And the explosive growth of the digital world does not stop there. Today, more than 5 billion people use mobile devices -- and more than 50% of these mobile devices are Smartphones.
There’s no doubt that consumers are increasingly living their lives online. They’re actively involved in searching for more than 3.5 billion Google searches per day, and consume more than one billion hours of content on YouTube every day.
The implication is clear: if you want to engage with consumers in a meaningful way and build valuable long-term relationships, you must be where they are -- on the web.
It’s never going to be easy. The competition is getting stronger, and consumer expectations are increasing. Your ability to meet this growing need while delivering great customer service is your winning card.
Familiarizing yourself with the main trends and new technology gives you a headstart in 2020.
But it's even better to understand how the trends are interconnected. This insight helps you to optimize your strategy and significantly increase the impact of your marketing efforts in the new year.
1. Programmatic Advertising
Programmed advertising is trending right now because of its potential. It’s the practice of relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate ad purchases so you can target a more specific audience and maximize your advertising budget.
For example, real-time bidding is a kind of programmatic ad purchase. This automation is far more efficient and faster -- which means higher revenue and lower customer acquisition costs (CAC).
This changes the look and feels of digital advertising so quickly. According to eMarketer, 86.2% of digital display ads in the US will be programmed by 2020.
Programmatic advertising is helping businesses to reach their goals. And the results are in, O2 leveraged this new form of advertising to a 128% Click-Through Rate through video marketing.
Chatbots gained popularity in 2019. It’s exciting to know that it’ll continue to dominate a better part of digital marketing in 2020.
A Chatbot is an AI-based technology that uses instant messages in real-time -- to engage with prospects and customers on your website.
Research shows that 63% of online consumers prefer chatting online to communicate with companies or brands. Essentially, Chatbots will provide 85% customer service by 2020.
The benefit of chatbots is when it’s quick and provides reliable answers. As long as your chatbot can load up within 45 seconds (which is a lot of time if your average page speed is 3 seconds), customers are willing to wait for that answer.
This is both scary and promising. On one hand, unresponsive customer service will be done over with, while on the other hand, consumers will get quick and trusted responses in real-time.
Lidl’s Margot launched a wine recommendation chatbot. This chatbot’s capabilities were huge -- it can answer a variety of queries and up to 640 unique grape types.
3. Video Marketing
Video marketing is one, if not the essential, marketing trend right now and there are signs it’ll stay stronger in 5-10 years. These figures show the importance of including video content in your digital marketing strategy.
Video is becoming more important. Brands and online consumers love videos and will respond to it better than articles or posts. 70% of users claim to have shared the brand video and 72% of companies report that video conversion rates have increased.80% of marketers say it’s important for their business.
There’s more. Many internet users say they have more confidence in online purchasing decisions when watching product videos.
To get better results with your videos and reach more targeted customers, you can post videos or start broadcasting live on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. And don’t forget to start your own YouTube channel.
It’s a goldmine right now -- many businesses (including your competition) don’t think it’s worth their time, but it is. If you’ve never created a video content before or you don’t have time and huge resources to do so, a virtual assistant can be of help. Take a look at the virtual assistants and virtual marketers in Latin America from Virtual Latinos.
4. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a kind of word of mouth marketing that involves using key positions to channel your brand's message to a broader market.
Influencers may be celebrities, but more often, they are Instagram or YouTube content creators who use their social influence to create and share helpful content and build buzz around a particular product, service, cause, or topic.
You can determine which influencers to work with by gauging the quality of content they share and their target audience, based on data from MediaKix
Because influencer marketing is generally more authentic than branded content, 92% of people trust other consumer referrals for corporate advertising.
Influencer marketing can produce amazing results for both B2B and B2C companies. By partnering with the popular YouTube channel “What’s Inside?” Nike Air Vapormax generated 3.6 million views on its video and more than 32,000 likes.
5. Social Messaging Application
If you think that the social messaging app may only send email to your friends, read the following numbers:
There are more than 1.3 billion active monthly users on Facebook Messenger. 42 billion messages are sent per day on WhatsApp Messenger. It’s a great opportunity to get your message heard.
The three main social messaging applications: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat have more users than Facebook or YouTube.
This is a great opportunity to start advertising on these social messaging app -- which will get more popular in 2020.
6. Story on Social Media
First, SnapChat came up with the “My Story” concept, then the story was presented on Instagram and Facebook, and then YouTube introduced its story format.
Because these types of stories disappear after a while, this is an excellent opportunity for marketers to take advantage of FOMO (fear of extinction).
Here are some of the benefits of using social media stories:
- Increase brand awareness
- Constant engagement with followers
- Increased traffic to your website
- Opportunities to reach a younger audience
Social media users who consume these ‘stories’ are often targeted. They know the stories will disappear after a while, so they like to watch it as soon as it’s published.
What a great way to engage with a hungry audience?
7. Push Notification Browser
Push notification browser is gaining grounds already, there’s a chance it’ll be used by many companies and websites in 2020.
But why is that?
Well, you have to know that email with tighter controls, including GDPR and faster filters, and with younger audiences who prefer other methods of communication, face all kinds of problems, push notifications are increasing.
Digital Marketer uses push notification to drive more traffic to its posts and products.
