New Year, New Marketing Trends in 2020
A new decade is almost upon us, and with it, new trends in the world of digital marketing. Some trends stem from technology and techniques that have already been introduced but are now on the rise thanks to advancements and increases in implementation. Other trends are just starting to take off. All of these things are more than just trends, however. They’re indicators of the way the world is heading in regard to our online lives and how we as both marketers and consumers interact—and these indicators shouldn’t be ignored if your brand doesn’t want to be left behind. Let’s take a look at 2020’s new marketing trends:
Personalization, Hyper Targeting, and Privacy
There have been recent, global changes around data privacy, like the implementation of GDPR in Europe during 2018 and multiple, major lawsuits towards companies which mishandled private user data, like Facebook and Google. Data privacy is at a crossroads, as it sits between the priorities of businesses seeking to reach customers more effectively and consumers wanting to safeguard their personal information.
Personalization of ads and other marketing content via data-driven marketing is a monumental trend going into 2020. With the amount of information that’s available online through data vendors and first-party data like website sign-ups, marketers have a clearer picture of their audiences than ever before. Hyper targeting is a newer tactic that capitalizes on this massive amount of data, enabling marketers to target their content to users who are most likely to engage with it based on a set of segmentation tools.
With all this data-driven power comes the inevitable and vital responsibility of protecting users’ data, determining what data should be private, and implementing ways of consistently securing consent in order to access that data. Consumers expect far more transparency from companies about their data practices, their products, and their partnerships. Expect more personalization in content, a greater need for transparency in your business, and major legislative discussions over user data privacy shaking things up in 2020.
Artificial Intelligence, Voice Search, and Chatbots
The inclusion of artificial intelligence in e-commerce and in search is changing the way that users find content and purchase products. The rise in popularity of smart speakers and their increasingly familiar voice assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, is contributing to a vocal revolution when it comes to search. A key result of this is the conversationalization (pretty sure that’s not a real word, but you get the gist, right?) of content. Because more people are using their voices to search for information and products, the technology and artificial intelligence empowering them is advancing quickly as it learns to handle a user’s conversational tones and syntax.
Written content that feeds into these A.I. assistant’s knowledge bases, therefore, being written more conversationally than ever. This is also due to the already changing nature of content across the Web, which is becoming more informal as a whole in order to appeal to the masses. Chatbots are in a similar position to Alexa and Siri, as they are on their way to being more widely used to help establish a conversation with customers that is quick, easy, friendly, and to the point. Expect better voice search, improvements in smart speaker software, and more chatbots in the new year.
VR, AR, and Interactive Content
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are on the rise. A big reason for this is that users love to play around with and immerse themselves in interactive content. 360-degree photos and videos, AR-ready apps, and VR experiences will all continue to improve in quality and quantity. AR is expected to outpace VR due to its greater applicability right now to consumers’ needs. Examples include smart mirrors that allow consumers to virtually try on clothing, or apps that enable a user to see how a piece of furniture would look in their living room.
Interactive content is already popular on social channels like Facebook, and these will only continue to become more common. Polls and quizzes are also widely popular now and will continue to be in 2020. Expect more progress and implementation of AR, continued developments but not as many deliverables in the VR sector, and the continued wave of interactive content becoming productive for its implementors.
Another example of interactive content deserves its own section: Shoppable posts. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have created ways for e-commerce businesses to natively display products for purchase within posts. On Instagram, for example, a retailer could post a picture of a model in a dress and tag the specific dress. Users tap on the tag and find an integrated space for buying that dress, along with other related items they can browse. This brings consumers who are constantly browsing social media closer to businesses, in a more well-integrated, less-intrusive format than other native advertisements could offer.
SERP Position Zero
Search engine algorithms are getting better at determining which content gives the best answer to any query. Google’s position zero is the new, coveted spot on SERPs, showing up at the very top, above even the #1 spot for organic search results and sponsored ads. It is displayed as the universally accepted answer, and whichever link gets this spot is positioned to earn far more traffic and credibility. This is hard to achieve on your own, but you should expect to put more time and effort into SEO to achieve the best position on SERPs.
Smart Bidding on Google Ads
Google’s new Smart Bidding piece of Google Ads allows for optimization toward the conversion actions you choose. It’s a set of automated bidding strategies for ads that let you mold your campaigns into driving forces for conversions, depending on your priorities. You can increase your return on ad spend or enhance the effectiveness of your cost-per-click campaigns. Basically, it gives marketers new ways to decrease their budget and increase their returns. Expect to consider this for your ad bidding to see how it could impact your bottom line.
Private Messaging Apps
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and What’s App are growing, with similar apps like Signal offering greater privacy via end-to-end encryption. These apps are not exclusively for person-to-person communication now—businesses are beginning to communicate with consumers more frequently through these avenues. Many of these apps give businesses useful tools like automatic replies based on frequently asked questions. These apps also allow businesses to have a conversation with their individual customers quickly and easily, in a less formal setting than email or customer support line. Shoppable posts are also starting to be implemented into these apps, letting users browse items in real time with their friends during their conversation. Expect to set this up for your business on at least the major apps, like Facebook Messenger, to start.
Video content is some of the most useful and most seen content on the internet. It accounted for 69 percent of global consumer web traffic in 2017 and is expected to top out at 80 percent for 2019, according to Wordstream. Video content is so strong because consumers love the visual nature of videos and the many different goals it can hit: videos can quickly and interestingly inform viewers, entertain them, and be shared with their friends. User-generated videos are also becoming widely looked to for inspiration and advice on buying new products or using services. They are also becoming more trusted than brand ads. Billions of people watch YouTube and see videos on social media. Expect to make video a staple of your content creation efforts in 2020.
Make 2020 your biggest year yet with a new year’s resolution to improve your digital marketing strategy! Kraus Marketing’s expert team of designers, developers, copywriters, and digital strategists can help you revamp your brand or start from the ground up. Contact our team today to learn more.