The months seem to be whipping by in a whirlwind and before long we will be into the new year. While it can be easy to get caught up in plans for marketing for the holidays, casting your eye further is necessary. Because 2020 is more than just a milestone, it is an opportunity to start implementing the hottest digital marketing trends that are going to be dominating the industry.
Digital marketing has a wider scope and greater applications than ever before. Statista projected that by the close of 2019, active email accounts would be increased to an astonishing 5.6 billion. According to Hubspot, local searches have become so powerful that 72% of searchers for local businesses end in a 5-mile radius visit. Omnicore Agency has found that a full 93% of all traffic is driven by search engine results, making the days of targeted URLs and domain names a potential thing of the past.
Clearly, we should all be focusing more on digital marketing, even if we have invested a lot of time, energy and budget into the process. Start the year off right by understanding these digital marketing trends.
1. The rise of the machine
The exploitability of chatbots has been talked about for a few years now and certainly big-name brands have jumped on board. But the real power of artificial intelligence in marketing is only just beginning.
Acquire ran a survey earlier this year and found that within the Millennial demographic 40% of responders interacted with chatbots on a daily basis. That far exceeds even the most optimistic projections for the popularity of AI in the world of customer-facing marketing strategies.
Not all successful Chatbots are artificial, however. Chatbot powerhouse Facebook reported that there was an overall satisfaction rate of 73% when using a messaging feature for B2C communication.
According to Shirish Agarwal, founder of Flow20;
“The customers find it extremely easier to communicate with a chatbot because they can accurately remember who they are and what problems they faced in the past. Prompt response from the chatbot and easy assistance keeps the customer happy. Customer experience is the single most important distinguisher that can prove to be a game-changer for your business.”
Given the importance of immediacy in communication due to the sophistication of social media outreach and customer service, having this tool is critical. Where human to human interaction is strained, AI can pick up the slack.
This opens the channels for more traditional customer service to occur while giving quick assistance to others. At the same time, the ability for customers to use chat as an option narrows in on a younger crowd who would prefer self-service and online help to phone calls or face to face connection.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a huge brand to embrace artificial intelligence. There are several powerful plugins which can help any blogger integrate AI with their blogging routine.
2. The explosion of visual and video marketing
The demand for interactive and video content is growing fast. According to Hubspot, more than half of US consumers are willing to see more video content from any brand.
Image Source: Oberlo
No wonder, more and more brands are embracing multi-format visual marketing actively investing in creating advanced image and video assets. Over 50% of marketers are planning to increase video marketing budget.
How do you keep up with the ever-changing visual marketing industry? With so many brands investing heavily in video creation, how do you remain competitive or stand out?
The key is to find the video marketing solution that will keep you up-to-date with video marketing trends and provide you with affordable video creation and marketing tools.
VideoBoost, an app by Boost Apps, is a solid option here offering you an affordable suite of tools for your social media marketing needs. Using VideoBoost, you can put together marketing videos right on your phone, applying a variety of filters, fonts, templates, etc.
The VideoBoost app offers trendy templates and pre-written copy ideas to help people come up with videos that are relevant to today’s digital marketing trends.
3. Search without a single click
Search has been adapting to a mobile world. It has also been shifting to accommodate a faster-moving one. Google made something truly beautiful when they implemented Featured Snippets, for both seekers and providers alike. No longer do you have to sift through long articles or endless web pages for information… it is right there, at the top of the search results.
Now what used to be an occasional find with the right keywords has become commonplace. It has also expanded. Clickless searching is all the rage and Sparktoro reports that it is on the rise.
Mobile searches make up a good chunk of that increase in use, as evidenced by the fact that 31% of the 3.3 billion estimated smartphone owners across the globe use voice search, a statistic that is believed to be directly correlated with the increasing number of zero-click searches.
So, how is this a good thing when you are relying on a certain amount of organic traffic? Branding and reputation, for one thing. When trying to get your name lodged in the head of potential customers, what better way than to show, at a glance, that you are the first one with the answer? You may not get a click every time but you are still making an impression that is crucial.
