A fresh year is just around the cor­ner and yes, it is final­ly 2020, the year of fan­tas­ti­cal tech­nol­o­gy, like the self-dri­ving car from child­hood dreams. Tech­nol­o­gy is speed­ing up the evo­lu­tion of mar­ket­ing prac­tices, too. This text will focus on future trends in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. 

As high-tech devices infil­trate the mar­ket and modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion diver­si­fy, the way brands speak to con­sumers shifts into a new age. Fol­low­ing new mar­ket­ing trends has become a neces­si­ty for every major com­pa­ny. Why? Because they explain how to most effec­tive­ly com­mu­ni­cate with con­sumers. For exam­ple, if con­sumers are no longer on Face­book, why are execs spend­ing half of their adver­tis­ing bud­get there?  

Also, mar­ket­ing trends intro­duce teams to evolv­ing tech­nol­o­gy that they’ll con­tin­ue to use in future strat­e­gy, prod­ucts or ser­vices. 

Let’s take a look at the 18 lat­est dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing trends for 2020, and be mind­ful that the list ahead is long. If you have only a bit of time to spare, invest it by thor­ough­ly read­ing a few of the trends. Book­mark your spot and come back lat­er to read more. 

Here is a quick glimpse at what we’ll cov­er in the post below. 

  1. Voice search
  2. AI
  3. Future SEO
  4. Immer­sive tech­nol­o­gy
  5. Trans­paren­cy
  6. YouTube
  7. Emo­tion­al analy­sis
  8. Inter­ac­tive con­tent
  9. Shop­pable posts
  10. Online maps
  11. Social mes­sag­ing apps
  12. Chat­bots
  13. Hyper-tar­get­ed adver­tis­ing
  14. New cus­tomer behav­ior
  15. All-in-one mar­ket­ing
  16. Influ­encers
  17. Cus­tomer reten­tion

Ready?  Here we go!

Voice search

Voice search is an increas­ing­ly pow­er­ful tool in 2020. Most searchers are look­ing for prod­ucts and ser­vices by ask­ing their vir­tu­al assis­tants for help. As con­sumers query robots, they speak con­ver­sa­tion­al­ly and almost as if to a friend or close acquain­tance. 

What does voice search mean for you? A few things.  

First, the query lan­guage is chang­ing and you’ll have to adapt to it. Con­sumers are ask­ing long-form, infor­mal ques­tions instead of neat­ly typ­ing in key­words and phras­es. Your key­word research will shift in 2020 in response to changes in lan­guage.

Sec­ond, SEO must evolve to meet the new search­ing lan­guage and trends. Make sure you’re thor­ough­ly answer­ing ques­tions peo­ple are answer­ing. Avoid answer­ing ‘just enough’ to get a rank­ing. Remem­ber, search engines mea­sure the qual­i­ty of your answers. As for your own ben­e­fit, it’s bet­ter to have a few con­sumers who tru­ly need your ser­vice than a few dozen who’ve wound up on the wrong page and are now irri­tat­ed at the brand they’re fac­ing (you).  Avoid this pit­fall by look­ing close­ly at query trends and using con­tent to answer ques­tions and needs hon­est­ly.

Third, voice search is grow­ing because more shop­pers are search­ing on the go and amidst errands. To catch these shop­pers at the point of pur­chase, you def­i­nite­ly want to update your local SEO efforts to match local voice search queries. Get to research­ing and pre­pare to get busy with traf­fic.

Voice search

AI

AI refers to all arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence endeav­ors. Basi­cal­ly, any­thing you can pro­gram a robot to do. AI efforts range from voice search to chat­bot to full-ser­vice voice assis­tants. 

The poten­tial and future of AI are poten­tial­ly vast. The ways in which AI is already man­i­fest­ing in prod­ucts, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and mar­ket­ing shows how pow­er­ful arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence tru­ly is. It has proven itself to be a use­ful tool for col­lect­ing con­sumer data and insights.

Start small by includ­ing chat­bots and voice search on your site. Learn­ing to nav­i­gate these ear­li­est exam­ples of AI will expose you to tech’s future and pre­pare you for the new AI mar­ket­ing mea­sures that emerge.

Future SEO

There are good news and work-relat­ed news for SEO in 2020. The good work-relat­ed news is that algo­rithms are still evolv­ing and not slow­ing down any time soon. To thrive online, your SEO team must be in full-gear to nav­i­gate new waters, fol­low emerg­ing trends and beat the com­pe­ti­tion to rank­ings. 

There is more to con­sid­er in SEO than ever: qual­i­ty, per­son­al­iza­tion, tar­get­ing, video, voice, not to men­tion technology’s increas­ing­ly quick pace of evo­lu­tion.  So sad­dle up for major SEO work in 2020!

That said, there is big and bright news. As SEO algo­rithms get more tai­lored, it becomes eas­i­er for con­sumers to find your brand if you’ve done your SEO due dili­gence.

