Even though the first month of 2020 has already passed, many of you are still probably contemplating about the year ahead of us and what changes it will bring. It’s no secret that digital marketing is a landscape that is never still, so we decided to explore the top digital marketing trends for 2020 and see how they can be used to advance our businesses and careers.
Many companies have been using chatbots for years, including retailers, airlines, and even banks. However, they are predicted to become even more popular in 2020, when businesses are reshaping their marketing strategies to be more focused on offering a personalized experience to their customers. Chatbots have been called the future of digital marketing many times, after all, they can interact with people 24/7 and the development of AI has made it possible for chatbots to operate without an actual employee. Chatbots are great for providing customers instant answers to basic questions, to sell products or services, see where a customer is in the sales funnel, and increase overall engagement with users.
2. Voice Search
Statistics from 2017 said that by the year 2020, at least 50% of all online searches would be voice searches. Even though we’re not quite there yet, smart speakers are being adopted by more and more households in the entire world. Tech giants like Amazon and Google are constantly trying to improve their smart speakers technology, with other companies trying to integrate it into their own products. A further driver of the increasingly used voice search are mobile devices. According to a report from Google, their speech recognition on Android supports 119 languages, including Swahili, Armenian, and many languages spoken in India. In 2020, marketers will have to increase their focus on voice search optimization or risk decreased visibility and brand awareness on search engines.
3. Structured Data & Rich Results
Google is continuously updating and adapting their algorithms to provide a better experience to users and to deliver relevant, reliable content. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly important to make sure our websites are well designed and populated with high-quality content written with the customer in mind. Beyond that, you should start using structured data to help Google understand the content of the page, which can help your pages be displayed with additional data. Rich results aren’t necessarily a factor that directly increases rankings, but it does lead to increased click-through-rates. For more details about how to implement structured data, read our article on Schema Markup.
Nowadays, people have plenty to choose from, whether they’re buying a new coat, opening a bank account, or renting an apartment. So how can businesses make sure that customers will choose them over their (often many) competitors? According to a study done by PWC, 73% of all people point to customer experience as a key factor in their purchasing decisions, with 65% of consumers saying that a positive experience with a brand is more influential than a great ad. Advancement in technologies businesses use have made it possible to analyze customers’ behaviors and then provide them with personalized messages or product suggestions. When it comes to personalization marketing, we’ll probably all admit that Amazon is ahead of others, with customers not only receiving customized emails with reminders about products they had seen, but also a personalized homepage and tailored product recommendations. Personalization can improve customer experience, drive revenue, increase brand loyalty and help businesses build a deeper, more lasting relationship with customers.
5. Improved Email Marketing Experience
Email Marketing doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but it has come a long way since the spammy messages people used to receive from companies in the early 2000s. Since then, marketers have learned to move away from the traditional newsletter and start delivering personalized content that’s more focused on the customer’s individual needs. And with the help of all the automation tools available today, it’s becoming easier to send emails with a high-quality design, dynamic and interactive content and concise copy which will still encourage customers to click. Don’t forget that a greater number of emails are now opened on mobile devices, so properly optimizing the layout and content of your emails for mobile is key to grabbing and retaining the customer’s attention.
6. Shoppable Posts
Shoppable posts through which people can buy products from retailers directly through social media posts or ads have been around for a while. However, they will only become more popular in 2020. In March of 2019, Instagram announced Instagram Checkout, which makes it easier for people to buy products seen on Instagram, as well as protects their payment information. Retailers like Revolve, Nike, and Burberry announced almost immediately that they would adopt Instagram Checkout and thus create an elevated shopping experience for their customers. Facebook and Pinterest similarly provide businesses a new way to reach shoppers and increase sales using shoppable posts.
7. Transparency and Data Protection
The past few years have been tumultuous for many companies that had been found to be careless with their customers’ private information. As technology advances, customers and users become smarter about their data too, and data privacy can already be an influencing factor on whether they use a product or not. In 2018, the European Union & the EEA adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which required companies to process personal data of people in those areas in a “lawful, fair, and transparent manner in relation to the data subject”. Businesses should prove that they respect their customer’s privacy and in return, customers will be more likely to think of your brand as trustworthy and transparent.
It’s important to keep up-to-date with everything that’s happening in the world of digital marketing. For those of you working in this industry, embracing change is an integral part of the job you do, and probably one of the reasons you chose this career to begin with.