It's become a tradition at MBC to start September with blog posts about upcoming trends in digital marketing and everything related to your business development. Time to go back to school and learn what will be the hottest top digital marketing trends in 2020 and beyond. No, I'm not talking about basic stuff. I mean trends that will bring the cash if followed appropriately. Before we start, do you want to take a guess?
1. AR & VR
If you have been following this blog for a while, then you would know that last year we made prognosis about 2019 and 2020 trends. Augmented and virtual reality were leading the chart and this has not changed at all to date.
What is AR & VR? If you still don't know, you seriously need to catch up. Augmented reality and virtual reality have been trending as marketing tools for the past 3 years. Their influence is increasing by the day.
If we have to explain it in the most simple way, they give your customer the ability to see your product in their personal environment, while online and before they buy it.
Example: You make luxury handmade jewellery. Your customer loves a piece of earrings and wants to buy but not sure if the shape will suit their face. The AR feature on your website allows them to virtually try the earrings on before they buy them. Your customer is happy and impressed. They add the item to the basket and proceed to checkout.
Same could be done for many other products for personal use, home interior and so on.
Virtual reality works in a very similar way, however, it allows your consumers to immerse in a completely different world, where they can fully experience activities or prototypes of ideas. It requires a VR headset for every user. This means, it can be used at events or in a physical shop. It's also perfect for PR or marketing pitches in B2B settings.
2. IoT (Internet of Things)
Another uprising digital marketing trend that will likely go way beyond 2020 is the IoT. That's a complex network of smart gadgets that use the Internet to provide real time information and execute certain functions. Just a few examples include smart watches, smart fridges, automated cars, voice assistants and many others.
Now the question is, how do we use that in our digital marketing strategy?
The reason why IoT has become so popular and continues to grow is because it provides interconnectivity for brands to send the right message, at the right time, on the right device to their ideal customer.
Of course, big data plays a huge role here and it is the engine behind every successful marketing campaign.
Example: You are a fitness instructor. You have an app that tracks the progress of the user after every workout and sends reminders for drinking water and following the diet.
Your app can be installed on a smartphone and integrated with wearable technology, which is also connected to your phone (iPhone + Apple Watch, for example).
When a user completes a workout they can share that information on social media with their friends and followers. It's ultimately a free promotion of the benefits of your app and your fitness programme.
Water drinking reminders can be sent to the watch, which would be the most effective way to get the person to do what you want them to do.
3. Interactive Content
Content is still king, and believe me when I say, it isn't going anywhere. However, it is changing. Or the preferences of your consumers are.
One of the major digital marketing trends in 2020 will be interactive content.
It shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone, who has been following the consumer trends in the past few years. People want to be connected all the time. They want to feel a part of whatever is going on. So interactive content truly makes sense because it's inclusive.
Example: I won't give you a specific example here, just a few ideas, which you can mix and match. They will all work - 360º videos, quizzes, polls, shoppable posts, interactive live videos, watch parties. The list goes on, but you get the idea.
4. Smart Bidding in Google Ads
A while ago, I wrote a blog post about Google Ads and if it is still worth using them in 2019. After the update in May this year, the platform has resolved its main issues and provides a much better targeting, which is what most advertisers were missing. Part of the update was also the smart bidding feature, using data collected by Google to define the optimal bid for cost per result.
It appears in 2020 and beyond, smart bidding will be one of the leading digital marketing trends, saving time and promising better results, backed by enormous resources of analysed big data.
However, don't get your hopes up if your marketing budget is tiny and you aren't sure how your customers search for what you sell online.
Google ads are certainly not the best option for every business. If you are going to make it work, you must be ready to spend, but before that you must know your ideal customer.
5. Precise Targeting
While we are on the digital ads topic and targeting, we need to pay attention to the next big trend in 2020 - personalisation.
People are tired of seeing ads that are just not relevant to them. If your targeting is off, even by a little, you risk losing a lot of business.
Building a buyer persona is essential for precise targeting. You can download this FREE questionnaire, which will help you establish who is your ideal client. And then you can have a look at how to know what your customer wants.
Geotargeting is another angle of personalisation. Catch the right person, at the right time, at the right place.
6. Valuable Content, Site Speed and Voice Search Optimisation
Ok, these are actually 3 trends in one. But, I guess, we can say they all affect your website. And in 2020, no matter what you do, you must have a website, even if it is just a one-pager.
As I already said above, content is still very important for all digital marketing campaigns. It is particularly important for service providers and influencers. It shows you as an expert in your field or niche and strengthens your authority. As with ads, your content will also have to be tailored to the interests and personality of your ideal client. It's a building block for those who want to move from solo-freelancers into a digital marketing agency.
No one likes slow-loading websites. Run a speed check on yours and if it takes more than 5 seconds to load a page, it needs fixing. Slow websites worsen user experience, which leads to higher bounce rate, lower positions in the search results and lost sales.
Our behaviour online changes with every tech innovation. Voice search is expected to surpass the online search as we know it by the end of next year. So, one of the most important digital marketing trends in 2020 you need to follow is voice search optimisation. Your content, titles, product descriptions need to be put the way someone is likely to say them, not the way they would likely type them.
Automation, and especially in the form of chatbots, continue to be a strong trend in 2020. The main advantage of using chatbots is the increase of customer service satisfaction.
However, it is a slippery road. You need to be very careful how your chatbot is set.
Yes, people love receiving information as soon as possible, but they can easily get annoyed if the chatbot keeps them going around circles. To avoid such scenario, you can try MobileMonkey. It won the World's Best Marketing Bot Platform from the MarTech Breakthrough Awards.
Also, this leads us to the next digital marketing trend...
8. Private Conversations and Meaningful Relationships
Messaging apps like Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp are on the rise. People use them a lot more than they did before.
This is a clear sign that you need to put more efforts into direct messaging strategy. Hold on a second, though! Don't think it is as easy as it sounds.
People want to talk to you if you are able to build a meaningful relationship with them. Don't just go about sending random messages about your products and services. This is so 2016 and it just doesn't work any more.
Provide value and evoke emotions. Build a connection. The rest will come and you won't even realise how it happened.
Yaay, video is still here and it's here to stay. However, as other types of content, it's also changing.
The video trends for 2020 feature more dynamic graphics, a clear message and short duration.
Our attention span as consumers continues to fall, so you must be able to grab the user within the first 3 seconds of the video. Don't go over 1 minute in total.
Longer video formats can be used as business presentations within your company or at meetings, but not as part of your marketing campaigns.
10. Social Media Presence and Repurposing Content
Social media is the leading trend in digital channels for 2020. Although there were some serious hiccups on major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram in 2018 and 2019, people still spend the most of their time on social networks.
This may change in a few years, if new technology and way of communication appears, but as of now, social is the fastest, most convenient and best connected median for people online.
Different consumers use different social media platforms. To be able to maximise your reach and get your message across to as many of your ideal customers as possible, you need to be utilising several social media channels. This means you need to learn to repurpose content.
A blog post can be turned into a video that goes on YouTube. It can also be broken down into tweets. The long video can be edited, showing only highlights up to 1 minute and that can then be posted on Instagram.
Your possibilities with repurposing content are endless. You just need to think outside of the box.