The digital world is constantly evolving and, now we’re in the new year, you can expect to see many new trends being introduced to the industry. Here, Marc Swann, Search Director at Glass Digital, discusses five of the top digital marketing trends you should look out for in 2020.
It’s no secret that the digital marketing industry is dominating the way businesses advertise their products and services, with statistics showing that digital ad expenditures increased by almost £10bn between 2010 and 2019, totalling £14bn at the end of the nine-year period. And, as this is expected to increase by a further £1.6bn in 2020, it’s well worth putting some time and effort into online marketing this year (Statista).
But, with so many innovations constantly entering the market, it can be difficult to narrow down which tactics you should be using. Here, I’ll be sharing five of the top digital marketing trends that are set to impact businesses this year.
- Voice search
Voice search has taken off in recent years. In fact, statistics from Statista estimated that, in 2019, there were 3.25 billion digital voice assistants being used globally. And, with forecasts suggesting that there will be 8 billion being used by 2023, it’s clear that these are only going to become more important for marketers.
First and foremostly, voice searches are more conversational, which means marketers will need to re-evaluate how they create and optimise on-site content. More specifically, voice search places an emphasis on the semantics of searches. So, when creating content, it’ll be more important than ever to take a conversational tone and to incorporate natural-sounding keywords that would be spoken in natural speech.
Voice search will also place more emphasis on longer tailed keywords. This is due to the way people will ask the search queries out loud, which means a traditional search of “make cake” would now sound something like “how do you make a cake?” when a voice assistant is being used. So, make sure you don’t neglect to include longer tailed keywords in your content.
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
The AI market is vastly growing, with what was valued at $1.58bn in 2017 being expected to reach $20.83bn by 2024 (Zion Market Research). And, although some marketers may be a bit wary about AI and its future ability to replace human cognition, it has many advantages for the digital marketing landscape.
AI relies on gathering and analysing data from first-, second- and third-party sources which means machine learning devices can better understand the intentions of internet users and equip agencies. In addition, decisions made using AI are based on real-time data and algorithms, meaning you’re able to reduce marketing risk and move closer to successful campaigns when using machine learning. And, of course, understanding user intentions better means improved personalisation. This in turn leads to improved ROIs and gives you the potential to generate higher revenues than those agencies and marketers that aren’t using AI to their advantage.
- Influencer marketing
Working with influencers has become more and more important for brands looking to sell their products and services, with estimates from Business Insider Intelligence reporting that the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15bn by 2020. This would be a massive $8bn increase from 2019.
On top of this, research from Think with Google revealed that 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favourite creator rather than their favourite celebrity. Similarly, results from a study by MuseFind found that 92% of millennials trust a social media influencer more than famous celebrities. All of this research shows that influencer marketing is well worth getting on board with for marketers looking to up the ante in 2020.
Although influencer marketing in general is a very effective method of improving your client’s marketing strategy, it’s important that you choose who you work with carefully. While you might be tempted to go with whoever has the biggest platform or who is the biggest character, don’t forget that micro-influencers who have a smaller following but in a more niche area with more interaction can be just as useful. This tactic can be useful for marketers who are already well-established with bigger influencers, as integrating some smaller platforms can help you to target shoppers more specifically.
- User-generated content (UGC)
Times are changing and, with people being able to share anything and everything on social media, UGC is growing in popularity. UGC refers to digital content, whether that’s images, text, videos, audio, or anything else that has been created by unpaid contributors.
Whether these users are simply showing off their buys or trying to secure work with the brand, UGC is benefitting companies massively. More specifically, a study by TurnTo found that 90% of shoppers report UGC influences their decision to make a purchase above all other forms of marketing. The results also revealed that 81% of shoppers are willing to pay more and wait longer for products associated with UGC.
The best way to encourage UGC is to offer customers an incentive for creating the content, such as a discount code or free delivery on their next order. You could even specifically ask shoppers to create the content and tag the brand in it and offer prizes for the best one. Offering these types of rewards will no doubt spur others on to create their own content. As more people begin to engage with your brand, it can result in maximised profitability and a stronger digital marketing campaign that truly resonates with your audience.
- Video marketing
Video marketing is one of the most important marketing trends for 2020 and is expected to stay that way for many years to come. In fact,statistics from Wyzowl in 2019 revealed that 91% of video marketers considered video as an important part of their strategy, with a further 83% reporting that it gave them a good ROI.
Video marketing helps buyers to understand what products and services are about, and helps businesses to increase traffic to their site and generate leads. Plus, in-depth tutorials are reducing the amount of support calls that brands get, giving them more time to spend perfecting their marketing campaigns and developing product and service ranges.
So, 2020 is the perfect time to take a fresh approach to your campaigns and incorporate video. Whatever you specialise in, there’s sure to be something creative you can do with video. For example, food companies and supermarkets can benefit from producing short and snappy recipe tutorials that are digestible for users. Similarly, fashion clients can work with influencers to create try-on hauls and interactive Q&As to get to know the brand.
These five digital marketing trends are set to take over 2020, so make sure you don’t fall behind. Incorporate these into your campaigns and strategies and you’re sure to make more sales this year.