Megan Valente, Senior Editor

While the consumer market is constantly evolving, 2020 thus far seems to have had…an exceptional flare that has changed the way businesses will operate forever, and we’re not talking about social distancing. Unless global pandemics, mass political turmoil, and worldwide social justice protests have been considered “just a normal part of your Tuesday”, it’s safe to say that there is no rule book for 2020.

In this page and for the foreseeable future, we will bring you relevant sources and case studies to help you not only keep up with the disruption, but to fully embrace this “new normal”.

You’ve got this!

So…..let’s dive into some of the main trends that have emerged this year by analyzing what platforms, trends, and topics have risen to power, along with what’s expected for the rest of the year- provided the world doesn’t end before then. (…quietly knocks on wood)

The Prime Platforms: #Trending

Perhaps it was the isolation of quarantine or maybe there’s something in the water, but the app TikTok, formerly known as Music.ly, is currently standing as king of the social channels, at over 800 million active users and downloaded over 1.5 billion times. Yup, that’s right, your comfortable days of relying on Facebook and Instagram ads are over.

Although it has been regarded by some as “parasitic spyware”, your audience is now dancing, trending, crafting, sporting, and beautifying on this 60 second max video app. In fact, most of the songs you’ve been dancing to on the radio are what are fondly known of as “TikTok songs,” which we have kindly linked for your listening pleasure.

(We knew pictures and videos were the way to go, so this was only a matter of time)

So how are marketers reaching their audience now with this major shift in platform popularity? Well- if you’ve been waiting for the right time to deploy influencer marketing, I have news for you. 

IT’S GO TIME.

Popular influencers like Charli D’AmelioAddison Rae, and Loren Gray are just a few examples of how brands are leveraging TikTok. Whether brands are commissioning influencers to endorse a message or sponsoring them both on and off of the app, these teens are Gen Z’s modern-day celebrities (sorry Kardashians). Want to know more about TikTok marketing? Stay tuned here for more examples.

The next big shift in consumer priorities? Political discourse- if you could call it that -has migrated from Facebook arguments with your uncle, to every corner of the internet, including but not limited electoral campaigns via YouTube ads, Instagram activism from daily users, and of course, Twitter.

What you always avoided is now essential marketing: Brand Activism

While Gen Z has historically prioritized ethical brands over old school corporate practices, Millennials are becoming increasingly on board as well. Although many brands try to tread lightly and avoid voicing extreme opinions through social media and marketing (that social post you once wrote that was laughed off of your boss’ desk), consumers are now finding that brands that showcase their ethics, humanity, and prioritize humanitarianism over capitalism are a hit- 49% of young people want a brand that aligns with their activism priorities. So take the plunge!

With nothing else to do indoors but browse the internet, your consumers want to see your brand’s stance on the Black Lives Matters movement, Pride month, and more, beyond the lens of consumerism. It’s a delicate balance for sure, and for many, a departure from true and tried practices. Does taking a stance make you nervous, excited, or both?

Looking to the Future

At this point, being prepared for anything is key. Whether it’s hoards of cicadas, another disaster, or having to watch hundreds of dancing videos to learn what’s trending, ensuring that your brand is nimble is truly the key to success. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot predict the future, we have to listen to our clients more closely than ever, and that facemasks can indeed be fashionable.

Going forward, let’s make these widely regarded “unprecedented times”- precedented once again. We’re counting on you.

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