2020 Inbound Marketing Trends Your Small Business Can Use

Your content has to resonate with your audience when it comes to inbound marketing, these inbound marketing trends will get you on point in 2020.

2020 Inbound Marketing Trends

The world of marketing is rapidly evolving, especially as Generation Z enters the consumer space. Businesses will have to re-evaluate the processes by which they reach and connect with potential customers.

For some, this will mean a complete overhaul of their brand.


To be successful in 2020, you’ll need to find a balance between working in the now and preparing for the future. Here are the latest inbound marketing trends your small business can use to get started.


Customer Engagement Over Brand Awareness


List-building and having the biggest following possible used to be the overarching goal for businesses. The theory was sound: the more people you have in your audience, the more potential conversions on the horizon. This was even the focal point for small business selling and acquiring new digital assets.


However, times are changing.


Having an endless email list or substantial following is no longer the top priority when it comes to inbound marketing trends. Now, customer engagement trumps brand awareness. Marketers are shifting away from influencers with millions of followers to those with a few thousand loyal followers. Email lists are getting culled and categorized. As a result, conversion rates are going up.


When setting your marketing priorities for 2020, don’t just consider how you can reach more people; think about how you can build your relationship with the followers you already have.


Video Marketing for Success


Video marketing is taking over digital marketing in many different ways. From an SEO standpoint, video marketing helps boost organic traffic and reduce bounce rates. It can also help savvy marketers repurpose content to reach customers at their level.


Video marketing has also been growing in social media growth and engagement. Many small businesses are having success using live videos to connect with their audience and inform purchasing decisions. Customers love the openness and authenticity they see during live sessions, as it gives them a chance to have a conversation.


The TikTok app is disrupting the other social media platforms and creating new opportunities for inbound marketing targeting Gen Z.


Another trend that’s expected to increase throughout 2020 is adding personalized videos during sales. Being able to address someone by name increases engagement and results in better conversions.

Organic Traffic Focus Over Ads


If your business is still allocating money to Google Ads, it may be time to reshift your focus. Rumor has it that Google will be tightening their standards for eligible services, cutting out industries like short-term loan providers, medical services, and others.


Shifting your marketing spend toward organic traffic through SEO is in alignment with what many successful businesses are doing in 2020. With this approach, you’re more likely to boost engagement and stay in Google’s good graces.


Focus on keyword marketing as well as crafting high-quality content that goes beyond what a customer is searching for to give them what they really need. Use guest posting strategies and get up-to-date on the technical components of SEO to have the greatest possible impact.


A Shift Toward Experiential Marketing


Product marketing is changing. With Millennials at the helm and Generation Z close behind, the minimalist movement is stronger than ever. These generations strongly believe in the value of experiences over things, which often makes them a hard sell for products.


In 2020, consider incorporating some experiential marketing events into your overall strategy. Partner with other brands to host events that include your products and encourage potential customers to engage with them in a positive setting.


Some overarching considerations are the aesthetic of your event and the growing wellness industry. You want your event to be Instagram-worthy to boost your reach and engagement online. As the wellness industry blossoms in 2020, retreats are one of the burgeoning opportunities to consider being a part of.


Direct Messaging


While email marketing still plays a crucial role in inbound marketing in 2020, it’s easy to ignore. Things like lifecycle email marketing and hyper-targeting have made this form of communication relevant despite shifting times. However, it’s not as effective as receiving a direct message.


When you get a text or direct message via social media, it’s hard to ignore. The notification takes up space on your home screen and demands attention. It has a sense of intimacy that seems far more conversational and inviting.


That’s why many businesses are using direct messaging to deliver some of their inbound marketing campaigns in 2020. This approach is effective when a customer has reached out via DM in the past, implying consent to contact and creating an inbound relationship.


Direct messaging is also foundational for creating a rapport and developing brand engagement apart from sales-oriented campaigns. Using direct messaging for customer support and inquiries personifies the brand and effectively strengthens the customer relationship.


Instagram E-commerce


Instagram has long been favored for e-commerce brands due to its visual stimulation and high level of engagement. The challenge, however, is that there are limited linking capabilities. For consumers to shop what they’ve seen on an eye-catching Instagram post, they’d have to navigate to the profile, click the bio link, and then find the product on the site. In other words, there has been a lot of customer friction that impacts conversions.


Things are changing in the Instagram world. Now brands with enough followers can add links to their stories with a “swipe up” feature. There’s also the capacity for shoppable posts, in which a customer can click the image they want and complete a transaction within the same window.


The direct messaging trend is playing a role in Instagram e-commerce as well. Brands are having a lot of success in boosting organic traffic by asking people to comment with an emoji. Then, they’re able to direct message those who commented to send personalized links and build a rapport. This approach also creates a communication thread so that marketers can retarget customers and further improve conversion rates.



Nailing Your Marketing Goals in 2020


You don’t have to be a big corporation with endless resources to make waves in 2020. Try some of these attainable, results-driven inbound marketing strategies to boost your customer engagement and your bottom line.