10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020
The new year brings promise for many businesses. A new year for strategy, a new year for business growth, a new year to make a difference in your industry. 2020 is filled with so much technological advancement and businesses are reaping the benefits.
And yet, as technology continues to advance, consumers are seeking more human interactions between themselves and businesses. While AI and data-driven marketing will still be huge this year, the focus of digital marketing will be towards the people and humanization of companies.
Let’s look at 10 top digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2020:
1. Customer Experience
2020 marks the year of the customer experience. It’s crazy to say but customers no longer care if your product is the best – they care about their experience with your company and your company’s values/culture. What actually keeps customers coming back is based on their interactions with the business – 73% of people say that customer experience (CX) is important but only 49% of US consumers say companies actually offer a good experience.
What does great CX mean? Knowledge, convenience, friendly service, easy payment methods, and efficiency. Ensure that your company is using up-to-date technology, a seamless mobile experience, consistent branding. Make sure your employees are offering amazing service and personalize your marketing efforts. Customer experience encompasses everything from website design, to social media, to how customers interact with your employees at your store and in chats, and even down to the packaging of your product. Transparent business practices are a huge win this decade too.
2. ADA Compliance
If you read our blog on ADA compliance, then you saw this one coming. More than a trend, ADA compliance is the future for all businesses. Since a website is now considered a “place of public accommodation,” they are required to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means making your website more accessible – font size, color contrast, and alt text are just a few of the items that may need adjusting to comply.
There are also new accessibility tools you can offer users to make their browsing experience easier. Plus, when you make your website design more ADA-friendly, you’ll open up your business to a whole new market and avoid legal fines and penalties. (Pss… we have all the details in our blog and can help you get started – visit our ADA Website Service page.)
Nothing says “bye-bye traditional marketing” like personalization. We’ve seen the emails that start with “Hello [Name]” and purchased the Coca-Cola bottle that list our own names too. And we love it. So long are the days of receiving ads that address the general population. Now, consumers want to receive specially tailored ads based on what they’ve been searching. 80% of consumers said they prefer to do business with companies that offer personalized experiences.
Throwback to “Minority Report.” That movie was kind of scary but it’s also starting to feel very real. Aside from the sci-fi elements, it foreshadowed the complete personalization that companies would soon start using. Ads really are calling us out by name.
If you want to take advantage of personalization, don’t just stop at adding “Hello [Name]” to your email headers. Use AI, data collection, and social media insights to target your audience and serve them personalized product recommendations, ad designs, and much more.
4. Marketing Strategy: The Human Company
While this was a big part of 2019, it’s only going to grow bigger. Last year, at Social Media Marketing World, we heard Mark Schaefer talk about how today’s buyers no longer fall for marketing lies and secrets. In the past century, marketing has transformed: Radio, TV, and then the Internet brought an end (mostly) to companies telling us that Santa endorses cigarettes and 7Up is good for babies. Today’s consumers can do research – they can uncover the actual ingredients in a product, read reviews on a business, and find an alternative if they don’t like the results.
So, who wins? What kind of company thrives in a hyper-connected world? The most human company. If your company culture enables storytelling, human connection, and community, people will respond positively to your brand, you’ll create a loyal customer base, and you will succeed. Analyze your marketing strategy today – what do consumers think of your business? How can you change your messaging to appeal to today’s buyer?
5. Visual Content
Did you know 65% of people are visual learners? Did you know posts with images generate 180% more engagement? And did you know that 93% of all communication is visual? Even though voice search is exploding, visual content is still 167.99678% relevant – give or take. Research has shown us that people prefer visual content to plain text – it’s why Instagram took off.
It’s also easier to remember visuals than written content. Incorporate more data visualizations, images, videos, infographics to your written content this year. Elevate your website design and social media visuals. You’ll see consumer engagement rise significantly.
