Digital marketing trends to lookout for in 2020

72 per cent of customers rely on visual influences to pick a product

The world is moving fast. What is hot today may become obsolete in the blink of an eye. This is also true of products, businesses, and even digital marketing trends. And given the pace at which the marketing industry is growing, companies may find it hard to keep up. From an ancient book-based industry, marketing has now transformed into a seamlessly digital world with newer trends every other day. To compete effectively with these changes, brands must keep abreast of what is happening around them and be aware of the latest developments in the digital marketing realm. After all, forward-thinking and innovation are the key to success and growth.

Keeping up with times

Today digital marketers have copious amounts of data and equally powerful tools to build compelling messages. Making use of the technologies available, along with proper implementation, gives conversion-focused companies the opportunity to deliver impactful, thought-raising and comprehensive content with absolute ease. Strategically curated content can help create a strong personal image for your brand by showcasing your most priced expertise to clients effectively. While content will continue to be king, videos are expected to rule the roost with more than 72 per cent of customers relying on visual influences to pick a product or service in the past year. Another big trend that caught up with digital marketers recently is the fight for ‘Position Zero’. While the ‘#1’ spot is no longer enough, the highly desirable top spot on the search engine results page is now known as ‘Position Zero’. And to get there, businesses are taking the help of powerful influencers -- a marketing strategy that promises to deliver almost 11 times higher ROI than other avenues. Giving you a headstart into 2020, here’s a round-up of some trends that are sure to take the digital marketing scene by storm in the coming year.

Voice search comes of age

This is probably the next best thing waiting to happen that digital marketers have for long ignored. With more than 55 per cent of urban households owning at least one smart AI-based device by 2022, it is only wise for companies to modulate their content for voice searches in the coming year or so. While text search will still be the most used form of online search, voice search is a tool that can maximise exponential reach to a highly targeted audience as voice-enabled mobile phones are now a common feature in urban homes.

Interactive content

Interactive websites have always fascinated the audience, simply because they are engaging and captivating. New and original content will be much in demand in 2020 as studies show that almost 91 per cent of customers are drawn to interactive content on online platforms.  This is a win-win for both the customer as well as the business. While it serves to improve SEO metrics drastically, by being part of participative content, the audience receive real-time, meaningful results that they can truly relate to.

The AI influence

There is not a part of the world of business that AI has not already impacted or will not be disrupted by it in the near future. It is the secret driving force behind many industries that have grown to tremendous heights overnight. 2020 will definitely see the marriage between AI and marketing to bring out some outstanding results. While many digital marketers are already using AI to positively impact audience targeting, boost their outreach, get product building recommendations and optimize advertising campaigns, they will continue to do so on a full-scale in the coming year, making the use of AI in marketing a standard practice across the industry.

Taking customer experience to new heights

Customer is the most important part of any marketing campaign, more so in the present era as marketing is no longer about just making a sale. 2020 will be all about enhancing user experience by building a stage that the customer would keep coming back for more. The idea is to gather a positive business culture around the great product or service that you offer because the customer too has come of age and is no longer standing by for you to come and pitch your product to them. The new-age customer is well-informed and capable of doing his own research. Studies show that 73 per cent of online users look for outstanding customer experience (CX) when buying something. This means there will be a lot happening in visual content enhancement and personalized email spheres. While visual search and content building make CX more engaging, personalised emails are known to improve click rates and customer follow-through.

Shoppable social media posts

Digital marketing thrives on social media. While the way people are using social media in current times has changed dramatically, how they interact with social media posts can greatly influence marketing. Despite the fall in social media usage and the long hiatus users take, it is still a very popular way people use to micromanage their relationships with friends and family. Even as Facebook may be seeing a nosedive, newer platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are still enjoying a lot of social footfall especially oriented towards shopping and discovering new products. It is time that this opportunity is seized by companies by creating shoppable posts that will allow users to directly make purchases of their favourite products from social media platform itself.

In conclusion

As technology continues to gallop at a rapid pace, it is pertinent to use the right strategies to tap the potential in each of these trends for generating efficient digital marketing leads. And for this, it is imperative to update your knowledge from time to time. Even though there is a greater desire among the audience to make interactions between brands and consumers more human, technology will always manage to find a way to innovate and disrupt our lives, be it online or offline. And it is for the smart marketer to realise these gaps and utilize effective tools at the right time to turn these trends into sizeable and meaningful profits.

(The author is The Hillcart Tales manager sales and marketing. The views expressed are her own and may not subscribe to them.)

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