2020 was certainly a year of change, and being a part of the foodservice industry and social marketing space had been no exception.
When we looked at industry forecasts for this year back in 2019, we knew influencer marketing wasn’t going away. Using Facebook trends for audience targeting was another criterion that would prove to remain consistent as well, despite alterations in everyday routines, e-commerce habits and brand presences.
Now it’s time to look to the future and what it potentially holds for marketing your business – but we didn’t wait until the ball dropped on NYE to get started! (Ask us how)
Trend #1: Instant Messaging
With Facebook HQ bringing together its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp messaging platforms into one creative area for admins and users alike, it’s never been easier to maintain two-way communication between brands and consumers, a marketing must each year.
One helpful way we’ve been utilizing Facebook Messaging for our clients has been use of the FAQ function, which allows brands to have pre-filled questions and answers consumers can click to receive instant information.
This saves time and repeats of conversations, allowing consumers to become more quickly informed and active in your brands’ online presence and activities. Regular messaging capabilities remain should they have other questions or inquiries.
Trend #2: Personalized Instagram Viewings
With the rollout of Stories, IGTV, Shop and now Reels on Instagram, it’s no surprise the social media giant could be rolling out varied home feed arrangements based on the viewing preferences of individual users, shifting away from a set scroll feed-focused timeline.
While we would certainly not recommend forcing your brand upon every Instagram feature, it is important to look over your insights to see which properties your target audiences prefer.
If you’d like to use more than one feature, don’t just upload the same content and imagery in the same formats to all of the feeds. Consumers could experience content fatigue, plus it looks lazy.
With our client Club House for Chefs, we often use carousels to present recipe inspiration & processes while IGTV is utilized for long-form videos of coast-to-coast tour stops and chef interviews. Story ads are then added to the mix to promote website visits and other announcements.
This strategy threeway captures the attention of chefs who may thumb through the feed during quiet time, swipe through stories to keep up with friends and industry, and those who are actively researching new ways to create delicious dishes.
Trend #3: Return to LinkedIn
Did you know that in 2020, LinkedIn passed 700 million users? They also reported a 32% spike in engagement and a 16% increase in ad spend as businesses took to the platform to more easily search and connect with members of their, and other, industries.
An underrated platform, LinkedIn is a prime location for sharing updates, content and opportunities, especially if your brand is business-facing, not consumer.
At Branding & Buzzing, we engage LinkedIn networks for restaurant and foodservice-facing brands including ourselves, Canada Takeout and Campbell’s Foodservice.
Trend #4: Approachability & Authenticy Take the Reigns
Ongoing, yet more important than ever in these digitally-dependent times, brands are encouraged to be more open, authentic, transparent and conversational with what they post online for the sake of consumer trust, comfort and e-commerce.
In a study by YouGov that was commissioned by the team at Facebook headquarters, 31% of global participants recorded that it was most important to see content that is real and authentic. (Other answer selections were informative, inspiring, language orientated and sale/promo related)
Consumers across the globe are restricted from physically shopping for their goods and services, so they need to know the truth behind what they’re getting, how they’ll benefit, who they’re giving business to and what the values, backgrounds and motives of these businesses are – that’s you! What does your online presence say about your brand and products?
Trend #5: Live from their Couch, It’s your Brand!
With in-person events and other out-of-home activities off the tables for the time being, 2020 saw brands avoiding cancelled plans altogether by taking the experiences online through Facebook and Instagram livestreaming.
Mind you, it didn’t completely take a pandemic for a spike in livestreams to happen. In fact, in 2019, 1 in 5 videos on Facebook were Facebook Live livestreams; which make great evergreen content even once the filming has concluded.
While our agency began utilizing livestreams a little earlier than this, 2020 saw some of our biggest events go digital, including Jarritos Canada’s Day of the Dead celebration, S Pellegrino’s Italy Unboxed and Bonne Maman’s Holiday Jam Party – and guests had a blast.
Which of these 5 trends could fit your brand(s) best?