6. SERP Positions Zero and Featured Snippets
Google something. Anything. Maybe type in “are tomatoes vegetables?” or “is it tomatoes or tomatos?” What do you see? Google probably gave you a sentence or two describing the answer. You didn’t even have to click into a link. This is called “on-serp” information, featured snippets, or “position zero.” And over 60% of search results by Google are now position zero. Enticing huh? Who doesn’t want to be position zero? Position one was so 2019…
Now how does that happen? With aggressive and unique SEO techniques that differ from the average position-one techniques. You’ll see a lot of SEO companies offering a position zero service – tread lightly. Keep up with best practices for optimizing your content and better understand what SEO agencies can and can’t do.
7. Voice Search
By now, you’ve heard people yell “Alexa,” “OK Google,” or “Hey Siri” into their devices. Voice search grew exponentially in the past few years, and right now, 20% of searches are driven by voice. It’s safe to say, smart speakers are having a moment with about a quarter of US homes owning one.
Take advantage of this trend by tailoring your content to voice search. Voice searchers use longer more conversational queries. Create content that addresses and answers important questions directly. This can also help your content to be found in featured snippets or position zero. Make sure your SEO company is utilizing voice search.
Voice search doesn’t stop there. “Branded skills” is a feature that involves companies creating skills and adding them to smart devices. So, when you’re sitting at home, browsing Instagram, and accidentally spill wine on your shirt, you can ask “Alexa, how do I remove wine from my shirt with Tide?” Alexa will then give you results from Tide about how to remove the stain. Or perhaps, you want to make a Margherita because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Just ask “Alexa, what’s a good Patron Recipe?” and she will give you some tasty results. You can even ask Alexa to order you an Uber or Domino’s Pizza. How you can apply this to your business.
8. AI & Automation
It’s 2020 and it feels like we’ve talked to more robots than people this year. How about you? Have you chatted with a bot yet? Probably. You might even have a chatbot on your website. If you don’t, make it a goal this year to add one. Chat functions on websites are super helpful conversion tools – people browsing your site may have a quick question and if answered in time, they can make that purchase or booking instantly.
AI and automation get rid of a lot of the tedious work so you and your team can focus on providing a great product/service. For example, in chats, you can have preset questions and answers. The user clicks on a common question and the bot replies.
Remember, it’s important to keep that human element in marketing so AI should not replace the real people in your company – it should instead create efficiency and assist your marketing tactics.
AI drives voice search, predictive analytics, and personalization. Imagine, a user browses your website and later receives a Facebook ad for the product they were looking. Robots, baby.
9. Video & Live Video
In a survey, when asked how they preferred to learn about a new product or service, 68% of people said short video. It’s no wonder YouTube has exploded in “how to” content. 85% of users in the US watched online videos monthly, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support, the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video, and 8/10 people have purchased a piece of software or app after watching a brand’s video (Oberlo). The stats speak for themselves.
Now, add live video to the mix. People spend three times longer watching live video than pre-recorded. Why? Because FOMO (fear of missing out). No one wants to find out that they missed a great moment because they didn’t tune in. It’s like pre-DVR television. Live video on Facebook and Instagram grab the attention of your social audience. You can create a campaign leading up to the video too – i.e.: ask people to send in their questions and tell them to tune in on a specific day and time to get the answers.
10. Customer Retention, Loyalty & Advocacy
With a focus on customer experience, comes a focus on retention, loyalty, and advocacy. The Internet has opened up businesses to massive markets – so it’s no wonder why many businesses have lost touch with their customers. If they provide a bad service or product, it’s ok, because there’s billions of people out their that they can reach instead. This is a trap. We know that referrals carry huge value for companies, and now with so many online reputation platforms, the new referral is reviews. And when you fail a customer, everyone knows about it.
So turn your attention to your existing customers – are you delighting them? Do they feel loved and cared for? If the answer is anything other than “yes,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Studies found that it costs five times more to attract new customers than keep existing ones. Loyal customers will leave happy reviews, tell their friends and family, and even post about your business on social media. It’s free marketing!
Keep your customers happy and incorporate personalization tactics during any communications with them. Automation can also help you keep ongoing communication so they know you didn’t forget about them.
And there you have it. 10 digital marketing trends that will improve your marketing efforts in 2020. Already have a few of these under your belt? Pat yourself on the back. But don’t stop there. Keep analyzing, tweaking, and improving. Marketing is never done. It’s everchanging, and this new decade is going to bring a lot of change. Are you ready?