Digital marketing is evolving at a rapid pace so much so that it is becoming extremely difficult to keep pace with it. What was once a hot trend will soon become and outdated technique. Social media is slowly shifting from organic to paid. Acquiring organic reach through search engines is becoming more challenging with each passing day.
Very few people click on ads and clicks on organic results are also declining. Differentiating between real and fake influencers has become a challenge. Where does digital marketers go? How can digital marketers and digital marketing agencies cut through the noise and get their message across the right people?
They will have to experiment with different marketing strategies and see what works and what does not. For that, you should be aware of latest digital marketing trends & strategies that will impact digital marketing in 2020. In this article, you will learn about 13 digital marketing trends you cannot afford to ignore in 2020.
One of the biggest surprises came from the influencer marketing industry. Instead of chasing celebrities with millions of followers, small and mid-size businesses will look to rope in micro-influencers or niche influencers. What’s even more interesting is the fact that micro-influencers and niche influencers delivers a higher ROI than macro-influencers with a large following.
Micro-influencers have a smaller fanbase, but their followers engage with them on a regular basis, which is what might make them a lucrative proposition for brands. They even cost brands much less than what celebrities would charge them for promoting their products. When you combine higher engagement with lower cost, you can easily see why micro-influencers will be in high demand in 2020.
#2. Rise of Social Commerce
Social media will no longer be a medium where brands connect with their customers, but it will become more of a social commerce platform. You will see more shoppable posts from brands in 2020. It makes sense too because more people use social media to research for products they want to purchase. It will be a win-win situation for both, as customers will be able to shop for products directly from social media platforms and businesses will be able to sell products. This reduces the number of steps a user has to go through before buying a product and making shopping much more convenient.
#3. Programmatic Advertising
There are some things that robots can do, and you should use a human for that. More and more businesses will use AI and machine learning for media buying, ad placements, customer targeting and performance tracking. By using automation for these tasks, you can free up your social media team so they can focus on more value drive tasks. There is many software such as Smart Ads and Adobe Marketing Cloud that can traverse the online advertising landscape and can handle tasks like real-time bidding. By automating real-time bidding, you can save a lot of your time and hassle.
#4. Video Is the Next Big Thing
According to Cisco, 82% of all internet traffic will come from online videos by 2022. This clearly shows that there would be an increasing demand for video content. Videos keep your target audience engaged, get shares, likes and comments and helps with building authority and trust.
Your customers don’t want to hear about how good the product is, they want to see your products in action and videos are a great way to showcase that. What’s more, most social platforms enable you to broadcast live videos which you can leverage. You can host a Q&A session, use it to broadcast live events and create tutorial videos to show how your products can solve customer problems.
#5. Voice and Visual Search
As the popularity of smart speakers, virtual assistants grows, it will change the way people search. Most people would prefer to search with their voice because it is much more convenient instead of typing in a query. This will lead to an exponential rise in voice search. As a marketer, you will have to optimize your content for voice search and incorporate questions that users might be asking in your queries. Another form of search that will grow in 2020 will be a visual search.
Users don’t like to wait for their queries to be addressed. If you want to satisfy clients, you will need to be available 24/7 and respond to customer queries which can become a daunting challenge. Thankfully, you can automate it by using a chatbot.
With chatbots, you can deliver around the clock customer support without allocating human resources for it. As chatbot technology matures, chatbots can deliver human-like responses to customer queries and the customer won’t even feel that they are talking to a robot.
#7. Social Media Shake-Up
Social media channels will go through a paradigm shift in 2020. Popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will lose followers and popularity. Social networking platforms such as LinkedIn, TikTok and Pinterest will dominate in 2020. Users will experiment with alternative and niche social channels and brands need to tweak their social media strategy accordingly to succeed in 2020.
#8. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
With the human attention span at all-time low, keeping users hooked is a big challenge for marketers. They will have to rely on immersive technologies to create eye-catching experiences for their customers. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will go mainstream as we might see AR ads make their way to our screens in 2020. Brands like Loreal is already leveraging AR to help customers apply their products on their faces and see how they look before actually purchasing those products.
#9. Featured Snippets
Just like social media, search engines are continuously evolving. Gone are the days when search engine result pages used to be a mixture of organic and paid links. Today, we have all kinds of stuff on SERP such as videos to podcasts to images to featured snippets. Yes, you might not be getting the same organic reach as you used to in the past especially, with the rise of zero click searches, but you have more spots and opportunities to rank on.
The coveted zero position has replaced the number one spot and you should optimize for featured snippets to grab that prestigious position on search engine ranking pages. Try to address specific questions in your content and include bullet points where possible. This will increase your chances to rank on position zero.
#10. User-Generated Content
Customer takes everything brands say with a pinch of salt but when they see a product review, rating or recommendation written by a user, family member or friend who have used the product, they are more likely to purchase that product. That is why brands are harnessing the power of user-generated content.
Brands are offering an incentive to persuade their satisfied customers to create user-generated content for them. They can join hands with influencers who are using their products and co-create videos or other forms of content to entice their target audience to buy their product. User-generated content has proven to increase engagement, conversion rates and increases trust.
#11. Automation and AI
AI is already everywhere but we will see its wider adoption by businesses, software, and services in 2020. How can AI impact digital marketing? It can help marketers identify patterns, analyze search behavior and intent and extract useful insights from large amounts of data.
Here are some of the digital marketing applications of AI and automation:
- Content curation and creation
- Sending personalized email messages
- Offer product recommendations
- Deliver relevant content suggestion
Search engines like Google use the E-A-T algorithm when ranking web pages. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. That is where your branding comes into play. You will have to build trust by consistently delivering value. Become an authority in your domain and present yourself as an expert in your industry. Choose your area of expertise and focus on that instead of writing on a wide range of topics. When search engines consider you as an expert in the field, they will rank your content over others.
#13. Smart Bidding on Google Ads
With organic reach through search engines and social media hitting rock bottom, marketers will have to look for alternatives to get over this declining organic reach issue. This has taken them to paid advertising. With Google Ads introducing a smart bidding feature, you can use it to make the most of your ad budget.
Smart bidding analyzes the following signals and optimizes your bid accordingly.
- Ad characteristics
- Operating system
Considering all these factors, it places the right bid for your ads so your ad budget is utilized efficiently and does not go down the drain.
Which digital marketing trend will make the biggest impact in 2020? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
About the Author!
Irfan Ak is a digital marketing strategist & a guest blogger on various websites. He is currently associated with Branex Inc – the leading web design & marketing agency in Toronto, Canada. He has worked with various other brands and created value for them.