2020 is fast approaching: what does the digital marketing landscape look like? How can brands most effectively connect, engage, and convert? Social media will continue to be a dominant force, and email is still going strong (in fact, it has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing strategy). But what other trends do we see shaping the future of digital marketing? Here are a few digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2020 so you can plan your budget accordingly.
Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2020
What's AI Up To?
For years, artificial intelligence has been the “next big thing.” But how? In what form, and how do we utilize it? It’s already in play in content curation, product recommendations, playlists, and more. In 2020, artificial intelligence (AI) chat bots will become even more prominent as a customer service tool.
If consumers have questions, they want answers - now. Instant messaging (IM) is a must, and chat bots deliver personalized support that saves time and money. AI analyzes consumers’ behaviors and search patterns in order to “learn." Chat bots can then provide answers and resolve issues virtually instantaneously. This is especially helpful for routine and repetitive questions - and for complex interactions, they can kick customers over to a live rep seamlessly.
What’s more is that the majority of consumers tend to love IM chat bots. So using artificial intelligence in your marketing can be a win-win.
Personalization Is Paramount
This is not a new concept by any means, but it will become even more important in 2020. Social media provides a terrific platform to gather intelligence and offer interactive, personalized experiences. But how can you expand upon this and personalize across channels?
Why not go for the low hanging fruit? Which, in this case, is also the most juicy, delicious fruit. Email. Customization in this area can yield significant returns. For example, something just as simple as adding the customer’s name to the subject line can increase open rates by 29% and unique click through rates by up to 41%.
Furthermore, personalized trigger campaigns (i.e., the email is triggered by a specific action taken by the prospect/customer, such as signing up for an eNewsletter through a blog post created as part of your content marketing strategy) generate double the transaction rates of non-personalized trigger mailings. Couple this with lifecycle marketing and you’ll have a lead nurturing machine driven by and designed around targeted communication, which in turn will increase revenue. (Tip: Platforms like HubSpot offer many benefits by automating these processes.)
In fact, according to a HubSpot study, calls-to-action that were targeted to the user had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than those that were the same for all users. When you personalize your digital marketing content, you create a more valuable experience for your users.
Video Killed the ... Everything!
Ok, no, video is not killing other forms of content. That said, it is dominating them. By 2021, experts expect 80% of all internet content will consist of videos; consumers can’t get enough.
Branded videos have enjoyed tremendous growth, and there are a variety of platforms on which to promote them. It’s not just YouTube: Instagram and Facebook audiences who regularly watch branded videos. There are plenty of ways you can use video marketing to grow your business, it'll just take a bit of creativity. You can add these videos to blogs, emails, landing pages, and other forms of content to increase engagement and message retention.
We’ll see even more live video in 2020: this is great news for brands because consumers connect with the more genuine, authentic side that comes across. It’s not stiff marketing speak; it’s human. Whether your brand is appearing at a festival or trade show or you want to show a day in the life of an employee, live video is ripe with opportunity.
Additionally, 360 videos give you a chance to stand out on crowded social media feeds: with these immersive videos, viewers can drag their fingers or turn their devices to move around in the video. This format is still relatively new, so try it to make your mark and gain an edge.
Micro Stories: Major Impact
Who else misses Vine? Good news: it’s being reincarnated as Byte this year. The original Vine’s six second videos were insanely popular, and they remain so. Vine compilations were among the most popular content on YouTube this year, and similar apps like TikTok are on the rise. The overall trend towards micro - micro stories, micro video, micro minutes, etc. - is growing. It works with our shorter attention spans and allows brands to convey a message with impact. They’re virtually “forced” to be creative and engaging: what can you say in six seconds?
Expect to see other micro content platforms joining Byte in 2020.
Facebook Ups Its Ad Game
Social media isn't just for millennials. Facebook is not only the most heavily used social media platform in the world, it is the #2 referrer of traffic to websites, behind only search behemoth Google. It is a highly relevant platform for businesses, and Facebook is expanding three different interactive ad formats that will become important in 2020.
- Poll Ads: Leverage the power of polls to give you firsthand insight into consumer behaviors, preferences, interests, etc.
- Augmented Reality Ads: Michael Kors was the first brand to test this, allowing customers to “try on” a pair of sunglasses (and providing them the opportunity to purchase, of course!).
- Playable Ads: With this interactive format, mobile app advertisers can show a short preview of their app before people choose to download it. This was previously limited to gaming companies.
This is just a glimpse into the future of social media marketing. With Instagram's recent release of "Branded Content Ads," new and exciting opportunities lay ahead in influencer marketing and beyond.
Are you planning initiatives around any of these techniques? Any other campaigns on the horizon? Contact THAT Agency to ensure your digital marketing efforts get off the ground and drive your business forward. Here’s to 2020!