Digital marketing is a fickle mistress; what was hot yesterday can be completely outdated today. It is vastly dependent on the habits of the customers. How they shop, what are the apps that are currently in trend, the type of content they want to see, you have to take all of this into consideration before you devise your digital marketing strategy. Every year, we see the digital marketing landscape rearrange itself; some old faithfuls are forgotten, some new ideas become the talk of the town, and some on-going trends become more relevant and experience wider acceptance. 2020 has been no different so far. And in today’s post, we will talk about some of the hottest digital marketing trends that have and will continue to dominate 2020.
Streamlining Shopping using Shoppable Posts
One of the biggest hurdles in digital marketing is getting a customer all the way through the check out process. From picking a product, making address and payment entries, and finally clicking on that Place Order button, businesses lose a lot of customers. For years online stores have been trying to shave off as many phases of digital checkout as possible from their websites, they have been trying to streamline online shopping and now, with the help of shoppable posts, they can.
Businesses on social media face the unfortunate task of getting a user from their social media posts to their website where they can buy a certain product, but they no longer have to. Shoppable posts (social commerce) allows customers to buy products directly from social media platforms by tapping on a shoppable post or ad without being redirected to the vendor’s website. With the help of powerful tools from Instagram like Instagram Checkout, sellers are now streamlining the online shopping experience by decreasing the number of steps and preventing sales abandonment.
Instagram Checkout is not a tool for big brands exclusively either. As long as you sell something, you can make use of it. If you have a Shopify account, then you can just link it to your Instagram account. But if you don’t, then you will have to make a store on platforms like Facebook to use this feature.
Targeting Niches Using Micro-Influencers
The influencer trend really blew up a couple of years ago, and now, the top-tier influencers are swimming in offers from big brands. These brands made these high-time influencers so powerful that they are the ones who are controlling the game now.
It is not enough to just send these influencers a sample of the product and ask them to feature it on their page, they have their own price lists, their own schedules. These influencers are snooty, pricy, and not as effective as they once used to be. The problem with the influencer economy is that they have such colossal followership, they cannot interact with their followers appropriately.
So instead of going for all high and might influencers and throwing money at their altars, you should go for smaller and more humble influencers. Micro-influencers are those influencers on social media platforms that are not swimming in millions of followers but are big enough to be influential. These are medium-sized influencers with a more focused niche.
Medium-sized influencers have a better engagement rate than the top-tier influencers as well. According to a study by AdWork, influencers with followers around 30,000 have a 60% higher engagement rate and cost 6.7x less than social media influencers with more followers.
Making more Polished and Interactive Email Marketing Templates
It feels like email marketing has been around since forever, and it is still just as relevant as ever. But as immortal and an integral part of digital marketing as they seem, email marketing templates have to upgrade as well. In today’s time, people don’t give much heed to an email with plain text. The trick is to be creative. Businesses now have to get eye-pleasing pixel-perfect emails made for their digital marketing campaigns. These emails are more captivating and are helping businesses around the world in achieving better ROI rates for their email marketing campaigns.
The current trend dictates that emails be created like webpages with stylized buttons while keeping customer UX in mind. A user is more likely to click on a stylized button plain text.
Build Better Connections with Direct Messages
One of the hottest digital marketing trends in 2020 will be direct messaging because it streamlines customer support and assists in sales. DMs help brands in giving their customers a more personal experience. With the help of platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Twitter, brands are building stronger connections with their customers. They encourage their customers to reach out to them, whether it is for submitting a complaint or asking a question about their products. This opens a communication channel, and the best part about this is that the customer is initiating the conversation, and he is agreeing to build a connection. This is much better than you sending him promotional texts like offers and sale reminders.
To encourage your customers to reach out to you personally, you can provide your social media handles and can even offer them incentives if they do so, like a price slash or a coupon.
Getting Started today with the Platforms of tomorrow
Social media giants are quickly losing users and public confidence. Their reckless treatment of user data and not to mention the myriad of data breaches and other such blunders have put them in a very bad light. Facebook, the face of Social Media and now, apparently, how not to do it, is losing users fast and they are looking for alternatives because Social Media is going nowhere, but it is, however, getting rid of industry giants or is at least taking away their halo and their dominance on the market. Now is the time for the smaller social media platforms to rise. These platforms have a more focused user base, and while Facebook, Twitter, and all the other giants are not going to cease to exist, users are quickly moving to these smaller platforms. Platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit will soon experience a massive influx of niche users, and thus, you have to make sure that when that happens, you are ready. Making use of these platforms now, before they are mainstream, is advantageous because you will be able to target your niche customers. And when the tsunami of users comes, you will already be a seasoned brand on that platform, and you will receive an instant rise in users. Also, since the user base is not as massive as Facebook or Instagram, you will receive more spotlight and will be able to reach your target users.
The Art Social Listening
Articulation of feelings and thoughts isn’t our strongest of suits. Even after thousands of years of evolution, we struggle to determine what the other person means. So it is only ironic that what we flesh and blood biological beings couldn’t do, a few lines of codes are doing it.