Immersive technology

AR (aug­ment­ed real­i­ty) and VR (vir­tu­al real­i­ty) were big buzz­words as we tipped into 2019. In 2020, we will con­tin­ue to see about as much. Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty has tak­en a strong lead against vir­tu­al real­i­ty,  out­pac­ing the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of immer­sive tech­nol­o­gy in mar­ket­ing.

Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty is espe­cial­ly use­ful in pur­chase deci­sions as it allows con­sumers to expe­ri­ence vir­tu­al ren­der­ings of their home, office, land­scape or body to try out a prod­uct. IKEA, for exam­ple, lets con­sumers test out how fur­ni­ture will fit and look in their future home by sim­ply upload­ing a pho­to of the space.

Transparency

Be trans­par­ent with con­sumers. Be trans­par­ent, hon­est and an open book in every con­tent oppor­tu­ni­ty. Con­sumers val­ue hon­est pro­files, brands that are authen­tic about why they start­ed and what they’re here to do. Cus­tomers know they’re deal­ing with peo­ple behind the brand, and they want to know who those peo­ple are.

So, what can you do to be upfront with your audi­ence? Speak hon­est­ly on your web­site and social media. Do not write to sell. Write and pro­duce to be your­self, and con­sumers will trust your prod­uct. Pro­vide as much infor­ma­tion as you can about the his­to­ry, the mis­sion, the team, prod­ucts, and events.

As you receive feed­back on your web­site or con­tent, hold a safe and open space for con­sumers to give you their hon­est opin­ion. This feed­back can be incre­men­tal in your future devel­op­ment and growth.

YouTube as its own channel

The val­ue of video con­tin­ues to rise and with it, YouTube earns a mas­sive and con­tin­u­al­ly grow­ing audi­ence. In 2020, more brands will turn to YouTube as a promi­nent mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing chan­nel and as its own inde­pen­dent tool for brand mar­ket­ing pur­pos­es.  

If you do not yet have a brand YouTube chan­nel, start build­ing one to grow in 2020. YouTube offers access to a cap­tive audi­ence, incred­i­ble con­sumer data and pro­vides a por­tal for you to share tuto­ri­als, webi­na­rs and instruc­tion­al video con­tent

Emotional analysis

Robots at Google and Sony are now track­ing emo­tion­al states through the use of indica­tive key­words. These key­words cue the robot on whether an online con­trib­u­tor is hap­py, sad, frus­trat­ed, excit­ed, etc. These emo­tion­al cues then tell the search engine about a customer’s sat­is­fac­tion with your brand, which fac­tors into search rank­ings. Depend­ing on how cus­tomers review your prod­ucts and ser­vices, this fea­ture could do won­ders for your web­site!

Interactive content

When­ev­er pos­si­ble, make con­tent inter­ac­tive! Invite your audi­ence to vote, com­ment, ask ques­tions, etc. Social media and online activ­i­ty are enter­tain­ment (even when it’s edu­ca­tion­al), so aim­ing to make a game-like expe­ri­ence will go the far­thest with prospec­tive pur­chasers.

Shoppable posts

If it’s not click­able, it’s not doing its job. Mag­a­zine lovers final­ly see their 90s dreams come to life in 2020, where posts, pho­tos, and ads are, yes – shop­pable.  You’ve prob­a­bly seen influ­encer posts that link cloth­ing items to brand accounts or pur­chase info. In the com­ing year, this trend will become all the more preva­lent.  

Already, 60 per­cent of Insta­gram users report find­ing new prod­ucts they want on the app and the find­ings for Pin­ter­est users are even high­er. Even if you do not have a direct pur­chase link on items in your post, make it easy for con­sumers to find fea­tured prod­ucts by link­ing to their inde­pen­dent social pages.

Mak­ing posts shop­pable is a great way to net­work with influ­encers, reach more con­sumers and make it as easy as pos­si­ble for con­sumers to pur­chase your prod­ucts.

Online maps

As more con­sumers search on the go, it’s more impor­tant to have an active pro­file and geo-loca­tion on the large online map apps. If you are reg­is­tered on maps, make sure to update your pro­file reg­u­lar­ly. Stay­ing in sight for on-the-go shop­pers is key!

Social messaging apps

Brands are migrat­ing to social mes­sag­ing apps such as What­sApp and Viber to com­mu­ni­cate with con­sumers. Some brands are cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the inti­mate social apps by cre­at­ing groups to dis­cuss brand events, prod­ucts or pro­mo­tions. By stay­ing in a group chat, you can answer ques­tions imme­di­ate­ly and cre­ate a sense of com­mu­ni­ty amongst buy­ers and brands.

Chatbots

Chat­bots are an easy, afford­able way to com­mu­ni­cate with clients and poten­tial con­sumers about your web­site, ser­vices, and com­pa­ny. By now, most shop­pers and prospec­tive buy­ers are used to being greet­ed by chat­bots right away, and the trend is here to stay. 

Chat­bots pro­vide a host of ben­e­fits to searchers. They make nav­i­gat­ing the web­site seam­less; some­one can arrive at the home­page and with­out nav­i­gat­ing the lay­out, imme­di­ate­ly access the infor­ma­tion or answers they’re after. Chat­bots are robot­ic, mean­ing they respond for­mal­ly and sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly, nev­er emo­tion­al­ly. 

