It's now common knowledge that technological advancement in communication has overrun the world. These advancements have allowed us to stay connected whenever and wherever we want. In just a couple of years, there has been massive growth in the amount of content delivered to online audiences. Moreover, these same audiences are rapidly becoming more dependent on the devices that connect them to this 24/7 online hub.
These unhealthy attachments to technology have brought about the discussion of unplugging from social media or the internet as a whole. More people are becoming conscious about technology use and the impact it has on their health and general well being.
At first glance, digital detoxing seems like a complete nightmare for brands, especially smaller businesses that rely heavily on online marketing. But in actuality, with users unplugging from social media platforms, whether long term or short term, new opportunities are arising for brands to reach and engage with their audiences in more meaningful ways.
So what ways can brands get ahead of this trend and ensure it does not hurt their online activity?
Developing emotional connections: If you are still using your social media pages to push product and nothing else, then it is quite likely you are not engaging your audiences. These days consumers want to interact with brands that appeal to their emotional needs and value. Does your content give a consistent feeling that connects to your audiences? Often when consumers detox, it is for a short period of time or involves using social media less. This presents brands a small window to stand out and drive a message that is unique but still relatable to their audiences.
Building online communities: One of the greatest advantages social media holds is he power to transform your audiences into communities. When a consumer decides to follow your platforms, your brand does not become more valuable to them even though your following may increase. Creating a space in which your followers can interact with each other in a more meaningful way adds value to them and your brand. It additionally helps your followers distinguish your brand from the clutter and noise that surrounds social media.
Driving personalised communication: What often times drives consumers to break from online activity is information overload. These days even going through your timeline can drive you crazy because you are bombarded by several different types of messages. This has driven several online users to value personalised forms of communication such as email marketing. Others such as Facebook Messenger are becoming strong preferences for brands to reach their audiences since they take less effort and time. With chat bots, these platforms are becoming even more efficient tools of communication.
Although the digital detox trend requires some tactfulness of brand, it is not a cause for panic. This is because the tech industry is in a constant flux of change and adaptation. Apple has already introduced the feature Screen Time that allows users to view their device activity and even set limits. This sentiment is similar to the one used on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube that allow you to monitor and track the time you spend on them.
Brands such as Dolmio have already creatively used the digital detox trend to market their own products. In 2016, the company developed an ad that had families having meals together by using a device that could switch off surrounding WiFi and electronics dubbed the Pepper Hacker. The idea was that frustrated mothers could reclaim dinner time with their family who would otherwise be glued to their devices.
This just goes to show that digital detoxing is not a threat to brands, but can actually be used as a marketing strategy.
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