The digital marketing landscape has progressed a lot in the past decade. Everything moves fast! We’re surrounded by countless technologies that impact the industry and our daily lives. Most recently, we’ve witnessed the growth of influencer marketing, augmented reality, and video content.
By the time you’re ready to launch your campaign, a brand new disruptive trend will have most likely emerged and transformed the way you interact with the consumers. For that reason, you must be fully aware of and prepared for the hottest digital marketing trends for 2020 and beyond.
1. Artificial Intelligence Becomes a Standard
Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) take over everything? Who knows? Still, it is a fantastic technology that you can use in many areas of digital marketing.
According to Techgrabyte, AI is:
“The biggest commercial opportunity for industries and nations over the next few decades. AI latecomers will find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage within the next several years.”
AI provides machines with the power to think, respond, and execute tasks. It also helps them learn from experiences and adjust according to brand new input. This technology is becoming more prevalent because:
- It boosts work accuracy, which results in fewer errors and higher work efficiency.
- It analyzes for more in-depth data and insights.
- It integrates into algorithms. GPS trackers, voice assistants, home automation systems, and pretty much every type of modern technology.
- It adjusts to inputs with the help of advanced learning algorithms.
AI successfully substitutes humans in discovering marketing trends and insights. Marketers can now use AI to save time and resources through digital marketing automation.
In a nutshell, here’s how AI can give you a competitive edge in your digital marketing campaigns:
- Understanding Audiences: You can analyze data and forecast decision making and behaviors.
- Improved UX: You can use AI data to give your audience the experience that they’re asking for and need.
- Marketing Effectiveness: With AI, there’s no more guessing! With AI-driven data and analysis, you can develop a more effective marketing strategy.
- Increased Productivity: With AI algorithms, you can automate monotonous tasks. It can boost your productivity and save you time and money in the process.
- Higher ROI: AI helps you make better decisions about your content. By integrating AI into your digital marketing, you’ll be able to reach the right audience with irresistible offers that they can’t say ‘no’ to.
Perhaps the most well-known example of AI technology is chatbots. They’re virtual assistants. You can integrate chatbots into your website, email software, apps, and social media messages. With chatbots, you can answer questions immediately. They engage in human-like conversations that enhance the customer experience.
If you’re an eCommerce business, you can utilize AI to monitor customers’ habits and purchasing behavior.
With that, you can create a much more powerful marketing strategy where you can offer products that your customers want to buy. Additionally, you can personalize the UX for your audience, engage with them, and boost your eCommerce sales in the process.
With AI, you can deliver more compelling experiences, which will result in faster solutions for your customers.
Natural Language Generation (NLG) is a significant AI area that will continue to influence content marketing in 2020 and beyond.
NLG uses algorithms to translate data into human-like language. It is already incorporated into news reporting and headline generation, among other tasks. Washington Post’s Heliograf robot regularly publishes around 1000 articles per year.
2. Augmented Reality
One of the latest trends in digital technology is AR (Augmented Reality). It is a real-world media depiction, unlike Virtual Reality (VR), in which everything we see is generated from the computer. Thus, AR offers an unparalleled experience, combining the ‘real’ and virtual elements for the users to engage with on their devices.
The biggest advantages of including AR into your digital marketing strategy are:
- Increased User Engagement: With the AR experience, customers will be more captivated by your brand. This connection is pivotal due to the advertising saturation that consumers are regularly exposed to.
- Marketplace Differentiation: Differentiating your business from your competitors through innovative AR techniques that promote your products.
The Swedish home and lifestyle brand IKEA has put AR into practice by allowing customers to see how furniture would fit into the rooms of their homes.
Woman’s beauty brand Sephora has developed an app that allows shoppers to see how specific makeup would look on them using mobile cameras.
3. Continuous Rise of Video
With platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Facebook Live, video is a trend that will continue to grow in the future. Traditional TV content is long gone, and now, video content is available to users through their smartphones. According to Cisco, by 2021, 82% of internet traffic will be video traffic, so you better start capitalizing on the trend immediately.
When you think of video marketing, you need to think of mobile. Shifting video marketing to mobile is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face today. Long-form content and newsletters are losing their influence because, on a smartphone screen, they’re too difficult to read. With video, you can present the same information in a format that works on every screen regardless of the device.
If your website includes video, it has bigger chances to be featured on the first page in search results. And why is that? Because video improves SEO, it boosts your business’s ranking in the process.
Including video into your marketing also opens up opportunities for content repurposing. For example, if you’ve recorded a video for your YouTube channel, you can:
- Transcribe the video content for a detailed text version.
- Publish the transcription on your blog under the embedded YouTube video for better search ranking.
- Upload the video with the subtitles to Facebook or if appropriate, on LinkedIn for a better organic impression.
