The digital marketing landscape isn’t what it used to be. 

Go back ten years and you could get away with a basic website. Move forward a bit and Google’s algorithm changed how people design and make content for their site. Social media completely changed how businesses reach out to market their products or services to consumers.

However, the best digital marketing trends are still on the horizon. You need to prepare as some of them hit full stride by the year 2020. 

Not sure which trends are making big impacts? Read our list below and start planning your marketing strategy today:

1. Integrated Shopping

There’s no secret that a majority of the online population spends their time on social media. To put it into perspective, one in three people use social media, whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or something else. 

When you look at it that way, it should come as no surprise that marketing departments want to tap into this well. Why waste time bringing people on Facebook over to your site and shopping pages when you can integrate both platforms into one?

Plugins like Shopify allow customers to shop directly on social media posts. Found something you like while browsing photos on Pinterest? With the plugin, you can purchase that item without leaving the platform or having to force users to download a plugin on their end.

This boosts convenience and user experience. It significantly reduces the effort and time people have to spend to get what they want. Sure, it cuts down traffic to your site but at the end of the day, it achieves what any marketing strategy should: increase revenue.

2. Social Message Apps

Facebook Chat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and SnapChat might all seem like messaging tools only for the young and for private conversations. That isn’t true anymore. They are now powerful marketing tools that will become even more valuable in 2020.

How does it work? Look at one of the most common trends in marketing: email targeting. To this day, email remains one of the best platforms to direct marketing content.

This is because marketing agencies learned to focus on hyper-targeted, personalized ads for email recipients. People on your email list are potential high-quality leads and all you have to do is direct them with the right messages. With substantial promos, exclusive content, early giveaways, and notifications you could increase ROI rapidly.

It all works on messaging apps too.

You can go one step further. This trend could grow as new technology might allow companies to monetize messaging apps. Like the first growing trend listed, there’s the potential to let customers purchase directly on a messaging app. 

Of course, this trend can only grow if three other up and coming trends pick up the pace: personalization, AI, and chatbots. Let’s discuss those more in-depth below.

3. Better Chatbots

Chatbots are among the hottest 2020 marketing trends currently on the horizon. A vast majority of companies already implement them in social media messaging apps and on their websites but fail to optimize them and use them to their highest potential.

Chatbots, when used properly, significantly reduce the load work of human employees. Before this trend started picking up, you’d have to rely on a team of people to answer every chat inquiry. Not only does this exhaust your team but it also costs you resources too.

The problem with most chatbots is that they don’t offer relevant answers. Many chatbots, by default, can’t provide reliable solutions for your site visitors. When people can’t get answers quickly, they’re more likely to leave.

Fortunately, chatbots continue to improve. You can now feed them with updated information and program to follow specific chat “routes.” This allows you to make chatbots seem more empathetic and to prioritize information collection at the beginning of a conversation.

Why is data collection important?

Collecting information allows the chatbot system to personalize its next set of answers. It can target the specific needs of the customer and disregard anything not relevant to the person’s current inquiry.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows you to use machines to interact with customers and collect data. The aforementioned chatbot system is a great example but it’s not the only trend picking up heat in 2020.

Letting AI run rampant might become a necessity in the future and this goes beyond chatbots.

Think about the benefits your business could reap by implementing better synergy with Alexa or Google Assistant. Voice search is, after all, another trend currently picking up steam. 20% of all online searches were through voice search and this trend continues to grow in popularity.

However, the real power of AI comes in analytics.

AI can collect information about customers over a select period. This allows your system to understand if a customer prefers video ads, what kind of products they prioritize, and which channels they visit to get those products. Now you can design hyper-targeted ads that cater to those shopping habits and preferences. 

Some AI even track social media use and shopping on other websites. This is a shady area, as we’ve seen Facebook take the heat for data collection and invasion of privacy, but if the trend grows and becomes the norm then you could use it in the future to further analyze leads.

5. Personalization

You don’t have to look far to see the power of personalization in online advertising. Amazon reigns supreme when it comes to implementing this marketing trend to its fullest potential.

Personalization takes away all the unnecessary fluff customers don’t want to see.

Your marketing plan should focus on providing what customers want and things they might want but don’t know about it yet. If a customer searched a few times for a new gaming chair, the next ads they should see should showcase gaming chairs. They’ll eventually see one that they want and make a purchase.

