Updated: Nov 24
Every year brings with it either different trends or upgrades of trends. While some things, like the use of AI, continued to get stronger throughout 2019 and are making their way to another year; there are some that didn’t quite take off in the previous year. Here are 5 trends that are expected to see the light of day and propel PR forward in 2020.
Data-Driven PR for maximum success
Data-driven PR helps understand the audience with accurate data and information collected through online surveys like polls on social media to know what the masses want. Data-driven PR has minimal chances of turning out to be duds. Checking the scroll depth on a website and the watch time on a YouTube video will help you understand how much time a person is willing to invest in it, as well as what part interests them the most. If you notice a pattern of viewers exiting at one point, you’ll get the idea about what they came to see, and what is working. And though this trend came into light in 2019 itself, in terms of implementation, it did not enjoy as much attention in PR as it did in marketing and advertising.
Social Media to amplify the reach
According to smartinsights.com, there were 4.388 billion social media users in 2019. The term “Influencer” is everywhere and using the right people and the right influencer platform began to be seen as a boon for any brand.
In a recent survey by Collective Bias with 14,000 respondents, about 30% of consumers said they’re willing to buy products recommended by bloggers. In the same survey, it was revealed that 19% of consumer purchases were influenced by Facebook posts, and 18% are influenced by YouTube. According to bigcommerce.com, the influencer marketing budget was increased by 65% and it’s still on the rise. Social media can also help map out the next move.
Instagram is the most popular social networking app right now. In May, they announced disabling the like count on the platform and it received mixed reactions. While the majority of the influencers didn’t mind the change, there were quite a lot who didn’t like the idea. Influencers get paid for the likes and engagement on every sponsored post and with no like count, influencers might not get the same deals. However, some debate that disabling the like count will help the sustainability of the ones with genuine followers.
Storytelling for the personal connection
As kids, we loved listening to stories that our parents and grandparents told us. Similarly, viewers love it when brands use a storyline for promotion. According to a study by One Spot, 92% of viewers preferred ads that had a story as it helps create an emotional connection with the audience.
We all remember that #TouchOfCare campaign by Vicks starring transgender activist Gauri Sawant in which she adopts and raises a girl on her own. The ad was captivating and the suspense to see the little girl’s mother grew with every shot. And finally, when the mother was revealed, it became a heart-warming moment. In 3 minutes, it made us see the beauty of motherly love, regardless of other things. Such ads remain in everyone’s minds and make a mark as a brand.
Shift to Niche Media
Digital marketing helps reach a vast number of people. But, with all the ads floating around, people have started to lose faith and interest in mainstream sites such as Facebook or Instagram. Hence, PR is taking a shift to niche media, ie, is targeting a small yet strong group. Platforms like Reddit, Pinterest, Nextdoor, etc have millions of followers and the ads are limited to a specific audience. People who are genuinely interested in the product will be the only ones seeing it and sales might be higher than the mainstream platforms.
Pewdiepie, the biggest YouTuber with over 102 million subscribers, started his own subreddit called “PewdiepieSubmissions” so he could interact with fans for his video series “LWIY”. He started his career with gaming videos and created a custom gaming chair with Clutch Chairz, in 2017. The product turned into a meme in his subreddit and went viral. Through the subreddit, he connects with fans on a personal level by featuring their artwork and memes in “LWIY” and also answers questions asked by the fans. It currently has 2.4 million members and that chair is constantly out of stock simply for becoming a meme.
AI still going strong
AI is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s fast, accurate and reduces the time and energy used to complete the job. How to incorporate it into your AI in your strategy? At the smallest scale, it can be used to send promotional emails, automated email replies and chatbots to make things fast. In more complex terms, leveraging tools like Voice search such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri for PR strategies can prove beneficial. While this is becoming important in marketing to a great extent with advertising intervening in various voice-based functions with their products, it has still not spread to PR fully. Using voice while navigating and coming across a restaurant in the area, getting offers on food products when searching for recipes – these are only some of the ways in which brands strategically place their products in the voice context.
2020 is going to see a lot of exciting developments in the media and entertainment industries, and encompassing all these trends is the sentiment with which content will be put forth in 2020. Conscientious, well-informed, inclusive and awareness-driven content will rule the roost – As it should!