- Transform the video transcript into a blog article by adding relevant stats and forecasts as well.
- Use the audio of your video for podcast content.
- Use the video thumbnails in your email marketing, as well as the phrase “Video” in your subject lines for bigger email conversion rates.
Additional video marketing trends that you need to follow are:
- Live video: A large number of businesses use it for interviews, product demos, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand.
- 1:1 Video: To start, all you need is a quality smartphone camera. It’s easier than ever today.
- Shoppable Video: A great way to shorten the customer journey is by providing the option to purchase products directly from a video. When the user hovers the cursor over the image/video, a “shop now” button will show up that can take them directly to the product page.
- Video SEO: Relevant YouTube videos rank better. That’s why you should take video SEO optimization more seriously. Use text overlays, closed captions, and add keywords in your video description, title, and file name.
- 360-degree video content: 360-degree video can undoubtedly differentiate you from your competitors.
4. Voice Activated Search
Voice search is becoming more common, especially with the usage of voice command devices.
As reported by a study from OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice commerce is $1.8 billion retail industry in the U.S. and $200 million in the U.K. in 2017 alone. This value can rise to $40 billion in the U.S. and $5 billion in the U.K. by 2022!
There are a few important considerations about why voice search can lead to a profitable marketing campaign:
It Is Fast: People can talk faster than they can type. That means that they can also perform a voice search much quicker.
Smart Speakers Are Popular: They have become a regular household item. As stated by NPR and Edison, 39 million Americans currently have a smart speaker in their homes!
Local Search Convenience: When people search for a product using voice search, they’re usually interested in purchasing the product locally.
Voice search can be longer than typed searches. That is why you must optimize your content for long-tail keywords when you’re targeting people that use voice-activated devices.
People generally talk to their devices like they’d speak with a person. For this reason, it’s essential to make your web content tone conversational.
Lots of brands have already included voice search in their digital marketing strategies:
- Patron tequila helps its customers get personalized cocktail recipes.
- Domino’s helps pizza-lovers order from the comfort of their home.
- PayPal users can use Siri to send money to their friends, family, or businesses.
- Tide provides stain removing advice.
Audio content is on the rise as well, and ads will become much more frequent on smart voice devices. Smart speakers might answer your question with a ‘Thanks to Our Sponsor’ note, or similar.
5. Live Video Will Continue to Grow
Nothing grabs your attention on social media better than live video content. Why is that, and what are the reasons that make the live video so effective?
Better Interaction with Your Brand
Live video provides a real-time interaction. Brands and millions of followers can engage with each other globally! During the live video, people can ask questions, provide feedback, or even buy products.
It allows you to have a two-way conversation with your audience. Everyone from the CEO, CTO, or other company representatives can go live on social media today and hold a Q&A session. It develops a personal connection with the brand, and it increases brand loyalty.
Huge ROI Potential
Time is money, and timing is everything. This is where live video wins over previously recorded and recommended video. The video production process alone can be time and resources consuming! You need to film the videos, edit, encode, and upload them, which can often take forever.
On the other hand, with a live video, there’s no need for post-production costs. In a fully-produced video, every angle and word must be perfect! Users don’t expect that kind of perfection with live content. They want to see real-time raw videos that deliver value straight away.
You’ve probably overheard someone talking about cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. It seems that each one of your friends wants to invest in it. But, if you focus on the technology behind it – Blockchain, you’ll unravel much more valuable opportunities.
According to BlockGeeks:
“A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of an immutable record of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e., block) is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e., chain).”
The following graph from G2 displays how this technology works:
Its effect could go beyond currencies and help marketers promote products and services.
Let’s take ad usage as an example. Ads are excellent and can bring a ton of revenue to your web-based business. However, the reality is that people don’t want to see ads all the time. That’s the reason why ad blocking usage continues to rise each year in the United States:
51% of people defend their usage of ad blockers because they want complete control of their online experience. Also, in many cases, the usage of ads is excessive.
With blockchain technology, consumers will be able to charge brands for their contact details. For example, if a company asks a user to subscribe to a newsletter, he/she can tell them the price for receiving such content. Those transactions would be handled systematically through cryptocurrencies.
This approach allows people to have better control over the content and the ads that they receive when browsing the Internet. In such circumstances, as a brand, you will need to learn how to provide a real value proposition for your customers.
The future of the digital marketing industry is shaped by modern technology. AI, blockchain, and voice technologies all transform the way brands analyze and interact with users.
If you want to gain a competitive edge and boost your conversions in 2020, you’ll need to adopt the digital marketing trends mentioned above. Start providing conversational experiences to consumers, especially through audio and video content. Invest in the latest trends, and always stay ahead of the curve!
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