As Google and Facebook continue to change the way ads are seen, marketers must adapt their strategies to strengthen their spots in their target’s feed. Here’s what worked well in 2019.

Storytelling

Bringing your brand to life with storytelling continues to be one of the biggest trends of 2019, and stories tend to be remembered up to 22 times more than just facts alone. Burt’s Bees took this approach and continued to build upon it by introducing Burt himself. They gave him the opportunity to share what drove him to start his business, what values he holds, and “Burtisms” such as ‘If the shoe fits, wear it. Unless it’s my shoe.”

With help from a strong branding campaign, Burt’s Bees was successfully able to launch into the highly competitive cosmetics market and emerged as the leading lip balm brand in the US in 2019.

Social Justice

While storytelling has been proven successful with big and small brands, brands aligning themselves with social justice issues made waves during the election in 2018. Multiple companies emphasized the importance of voting in last year’s midterm elections in an attempt to turn out voters young and old. But self-proclaimed Secretaries of Ice Cream Ben and Jerry’s continue to take it a step further with their blog, with a collection of recipes, quizzes, calls to action to contact Senators to pass the Equality Act, and other posts highlighting opportunities for social justice.

Even with their political bias, Ben and Jerry’s continues to grow with local farmers and with pints in freezers across the globe. After posting their support of the Green New Deal in April, Ben and Jerry’s spiked to its highest popularly on Google Search in 2019.

Influencers

You don’t always need an expensive marketing plan like Ben and Jerry’s – influencer marketing is still a powerful trend to reach to meet your consumers where they are. After seeing success in their Facebook advertising, Native, a natural deodorant brand, worked to partner with multiple influencers who raved about them – and added an affiliate link at the end of their video. In fact, their reviews are something they never stop highlighting, making it a key focus on their website.

With the feedback from influencers and customers, Native continued to improve their product, and now boast over 500 5 star reviews on Amazon. They’ve also expanded their products – now featuring body wash, toothpaste and more, and striking up deals to be sold in Target. But the biggest success comes from their rate of growth – in 2.5 years they earned over a million customers and sold to Procter and Gamble for $100 million in 2017.

Podcasts

From internet celebrities to recruiting websites, podcasting continues to be an important trend in any marketing plan. Listening to online audio content has hit an all-time high in 2019, with most people reporting that they listen to podcasts (or other online media) for seventeen hours a week.

But podcasts can convey more than just updated industry practices. Makeup mogul Sephora is taking it a step further with the podcast #Lipstories. Partnering with Girlboss, every week host Kristina Zias gathers powerful women from the beauty industry to talk about how to feel self-confident in a chaotic world. Blue Apron is doing the same, tackling the issue of where our “local” food comes from, and how to expand your palate.

Data Privacy

Podcasts are a great way to begin interacting with your customers, but the relationship you maintain with them (and their personal data) is just as important as the initial interaction. Hackers that are attempting to get into your system are getting better – data breaches increased by 54% in the first six months of 2019.

Big companies aren’t left out either. After the Cambridge Analytica data breach, Facebook tightened down its security, assuring users their data was safe. But it April of 2019, it was found that over half a billion profiles were being stored on unprotected Amazon servers, and were accessible to be downloaded by anyone. Facebook released a statement in April, and later in September revealed that it was much bigger than people had expected, with tens of thousands of apps suspended.

It’s clear to see that people are more interested in what big tech companies are doing with their personal data, and how businesses are profiting from it. It’s easier than ever to find articles on how to keep Facebook from accessing your data. And with another election coming up in less than a year, Washington still has quite a few questions, too.

Missed these trends this year, or unsure what trends to lean on in 2020? Partner with us today and jump-start your branding in 2020.

About Millennium Agency

Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!