The digital marketing trends of 2020 are unlike what we have seen before—technology has changed, giving marketers more opportunities to reach users, and in new ways.

We look at the six biggest marketing trends of 2020, and how businesses can adopt them.

1. Social Commerce

social commerce

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For businesses that sell products, encouraging customers to visit your product pages from social media posts and advertising has always been a challenge.

You could create the most attractive posts, but there are still too many steps between a customer seeing the post and completing a purchase on the checkout page.

Social platforms have solved that problem and it will impact the way companies sell products online—shoppable posts that allow users to buy products directly from a social media post.

This is one of the rare actionable digital marketing trends that can be implemented without too much monetary investment.

Pinterest introduced shoppable posts years ago and has since perfected its system—businesses should look into creating a Pinterest strategy in 2020.

However, the most popular social media shoppable platform is now Instagram—through timeline posts and Instagram ads, the channel has simplified the shopping process for users.

In-app purchases can also be made on Snapchat—using a plugin—and Facebook shops have become popular, as well.  

Social commerce is a great way of simplifying the purchase process—it removes unnecessary steps in the customer lifecycle, taking them from awareness to purchase immediately.

Shoppable posts allow you to up your PPC marketing game while improving conversions and sales, which makes them a worthy time investment.

2. Live Video

Video production is still going to have a part to play in the digital marketing trends of 2020, but there is a different video format that businesses should be focusing their efforts on—live video.

If there is one thing businesses have learned from the video boom of the past five years is that creating high quality videos can be challenging and expensive.

For small businesses, it is also incredibly time-consuming to create videos from scratch. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a video strategy.

Live video has been picking up pace over the last year and is set to be a more popular format for video marketing in 2020.

There are a number of advantages of focusing on live video over pre-produced videos. They don’t need to be great quality—the point is to give viewers a sense of immediacy and intimacy.

Live videos can take people to places they can’t visit, and give brands a face and a name—you can choose a brand ambassador or influencer to front your videos.

And they aren’t expensive to create—anyone with a phone can go live, and it has become an intrinsic part of TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook video marketing.

Plan out the concept for your live videos and start shooting. 

3. Conversations in Marketing

Source: Whole Foods

The digital sphere is huge—marketers are constantly struggling to create more engaging content to send out, while also trying to be there for their audience 24/7.

Not many companies can afford to hire an army of customer service agents or content creators—which means marketing teams need to stretch the tools they have access to.

That is why conversational marketing is becoming an important digital marketing trend in 2020—conversations ensure that you create meaningful, interactive content with your audience.

Instead of simply selling to people, having conversations with users will make interactions more meaningful and show the human side of a business.

One way to incorporate conversational marketing in your 2020 strategy is by using chatbots—a number of online live chat tools can create branded chatbots that are effective and efficient.

There has been a proliferation of marketing chatbots in the last year and it is really going to take off this year, on websites and social media messaging apps.

And the exciting aspect of current chatbots is that they learn from the inputs they receive—which will make them a great tool for giving customers product suggestions. 

Keeping your audience engaged 24/7, especially for companies that have global appeal has never been easier, thanks to chatbots.

4. Personalized Messaging

Engagement goes beyond having conversations—your messaging to users needs to be meaningful to them.

We have already mentioned how chatbots can use data inputs to customize suggestions for users, and this kind of personalization needs to inform your 2020 marketing strategy.

Personalization is the key to decreasing cart abandonment, and improves customer retention so as to build a loyal base of customers.

You need to mine the data you have on your customers—from social media, web traffic, and email marketing—to understand who is engaging with the brand and why.

Understanding the behavior of your customers and the motivations behind their actions is what will help you define the needs of your customer base.

With this information you can create tailored content for your audience—giving the people what they need in the ways they need it, so they get the most out of their interactions with your brand.

Make personalization a priority in 2020—start looking through the data you are examining now and define what you need to improve your strategy. 

5. Micro and Nano Influencers

Influencers aren’t going anywhere—with platforms like TikTok now joining mainstream marketing channels, they have become even more crucial to marketing strategies.

But influencers with millions of followers—while still an attractive proposition—may not be the right fit for all companies.

Large-scale influencers tend to be extremely expensive, either for a one-off campaign or long-standing collaboration. There’s also a lot of competition for them.

However, the appeal of their huge followings has enticed companies to sink a large chunk of their marketing budget into an influencer campaign. But in 2020, that won’t be the case.

We are seeing a move towards smaller influencers—micro influencers, who generally have less than 50,000 followers, or even nano influencers, with 10,000 or so followers.

They may not command the reach that mega influencers do, but the content they create or share has better ROI because of the intimate gathering of followers they interact with.

Marketers could stretch their budget in 2020 by collaborating with four or five smaller influencers, instead of one mega influencer, and improve their reach at the same time.   

6. Changes in Search

2020 digital marketing trends

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The fight for the top position on page one of Google search has been raging for years, but the game is changing now. 

That top spot is no longer as coveted as it used to be—though it definitely still has value. Brands are now pushing to reach position zero.

Zero SERP is a relatively new concept but it is massively impacting SEO strategies.

The position zero post—or rather, the featured snippet—directly answers users’ questions before they can even scroll to the organic search results. 

One can see why it is now the end goal for marketers and SEO specialists.

The more complex a piece of content is—and the more time it takes to answer a particular question—the less likely it is to appear in the featured snippet.

You are already using keywords in your content but marketers now need to ensure that they answer specific questions with their content.

And there is another reason to use this tactic for SEO—voice search. Smart speakers are being used so often now to search the web that search terms are changing.

People are no longer typing in sets of keywords but are asking specific questions—if you want to reach your audience, tailor your content around answering these questions.

Use a free keyword planner to create content that will help you reach page one of Google search, as well as the featured snippet.

Conclusion

The top six digital marketing trends of 2020 have been in the works for a few years now but are coming into their own this year.

Adapting to these changes will take some doing—a quick, uneducated change is not advisable. 

Instead, take the time to research other brands and see how they are making changes to their marketing plans so you can roll out new strategies for 2020.