The marketing and advertising world is constantly evolving, driven by changes in the consumer landscape, trends in shopping, and even new technology.
Recently, the advertising landscape has undergone a massive transformation due to the unprecedented uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
When COVID-19 hit, no-one knew what would happen to the economy. People suddenly had to interact with companies in a more digital environment because face-to-face conversations were impossible. Businesses ramped up their online spending, searching for new ways to replicate crucial relationships with customers through the web.
During this turmoil, Facebook strengthened its position as a crucial tool for brand awareness, recognition, and consumer engagement.
To help users understand exactly what’s happening in the Facebook landscape right now, the social media giant published a new set of reports.
That’s what we’ll be looking at today.
The Latest Trends Discovered by Facebook
Facebook’s recent reports highlight a series of global shifts that are shaping the future of consumer connectivity and advertising. The information supports business leaders struggling to find their footing in a space that’s constantly shifting.
Although every company will have its own trends to consider, Facebook noted that 5 key trends seem to impact everyone. These are:
- Safer shopping: Relating to consumer confidence during and after COVID-19
- Mindful wellness: Driven by a focus on physical and mental health
- Glocal community: The sense of connectedness in consumers
- Gen Z regeneration: Emergency of crucial new generations
- Connected convenience: Simplicity for shopping online
Let’s look at each trend more closely.
This trend relates to the new shopping measures that companies are putting in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect both employees and consumers.
While consumers have always considered things like price and convenience as part of the shopping journey, there’s now another unexpected concern.
71% of people in the US say that safety is essential when they’re deciding where to shop. That number is quickly catching up to price (79%) in importance. This sentiment stands out on a global basis, with around half of shoppers still not ready to return to physical stores. Facebook also witnessed a 6 times increase in conversations related to contactless spending and shopping.
While people aren’t likely to stop buying full-stop, they will be looking for a safer shopping experience. These consumers will want to double down on safe practices, like shopping online or accessing contactless delivery. Around 40% of people surveyed say that they’re planning to continue shopping online after the pandemic.
To take advantage of this trend, make sure you’re streamlining the mobile and social shopping experience for your audience, with things like “Shop Now” buttons.
Wellness is another significant trend emerging in the landscape of COVID-19. People have needed to adjust their processes and consider new ways of living. We’re all working, learning, and interacting differently. Usually, to find moments of relaxation during these stressful times, consumers were turning to simple recreational activities, like baking and meditation.
This shift to embracing a more mindful lifestyle is having a significant impact on the way that people use the digital world. For instance, Facebook recognizes a rapid increase in the number of people downloading meditation apps and live-streaming classes for baking and yoga online. Discussions relating to easy-to-learn practices like acrylic painting have doubled.
To make the most of these trends, companies will need to think about the ways that they can connect with their customers through meaningful experiences. Shoppable stories and live videos where you can share lessons with consumers will be crucial. Consider your customer’s physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
The Global Community
You’ve probably noticed the overarching theme of being “in this together” emerging a lot in marketing campaigns lately. The pandemic is bringing communities closer together. This also means that more people are investing in local business support.
For many consumers today, living in a lockdown environment unlocks a new sense of dual identity. People are seeing their favorite local spots closing down, and some don’t know for certain if those locations will re-open. Because of that, there’s a more profound appreciation developing for small businesses and communities. According to Facebook, from February to May 2020, clicks on local business searches increased by 23%.
Many local groups on Facebook also grew their membership by more than three times. What’s more, while the pandemic continues to sweep the globe, people are beginning to recognize their position as a true global citizen. As COVID-19 proves that it has no borders, the lines between countries are diminishing too.
People are taking their concerns about the world and transforming it into action. Globally, consumers have donated more than $100 million to COVID-19 efforts since January 2020 across Instagram and Facebook.
This is the perfect time for your brand to think about how it can connect with people on a global basis. Consider exploring new channels like direct messaging and groups. Show you’re working with other local communities through hashtags and mentions.
Regenerating Gen Z
As of 2020, 41% of the world’s population is now under the age of 25. This group is much too large for us to continue overlooking it – no matter what industry you might be in. Facebook tells us that the Generation Z community has undergone massive change because of the pandemic.
Compared to other groups, Gen Z individuals are more likely to maintain a range of activities that began to surge in popularity throughout the pandemic. This includes online learning. The younger generation holds very strong values and principles close, and the epidemic has helped to strengthen these beliefs.
Facebook notes that Gen Z consumers are 1.21 times more likely to believe that reducing their environmental impact has become more essential to them since the pandemic emerged. Around 54% of the community in Europe say that social causes and activism have become more crucial in their lives since the pandemic.
Facebook companies can engage with Gen Z through a variety of different tools. Now could be the perfect time to demonstrate your commitment to a crucial cause, such as protecting the earth and the environment. If you can champion a cause, then you’re more likely to get the attention of the younger generation and prepare yourself for the future of marketing.
Finally, Facebook also notes that many people today are becoming more reliant on the internet, social media, and instant messaging to stay connected. With face-to-face conversations now not available for most people, more of us are relying on messaging and other tools to feel close to others. Consumers are even using these tools to connect with brands.
We’re living in an era where feeling as though we’re “together,” even during times when we’re apart, is increasingly valuable. The past few months have significantly transformed the way that people connect with each other. We’re seeing everything from digital graduations, to gigs and music festivals that take place through live video.
Around the world, professionals are embracing online meetings, while consumers turn to video chat as a way to mimic face-to-face interactions. The way that people connect with businesses is evolving too. People are now messaging brands more often, receiving support through telemedicine, and so much more. Around half of the people surveyed globally by Facebook say that being able to message a business makes them feel more connected to that company.
40% of holiday shoppers on a global basis say they’re more likely to consider purchasing from a business that they know they can message. Companies using Facebook to advertise now need to reconsider how they can build a contactless environment while maintaining the human connection.
Creating a strategy that allows for communication through Facebook Messenger may be the right choice for some companies. Others will benefit from accessing closeness through live video.
Adapting to Marketplace Trends
Ultimately, it’s impossible to ignore the significant changes that are happening in the way that we connect, both with each other and brands in the digital environment. As the world continues to change as a result of the global pandemic, businesses will need to shift with it.
The Facebook marketplace trends prove that there are a lot of powerful ways to connect with your audience in this new landscape. The key to success is making sure that you have the right strategy in place to make those links successful.
If you need help making the most of the latest Facebook trends, reach out to the Graygency today.