Digital Marketing in 2020: What To Expect
If you haven’t updated your digital marketing strategy since 2019, you’re already behind in 2020 — find out what you need to know.
Marketing professionals are well aware of the rapid pace of change in the technologies and trends of digital growth. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs seem under the impression that one size fits all when it comes to digital marketing, and what works for their competitors will work just as well for them.
If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
In 2020, there are expected to be some dramatic shifts in the digital marketing sector, and for business owners that could mean some big changes. If you’re still using the digital marketing tactics that you started using in January 2019, then there’s a good chance that you’re already outdated.
Here’s how to catch up in 2020 with a digital campaign that embraces the trends and technologies that are transforming the digital space.
Make no mistake, if you’re not already using video content as a key part of your digital strategy, then you’re already falling behind. The importance of video cannot be underestimated. The stats for video content tell the story of a content type that audiences want, and they want it wherever they go. That means that your product descriptions need to have video sections, you need to livestream on Instagram, and 360° video should be taken advantage of. Learn some basics about making your videos as high quality as possible and create the content that your audiences are demanding.
It might have become something of a buzzword in 2019, but big data is changing every facet of our lives. Brands that are not using their data are unnecessarily limiting their potential to grow. The data industry is only going to grow exponentially in 2020, and that means businesses will have plenty of opportunities to harness its power and drive their ongoing development. It’s not enough to simply collect your data. You need to know how to use it. There is an ongoing democratization of big data, and there are tools and online guides available that will give you the data skills that you need in 2020. Look at improving your data governance framework, and you’ll be well-placed to launch into 2020 armed with all of the data you need to outpace your competitors.
In early 2019 the business world was buzzing with the growth of artificial intelligence. AI continues to provide businesses with a vast amount of benefits, and the future of the technology is only set to become something very defining. However, most brands are limiting their use of AI to customer service chatbots, and that’s simply not going to be enough in 2020. While chatbots offer value for those businesses that lack the resources to man customer channels 24/7, they should not be relied on. Modern marketing is all about the conversation, and if you lack the human touch in your customer engagement then you will lose out on the opportunity to create the real-time connection that consumers want. Use AI, but remember that customers want to know that you are authentic. Only the personal touch is going to achieve that for you.
That personal touch is more than highlighted with the growth of personalization. For those businesses that want to stand out, it’s going to be critical that you take the time to personalize your marketing, your products, and your communications. Personalization isn’t just about making sure that your marketing emails have the right name at the top. Think about triggered emails after a website visitor has performed a specific action so that you continue the customer journey even if that website visitor just left your pages. If you are simply blasting your audience with generic messages then you are no longer going to have the impact that used to be possible.
The Changing Face of Influencers
2019 was a big year for the influencer. From a marketing tactic that was only possible with big budgets and celebrity endorsements, influencers can now be used by any company. If you think that social media influencers are only reserved for those big name brands then you need to adjust your thinking. Influencers are simply the high-tech version of word-of-mouth marketing, and celebrity influencers are the least valuable type. Consumers want authenticity, and the rise of micro- and nano-influencers proves that point. Don’t assume that influencer marketing is a trend that you can ignore. It looks set to become the new normal for marketers in every sector.
Voice Search and Featured Snippets
If you’ve spent a lot of time working on your SEO and you’re proud that you’ve got yourself to the front page of Google SERPs, there might be bad news in store. Voice search is changing the game of SEO, and that’s going to mean marketing departments will be racing to adjust their thinking. Voice searches are only growing, and the steady sales of smart speakers are only adding to the number of voice queries made every day. This might seem fine, but consider the fact that voice queries will tend to simply give you the answer to your query. You ask your smart speaker what the capital of France is and you get your answer immediately. In 2020, if you’re not a featured snippet then you might just become invisible.
It’s not new and not as exciting as technology advances like AI and smart speakers, but content is still the most important marketing method for any business. Despite search engine algorithm changes and consumer trends, the fact is that content is still the best way to get your brand out there and to build a loyal audience. Content marketing is a huge area to explore, but the critical component is providing value with everything that you create. That means using your data to find out what your segmented audiences are looking for and creating the content that resolves their pain points. Content is all about improving your SEO, establishing your sector authority, and converting audiences into customers. If you’re not using content to grow your brand then it’s time to start.
Make 2020 the year that you learn more about the demands of digital marketing. Keep up with emerging technologies and trends and gauge their relevance to your business. Not every new trend is going to suit every brand and not every technology has long-term importance. Take the time to learn what works best for you and 2020 might just be the year that your digital marketing takes you and your business to an entirely new level.