Trying to figure out what your customers think about your product is not as simple as it sounds. As much as you would like and appreciate it, customers don’t exactly say ‘I like your product’ or ’I don’t like your product.’ They have a lot to say in every review, and they like to go into detail, and that makes it harder for you to understand if this customer has a positive review to give or a negative one. There are a lot of gray areas; sometimes, a product is liked as a whole, but one small aspect of it turns your customers off, and sometimes, the product is perfect, but it isn’t what your customer wanted. So to decipher these incredibly cryptic reviews that your customers leave, social listening or sentiment analysis can be of great help.
Sentiment analysis is the art of analyzing user responses and views about your product or services on social media platforms. This approach hinges on the acquisition of data, which in this case, are customer reviews on various platforms, and algorithms to determine if the general sentiment towards your product/service is positive or negative. Thanks to advanced natural language processing algorithms, tools like Lexalytics and Repustate can determine the sentiment behind a review, they are even able to process slangs and emojis.
Using Automation in Advertising
AI and Machine Learning tools are helping humans in pretty much everything. So how about you let them help you in optimizing your online advertising campaigns as well? Instead of doing tasks like customer targeting, ad placement, and performance tracking and getting things wrong or sub-optimal results, you can very easily hand these tasks off to a software that has been designed specifically to carry out these duties.
Automating advertising duties and putting a robot in charge of it saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on other things, and also, it generates better results. There are countless tools in the market that scour the internet for you and find the best avenues to advertise on, the best approach that a business like yours should take, etc. for you.
Vlog as Much as you can
Unlike explainer videos and short films, Vlogs are seeing a massive boost in popularity. The reason behind that is the fact that Vlogs feel more personal and direct. Video content has been on the rise for the past two-three years, and platforms that cater to them like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are becoming more popular than ever. But out of all the video content available, Vlogs generate the best result because of their more intimate feel, which is exactly what the marketers around the world are looking for to build better and stronger bonds with their customers.
Vlogs can be your way to give users a peek into your business or your offices. You can do something of an office tour in which you take your customers to some of the coolest nooks and crannies of your business premise. You can also Vlog some exclusive seminars and cultural events that no one except for your users will have access to.
Write Top-Notch Featured Snippets
Google is constantly changing its search algorithm. It is continually trying to be smarter in an effort to provide its users better and more optimized search results.
Lately, more and more search queries have featured content that earns them ranking on the first page and a lot more clicks from the users. This is a relatively new avenue, but one we cannot ignore. These snippets are a great way to rank higher. So businesses need to write flawless snippets for their business that are easy to understand for both humans and search engines.
Content as a whole will play a crucial role in SEO in 2020. It is now more vital than ever before to write well-researched, thorough, and easy to read content to get more traffic.
Reaching out to Gen-Z
Gen-Z, those who were born after the turn of the century, is now the youngest consumer group. They are now getting ready, or have already, to enter the workforce, and according to some sources, they will make up to 40% of all sales in 2020. So reaching out to them should be on your priority list, primarily if you sell a product or a service developed for them.
But it is easier said than done. Much like how you have to create content that appeals to Gen-X and Boomers separately, your content for Gen-Z will have to be different as well. It is a variation in style. They are quirky and have tastes and opinions that might seem and feel bizarre to you. So if you don’t understand this generation, it is best that you hire someone who does. Given below are some key points that you need to keep in mind while making content for Gen-Z:
- Authenticity: Gen-Z is the first generation that grew up with Social Media, as opposed to Gen-X, that kind of just adopted it as something cool and then grew to despise it. So Gen-Z is a stickler for authenticity since they grew in an era of false advertisement and manipulating content online. So if you are not sincere and if you create content that is too promotional, it won’t sit well with Gen-Z.
- Privacy Concerns: The Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out right around the time the majority of Gen-Z was about to turn 18. It rocked their entire world because while Gen-X and Boomers were shocked and appalled, Gen-Z found its very foundation shook since they were such heavy users of social media. Unfortunately, the Facebook debacle and all the other ones that followed it, fell right around time Gen-Z was defining itself. So now, privacy is their number one priority. So you need to prove it to your customers that you care for their data and hold no nasty intentions for it.
- Diversity: Again, Gen-Z was still in its teenage years when the PC culture became popular. Hence, they are extra sensitive to diversity and racial issues. The Woke culture is hard-coded in their psyche now. So you need to come off as a brand that celebrates diversity and has no tolerance towards racial, sexual, and religious discrimination in the workplace.
- Sense of Humor: Nobody other than the Gen-Z gets their memes or jokes or their sense of humor as a whole. That’s not a bad thing; every generation has its cultural influences and role models that guide its taste in movies, shows, comic books, and jokes. So if you don’t understand their sense of humor, just hire someone who does and can create memes, posts, and content for you that will appeal to the Gen-Z.
Apart from the trends mentioned above, some of the pre-existing trends are going to carry through 2020. Chatbots have been a hot investment for almost half a decade, and this year, they are looking to get more sophisticated and convincing. With the rise of personal assistants like Alexa and Siri, voice search is going to play a more significant role in SEO, paying more attention to the keywords and the way they are said and not their type. And finally, video marketing is an on-going trend that is going to last for a couple of more years. There are more video editing tools in the market than ever before that are easy to use and learn. You don’t have to depend on heavy tools like Adobe Premiere anymore.