The top 10 trends of 2020- Digital Marketing for the Small Business
Digital marketing is made up of a lot of moving parts. There are many things that have changed and many others that have evolved. Every year; even every month, there are changes that happen in each platform, that make up the web of digital marketing. From search engines, to social media, email platforms, CRMs, functionality upgrades, algorithms, to consumer preferences, and so on. Are you overwhelmed yet?
You can go absolutely nuts trying to do it all. Here are just the top 10, very much achievable digital marketing strategies for small businesses.
1. Interactive Content
First came the static visual content (still big), but now the consumer wants more. He wants interaction such as quizzes, videos, polls, that all lead to the customization of products and services. Customization of marketing tactics helps businesses rise above the noise and clutter, and evoke specific consumer behavior.
Interactive content is also shareable content, the best way to increase brand awareness. Give your audience a reason to tag others. The time to engage is now!
2. Voice Search and how it affects your keywords!
“Hey Google, how many Americans own a smart speaker?”
A survey by VoiceBot.ai says that, 1 in 4 Americans own a smart speaker and that number continues to grow”.
It is estimated that in 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. That makes voice search one of the biggest online marketing trends of 2020.
To cash in on the voice search trend, make sure to use long tail keywords (how to build a wooden shed) instead of single keywords (wood shed). This will give you a better chance of showing up on search results related to your product and service.
3. Shoppable Posts
Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are leading the way of sales, and activity keeps increasing. Influencers have taken full advantage of these platforms, and make use of their followers to push products in their niche.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook all have adapted the eCommerce posts to include tags, links, buttons, all to direct the consumer straight to the product page. Instead of searching for a product, then doing a separate search for reviews; everything is easily found on social posts alone. Comments often serve as the only review viewers will seek to reach a purchasing decision.
Personalization goes beyond having the first name on an email campaign. Consumers want something that speaks to them on a personal level. This is where strategy comes into play, and analytics can help you get there.
Every platform; whether it’s Facebook advertising, GoogleAds, or your email marketing platform, has the tools to segment, and target specific niches. This is based on demographics, consumer behavior, location, interest, etc. Using these tools is essential to being successful- Work smarter not harder. The Personalization of messages and products to specific niches is a must for better leads and engagement. One does not fit all!
5. Social Networking
Remember the days where LinkedIn was the only platform for business networking, and all else was just fun platforms that employers didn’t pay any attention to? Those days are over.
Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp are among the most used “social apps”, that are now used for business as well. The rise of Facebook groups (especially the ones that allow pages to join), automated bots for pages’ messaging, video conferencing, discussion boards, among other features, have made online social networking, what many businesses choose as a main networking platform.
With the rise of video courses (e-learning), live video stream, e-meetings and e-signing, face-to-face networking is quickly becoming obsolete. In the past 2 years, the social networks all flooded with paid campaigns featuring e-courses. While this method might have become completely saturated (it's almost impossible to scroll through your feed without running into someone's inspirational story with a pitch at the end), entrepreneurs are growing with this route. Pick your social network wisely.
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According to Invesp, “the use of chatbots in customer service industry is growing. More than 67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support in the past year, and around 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent by 2020. 40% of consumers do not care whether a chatbot, or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need.”
There are controversies with chatbots and the end of personalized services. While chatbots saves in overhead costs for businesses, and can be effective in answering routine questions, businesses still need to offer efficient customer service, in order to maintain the level of personalization that the consumer wants.
Video remains a big trend going into 2020, and live videos are a big hit. There’s something exciting about watching LIVE- it engages your audience who will stay on guard for the unexpected.
Not feeling particularly excited to go live? Share relevant video content from other sources!
8. Micro Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has soared in 2019, and will continue to rise and change in 2020. While influencers were once considered celebrities some time ago, businesses are now more focused on engagement than followers, and that gave rise to the micro influencer. Micro influencers have anywhere from 10k to 30k followers, high engagement, and can spread your brand’s message.
9. Barter collaborations
As you can imagine, the rise of influencers and micro influencers, has been overwhelming for many brands.
Let's look at the travel industry for example: Everyone who loves to travel is an influencer (or wants to be), or is a coach of sorts.
Imagine being a marketing director for a hotel in Dubai and receiving hundreds of emails daily from these so- called influencers. For one post on social, they ask for a week stay at their luxury hotel.
While influencer marketing is real and effective, let’s not forget the bots takeover- fake accounts, fake followers, fake likes, reviews and comments. Some businesses are now opting for Barter Collaborations.
This is exactly how it sounds. Brands are now leveraging what they can offer, in exchange for services that goes beyond a simple post on Instagram or Facebook. An influencer might need to offer a little more than just a photo on their page, and that takes more brains than just being popular on a social platform.
10. Content Marketing
Content marketing is not going anywhere. You may be a star in the previous 9 items, but if you cannot show true expertise, then it was all for nothing. Not only does content show knowledge, but it’s also what search engines use to dissect through all the online clutter.