A new decade is almost upon us. The end of the year signals an opportunity to make a fresh start. New goals, intentions, and visions. It’s also a great opportunity to look back on what happened- trends good and bad- in the past year. On the marketing side, the end of 2019 provides crucial insight into what to expect in 2020. Will video content continue to dominate? Will Instagram finally get rid of likes for good? 

Only time will tell, so for now, let’s take a look back at some of 2019’s more memorable trends and moments.

Virtually Try Before You Buy 

The days of going to your favorite eyewear store and trying on the latest lenses may be numbered. In March, Instagram added a new in-app shopping feature, but that was only the beginning. Thanks to Spark, Facebook’s augmented reality platform, Instagram is taking online shopping to the next level. When viewing a product’s checkout page, shoppers can now try products on​ virtually​ with the app’s camera. While only a select few brands (Like Nars and Ray-Ban) currently use this convenient feature, we’ll probably see more companies jumping onto the trend soon. 

Visual Trends

The Rise of the Digital Detox 

Digital detox became a buzzword this year. Digital detoxes are a set amount of time, like a week or 30 days, one goes without any technological devices (Yes, your TV counts too). Constant connectivity and phone addiction has been linked to stress, disrupted sleep patterns, and ​mental health issues.​ While some feared it was the end of social media, brands embraced the trend and designed campaigns around this idea. For example, Miller Lite’s social accounts “went dark” for two weeks. Along with deleting all of their old posts, they encouraged users to get off their phones. Every account that unfollowed them got a free beer.

The Fall of Organic Reach 

Many wondered if organic reach could officially be pronounced ​dead in 2019.​ Hint: it isn’t. But algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram, along with an excess of content, have made it more difficult to reach audiences organically. Rumors began to circulate that Instagram was only allowing 10% of followers to see posts. On January 22, 2019, Instagram clarified that “what shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts…you engage with the most.” In this increasingly pay-to-play world, 2019 made it clear that content creators and brands have to find new ways to boost organic reach. 

(Video) Content is King 

ELF Trends

At our core, we are a visual species, so that means video content is here to stay. According to ​Cisco​, by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. This percentage is 15 times higher than it was in 2017. Some have even predicted that in 2020, the frequently misunderstood platform T​ik Tok​ will rise in marketability. In fact, brands are now launching full-on Tik Tok campaigns. In October 2019, e.l.f. Cosmetics jumped on the trend by starting the #​EyesLipsFace challenge, which asks users to show off their makeup looks with e.l.f.’s hashtag and original music as a backdrop. Unlike Vine (R.I.P.), Tik Tok isn’t just for teenagers and may have staying power. 

We can’t wait to see what trends 2020 has in store for the digital and social sphere. If you’re looking to up your social media game in the new year, TMG can help. D​rop us a line​, and let’s start the year right! 

The Moak Group

The Moak Group

The Moak Group is a D.C.-based public affairs, advocacy, marketing, media relations, and business consulting firm. Headquartered in Washington, TMG operates around the world, providing our domestic and international clients with the expertise and support they need to succeed.
The Moak Group