Statistics show that 33% of children aged 18 to 34 years always choose online notifications over other forms of content.
If this is your demographic or target audience, you might want to take push notifications seriously.
8. Content Marketing Continues to Drive SEO
The effects of the latest update from Google's search algorithm in March 2019 are still being analyzed.
However, early signs indicate that regularly updating your blog with valuable and comprehensive content is once again the way to go in the new year.
Content marketing has become an indispensable tool for any type of business. 88% of B2B content marketers believe that creating valuable content consistently improves their brands’ perceived value. And it does!
Developing and sticking to an effective content marketing strategy helped Salesforce to increase traffic to its website by 80% by creating a variety of content. The company also recorded a 2,500% boost in traffic from social media with its content strategy.
9. Social Trade
With the alarming growth of eCommerce and social media, savvy internet marketers are leveraging this opportunity to gain traction and amplify their content reach.
Last year, Instagram introduced a commercial post that allowed brands to link their Instagram post stores with the "Shop Now" button.
This might seem like nothing at the moment, but watch out for innovations and how social trade can help businesses drive more traffic, sales, and revenue.
10. Progressive Web Application (PWA)
Progressive web applications are websites that act as mobile applications. They offer essential features for mobile apps -- fast load times, push notifications, offline jobs, use of device hardware, and so on, without being limited to one platform (which means Android or iOS).
If you’re wondering how PWA differs from native applications, get insights here.
PWA has provided an opportunity for developers to develop web applications for any device that functions like a mobile application.
The number of Smartphone users is expected to rise to about 2.87 billion by 2020. In turn, this will increase in global mobile page views by almost 50%.
This PWA concept is going to become more applicable in the new year -- so you need to align your digital strategy to benefit from it.
11. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Online marketers increasingly use consumer-generated content to attract and engage with Millennials and Generation Z.
By encouraging your audience to produce their content by providing incentives, you can increase engagement and boost conversions.
For example, Starbucks recently invited its customers to create Red Cup Art. It’s a good example of user-generated content. And the response was amazing!
It’s a fact that some brands have been deceptive with their advertising campaigns in the previous years, which is why consumers are skeptical when a brand promotes a particular product.
It’s easier for consumers to trust what other consumers say about a product, instead of the praises from a brand.
User-generated content has become more important than ever. In one study, 90% of buyers said that UGC had a more significant impact on their purchasing decisions than other forms of advertising.
12. Blockchain Technology
Throughout 2019, blockchain technology experienced an upward and downward trend. Even though a lot of industry experts and businesses expected blockchain, Bitcoin, in particular, to fizzle out, it never did.
Come 2020, the concept of blockchain tech. will once again gain popularity as many mainstream brands are getting into it already.
Beyond actualizing a frictionless transaction, blockchain tech. is important for tracking purchased media, dealing with all aspects of social impressions, protecting consumer financial data, for authentication, properly checking online identity, and increasing transparency.
13. A/B SEO Separation Testing
Marketing is about experimentation. Unfortunately, not so many opportunities abound for split testing SEO campaigns.
Although A/B split testing has been an integral aspect of landing pages, Google Ads, and other paid advertising campaigns.
In 2020, innovations will further encourage A/B split testing for search engine optimization. This will make it possible to isolate variables when traffic increases so you can make targeted content changes.
Platforms like ClickFlow offer sites with untapped SEO potential -- strong impressions but low click-through rate (CTR) -- which can be improved to boost clicks and traffic.
ClickFlow lets you choose the target CTR boost. Then, the page is displayed along with a keyword report that shows your page rank and which keywords are driving traffic to your website or landing page.
If you want to stand out in the crowd in 2020, you have to adjust your marketing, which includes creating unique and helpful content, value-packed products, engaging emails, and more.
With data such as consumer purchase history, user relationships and behaviors, and intelligent campaign implementation software, personalized content has never been more accessible.
Consumers want to be a part of the experience. 80% are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.
15. Image Search
Image search can take the user experience to a whole new level: users can upload images to find and get more accurate results. This will become more prevalent in 2020 and beyond.
Pinterest has appeared in the visual search bar -- a lens has been developed, a visual search tool that allows users to take pictures of an article, find out where to buy it online, or look for similar products, see Pins of connected elements.
All of these innovations will take dominance in the new year. So position your brand to benefit from the derived benefits.
The Micro-moment is "the moment when we switch to a device -- often a smartphone -- to take action, whatever we want or want."
No matter the industry, micro-moments are everywhere, and it happens all the time.
People usually make direct decisions about what they eat, what restaurants they choose, what they buy, or where they want to go.
To use micro-moment in 2020, you have to be where consumers are looking for information -- or, as Google says, marketers must be "ready to help, fast."
17. Voice Search
Voice search plays a vital role in providing all the information needed by users in audio content. AI is upgrading, and the number of bugs from language assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google has decreased.
Many businesses have included voice search in their digital marketing strategies to effectively deliver content-based experiences to their customers.
As digital trends evolve every year, businesses should always align their digital strategy to easily adapt to new technologies and thrive in the market.
This is the easiest way to gain a competitive edge and strategically generate targeted leads, improve relationships with existing customers, and grow revenue.
If you don’t know where to get started, you can speak to our San Diego digital marketing experts for guidance.