8 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020
The world of digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving and 2020 is set to be another exciting year for the digital industry.
Whether you own or work for a digital agency, work with a digital partner or do your own marketing in-house, it is vital to keep on top of current trends and changes. Here, we’ve identified eight digital trends you can’t ignore in 2020. Make sure you’re ready!
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence has become an increasingly important aspect of digital marketing - and 2020 looks set to be the year where it really amps up its dominance. An exciting example of AI in digital marketing includes automated chatbots. This AI-based technology allows site visitors to chat in real-time 24/7, receiving an instant response to their query. Whilst automated chatbots are usually limited to answering simple questions, they have advanced considerably and now sound much more intelligent and human. Similarly, the prompt and accurate 24-hour service an automated chatbot provides has proved popular with customers and data has predicted they will power 85% of customer service by the end of 2020.
Another example of AI in digital marketing is programmatic advertising. This means using AI software to buy digital advertising space. Whilst the traditional process involves proposals, tenders and negotiation, programmatic ad buying uses machines and algorithms, meaning the process is much more efficient and the associated acquisition costs are lower. ** Video Marketing**
Video marketing has steadily become a vital part of your digital marketing strategy and is one of the most important trends for the upcoming year. Not only does video drive higher engagement, it can also be repurposed across a number of platforms - including your website, social media channels and email.
In addition, video can be a ranking factor and Google will favour websites which include a video pushing them up the search engine results pages (SERPs).
An important consideration for marketers in 2020 is to make sure they are mobile-proofing their video content. This includes making sure it presents nicely on all devices, whilst also ensuring you add subtitles where relevant.
A few years ago, influencer marketing was seen as an arena purely for the world’s largest brands. (Think celebrities carrying designer handbags). However, the rise of social media - along with the influx of social media ‘influencers’ and YouTubers - has seen it become a successful marketing strategy for a massive variety of businesses, including everyone from carpet cleaners and loft ladder installers to small clothes boutiques.
Influencer marketing involves ‘influencers’ endorsing, using and mentioning products. It’s effective as the influencers themselves have built up a following, usually within a particular niche, who trust and respect their recommendations. This makes them more likely to use or buy your product as a result.
Influencer marketing can be a hugely valuable part of your digital strategy. However, it’s important to thoroughly research and consider who you use and what return on investment you think they can provide. It’s all very well opting for an influencer with loads of followers, but if their followers aren’t your target market it could be a wasted venture.
Voice search, which allows users to perform a search on the internet by asking their smartphone or smart device a verbal question, is another trend which will continue to grow in 2020. As more people invest in smart speakers - including Amazon Echo and Google Home devices - it is becoming increasingly important to optimise for voice-based search.
When including voice search in your marketing strategy it’s important to think about keywords that people will speak rather than type. As an example, the three most common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, “what” and “best” and content tends to be more conversational in tone.
The rise in both social media and e-commerce has driven Instagram’s slow transformation from a casual social platform to a full-blown sales channel. Instagram’s Shoppable Posts are another stage in this development and a growing trend for 2020.
Shoppable Posts allow businesses to tag and shop products directly from the Instagram post itself (rather than having to go via a link or search for the product yourself). This provides an instant and much more convenient method of online shopping. Further to this, in March 2019, Instagram launched Instagram Checkout, which allows users to complete a purchase and go through the entire checkout process without having to leave Instagram.
Shoppable Posts are set to surge in popularity throughout the year and, for B2C businesses particularly, they offer a fantastic way to sell and advertise your products.
Content marketing is going nowhere in 2020. But, with a wealth of content available at a touch of a button, it’s becoming increasingly important to drive action and engagement. Enter interactive content.
Interactive content is content which requires the user to participate in an activity. This includes content such as quizzes, polls and surveys, calculators and 360-degree photos and videos. It’s a great way to capture the audience’s attention and is a much more dynamic way of delivering your message. So if you’re looking to cut through the noise this year, interactive content is a good place to start. ** Privacy**
A defining feature of 2019 was an increasing focus on data privacy and, in the world of digital marketing, it has impacted the way we communicate with our audiences, as well as store and use their data. 2020 will see ongoing moral and legal movements attempting to increase data privacy further.
For example, Apple announced its commitment to a privacy-centric approach and, as a result, is limiting Safari’s browser tracking capabilities. Similarly, Facebook is merging its messaging platforms with encryption. All in all, GDPR is set to be another factor affecting the digital marketing practices throughout the year so make sure you understand the ins and outs of the legislation, whilst also keeping an eye out for any privacy updates within the industry.
Zero-click searches have been on the rise for years and they’re expected to continue to grow throughout 2020. In simple terms, zero-click searches refer to Google’s attempt to keep people on Google rather than going on to another website. As a result, Google is making it easier for people to find the information they require or submit a form without ever having to go on to the website itself.
Whilst it could affect paid search, particularly Click Through Rates, it doesn’t necessarily signal a loss of opportunity for businesses. Instead it is becoming more important to optimise your spot on the search engine results pages (SERPs) ensuring you make the most of the awareness, exposure and sharing of information. Companies that conquer this new form of on-SERP SEO are likely to see good results in 2020.