Quickbyte: Suffering from Digital Overwhelm? Here Are Just 5 Digital Trends to Try That’ll Have You Ahead of the Pack in 2020
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Woman: Welcome to the “Quickbyte Podcast,” your five-minute digital dose of tech news and tips and tricks at digital-first marketing. “Quickbyte” is brought to you by Lance Montana, a digital marketing agency based in Brisbane, Australia.
Laurence: All right! Best intro ever!
Lucy: Haha! Sorry. I just got nervous. I just got a bit of stage fright.
Laurence: Can we use this?
Alex: Haha it’s a great intro.
Lucy: Well, I’m Lucy, and I’m here with Laurence and Alex from Lance Montana. If you’re not familiar with Alex, that’s probably because she’s new-ish to the team.
Laurence: Yeah. Maiden voyage, setting sail, but not really because she’s a podcast master from…what’s it called?
Alex: Oh, do we want people to know that?
Laurence: Yeah. We want to totally promote this.
Alex: Yes. I mean, I do podcast. It’s called “All The World’s A Stage Mum.” It is a podcast with my mother. Don’t expect intelligent thoughts there, just…
Laurence: It’s awesome. Everybody…
Lucy: Just musings and…
Laurence: …quit listening to this podcast now and go and listen to “All The World’s A Stage Mum.”
Alex: Mum. Exactly.
Lucy: So welcome to this episode of “Quickbyte.” It’s been a little while, but that’s because we’ve been working hard on lots of exciting stuff for you.
Laurence: Just lazing on a beach. Yeah. Just relaxing.
Lucy: Today’s topic is on digital trends.
Laurence: It’s pretty much like a therapy session, isn’t it? Like, this is, get on the couch…
Lucy: Is there wine?
Laurence: …get comfortable. Lucy’s your psychologist, Alex is your psychiatrist, and, you know, I’m changing the light bulb here because we know that you’re suffering from digital overwhelm, and we’ve done the research, and we’re here to help relax you and tell you where to put your focus as you come into 2020.
Lucy: So, Alex, over to you.
Alex: Yeah. So we’ve got a few digital trends today. They’re not necessarily brand new. They’ve kind of built up definitely over 2019, and we think they’re definitely gonna make an impact next year, oh …in 2020.
Laurence: It is next year, still December.
Alex: It’s still next year.
Laurence: It’s looming, though.
Lucy: Depending on when you’re listening to it.
Alex: But 2020 is fast approaching. So I guess the first trend we want to talk about is ephemeral content. Basically that’s really short visual content, like photos or videos. I’m sure most people will be familiar with it. You know, Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Snapchat, all that.
Laurence: Snapchat is the sort of iconic…
Alex: Yeah. It’s really the start of it, for sure.
Laurence: … ephemeral content platform…yeah.
Alex: Yeah. So obviously any content that lasts for 24 hours.
Laurence: And it’s gone. It’s here and then it’s gone. So that’s the whole…
Lucy: Now you see it, and now you don’t.
Laurence: …that’s the major sort of attribute of it, is that it’s a different style of communication, and it’s one that I think personally is super important. We’re seeing…I don’t know about you ladies, but even my family, and my close network of friends, less and less talking and posting in public sort of permanent format, and more and more sort of offline…or not offline, secure sort of messaging apps like WhatsApp, and just things that, you know, don’t create a permanent public record, which, you know, in this heightened era of intense security and privacy is, you know, just more and more people are aware of the long-lasting impact of their digital activities these days.
Alex: Yeah. And I guess more and more people are embracing, you know, this kind of content because it’s in real time. Say, if you’re traveling overseas, you know, you post some Instagram stories, and straight away it gets sent to all your friends or all your followers, whereas I think when we post, like, in-feed content, you know, you kind of curate…well, not everyone, but a lot of people curate it and, you know, edit it, and that takes a bit of time, and then you’ll post it. So it’s definitely, you know, instant.
Lucy: I like it because I feel like it’s a little bit more authentic. There’s kind of less pollution. People aren’t sort of interested so much in it being sort of really shiny and curated, as you said before. It’s kind of more about being in the moment.
Laurence: Yeah, for sure. And, sort of, as Alex said earlier, you know, we are talking about these being trends, but what we’re really saying is that, you know, these are solid sort of long-term seismic shifts in the digital arena and landscape that, you know, may have been around for some time, but are gonna keep getting stronger, in our opinion, in 2020. So what’s a tangible way that our audience can get stuck into optimizing their use or increasing their use in a way that doesn’t waste their time of ephemeral content? Where’s the starting point for people, do you think?