Even if you have well-trained staff con­stant­ly and objec­tive­ly field­ing queries, a cus­tomer has no ground on which to stand and sub­mit a for­mal com­plaint against the cus­tomer ser­vice sup­port con­ver­sa­tion­al tone or inter­ac­tion. The chat­bots also save time and mon­ey, help­ing you cut costs and use your team mem­bers where they are most valu­able.

If you are already using a chat­bot, great! Now, think of the ways you can make your bot friend­lier, more con­ver­sa­tion­al and more help­ful.  

Chatbots

Hyper-targeted advertising

Non-rel­e­vant con­tent and adver­tise­ments are out. In 2020, con­sumers ignore (or worse, write off) irrel­e­vant ads, and com­pa­nies ded­i­cate most of their adver­tis­ing bud­gets to deliv­er­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly craft­ed con­tent to spe­cif­ic peo­ple. 

A big part of per­son­al­iz­ing con­tent is research­ing con­sumer behav­ior and inter­ests — what are they look­ing for in a prod­uct or ser­vice? What type of con­tent do they enjoy? When are they read­ing arti­cles, shop­ping online or absent-mind­ed­ly brows­ing social media? Answers to these con­sumer-focused ques­tions make it eas­i­er to deliv­er con­tent con­sumers want to see.

Per­son­al­iz­ing con­tent and hyper-tar­get­ing ad space are essen­tial to earn­ing consumer’s approval and mer­it enough to be tak­en seri­ous­ly as a pro­duc­t/ser­vice-of-inter­est con­tender.

New consumer behavior

New con­sumers learn about prod­ucts pri­mar­i­ly through social media and video con­tent. This means that when a new 2020 cus­tomer comes face to face with your brand, they’re head­ing straight to social media for more infor­ma­tion and to check out your online rep­u­ta­tion or per­son­al­i­ty. They’re also head­ed straight for video con­tent to unlock insight about your prod­ucts or ser­vices via video tuto­ri­als.

Know­ing new con­sumers in 2020 are look­ing to a brand’s reli­a­bil­i­ty through social media and video con­tent, it is essen­tial to have enough com­pelling and edu­ca­tion­al con­tent avail­able online. 

All-in-one marketing

If your mar­ket­ing pro­grams are spread thin and across mul­ti­ple ven­dors, con­sid­er con­dens­ing to one all-in-one mar­ket­ing soft­ware provider. A com­pre­hen­sive han­dler takes care of all of your needs: automa­tion, social media, con­tent cre­ation, email, land­ing pages, SEO and ana­lyt­ics.

Influencers

Influ­encers are as impor­tant as ever. In 2020, con­tin­ue focus­ing on part­ner­ing with micro-influ­encers who have a small fol­low­ing, but a potent voice in your niche indus­try. Keep an eye out for tech-savvy influ­encers who can reach your audi­ence in uncon­ven­tion­al ways.

Customer retention

So much work goes into win­ning cus­tomers all the way to the point of pur­chase and then actu­al­ly land­ing the sale! Final­ly, brands are wak­ing up to this mas­sive achieve­ment and reflect­ing on the finan­cial invest­ment of rein­vest­ing in these pur­chasers to keep them as cus­tomers.

If you can take away one piece of advice from this list, it’s to fol­low your cus­tomers and focus on con­sumer reten­tion. Repeat sales from cur­rent buy­ers mean sav­ing mon­ey on all pre­vi­ous pur­chase fun­nel steps, con­tin­ued rea­sons to com­mu­ni­cate and a rela­tion­ship forged far­ther along on the way to loy­al­ty.

Not only will you save time and mon­ey, but you will be encour­aged to grow your brand organ­i­cal­ly by con­nect­ing with con­sumers in new ways that nei­ther you nor they knew your brand to be and evolve.

Recycling trends

Some­thing impor­tant to note about trends is that they always recy­cle. No mat­ter what indus­try you’re in, there’s always the chance that an old trend will resur­face and make its come­back (maybe short-lived, maybe to stay). 

So, as you put these new trends into action, reflect on whether you’ve seen them before. Addi­tion­al­ly, stay open-mind­ed to old tac­tics com­ing back to the light, such as print resources. 

It’s a wild mar­ket­ing world where any­thing could hap­pen; we’re here doing our best to ensure your busi­ness stays on top of the lat­est and is armed with the nec­es­sary mar­ket­ing tools to thrive.

Rosy Strate­gies pro­vides supe­ri­or ser­vice and mar­ket­ing resources to busi­ness­es across a range of sizes and indus­tries.

If you have a par­tic­u­lar mar­ket­ing need, such as automat­ing social media, we have you cov­ered. If you need a total over­haul on your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, we’re here for you. If you need fur­ther insight into some of our evolv­ing trends, we still got you! What­ev­er you need, we’re your mar­ket­ing resource out­let.

Reach out to our tal­ent­ed team to learn more about our ser­vices and get start­ed on mas­ter­ing mar­ket­ing in your indus­try, today.