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2020 Digital Marketing Trends

 2020 is right around the corner… and also around that corner are some exciting (anxiety-inducing?) tweaks to your marketing strategy. A major theme to 2020 digital marketing trends comes from a shift in perspective from our audiences.

We are seeing higher expectations in what our followers expect from us; both in our company and in our community. So, 2020 will be a year of beautiful growth, responsibility, and creativity if we take our audience’s requests seriously. Whether it’s updating internal practices or experimenting with disruptive technological innovations, we all have some work to do come 2020.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Use of Chatbots Across Industries

Interactive Online Content

Structured Data Strategy Updates

Changes to Influencer Strategy

User-Generated Content

2020 digital marketing trends: Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

In August of 2019, the nation’s most powerful corporate leaders discussed a potential game-changer to the practices of big business. Historically, there was a long-held belief that businesses should be maximizing profits for shareholders above all else. The message was that it’s time to prioritize shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and local communities equally. And it wasn’t just a conversation – this was written into the mission statement of the Business round table website.

Whether the round-table discussion directly shakes up the small-scale and large-scale processes of these corporations, leaves to be seen. However, it is a trend we are seeing in almost every industry. From older corporations updating outdated practices to new growing businesses shaping their entire mission around social responsibility.

There is a big reason that Corporate Social Responsibility is such a common discussion for companies across industries. 86 percent of consumers believe that companies should take a stand for social issues. Studies show that younger generations of consumers prioritize corporate social responsibility. Nearly two-thirds of millennials and Gen Zers express a preference for brands that stand for something. Younger consumers are less likely to choose a brand just because it is the popular choice or convenient.

What does this mean for your company?

It’s time to back a cause that is important to your audience. Take on a mission that is in line with the brand of your company, and get involved. This will improve your standing with your audience, build community trust, and gain media attention if you commit.

2020 digital marketing predictions - chatbots

Chatbots aren’t just for big businesses anymore

When a curious customer enters your website with a question, the first thing they look for is that little chat bubble in the corner of the screen. If that’s not there, you’ve already slightly disappointed that potential customer. It is now very common for customers to expect this level of customer service and communication from all websites.

Small and niche industries will have to adapt chatbots if they want to reach audience standards of strong customer relations. Chatbots offer quick, disruptive technology, and we must keep our fingers on the pulse of how to leverage this tech. Business Insider experts predict that by 2020, 80% of enterprises will use chatbots. This influx of chatbots will inevitably come with new functionalities like machine learning. According to Drift, 27% of adult clients in the United States are ready to purchase basic goods through a chatbot. That number is even higher for younger customer demographics.

What does this mean for your company?

It’s time to plan out your chatbot strategy – regardless of how small or niche your company is. Fortunately, because of high demand, there are now software startups dedicated to helping small teams manage a direct message system. While this functionality has a time-intensive build with inevitable kinks to address, the right chatbot will cut down on contact forms and email back and forth, without sacrificing the quality of customer service you offer.

2020 digital marketing trends - facebook interactive ads

Great content isn’t just to read or watch: it’s to do

A written content strategy is still beneficial, and that isn’t changing any time soon. However, it is time to evaluate exactly how we will be offering this info to our audience is 2020 10x content will include tools among the usual blog posts, images, and video content. Quizzes, calculators, and simple online tools are much more clickable and valuable than a written blog on the same subject.

We are seeing the introduction of interactive content more and more on all platforms. Think about the viral ‘Choose your own ending‘ strategy to the Black Mirror series. They created alternate versions of the ending and the audience could choose which path to send the storyline. Or current trends in a user interface – many newer products offer quizzes, evaluations, and other interactive activities to help inform customers about the products.

This trend crosses over into your other strategies as well…

Facebook ads have even rolled out interactive ads that are sure to become much more common in 2020. Picture being able to try on a new lipstick shade or test out a new mobile game through Facebook. These ads offer quick value to the viewer, which is expected to cause an increase in engagement with social ads.

What does this mean for your company?

You may not be ready to commit to a ‘choose your own adventure’ style video production, and that’s ok. Content like relevant quizzes that help your customers further understand your product or industry are helpful, rankable, and valuable to the customer.

Easily hop on the interactive wagon with Facebook’s new interactive ads. With these ad options, your audiences can vote on polls, try out apps, interact with AR, and react to ads more than ever before.

2020 digital marketing predictions - structured data

Improvements to structured data strategy

You will read everywhere voice search is the next big thing – but how do we prepare for it? Structured data. Google Assistant uses the info from Structured data to answer voice search questions. If you don’t leverage this strategy, your info most likely won’t be pulled for competitive queries.

On top of voice search, Google is still supporting SERPs that support zero-click results. This trend manifests itself in micro-moments; the reasons people pull out their phones for split-second queries. Picture the ‘I want to go, do, buy’ questions – when you type those into google, there aren’t many situations anymore where a second click is necessary to see relevant info. More than half of all searches are now zero-click searches. Once again, this zero-click info can be rendered as a result of structured data. 2020 Structured data strategy updates take this idea even further with more visuals and info that help the

What does this mean for your company?

Yes, Google will create knowledge graphs for zero-click and voice search value IF you leverage structured data for data organization. Tailor a structured data strategy to how you want your content to render in Google, whether it’s for how-to blogs or your general website information. with all the relevant structured data tools freely available to you, there is no excuse to ignore structured data anymore.

2020 digital marketing predictions - influencer strategy

Changes to social influencer strategy

One trend that hasn’t weakened since the start of social media is that younger generations love social media recognition. Hence, the explosion of influencers and micro-influencers that fall into so many marketing strategies.

Influencer strategy needs to be addressed and changed in reaction to new pain points. With the growing popularity of the influencer trend, some wannabe-influencers have resorted to inflating their social metrics through buying likes and followers. To combat these hollow marketing efforts, companies have to be conscious of who they ‘hire’ to promote their brand. The 2020 trend surrounding influencer marketing will be working with trusted micro-influencers with smaller audiences over social media giants with millions of followers. As the adage goes – it’s much more valuable to have 1,000 rapt supporters than 1,00,000 passive viewers.

What does this mean for your company?

If you decide to jump on an influencer strategy, choose quality over quantity. Also, there will be exciting shifts in the technology behind the simplicity of acting on social media purchases. Shoppable posts are closing the gap between social media browsing and online purchases with a simple click to payments, and we are sure to see more tech functionalities to leverage this revenue pathway come 2020.

User-Generated Content

Something many companies have been noticing is that the general population doesn’t want to be ‘sold’ anything on social media. But just because these platforms may not be the best channel for revenue generation does not mean it’s not an important step in the process. Studies show that about 86% of women consult social media before deciding on a product.

So, even though the common purchase may not currently come straight from a social media platform, it is an important step in the consumer purchase process to keep up your social media activity. Your content shouldn’t be sales-y; instead informative, creative, and most importantly, engaging. Due to these shifting perspectives of brand presence on social media, promoting crowd-sourced content has evolved into a badge of trust for brands.

Companies like GoPro, REI, and Airbnb almost exclusively promote user-generated content. This content is a casual nod to support these companies have in the community, and act as a company review. The psychology behind it is “If these people are taking the time to record their use of the product and post it on social, it must be a great product.” 

What does this mean for your company?

Does your company get social media love from your audience? Don’t be afraid to promote it. If you’re not quite there yet with your followers, you can set up photo contests and ‘like and share’ campaigns to stimulate this user-generated social media love.

So much to look forward to this New Year! Are you ready to jump into any of these trends? Reach out to our team to plan a great 2020 marketing strategy.

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