Alex: You know, getting familiar with all the features that are available within the actual apps like Facebook or Instagram. You know, I think both of those platforms, they offer polls, Q&As. You know, making use of those little tools is great, especially if your aim is to engage with your audience a bit more. So really exploring the options that are available on the platforms, and then you can kind of, you know, go away and look at what else you can do outside of the platform, like create cool templates for your followers.
Lucy: And there are some pretty cool tools that you can use on there, sort of, on Instagram, and even on some of the other social media platforms, things like Canva, Stories Edit is a good one, Unfold.
Laurence: Okay. Awesome. So ephemeral content, get on board, and get on trend. So, the next sort of seismic shift in continuing evolution of digital marketing landscape that you’ve noted here, Alex, has been pretty big coming into 2020 is this little app you may have heard of called TikTok.
Alex: Yeah. Look, it’s been pretty big this year, but definitely it could go even further next year, and I think we’ll probably start seeing more and more businesses and marketers, you know, using it in their strategies. I feel like it started to happen this year, but, yeah, definitely next year, I think, will be a big year for, I mean, any kind of digital or marketing strategy for sure.
Laurence: So, with TikTok this year on the pro side, you know, it was Musical.ly, it was bought out by some huge Chinese tech company.
Laurence: ByteDance. But I think ByteDance is owned… they own Tencent, or someone else, like, massive…
Alex: Yeah. They had another platform as well, and they kind of combined the two. Yeah.
Laurence: And so, okay huge out of Southeast Asia. And then, I think, from my knowledge, that it’s the first, sort of, social media app that has successfully jumped the Pacific into the States and grown over there.
Alex: It’s huge.
Laurence: Yeah. And so it’s everywhere. Gary Vaynerchuk is on board playing it hard so that you know the marketing world is gonna get behind it in a big way. Major issue, some minor security concerns about, you know, the Chinese government using it as a way to infiltrate the rest of the world. Also, you know, parents sort of, probably rightly so, wondering whether this is a play by a social media platform to grab a young audience that shouldn’t really be allowed to be doing all these kind of things, and having their own social media network under the guise of it being all about music originally. It’s for lip-syncing, like performances, like, you know, all about music, hence it was called Musical.ly, right?
Laurence: And so parents would be like, “Oh, it’s totally fine for my 14-year-old daughter to be on Musical.ly,” or 8-year-old daughter, 7-year-old son, whatever, because it’s a learning and education app where they’re being musical. But it’s not that at all. It’s just totally morphed into, yeah, just a fun place, I guess, for people to record little Vine-like videos.
Lucy: Where Big Brother is potentially watching.
Laurence: A hundred percent. Big brother is watching, collecting the data, and thinking about how best to monetize it and turn these kids into walking dollar signs. So, anyway, get on to TikTok, is what Alex is saying?
Alex: I think so. I think it definitely, yeah, resonates well with the younger generations, but who knows? That could change next year.
Laurence: It’s a wide diverse demographic on there. It’s already got enough traction that it’s huge. Not gonna go anywhere in the next couple of months. Like, you’ll see TikTok grow next year for sure. A lot of brands on there already, and, Alex, you said you’ve seen some influencers on enjoying doing, sort of, make-up tutorial videos that seems to be a good fit for the platform?
Alex: Yeah. In kind of… like a partnership with a brand, so obviously like influencer marketing where, HiSmile teeth, they’re a, I think, Gold Coast-based company? They had a few videos of, like, influencers doing make-up tutorials while whitening their teeth. And that’s, kind of, the look for HiSmile teeth. So that worked really well.
Laurence: Everybody on the Gold Coast is more beautiful. I just drove up from there this morning. It’s just like…yeah, I don’t know…
Lucy: They’re all like exercising.
Laurence: … Do they move there because they’re beautiful or, like, if you’re born there do you just become beautiful?
Lucy: It’s just a side effect, I think.
Lucy: Speaking of Gold Coast and beautiful people, next on the list, micro influencers.
Laurence: Do they all live in the Gold Coast?
Lucy: Well, a lot of them do, I think.
Laurence: Because they’re beautiful. Okay.
Lucy: Do they become micro influencers because they moved to Gold Coast?
