What will you be watching in 2022-2024? It’s hard to say, but you can be sure it will be something different than what you’re watching now. The entertainment industry changes so fast that even the biggest blockbuster hits and the most influential creators barely remain relevant in the pop culture arena more than three years after they emerge. By looking at some of the biggest entertainment trends and those on the rise, we can make some educated guesses about what we’ll be watching in five years.
TikTok will become the most important social network for marketing
TikTok will become increasingly important to advertisers over time, as they’ll see it as a way to reach young people. It’s an app that allows users to upload 15 second clips, which have proven particularly popular among teenagers, who have shared thousands of videos on it every day. With TikTok being accessible on almost every platform, and with a steady stream of new features coming out constantly, advertisers will continue pushing their money towards it. The only thing holding them back from doing so is that there aren’t many ways for brands to directly promote themselves yet. This will change soon though, as I expect a lot more options for paid advertising will be available by 2024.
You will start spending big ad dollars on smaller networks
In 2022, you’ll see major networks start buying up smaller networks and attempting to build them into unique programming hubs. Advertisers will flock to these niche networks because they’re already filled with eyeballs who have been trained to watch ads. The big brands will be willing to pay high CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) to get their product directly in front of an audience who has opted into a brand that fits their interests. It won’t be enough for your average network to offer just reality TV or just sitcoms; advertisers will want targeted ad buys based on what type of content viewers are watching. Networks like NBCUniversal’s Seeso or ABC’s Litton Entertainment will thrive as advertisers scramble for ways to target specific audiences at scale.
No one will want to talk to your brand on the phone
According to a survey from Jive Software and IDC, customers will spend 68% of their time communicating with businesses via chatbots by 2020. What does that mean for you? Chatbots are about to be big business, so it’s a good idea to start familiarizing yourself with how they work. For more info on how these AI tools could change your business, check out our guide on what they are and how they work. The virtual reality market is expected to reach $215 billion by 2023: It’s no secret that VR is one of tech’s most promising markets, but just how large can it get? The Global Market Insights report predicts VR revenue will grow at an annual rate of more than 50% between 2016 and 2023. That means there’s a lot of room for growth—and opportunity—in VR over the next few years.
Long-form video is a bust, except on YouTube
For years, long-form video—that is, content that is 20 minutes or longer—was considered a big part of Hollywood’s future. Movies are getting longer and television episodes are expanding, but then Netflix (and Amazon) came along with their convenience, low price points and binge-ability. Today, online viewers don’t want to spend more than 10 minutes at a time viewing something; instead, they’re watching lots of short clips. The shift from long-form to short form isn’t surprising, either: The average attention span for Americans has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds today. It doesn’t matter if you have your finger on the pulse of pop culture or not: In 2019, it pays to be an expert on what people will watch next year.
Shoppers will want expect to buy your products directly on social media
The rise of social commerce will make it possible for people to buy from brands, influencers and even celebrities directly through their social media channels. Consumers will expect access to a variety of entertainment options—and purchasing power—on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you don’t have a viable digital strategy for your brand now, you might as well start putting one together now. (And if you already do, just make sure that it doesn’t fall by the wayside.) For example, Amazon is expanding its Prime membership service into live sports streaming with NFL games starting next year. It’s clear that viewers are becoming accustomed to getting what they want on demand via these social platforms. In fact, 63% of U.S. adults are already using these platforms to watch video content!
You need to learn paid advertising (even if you don’t do ads yet)
Aside from natural shares, most of your page likes and followers are going to come from paid ads. When you first get started with advertising, you can try using a service like Facebook or Instagram’s boost post option to see how much reach boosting your posts gets. Then, once you know what kind of reach you’re getting with paid boosts, start running Google AdWords ads with similar messaging and targeting to see what they deliver. The point is that there’s no one right way to do social media marketing—and it can take some time to figure out which approach works best for you. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
You won’t post anything without a social listening strategy
Realize social media is nothing more than a giant cocktail party, with everyone talking about and connecting over whatever’s happening now. In order to keep your finger on that pulse and capture people’s attention, you need to know what they’re talking about and where they’re looking for information. If you don’t have a social listening strategy, it will be difficult to keep up with what your audience wants—and needs—to know. So, how do you get started? Start by using tools like Google Alerts or Social Mention to identify keywords related to your brand. Then use these keywords as part of your social listening strategy by creating alerts within these tools so you can follow conversations around those topics.
You will outsource (at least some of) your engagement tactics to a Creator
We’re seeing a shift from having an engaged fan base and using tactics like contests and giveaways to encourage people to interact with your content, to actually letting an influencer—someone who has built up a dedicated following through their own hard work—do all of that for you. The reason is simple: Influencers don’t need fancy software or crazy algorithms to see what resonates with their audience, they just know. They’ve spent years building trust with their fans and have made it easy for them to engage with them by providing tools like live video, chat rooms, and social media. This means that when you partner with someone whose core competency is connecting with fans, it frees up time for you to focus on creating even more engaging content. In other words, let your Creator do what they do best and hire an agency to manage their engagement for you. That way, everyone wins!
You will listen (to conversations) instead of talk (at conversations): Social listening isn’t new; brands have been using platforms like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Data Studio, YouTube Analytics and Google Analytics since day one.
Your VP will ask you to develop a social audio strategy
Your VP of Marketing has just asked you to help her develop a social audio strategy. She doesn’t know what she needs yet, but she wants you to take on some creative control and look at it from a fresh perspective. Take time to review your goals as an employee and your priorities as a person. What’s meaningful right now? Could pursuing an ambitious project really improve your standing in the company, or is that not something that motivates you? The answer might be different if you’re working for a small startup versus a large corporation. Is there anything else going on in your life that might affect how motivated you are? For example, do you have any kids who need extra attention at home? Are you actively trying to get pregnant (or trying not to)? These questions will help guide where and how much effort goes into developing your plan.