Featured snippets are here to stay and fast answers are the best answers for most. Take advantage by driving the competition to the second, third or fourth spots on the list and reigning supreme.
To optimize for featured snippets, use Text Optimizer‘s sentence building functionality that helps you create highly-optimized copy that uses related terms in close proximity, increasing its chances to get featured:
Text Optimizer uses semantic analysis to identify important concepts behind any query and help you build context that uses important terms in close proximity.
Using structured markup is another way to get your search snippet to stand out in Google’s SERPs. Using schema generators, you don’t need to have any coding skills to have your content structured.
4. Fragmented and scattered customer journeys
Due to the fast growth of smart mobile devices and assistants, the buyer’s journey has become more fragmented. These days consumers are able to perform on-the-go purchases right from their mobile device. Furthermore, due to the integration of mobile instant payments, mobile experience has caused a boost in impulse shopping.
Engaging customers with one site is getting very challenging. Here’s what you can do:
Use Content Engagement Tools
Embrace new content engagement tools to get customers to keep interacting with your site. Alter is a new content recommendation platform driving your readers deeper into your site and keeping them engaged:
Another tool to use is Finteza that can engage your return visitors in a more meaningful way. Finteza allows you to set up goals based on performed events and create personalized advertising campaigns that bypass ad blockers.
As a result, you can customize your on-page CTAs so that they make the most sense to the user. For example, you can encourage them to download the full report after they read half of your blog article announcing it. Or you can invite them to complete their shopping journey after they have abandoned their cart:
Follow the Entire Customer Journey
Everyone knows that retaining a customer is more beneficial than acquiring a new one. It is why companies such as Discover Card put so much effort into perfecting their customer service. In fact, they explain it as “the customer experience” and it begins before they even have an account.
Digital marketing, in general, is beginning to follow this philosophy. If you want a truly successful campaign you have to plan for the entire journey of the customer, from that first spark of recognition to years down the line. Putting beats in a different point of that journey will improve that experience.
Smart Insights provided an incredible infographic showing how they utilize this concept in their own marketing. By dividing the customer’s journey into four segments (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage) they were able to show actionable steps taken in each one to capture and retain with maximum efficiency. It reads like a blueprint on how to make customers fall in love with your brand.
Another solid resource here is MoEngage’s guide on omnichannel marketing and how to utilize it to connect all the dots between multiple marketing channels to keep the buyer’s attention and walk them to the final purchase.
Older tactics still work as well. For example, it is still recommended to use social proof to boost your conversions. There are many more tricks that keep working, including CTA optimization and de-cluttering your checkout page. So it’s not just new shiny things to work on.
5. Marketing as an experience, not advertising (interactive, creative, exciting, social)
It isn’t enough to tell a potential customer why they should be attracted to your brand. You have to show them and, more than that, make them feel it. Interactivity is vital in modern digital marketing, and storytelling is the best way to attract attention.
Tourism Australia provides us with a great example of this. By taking over a hashtag that was already in use (#SeeAustralia), they created a campaign where user-generated content – in this instance, photographs of the country – were used. They would take a few photos per day and feature them on their Instagram page.
The results were incredible. Not only did they see a 33% increase in their site traffic, showing that their brand was growing, but people were spending 66% more time browsing the site when they were there.
Collaborating with niche influencers is a great way to embrace that experience-driven marketing model. Influencers have already earned your customers’ trust. They are real and authentic, so having them on your side means making your brand’s voice heard.
BizSwipe is a solid connecting app that will let you find those businesses and influencers who are eager to partner with brands for mutual benefits (marketing campaigns, co-hosting contests, blog contributions, etc.):
Jump into the new year with these digital marketing trends
We are heading into a whole new decade and we have ten years of advances, challenges and triumphs to look forward to.
The sooner we get started, the better off we will be. Let’s ring in 2020 with a brand new perspective and strategy for the twelve months ahead.