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.
- Voice search
- Future SEO
- Immersive technology
- Emotional analysis
- Interactive content
- Shoppable posts
- Online maps
- Social messaging apps
- Hyper-targeted advertising
- New customer behavior
- All-in-one marketing
- Customer retention
Ready? Here we go!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.