Digital marketing was not a thing 15 years ago. However, with the advancement of technology, the world is now a large global village. Digital marketing, and in fact, marketing generally, has changed. The focus is turning away from product and services-centric marketing to customer/client facing marketing that is laser focused on what the users want. Marketing is now about what the user wants. A lot of marketers are still making the mistake of thinking that digital marketing is all about what they want; the future began its shift towards the customer from several years ago and the shift has solidified in favour of the customer.
Because of this shift in trend in favour of the user/customer, marketing trends keep changing. Below are some of the digital marketing trends that are predicted for 2020[and marketing departments, please take note]:
Most people tend to ignore online adverts when these adverts pop up during their Internet browsing experience; whether they are watching YouTube videos, or surfing through Facebook, or web pages. In many cases these adverts have nothing to do with the user and merely act as a distraction. As a result, most people tend to block these advertisements out as they continue surfing. However, people do love great content and even actively search out great content across devices and platforms. Thus, advertisers who understand this trend will run better campaigns than those who don’t. With the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics, predictive data, user behaviour modelling, user metrics monitoring, reselling, cross-selling, and even precise audience targeting, advertising will become more laser-focused. Marketers who advertise on Google Adwords, use Facebook ads, Twitter ads, or LinkedIn ads and other advertising networks out there on the Internet will have to be laser-focused and niche down to their specifically targeted audiences in order to get ROI from their advertising spend. This will ensure that the ads served up through advertising platforms reach the precise target audience they are trying to reach.
Influencer marketing has become a thing. This was not so in the past but has become a job description as of 2019. This trend and rise of influencer marketers will only increase in the coming years. People like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, Richard Branson (CEO, Virgin Atlantic), alongside several other popular celebrities/influencers make lots of sales because of their social influence and the fact that many people like their personal brand. That “likeness” of their brands translates to willingness to do business with these people and to buy from them as well. Furthermore, influencers are at the forefront of many campaigns, and this trend will continue to rise across various professions and the various social media platforms across the world.
On Instagram, more micro influencers will rise with the use of IGTV. The reason is simple: overly professional videos put out by brands tend to be overlooked because people are looking for “real” stories put out to them by the people they trust and like and follow. In each niche, there are already micro influencers out there and brands will spend more money on these influencers to get their message out to their target audience.
These influencers will gain strength as more and more brands will seek influencers out to help them push their brand message out.
We will see an increasing personalization of service/product offerings to users/consumers in the incoming year. Companies like Amazon are already extremely adept at creating a personalized service for each user so that the user sees only items and products that they are already interested in, thus have higher chances of buying than merely a wide spread of products that may not hold their interest.
Digital marketing in 2020 holds the bigger promise of more and more companies understanding the need for a personalization of their products and services offerings to users in order to carter to the specific interest and buyer needs of each user individually.
People will always ignore ads that they are not interested in. A business man surfing through Facebook won’t be interested in an ad that pops up, selling or offering female underwear. Ads like these won’t convert with the wrong audience. So, ultra personalization of ad services through cross-sells, retargeting, etc, will be the new deal in 2020 for serious marketers.
The Internet is saturated with text-based content that has been created by several thousands of content creators around the world for several years. Right now, every content creator has to work harder with their text-based content in order to stand out. It has become increasingly difficult for text-based content creators to stand out because they have to put in twice more effort now than they did in the past.
Because of this text-based content saturation, social media brands are shifting their focus to videos. Instagram expanded their video service to include IGTV to enable users watch longer videos on the platform. YouTube is exclusively focused on video content creation and literally millions of users log into the platform to watch videos on a daily basis. LinkedIn included video uploads and has expanded that to now include live video (across some regions though, African countries excluded—for now). Whatsapp has included a video creation feature that enables users to create and upload videos on their status. With this exponential rise in video content creation, brands will use more video for their marketing in 2020. So, it is advisable for companies to add video content to their marketing budget in 2020.
Organic reach on Instagram and Facebook from pages maintained by brands has kept a steady decline as these platforms prioritize paid ad reach for brands over organic reach and visibility. For Facebook, the organic reach of brands started declining long ago, and this will see a sharper decline in 2020; meaning that if you want more reader and viewer eyes on your brand messaging on these platforms, you will have to pay.
Furthermore, these ad campaigns will become more competitive and thus, more expensive for brands that use paid advertising to reach their target audience. So what does this tell you about marketing in 2020? Build a personal brand. A strong personal brand will be a way to grow organically as people ordinarily have a preference for individuals over brands. And with the decline of organic reach for brands on the top social media platforms, a personal brand will become a more potent weapon [think the increasing rise of influencer marketing as well].
TikTok has seen a steady rise over the years, and, in 2020, more people will use the platform. That makes a very strong contender for the future of digital marketing in 2020; more ads will appear on the platform and brands will want to leverage the power of TikTok to reach their targeted audiences. On the other side, LinkedIn has been the best marketing option for B2B and B2C companies, but in 2020, more and more businesses will look to the platform. After all, LinkedIn is the official “Facebook” for professionals and B2B and B2C companies have a stronger chance of reaching their target audience on LinkedIn than on any other platform out there.
Analytics has gone mainstream. In the past, marketers made decisions based on their own creativity. Now, decisions are made after extensively analyzing data collected over a period of time from web assets. For website managers and content managers, the use of Google Analytics help them to analyze visitor metrics and behaviour, time spent on the website, alongside other metrics so that better decisions are made based on the analyzed data. Analytics managers will view the highest performing pages and posts on a website, then optimize them to perform even better.
Furthermore, Companies that use customer/data analysis make better laser focused customer decisions than those that don’t. A recent McKinsey & Company study: “Five Facts: How Customer Analytics boosts corporate performance” suggests that customer analytics can greatly improve profits and growth.
“use of customer analytics appears to have an immense impact on corporate performance. The likelihood of generating above-average profits and marketing earnings is around twice as high for those that apply customer analytics broadly and intensively, i.e. the champions, as for those who aren’t strong in customer analytics, the laggards.”
In 2020, with more and more companies understanding the need to adopt an insights-driven marketing approach, the use of data (Big and Small) will increase as companies work to increase their bottom line. More companies will adopt business intelligence solutions that will help them make data-driven decisions for their businesses.