As we head into a bright, new, sparkly year, we look back at 2019 and reflect on all of our fab (and not so fab) experiences through the year. We also started to look ahead, whipping out our crystal ball to make a few predictions for the youth marketing sphere in 2020. So by the time the carols stop and before the new year begins, you’ll hopefully be one step ahead. Let’s start the madness.
#1 Shop Through Social
One of the big trends for next year and to be honest, for years ahead, is shoppable content. Facebook already allows you to buy and sell through their platform, however Gen Z and Millennials faves Instagram and Pinterest are now tipping their toes into the marketplace space. Instagram is giving users the platform to sponsor their products for sale – basically when you tap a photo and the product links pop up. Pinterest recently released their “Lense” feature which allows users to take an image of a product and match it with brands and sweet Pinterest boards for ideas.
Look out for more of this in 2020, where brands make the route to purchase a much easier process.
#2 Brands Will Start Marketing Towards Smaller Tribes Of Young People
As The Brag reported, 40% of the current Australian workforce is made up of Millennials and Gen Z – so they’re here, and they’re right now. But that is a huge number of actual people, so applying a one size fits all strategy for your youth marketing won’t always go down well. I mean think about it, Gen Zs already prefer not to be grouped in categories – they like to be individual and unique, so your marketing needs to be the same.
A handful of brands already have the tribe mentality when it comes to youth marketing, and yours should too if you haven’t started. Think about it this way – you should really have an ad set or sub-campaign (within a wider marketing campaign) for every personality type or ‘tribe’ of young people.
#3 Instagram Stories Will Become The Primary Marketing Channel
If they weren’t already experiencing a sharp incline, they’ll be the forefront come 2020. And Instagram knows it too. Stories are the place Gen Z (and to be honest, most people) make their thoughts heard. It’s the modern Facebook status; you let people know where you are/what you’re up to, you share your favourite music, and chuck up sneaky pics of yourself looking bangin’. At the same time, algorithms aren’t as concrete as say Facebook. So it’s still based on how often you upload.
Which is great for a brand that’s growing and doesn’t have a budget to hit the boost post button every day. Being constantly present at the top of the feed of your followers will guarantee more visibility than what a regular post might get. And if you’re looking to get that extra visibility you can also boost stories and target specific demographics. The only thing is, be ultra-creative with what you upload. After all, you only have a few seconds to get that attention.
So start building your brand presence asap on IG Stories, because having a strong organic following on your stories will be like gold dust come next year.
#4 But Gen Z Influencers Will Use Tik Tok As Their Primary Channel
Everyone’s heard a little bit about Tik Tok these days, but I’m still surprised at how many people just laugh it off or say the classic “oh man I just don’t get it!”. Well in 2020, don’t be surprised to see most Gen Z-relevant influencers end up trophying Tik Tok as their primary social channel. The mid-2010s saw the rise and fall of short video platform Vine. This channel introduced and accustomed users with short video content, even though it’s folded since.
Fast forward half a decade later and wee see young Tik Tok influencers dominating that youth market. Reaffirming that yes, Tik Tok is the future.
#5 Skipping The Ad
Gen Z have somewhat notoriously develop a tag of being an ad-skipping generation. These days about 82% skip ads at the earliest possible point, with a further 69% saying they will legit physically distract themselves to avoid intrusive ads. You know the ones. But it doesn’t mean that Gen Z hates ads.
In fact, in comparison to Millennials, they are actually much more receptive to ads than any generation before them. They just don’t want the really intrusive, annoying ads that have nothing to do with them getting in the way. So while we don’t see them stopping their ad-skipping traits anytime soon, your brand just needs to think of smarter, more relevant ways of reaching them. Did someone say native content? (May have been us).
#6 Geo-Location Is The New SEO
SEO has provided brands with the possibility to organically increase site traffic and/or revenue. Unfortunately, for channels like Instagram, it can be pretty useless. Sure, making sure your content include keywords is needed, but it won’t drive the same amount of traffic on social. However, one of the recent trends provides a ‘lil solution to this dilemma, and it’s funny to think that it’s been in front of us all of this time.
In 2020, we’ll see more people using geolocation as SEO. Yep, by simply adding your location to your posts or stories, you’re making the algorithm show it – and it targets your content to people within that area or close surroundings. Hence the similarity with SEO gives you an extremely easy opportunity to organically attract more views to your profile. Yay to that.
#7 Get Playful And Interactive
How many times have you found yourself swiping through Insta stories, then stopping to answer someone’s random question like; do you guys prefer cookies or vegan cake? Yep that’s a form of interactive content, as minimal as it may be. For 2020 we will see more of this pop up, from polls to questions, to 360 videos on Facebook. It generates a connection and a sense of belonging, and after all, we all want to know whether you got Lizzo tickets or not.
#8 Gender Fluidity
In 2020 the traditional gender roles will be non-existent. The idea of gender TAX is outdated and frankly, a very ok boomer aspect that brands should be aware of. As a new trend next year we’ll see an influx of products created to cater to all sexualities. The rise of gender-neutral and fluid products presents a brand as extremely modern, relatable and socially conscious. So this is a path we recommend analysing within your 2020 plans.
#9 The Power Of The Micro Influencer
Despite likes being removed, it is a fact that influencer power will not decline in 2020 or the near future. However, in between the different types of influencer you could hire for some awareness, the rise and rise of the micro influencer is one of our trends for 2020. Ok yes, we’ve heard this term to death – but there’s a reason why it wont go away; it works.
Micro’s usually have high engagement and high brand loyalty, even if their follower count isn’t over 30-50,000. They’re essentially small social publishers, creating content for their followers. So reach out to them, or at least be open to it. And if you’re stuck we wrote up some tips to help when looking at influencer marketing.
#10 Be Human, Again
Ultimately, Gen Z are exhausted. From spammed emails, to cookie-following ads, to generic newsletters (that largely don’t even get opened). As the last trend for 2020, we’re expecting to see a huge amount more of personalised content. Generic sucks, and generic is certainly not unique. Like we mentioned above around tribe marketing, at the core of this is making your brand feel (and actually be), human. Not a faceless organisation, but a brand that is run by good, relevant people.
So keep a human focus at the core of your business and marketing, and Gen Z will eat your brand up.