Laurence: Oh, yeah, we talked about this before. You know, the whole influencer market has evolved rapidly. It’s still a little bit of the wild, wild West, but there’s been a massive sort of springing back just some kind of more legitimate, transparent model.
Alex: I think because a lot of…we’ll say bigger brands, they’re using celebrities now for influence, and, you know, that costs a lot of money. And I guess, I don’t know, maybe this idea of like how trustworthy are the celebrities when they use these products? Are they just doing it because they get this huge pay check? So that’s probably one of the reasons why, say, these smaller or medium-sized businesses do enjoy using micro influencers who have a smaller following. Their engagement rate is higher, they’re more trustworthy because they spend a lot more time, you know, chatting to their followers or having, like, a nice online relationship, I guess, with their followers as well.
Laurence: It’s a positive self-affirming feedback cycle between platform and culture because it’s the social media platforms giving personal accounts more reach than brand accounts. So brands are more likely to use personal accounts to try to reach people because gonna cost them less dollar-for-dollar on the reach that you get and the engagement levels that you get out of it. And, of course, you know, influence through third parties is much more successful than me telling Lucy I’m awesome. I mean, it’s obvious, but if somebody else tells Lucy, then she’s more likely to believe it.
Lucy: It’s almost coming full circle in that it was sort of, you know, peer reviews are very, sort of, important, and then, influencers became this, kind of, behemoth, and it’s kind of paired right back down, almost to a point where they’re wanting peer reviews again, that, you know, needs to be somebody that you see as your friend or you see as part of, kind of, your circle, your community.
Laurence: Who can we trust… everyone is a micro influencer now.
Lucy: Exactly. It’s all about that personal brand, right?
Laurence: So how can people, you know, small, medium business owners, marketing managers and coordinators, lot of businesses, how can they better leverage the power of micro influencers in 2020? So the quick and easy way for them to do it?
Lucy: I think it starts by building or reaching out to the community that you already have. So have a look, see who’s following you, see who’s sort of engaging with you on your social platform, and make sure you’re sort of building a bit of a tribe, and I guess rewarding them for any sort of interaction on social media that they do do with you. I think that’s sort of an easy way, and it’s a way of generating, sort of, some genuine kind of micro influencers, I suppose, amongst those people who are your current customer base. And I guess that’ll just kind of expand outwards as their peers see their content, see them, sort of, using your service or your product.
Laurence: Fundamental list management is, like, create that segment in your list of VIPs, you know, and have a different track of communications, and marketing for them. Then for…you know, the rest of you are extremely valuable, but not quite so VIP members. So, voice search. It’s been big, it’s been huge. I pretty much want to throw my Google Home in the bin. I don’t use it. It’s just more annoying than anything else. But my hardcore, hardwired techy brother-in-law has got voice activation devices allowing him to remotely start his washing machine when he’s out. Yeah. It can do all kinds of things. So, yeah…
Lucy: Does it hang out your washing as well?
Laurence: Not quite, not quite. So, out of this, you know, complex and rapidly evolving digital marketing landscape of trends, and new apps, and new behaviours, how come voice search is on your top five for 2020 apps?
Alex: Yeah. Well, I had some stats to kind of, I guess, prove why voice search is gonna be really big in 2020, and, well, it already is big, but why it’s gonna be bigger in 2020. So, according to Forbes, 40% of adults use voice search on a daily basis, which is…
Alex: It’s a lot.
Laurence: Fifty-two percent of people use voice search while driving to find where their going to go for lunch, unlike you who would only type in where you wanna go for lunch.
Lucy: Yeah. I’d ask maybe where the petrol station is or…I wouldn’t ask where lunch…I would ask them and say, how do I get to Julius Pizzeria? But, yeah, I wouldn’t be looking for suggestions.
Laurence: So, specifically pizza only?
Laurence: Okay. That makes sense because pizza’s lazy and men are lazy, and on average, more men than women use voice search at least once per month, according to Social Media Today. So, there you go. Voice search is lazy, and so it will be increasing in usage in 2020. How do we get into using it? What’s the hot tips? Okay. Well, essentially providing quick, picky, concise answers to queries that are likely to be used by somebody in a mobile situation when they, you know, don’t have their hands free.
So, yeah, that’s the way to get your results on a website into voice search, so one-liner answers that are really easy to use. And there’s a bunch of really common style of voice searches. One of the classic ones is insert search query near me. And so, yeah, anything which relates to your brand, which people might want to know on the go, on the move, that’s where to hit.
