Here are the 2020 Digital Marketing Trends that All Marketers Need to Know
While some say that 2020 is the last year of the second decade of the 21st century, others argue that it’s the first year of the third one. I, for one, am in league with the group that believes the latter. 2020 has kickstarted a whole new decade of the modern technological era, and it’s gonna be a big one (both the year and the decade ie). And since the business world is becoming increasingly data-driven and empowered by unceasing technological advancements, digital marketing, a crucial component for growing and sustaining your business, is a vast landscape that has become ever-expanding.
Hence, being in the know-how of the latest marketing trends and best practices has become a staple to being a skilled, competent digital marketer. And not only marketers, but also people in business with all sorts of roles can also benefit from being in touch with how marketing in 2020 is evolving. Because after all, marketing is that part of business largely responsible for converting a prospective customer to a paying customer.
Not so long ago, leveraging technology like artificial intelligence, data analytics and voice search engine optimisation were perceived as overly ambitious concepts to be used for marketing. Today, these have become a go-to marketing tool for most business owners in 2020. And with good reason too, because in order to survive and thrive in the rapidly evolving digital marketing space, you must adapt to the environment and incorporate the newest trends to remain competitive.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the latest trends that are both hot for 2020, and are going to lead the future of online marketing.
1.) Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is no news in the technological hemisphere; it has been on the horizon of groundbreaking innovation for some time now. AI has pervaded through almost all software products and services, and digital marketing is no different. While it has already taken over many simple jobs, it is well set to progressively be at the heart of global business and industry more and more as we progress into the future.
To put into contrast how AI has been replacing human resources for menial jobs. Have a loot at this example: Microsoft and Uber began employing the innovative Knightscope K5 security robot to patrol parking lots and large outdoor areas to predict and prevent crime. They achieve this by having the ability to read license plates, collecting data, and reporting dubious activities. The staggering part? You can rent these high-tech robots for just $7 an hour. That is less expensive and more reliable than hiring a human security guard.
Artificial intelligence will become an indispensable part of the largest commercial opportunities across companies, industries and nations, having been projected to inflate global FP by up to 14% by 2030. This means that this is the best time to employ AI-powered technology to boost their processes, especially when it comes to marketing. The alternative is to subject yourself to a serious competitive advantage within the next few years.
2.) Programmatic Advertising
In a nutshell, programmatic advertising is automating the buying and displaying of ads so you can target your audience better, and faster. It involves bidding for ads in real-time, with the highest bidder getting the opportunity to showcase their services through the right site, at the right time. Programmatic advertising is more efficient and effective, which directly translates to higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.
It has been transforming the landscape of digital advertising so quickly that, according to eMarketer, about 86% of the digital display ads in the U.S alone will have gone programmatic by the end of 2020.
What makes this kind of advertising so attractive is that alike manual advertising campaigns, it incorporates the basic parameters like keyword, time of day, location, etc., and instead of the conventional method of mass displaying ads for maximum exposure, it uses hundreds of targeting signals to personalise the ads to reach a fewer number of prospective customers, but those that are much more likely to convert. When integrated with data platforms, it allows you to target customers based specifically on their lifestyle and behaviour habits.
Leveraging newer communication channels alongside traditional ones like email has been a rising trend that will peak even further in 2020. Chatbots are one such comms solution that online businesses are adopting rapidly. Chatbots are by no means a latest invention, with the first chatbot ever created dating back as early as the 1960s. But they are becoming more responsive and intelligent every year, with their popularity rising by leaps and bounds in recent time; and the trend will only see a further boost in 2020. Which comes as no surprise because of the essential part it plays in enhancing customer experience.
The AI-powered Chatbots are available 24/7, ready for instant messaging in real-time with the customers and site visitors. Surveys indicate that
- by the end of 2020, chatbots will power up to a whopping 85% of customer support,
- the all-day, everyday service, instant responses to queries, and answers to simple questions are top benefits that every business would want to leverage,
- 63% of respondents said they preferred messaging an online chatbot to communicating with the business directly via email or call,
- 80% of brands and businesses would like to have a chatbot service available by 2020,
- by 2022, chatbots will be helping businesses save in upwards of $8 billion per year
Why customers are going for chatbot interaction over human interaction is because these virtual assistants are prompt, accurately recall their buying history, and are never short on patience. Chatbots are reliable tools that better customer service by automating repetitive tasks and satisfying basic customer expectations, thus freeing up more time for you to focus on other important tasks as well.
4.) Conversational Marketing
A closer look at the current and emerging marketing trends reveals something interesting – people want their interactions with brands to be more conversational. The increasing popularity of services like chatbots showcases that people want quick, anytime, personalised responses – and that demand has given rise to the 21st-century variation to digital marketing: conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing is a more intimate form of marketing: orchestrating an instant one-to-one, real-time connection between marketers and customers. Heading south from traditional marketing techniques, this type of marketing is accessible across multiple channels, giving businesses the power to reach out to customers through the most perfectly suited devices, platforms and time schedules to optimise customer experience and conversions.
