Every marketer wishes they had a crystal ball so they could peer into the future to see what will be hot in different areas of digital marketing over the next year. Unfortunately, most of us are not clairvoyant. But we can usually look at specific current trends and predict which will have staying power. We can also look at emerging technology and how it can be used to further our marketing mission.
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In this blog post, we will be looking at the trends in various areas of digital marketing for 2020, as well as what search engines are doing. We'll also look at how technology and automation will shape digital marketing.
But first, let's take a quick look back to 2019.
Top digital marketing Trends in 2019
2019 was a year of change in the digital world. Social media increased in popularity, and digital marketing became an everyday concept. These are some of the most significant changes we saw last year in the 8 most significant areas of digital marketing.
Live and almost-live video became even more popular. Facebook live, Google Hangouts, YouTube Live, and Instagram stories. These are some of the ways brands now choose to share live content with their followers.
Of course, the Smartphone boom continues, which means marketers trying to connect with their prospects in a broader range of ways. These include text messaging and apps.
Chatbots are being used more and more to open and maintain a dialogue with customers. This is a popular way to deliver valuable marketing information.
Facebook Messenger got a much-needed overhaul and marketing push. What we see now is now a much more convenient tool. Even better, for marketers, with a handy chatbot (if you set it up correctly) to respond to trigger words.
Facebook Lead Ads can be one of the fastest ways to grow your email marketing list. If you use attractive images and a well-written ad, these can automate the process of adding the new names to your list.
Using storytelling in marketing helps offer a structure people are familiar with. More and more, this leads to satisfied customers getting a vision of living happy lives.
Influencer marketing isn't going away anytime soon. It keeps growing in popularity as more marketers try to connect with their target audience. Even micro- and nano-influencers could be the gateway to a lot more traffic and profits.
Small business owners are catching on to the wonders of remarketing. Facebook pixels are far more straightforward than ever to use. Used well, these can track customers from your site and try to convert them from browsers into buyers. Some marketers report a conversion rate as high as 75%.
The Marketing Landscape of 2020
Some of the hot trends of 2019 will continue, while some new ones will also start to take centre stage. Let's take a look at what the various areas of digital marketing will look like in the year to come, starting with SEO.
Don't bother with SEO? Stop!
Answer this: what would you do if Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest ended up going the same way as MySpace? Where would your traffic come from?
Search engine optimisation — from keywords to clusters
SEO will now be more about clusters, not keywords. This has been happening more and more in the last few years. But the algorithms are now being set to look for groupings of words, not just isolated words.
Often referred to as semantic support. The algorithms will look at words concerning one another to determine the meaning of a page and the relevance to a search query.
There are still arguments over short- versus long-form content. No one can agree on the ideal article or blog post length. The longer an article is (650 to 700 words, for example), the more words will get clustered together. So, the more clues the search engine will get. About 500 words should be enough to get the point across if writers are pressed for time. But there are solid arguments that call for 1000+ words, which is what I aim for.
The other thing to keep in mind, which is a good thing; this change reduces keyword stuffing, which encourages people to write naturally. This is an essential consideration for social marketing trends, in general, due to the way more and more people are searching for content.
Approximately 111 million voice devices were in use in the US in 2019. Predictions show that during 2020, voice search queries will make up 50% of all queries. So, if you are not already factoring in voice search into your marketing mix, now is the time.
The shift to more natural language in written content can help with this. However, voice search will change results and potentially starve some sites of traffic. This is because the way a person asks a question can be very different from the way they type in a query.
Voices devices in use in the US
Predictive and Intent data
Google and Facebook searches have enhanced their algorithms concerning predictive and intent data. By this, I mean, what do people want to achieve when they run a particular search?
Unless you are in incognito mode, every search you run is giving these marketing giants information, allowing them to determine then the intent of a search and what will be of most interest to you. They can even aggregate data from other sites to predict interest.
This particular trend is most apparent on mobile. Bricks-and-mortar businesses need to make sure they have robust listings on Google. Making sure so they will be as discoverable in local search as possible - especially on mobile.
Mobile search is booming
One of the most important areas of digital marketing that many people forget to account for is device usage. Around 50% of all searches are carried out on mobile devices. That number is sure to rise as the latest generation of smartphones have more computing power than the desktop computers of a few years ago.
Amazon, YouTube, and Facebook are search engines.
Gone are the days when people used to go to Google for everything. Amazon is now a vast product search engine, with the ability to turn browsers into buyers in an instant. If you want to make your products more discoverable, you need to be on Amazon.
YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world and growing larger. Studies have shown that 75% of searches are related to how-to content. If you don't already have a YouTube channel and playlists with these types of content, you're missing out.
Facebook has demonstrated the rise of social search. Many users are avoiding search engines altogether. Now, people are likely to search for information about products, services, and topics on Facebook.
Hopefully this post has given you a broad overview of the areas of digital marketing that are worth picking up in 2020.. The next post in this series will focus more on social media network marketing trends in 2020.
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