Alex: And I guess also making things a bit more conversational because it’s an actual voice speaking to you and everything sounds a little more natural is, I guess, creating content that sounds natural as if like a human is answering another human… obviously.
Laurence: Well, it’s a wonderful evolution and turnaround of over-optimizing text to more conversational natural language. Yeah. Great. Awesome. I’m excited that this is in the top five list. What have we got next, Lucy?
Lucy: Next up, we’ve got visual search.
Laurence: Isn’t that just using your eyes to look around?
Lucy: Well, you could look at it that way. But we’re talking about images. So people are using visual search when they’re, sort of, using Pinterest, and so it’s like ASOS. According to the stats from Social Media Today, 19% of search queries on Google are visual, and there are over 600 million visual searches on Pinterest alone every single month. So that’s a lot of fashion, homewares, and healthy recipes that people are looking for.
Alex: I really like this trend because I’ve actually used it, like, for a couple of years now, particularly on ASOS. I’ve, you know, seen things perhaps, say, on Instagram. I screenshot or save the photo. I, guess upload it? Yeah. Upload it to ASOS. You know, they have image search button there. And, yeah, it does, it spits out all these products that look similar, and, you know, if you’re lucky, it might be the exact same one, but generally it just goes for something that looks very similar to what you’re searching. And it’s really good.
Lucy: Is this a bit like on Catfish when they do a reverse Google image search, or is this different? How does Google lens differ from…?
Laurence: My understanding of catfishing has got nothing to do with visual searching.
Lucy: The reason why…visual search plays a big part in finding out whether or not the person’s a catfish. So if they’re using somebody else’s photos, a quick way to work out if you’re talking to a catfish or the real thing is to upload the…
Alex: Are you talking about on dating apps or something?
Laurence: Yes. Like pretending to be Arnold Schwarzenegger on your Tinder profile.
Alex: Right. He’s on Tinder? What.
Laurence: He’s not available.
Lucy: You haven’t seen him?
Alex: I don’t wanna date Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Lucy: Usually the first thing they do is, you know, input this person’s photos and see if them…they say they are, or if they’re not. And usually, as is the case, they’re not.
Laurence: So visual search, it’s going to get bigger. What is a quick, easy way to improve your brand’s or business’s performance on visual search?
Lucy: Alt text.
Laurence: Absolutely. Image optimization is gonna be number one, surely, right?
Lucy: Yeah. So that’s basically adding keywords, your keywords to the alt text in your images when you upload them to…
Laurence: Yeah. And the title of the image. Yeah, for sure. Making sure the images are not small file, light size. And, in fact, we’ve got a whole other “Quickbyte” episode all about image optimization and visual search, and we’ll put a link in the show notes to this one.
Alex: And, I guess if you had, say, an eCommerce site, it might be worth looking into building an image search into your site. You could go to Pinterest or ASOS as an example to see what it looks like, how it works, you know, give it a go.
Laurence: Nice. Okay.
Lucy: And maybe you will be able to use it in dating apps down the track, because if there’s somebody that you like, you’ve got a type, right?
Lucy: You could just upload a picture of your ex-boyfriend and they could make recommendations.
Laurence: My future partner, that is sort of like so scary, freaky. That’s probably already happening somewhere.
Laurence: Right on. Awesome. Thanks for that roundup, guys. It’s very exciting to be here at the end of the year. I don’t know about you two, but it feels like the last 100 metres of a marathon this year, so we’re excited to take some time off. Thanks for listening, everybody. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday break, and we will talk to you in the New Year.
Lucy: Thank you.
Woman: Thank you for listening to the Quick Bite podcast. This has been a production of Lance Montana, a digital marketing agency based in Brisbane, Australia. For more great free resources, go to lancemontana.com.au.
Tune into QuickByte episodes for a 5-minute dose of tech news and marketing tips.
Topics covered in this podcast:
- Ephemeral Content
- Voice Search
- Visual Search
Links and references:
- SEO Marketing Trends You Need to Know About | Ep. 4
- 45 SUPER Interesting Voice Search Statistics
- Why Visual Search Will Be One of the Biggest Digital Marketing Trends of 2019
- 26 TikTok Stats to Know in 2020
- Lance Montana blog post: Five Digital Trends You Can Expect to See in 2020