Conversational marketing is so effective and will see itself being adopted by marketers more and more because it provides buyers with a timely, more humane solution. Today’s customer is looking for quick fixes and answers. To cater to this modern need, businesses need to be reachable across a broad spectrum of channels, communicating in all the ways that the customer wants to be communicated with. The conversational method of marketing improves upon buyer experience in general, and fosters higher engagement and greater loyalty in particular.
Chatbots and Conversational marketing ultimately row the boat towards the future (and present) of marketing – personalisation. Marketing strategies today that do the best in terms of compelling individuals to buy their offering are those that personalise the message, as if their product/service existed just for them. For a holistic feel, you must be seeking to personalise the experience across all channels like content, product, notifications, emails.
These personalisation statistics by Epsilon will put its importance into perspective:
- 63% of consumers report being very frustrated with generic advertisements
- 80% of consumers say they are much more likely to choose a brand that offers personalised experiences, ie quality of experience over quantity
- 90% of respondents out of a 1000 aged between 18 to 24 claimed they found personalisation appealing
For pioneering examples on how to harness the power of personalisation, you just have to take a look at the online marketing campaign of Netflix and Amazon: their bespoke movie titles or recommended products. Here are a few other major companies that have custom-tailored the customer experience:
- EasyJet launched an innovative email campaign that tracked customers’ travel history that recently or frequently travelled with the airline. Utilising large amounts of data, they were able to send out about an eye-popping 12.5 million emails that had personalised stories for each customer, going on to suggest where they might like to travel next. The result? A sharp 25% increase in click-through compared to non-personalised emails.
- Cadbury made the most of their subscribers Facebook profile to create a personalised video campaign that matched their personality with an ideal Dairy milk flavour. They capitalised on Facebook data such as age, interest, location to launch a vast campaign that generated a remarkable 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% conversion rate, thereby championing the value of personalised marketing.
- Starbucks was able to moon shoot their revenue to $2.56 billion by leveraging a seemingly simple idea – by using a gamified app that collected customer-centric data like purchase history and location to individualise the experience on a different plane. The app enabled customers to customise their drinks, and compelled them to keep using the app with an addictive reward system.
6.) Video Marketing
It wouldn’t come as any news today to marketers that video marketing is the ~next~ present big thing. With the advent of video-driven platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and more recently, Tik Tok – the emphasis has shifted largely from textual marketing to video marketing. That is why sites like Facebook and even LinkedIn is becoming increasingly video-oriented. And it’s easy to imagine why – humans are very visual creatures; and videos are a faster, more engaging source of consuming information. So video marketing is one of, or maybe even the, most important marketing trend – one which will be popular not only in 2020 but will continue to be for at least the next 5 to 10 years.
Have a look at these numbers to realise how important having a solid video marketing strategy has become in 2020:
- 70% of consumers report sharing a brand video they liked
- 72% of businesses report that video marketing has been imperative in improving their conversion rate
- 52% of consumers report that watching videos of products while online shopping makes them more confident about going for the product
- 65% of executives reported going to the marketer’s website and 39% reached out to a vendor after seeing a video about the product/service.
Today, videos have become by far the most preferred way among consumers to learn about products and make purchase decisions.
A major reason why video marketing has become so viable in recent years is because of the seismic shift to mobile devices. Gone are the days of long-form sales pages and ultra-informative emails as they are just too tedious to read on small mobile screens. A brilliant alternative to this is video, that makes the same information much more accessible and understandable, regardless of which device you’re using.
Here are some latest marketing trends in video marketing that are gaining more and more traction:
- Live Video: Nothing feels more authentic than seeing something unfurl in real time. Individual influencer marketers or large conglomerates, they can equally utilise the live video platform to enhance customer acquisition, engagement, and retention. Interviews, public demos, behind-the-scenes, lifestyle videos, events or how-tos – you can leverage live video in myriad ways.
- 1:1 Video: Business professionals, especially those who have their name as a brand, have benefited the most with 1:1 videos where they make personalised video messages instead of phone calls or emails. And with film equipment and high-quality phone cameras more affordable than ever, this has become an increasingly viable solution.
- 360-degree Video: Another marketing technique that gained major popularity in recent years and will continue gaining momentum in 2020. 360° videos are a uniquely engaging form of communication that virtually transports you to the location and experience you’re viewing. This is especially groundbreaking for services that are surroundings specific.
While there are several other marketing techniques and trends that are showing immense potential to blow up like augmented reality, PWAs and blockchain technology – there might still be some time before they are able to replace (if ever) the sure-shot marketing trends I have listed in this post. I hope you found these educational and insightful, and feel motivated to leverage these trends for marketing success. See you in the next one.