At one time, artificial intelligence, data-driven marketing and voice search engine optimization (VSEO) were ambitious concepts bordering on the ridiculous. Today, these innovative digital marketing trends are among the top priorities for most business owners in 2020.
We live in a time when marketing technology moves fast and consumer interests and behaviors are hard to predict. Marketers can no longer stick their heads in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old methods will work forever.
But where should you spend your time and effort? What are the digital marketing trends worth capitalizing on?
When it comes to digital marketing, this scenario is a common one. The landscape is always evolving — and sometimes spinning wildly off into new directions.
For example, what most marketers ignored as a smartphone gimmick only a few years ago has now evolved into voice search, which is growing rapidly.
This happens a lot in our space. What starts out as a seemingly inconsequential shift, suddenly transforms into an outright disruption in how buyers search, evaluate, and make purchasing decisions online.
Read on to find out the latest digital marketing trends for 2020 that will help your business not just survive, but thrive in this age of innovation.
1. Artificial Intelligence
If you haven’t already realized it, 2020 may be the year that a lot of people wake up to the dominance of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s sure to be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already taking over many simple jobs.
AI can analyze consumer behavior and search patterns, and use data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how customers find their products and services. One exciting example of AI in practice is chatbots. Mastercard created a Facebook messenger bot – which uses natural language processing software to decipher what the customer wants and respond as if it were a real person.
2. Conversational Marketing
With all that talk about chatbots, the reality of modern marketing becomes clear: it’s more conversational. People want it that way, and so brands are reacting. When consumers have a question, 82% want an “immediate” response.
Conversational marketing facilitates a one-to-one, real-time connection between marketers and customers. Unlike traditional strategies, this form of marketing is now available across multiple channels, allowing brands to meet customers on their terms: on the devices, platforms and time schedules that suit the customer best.
If you want to stand out in 2020, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails and more.
Consider these personalization stats:
- 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts
- 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences
- 90% claim they find personalization appealing
When you want to study examples of the power of personalization, it’s hard to overlook Netflix and Amazon, with their tailored recommended products or movie titles.
4. Video Marketing
Video marketing is one of, if not the, most important marketing trend today and likely for the next 5-10 years. These numbers show the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy in 2020:
- 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
- 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate
- 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions
- 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video
Video is by far the most popular way customers want to learn about new products. And don’t just think YouTube. There are plenty of ways to drive higher engagement with your video marketing, as you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
5. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. Influencers can be well-known celebrities, but more often they are Instagram or YouTube personalities with a huge niche following who can help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.
Because influencer marketing is generally more authentic than corporate advertising:
- 63% of consumers trust influencers’ opinions of products much more than what brands say about themselves
- 58% of people have bought a new product in the past six months because of an influencer’s recommendation
6. Voice Search and Smart Speakers
The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2020. Consider these numbers:
- 50% of all searches will be via voice by 2020
- 55% of all American homes will own a smart speaker by 2022
- 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
- Voice shopping is set to jump to $40 billion in 2022, up from $2 billion today
Overall, people expect to be using voice search far more in the future:
7. Browser Push Notifications
Push notifications are on the rise, with 85% of online stores using them in 2019.
As part of the bid to engage users on multiple channels, browser push notifications are something you will see more and more brands adopting in 2020 – and they are getting more sophisticated and personalized. In fact, using personalized push notifications increases conversions:
- 7% open rate for segmented push messaging compared to a 3% open rate for generic, broadcast messages (a 2x improvement)
- 54% of users convert from a segmented push notification, compared to only 15% for broadcast messages (a 3x improvement)
For anyone in digital marketing, change is an integral part of the job. You must keep looking ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools and strategies in order to gain an edge over your competitors.
As John F. Kennedy once said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”