This trend continues with targeted messages and emails. Don’t send the same email message to everyone on your list. Split them into different categories and send emails with personalized content, catering specifically to the recipient’s data.

After all, why notify someone on your email list about discount coffee mugs when they previously showed interest in your blenders and kitchen knives? The next time you send discount vouchers, make sure they’re available for knives and blenders! This increases the likelihood that your lead will use them and make a purchase.

6. VR Implementation

One of the best digital marketing trends that will explode in popularity in 2020 is Virtual Reality (VR). It’s already gaining traction, especially in terms of real estate, and it could become an avenue for your business too.

In terms of real estate marketing, you could give potential clients a virtual walkaround on property. This allows them to “visit” the location without having to go there. This works wonders for clients who are overseas; why hassle them to check out the property when they can do so with a headset?

This works for other products too. Fashion designers and clothing shops can offer customers a “front-row” seat to virtual fashion shows. Now people can see the products with someone wearing them, right in front of their eyes, without having to spend money on tickets or a flight to a specific venue.

Virtual experiences like these allow customers to inspect and play around with a product or service in the comfort of their homes. 

Of course, this marketing trend is a bit more expensive than others. You can work around this by offering VR experiences as a promotional event or reward. For example, you could offer a VR tour for the first 1,000 new subscribers or people who spend a certain amount on your products.

7. AR Shopping

Augmented Reality looked like a cute gimmick a few years back nowadays, it’s becoming a marketing tool so powerful it could overtake VR. 

Take the widely popular IKEA app, for example. This app allows customers to view how furniture looks in their home. They simply have to pick the product from the list, allow the app to access their phone’s camera, and then point at a section of the house. 

You could do the same. 

If you sell desks, you could allow customers to check how these tables look when placed in their office or home. It allows people to verify if the item fits in the given space and how it looks when placed beside other pieces of furniture.

Companies selling eyeglasses could use this to their advantage too. Using AR, customers could check how they look when wearing a pair of glasses. They’ll rely on the AR reconstruction on their phone’s camera.

Executing this trend doesn’t have to cost you much. You can start by doing a decent 3D scan of your products and creating an AR app to showcase these to your consumers.

8. Video Content

Video ads took the world by storm in 2019. All you need to do is scroll down Facebook and you’ll instantly get bombarded by a series of videos. By 2020 to 2021, videos will account for over 82% of Internet traffic.

This trend isn’t going to die anytime soon. It’s going to grow and you have to take advantage of this marketing potential. You need a powerful video marketing strategy if you plan to move forward.

Go beyond YouTube ads. Make sure to implement videos in as many ways as you can. Offer 360-degree video presentations of products, release short video ads on Facebook, and present informative videos about your products on your retail site.

9. Voice Search

Did you know 21% of people utilize voice search tools each week? The rising popularity of tools like Alexa and Google Assistant highlights that your marketing has to go beyond the basics of traditional SEO and PPC campaigns. You need to take into account voice searches too!

Ranking for voice search isn’t as simple as pumping out keyword-focused blog posts. You need to perfect local SEO, aim for featured snippets (more on that below), and optimize content to help voice search algorithms index your content. 

It’s not a quick walk in the park. You can’t simply flip a switch and make your content compatible for all voice searches. However, this marketing trend is on the rise and you should start optimizing for it as soon as you can.

10. Featured Snippet

For a long while, the top goal of any SEO expert was to reach the number 1 spot on the Google Search Results Page (SERP). The further down the list you appear, the less likely people will click. This still applies today but there is one major new player that shakes things up.

We’re talking about the implementation of featured snippets. 

Referred to by many as position zero, featured snippets appear in a box right above the number 1 result for organic searches. This featured snippet is, more often than not, the most relevant answer to a person’s query. Clicking on that snippet takes the user to the blog page so the user can conduct a more in-depth reading.

Do you want to get that spot? You’ll need an effective content marketing plan. You will need to dedicate a portion of your marketing team specifically for this task.

Getting to position zero requires anticipating questions and providing clear-cut answers. You need to tailor content and your keywords to answer potential questions people might ask. This can involve a lot of “how-to” list articles.

Take Advantage of the Best Digital Marketing Trends Now!

These are only some of the best digital marketing trends currently making big waves. All of these will likely become necessities in the future. If you want to reach your audience and stay visible and relevant, you have to prepare and adjust to these trends now.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to take a big leap forward on your own. We’re here to help. Feel free to contact us right here and let us guide you to create better content and boost SEO results, today!

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