Artificial intelligence, data-driven marketing, and voice search engine optimization were ambitious concepts bordering on the ridiculous. Today, these innovative digital marketing trends are among the top priorities for most business owners in 2020.
Make no mistake: 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.
Top Digital Marketing Trends
Read our Top digital marketing trends for 2020 that will help your business not just survive, but thrive in this age of innovation.
1) Artificial Intelligence
You may already realize 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.
Artificial intelligence will soon be the driving force behind many services and, currently, we already see it implemented in such areas as:
- Basic communication
- Product recommendations
- Content creation
- Email personalization
- E-commerce transactions
2) Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising means using AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. Real-time bidding, for example, is a type of programmatic ad buying. This automation is much more efficient and fast, which means higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.
“Most search-driven manual advertising campaigns (even those performed with professional tools) take into account three or four targets: the keyword, time of day, and location. Such tools like programmatic demand-side platforms can use hundreds of targeting signals to individualize the advertisement and even target according to lifestyle or behavior habits when integrated with customer data platforms.”
Chatbots will continue to be an important part of digital marketing in 2020. This AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors.
Surveys show that:
- Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020
- Top benefits of chatbots are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%), and answers to simple questions (55%)
- 63% of respondents prefer messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand
- By 2022, chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum
- 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020:
4) 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.
“Today’s buyers expect to find what they’re looking for now, not later. As we prepare for the future, it will be more important than ever for businesses to be available across a broad spectrum of channels, and to make sure you’re communicating the way people prefer to communicate.”
Ultimately, the primary goal of conversational marketing is to enhance the user experience through a feedback-driven model that fosters higher engagement and greater loyalty.
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. Here are a few other companies that are successfully using personalization today:
- EasyJet launched a data-driven email campaign that uses customers’ travel history with the airline to build personalized stories, which then suggest where they might like to travel next. About 12.5 million unique emails have been sent, which had a 25% higher click-through rate than non-personalized emails.
- Cadbury’s created a personalized video campaign that matches a Dairy Milk flavor with users based on data from their Facebook profile, including age, interest and location. The campaign generated a 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% conversion rate, proving that the personal touch works.
- Starbucks uses a gamified mobile app that draws on data like purchase history and location to get as personal as possible, allows customers to customize their drinks, and encourages further use with its rewards system – which skyrocketed their revenue to $2.56 billion
6) 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
One of the best things about video marketing is that it makes it easy to reformat your content. Imagine that you’ve recorded a video for your YouTube channel. Instead of just publishing it on YouTube, you could also:
- Get it transcribed so you have a text version of the video
- Publish the transcription on your blog under an embedded YouTube video for better rankings
- Upload the raw video with the transcription as subtitles to Facebook (native Facebook videos get a much higher impression share and engagement than shared YouTube videos)
- Turn the transcription into a standalone blog article with a short rewrite and addition of relevant stats and images
- Rip the audio alone and use it as a podcast episode
- Use video thumbnails in your email marketing campaigns and the word “video” in subject lines to increase open rates by 19%
Here are some other video marketing trends that are gaining more and more traction:
- Live video is particularly popular with a large number of businesses who use it for interviews, product demos and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand, such as life in the office, how products are made, company events, etc.
- 1:1 video is when businesses or marketers create personalized video messages rather than make phone calls or send emails. With the decreasing cost of film equipment and increasingly high-quality smartphone cameras, this is easier than ever.
- Video SEO. YouTube and other videos are displayed in the SERPs, so video optimization is becoming much more important – like using text overlays and closed captions, in addition to your description, title and file names. Check out this guide to learn more about YouTube SEO.
- 360-degree video content. This trend towards a more interactive experience is on the rise – just look for the circular symbol in the top left corner to start sliding the moving image left or right as it’s playing, like this 360˚ video
7) 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.
- 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
Influencer marketing is also going to be affected by artificial intelligence. With each year, AI is making the process of finding the right influencers to partner with easier and faster. It’s helping identify those with better engagement, fewer fake followers, and a higher chance of generating a positive return on investment (ROI). In addition, artificial intelligence is transforming influencer marketing in the following ways:
- Image recognition with ANN (Artificial Neural Networks)
- Determining influencer performance with NLP (Natural Language Processing)
- Predicting incentives with ANN
- Determining an influencer’s influence
- Flagging posts that don’t follow disclosure guidelines
- Elimination of fake engagements and spambots
8) Social Messaging Apps
If you think social messaging apps are just for sending emojis to your friends, take a look at these numbers:
1.3 billion monthly users are active on Facebook Messenger:
- 10 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger every month
- WhatsApp has 1.6 billion active users and 55 billion messages are sent via every day
- The top three social messaging apps – WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat – have more combined users than Facebook or YouTube
These statistics show the popularity of social messaging apps, and since people are spending more time messaging each other, it makes sense to market your company’s products and services where your potential customers are hanging out.
Social messaging apps can be very useful in sending messages to customers directly, as they allow personalization and add value to the user experience. In addition, people expect businesses to have a presence in messaging apps because it’s a direct and easy way to interact with them. In fact:63% of customers are more likely to return to a company website that has live chat. CLICK TO TWEET
Reasons for your brand to use messaging apps include:
- Cultivate contact
- Delivery information
- Boost sales
- Involve people in events
- Regain potential customers
- Provide support and assistance
9) Voice Search & 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
- Global smart speaker shipments have almost trebled between Q1 2018 and Q2 2019, growing from 9.36 million units to 26.1 million units
Overall, people expect to be using voice search far more in the future:
Voice search plays an important role in providing all the relevant information that people are searching for through audio content. AI is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google have reduced greatly.
“Adopting a voice search strategy isn’t just about remaining relevant – it’s also about creating a unique and optimized customer experience that will foster relationships and build brand loyalty.”