Back in the day, the only thing businesses had to really worry about was their product, their customers, and their nearby competitors. That’s all changed thanks to technology, the internet, and the global economy. Now, it’s very possible for brands with humble beginnings to dream of global reach and customer bases.
The primary way to achieve that kind of goal, is to take advantage of the latest trends and innovations in the world of digital marketing. As it is now easier to share and gather information than ever before, it is also easier to generate massive product awareness and engagement.
That’s not to say, however, that it’s easy to do that.
Now, instead of having to simply compete with those within your market or niche in your local area, businesses find themselves trying to get a leg up on similar brands from all over the world. That’s why brands are not only spending billions of dollars per year (worldwide digital ad spend is predicted to exceed $375 billion by 2021) on digital marketing, they are also looking for the latest ways to get a leg up on the competition.
So, whether you’re an e-commerce business owner looking to adopt some new ad trends early, or simply a consumer who is interested in finding out the next way that one brand you searched for that one time is finding its way into your social media ads, here are the major digital marketing trends to look out for in 2020 – and beyond.
Use of private messaging apps
As the year 2020 approaches one place that you as the customer might find ads popping up on your private messages. No, don’t worry not in your text messages, but on private messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook messaging, and more. Companies will continue to adopt the use of ads in these types of private messaging apps.
The challenge for companies here is to find a way to both integrate ads into the messaging window without disturbing the conversation that is taking place. That’s because if the ads are too invasive, it risks turning users off the app altogether.
Artificial intelligence will continue to rise
Okay, so we’re not in Terminator territory just yet, but AI is certainly starting to make its mark on the world of advertising and digital marketing.
AI has already had a place in marketing and advertising for quite some time in the form of Alexa and Siri, they have also been around for years in the form of automated customer care.
The next step for AI is quite clear, it will continue to utilize our past searches and purchases to better streamline targeted ads our way. Going forward, AI will almost certainly not only help brands learn more about what their customers want and don’t want, it will also help streamline and simplify information within countless companies to make their workflow productive and efficient.
Next-gen search engine optimization
If you are a business owner with a large online presence, you already know both how crucial searching engine optimization – or SEO – is to your brand. It helps you target the right audience, it helps you increase organic traffic to your site, and it helps you make sales.
As the major search engine’s algorithms are constantly changing and refining themselves in order to better identify the right pages on the right SERPs, so too do business owners, marketing agencies, and SEO firms have to change their approach to getting noticed. There are increasing SEO strategies that you can find more important in 2020.
While there is no way to explicitly predict where SEO will go in the next year, there is no doubt that search results will continue to improve and refine dramatically. That’s good news for both businesses and customers!
Transparency at a premium
Tons of research has shown that customers are much more likely to show brand loyalty if the company they are patronizing produced transparent and easy-to-understand information. In fact, the percentage of customers that are more willing to shop from a transparent brand again are a whopping 94 percent!
What companies are most likely to be transparent about going forward is how they are using our date to create better ads and targeted content. While there certainly are people who are uncomfortable with the entire idea of targeting ads and content, it is simply a new fact of life.
Companies who are willing to make that transaction more human and less covert are likely to form much stronger and more positive relationships with their customer base.
As voice-activated technology continues to grow and improve, it is only a matter of time before people start using their phones more as voice assistants than just pocket-sized computers.
We’ve already gone over who services like Alexa and Siri are becoming heavily utilized in ad agencies’ ad strategies, but it becomes even more complex when discussing searchability. Brands are now having to integrate new technologies to make sure that their brands are capable of being recognized by voice activated searches.
It is helping in the growth of the massive mobile-friendly movement and is making local SEO incredibly valuable to businesses.
An increased focus on customer retention
The old business adage goes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” but that sentiment may be falling by the wayside. In the coming years, there will likely be a much greater emphasis on customer retention rather than acquiring new customers.
The reason why is because many brands – especially well-established brands with either national or global reach – have realized that it is far cheaper and far more efficient to keep existing customers happy and engaged than it is to get brand new customers involved. On top of that, brands realize that return customers become their very own form of free advertising in the form of word-of-mouth advertising. While that has always been considered one of the most valuable forms of advertising, it is now even more impactful thanks to the incredible reach of social media.
A focus on retaining customers also helps brands narrow down and focus their approach to targeted advertising. The more they know about a customer and what they have purchased in the past, the more they can predict what that customer will like and purchase in the future.