 in 4 Millennials and Gen-Z-ers now look for Stories of the product and services they want to buy while 15-20% of people swipe up on a link in branded stories. So, making the most of this tool is an absolute must. Here are some top tips:
- Use interactive stickers to boost engagement
- Collaborate with relevant influencers and link to their page for increased exposure
- Be useful – note how on the post below you can simply swipe up to get the job done
- Make your posts shoppable
Explore Instagram video formats
As well as stories, you can also integrate videos into your feed. If they’re longer than 120 seconds, you can direct people to IGTV where videos can last up to 10 minutes or 60 minutes for select accounts. Another option is to go live for up to an hour. This is the perfect way to record an event or run a Q&A session at home. You could also record a how-to video to keep your consumer entertained.
Think about your messaging
This applies to all channels. Not just Instagram. But think about the messaging of your brand. If you scripted video content a long time ago, directing people to your physical store, this might have to be adapted due to Covid-19 restrictions. Similarly, images and posts made need a more detailed description addressing common concerns such as worries over restaurant hygiene and safety. Short videos work well such as that from KFC.
What’s more, any discounts, promotions or events must have strong ‘online’ messaging. Many people are still scared to go out, whether they’re allowed to or not. So, having a strong digital presence and making it easy for people to get involved online will help keep your brand in the spotlight. This video from KrispyKreme is a great example of promoting a national product launch via multiple social media channels.
#3 Reconsider Social Spend
You might have had to lay off staff. Or maybe sales have diminished, and you’re worried about marketing costs. Whatever the case, it’s always good to reconsider your social marketing spend. Here’s what you can do:
Check boosted posts
If you’re boosting posts, is it working? To find out, you’ll need to dig into analytics. On Facebook, for example, this can be done by clicking on Ad Centre and All Ads in the dropdown. Find your active boosted posts and click View Results. Check your imagery and messaging and if you’re unsure then pause it all until you’ve had time to rethink.
Monitor promoted tweets
For an in-depth view into your Promoted Tweets performance, consult your campaign dashboard. It provides detailed performance metrics, whether your goal is to drive brand awareness, increase site traffic or promote your mobile app. By keeping up to date with your campaigns, you can see what’s working and get a better idea of the content you should be investing in.
Check ad engagement
There are many ways to check ad engagement rates. Some are really simple. For example, to find out the average engagement of a post, add up the total likes, comments and shares. Divide by your total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get your average engagement rate percentage. Think about adjusting the spend of an ad if it’s not performing. You can also use social media impact tools to help monitor engagement.
#4 Keep Your Social Sales Funnel Simple
Attention spans are certainly short at the moment. So, if you really want to boost ROI this year, you must keep your social sales funnel as simple as possible. Basically, people shouldn’t have to hunt for what you’re offering them. Check out the below example from Dorothy Perkins. The post leads directly to the dress being promoted allowing you to add it straight to your shopping bag. Note how the dress being promoted is also on sale to help incentivise people to browse more discounted items.
Covid-19 Marketing – What Not To Do
We’ve talked a bit about marketing tips and ideas, but what shouldn’t you do?Here’s a quick rundown of the definite nos for post covid-19 marketing.
- Don’t Guilt Trip – Don’t make consumers feel bad for not taking a holiday, spending money on retail or subscribing to your service. Instead try to understand the current barriers to sale.
- Don’t Generalise – Some people are wearing masks, some aren’t. Some feel great about traveling, some don’t. Avoid alienating a segment of your clients by generalising or making assumptions.
- Don’t Make False Promises – Be very clear about your shipping times, refund procedures and any guarantees. Now is not the time to garner bad publicity because you’ve over promised and under delivered.
- Don’t Ignore Customer Questions – Right now the social media channels are buzzing with confusion, questions and consumers needing assistance. Make sure you have your best people (or agency!) on the job to answer them swiftly.
Are you restrategising your marketing? Contact me for help with your 2020 social media strategy adjustments. My team at Contentworks Agency always keeps an eye on the latest updates and knows what works in this turbulent environment.