Digital marketing is not stagnant. It is in constant evolution. And in the past three decades, technological development has accelerated the growth of digital marketing. New marketing trends emerge, some of the traditional ones simmer down.
Those marketers who manage to easily adopt and exploit new trends gain a competitive edge in the market. To help you stay ahead of the curve, below we outlined top digital marketing trends for 2020.
Let’s dive in!
Content Marketing Trends
Content, in all its forms, still holds the reins. It keeps working its way to the forefront of all digital marketing strategies. High-quality content, be it a blog post or a social media update, drives traffic to your website, generates new leads and increases sales.
While no one argues the effectiveness of content marketing, the channels, tools and strategies marketers use to create and deliver content change yearly. Here are the top content marketing trends you should watch out for in 2020.
User Generated Content
User generated content (UGC) is created by the fans of your brand. Whether in the form of snapping an image or writing a review, your brand’s fans promote your product or service. It is a win-win strategy for both brands and customers. On one hand, customers get an opportunity to express themselves via your brand. On the other hand, brands maintain customer/brand relationships and build trust.
The majority of top brands across the world are increasingly running user generated content campaigns. For example, Adobe effectively utilizes user-generated content for social campaigns. It suggests users repost content from those who have used Adobe products to create stunning photographs and art, under the hashtag #Adobe_Perspective.
Perhaps, the most successful example of a user-generated content campaign remains Coca-Cola’s “Share-a-Coke” initiative. They offered their customers the opportunity to customize their Coke cans and bottles. And this quickly went viral, with pictures of unique cans with people’s names, nicknames, and personalized messages.
The need to interact is in our DNA, and that’s why interactive content is considered the future of content marketing. The idea behind interactive content is that customers should not only consume the content but also act upon it. With this in mind, more and more content marketers are shifting away from static content. Though creating interactive content can be way more challenging, it really pays off.
Interactive content is more effective than regular content for it provides two-way communication between brand and customers. It motivates customers to compete, test themselves or achieve results. Quizzes, surveys, polls and webinars are among the most popular interactive content types brands usually apply to.
One of the most successful examples of valuable interactive content is BuzzFeed. They have discovered and crafted the ideal way of creating engaging quizzes, and for it, have been dubbed the king of Quizzes. Their content is so well-made that 96% of users who start BuzzFeed quizzes finish them.
Video Marketing Trends
In recent years, we witnessed how video marketing trends evolved from 30-second ads to vlogs and live videos. Half of the 1,000+ consumers who were asked about their content preferences admitted they were more actively engaged with brands that use video content. Until recently, brands were turning to 360° video as an essential component of their digital marketing strategy. However, it is gradually losing its popularity. So, what are the trends that will shape video marketing in 2020? Let’s find out!
Live video streaming is actively used both by brands and users. The best part of live video streaming is that it is free, easy and engaging. Brands use live videos to promote products, to share events, make announcements, etc. 82% of users prefer to watch a live video from a brand rather than read their content marketing posts. With the increasing impact of Live videos, social media platforms are also constantly improving their video-related functionality.
There is a growing tendency of making long-form videos in video marketing. Various studies reveal that the human attention span has decreased to 8 seconds, shorter than goldfish’s attention span. But this fact has not affected people’s preferences about video length. While 30 seconds to 1-minute videos were considered ideal for marketing purposes before, today 5-minute videos are quite acceptable. This is explained by the fact that customers have developed more interest in stories or narratives that educate them or provide value.
IBM is among the pioneers to harness the potential of long-form videos. In its 8.45-minute video, the company showcases the teams that are behind the innovations. They chose the right way to humanitize the giant technology company and establish credibility in a long-form video.
SEO Marketing Trends
Google rolls out hundreds of algorithm updates every year. Though most of the updates are minor, they do affect search ranking. Google’s latest updates prioritize user intent rather than content/page matching, and also technical SEO matter a lot for ranking. Here are 2 SEO trends to stay atop in 2020.
Voice Search Optimisation
Tech has made us lazier. Today, we prefer voice searches over typing queries. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based. So, what impact will voice search have on SEO?
Firstly, voice searches are made in natural or conversational language. As conversational language is not usually concise, we will see a change in keyword length. Some marketers believe keywords will reach up to 29 words.
Secondly, one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2020 is the rise of location-based voice searches. People are 3 times more likely to be looking for local content when they use voice search. This means that in 2020 your SEO strategies must be optimized for “near me” queries.
Position “Zero” in SERP or Featured Snippets
Featured snippets (position zero) appear at the top of SERP results, above the first ranked organic result. They provide a short, concise and direct answer to the search query. Ahrefs studied two million feature snippets and revealed that they generate more traffic than the first organic result. So, brands should stop aiming for position one and find ways to outrank to position zero. One of the ways to get to the zero position is optimizing your content for question-type search queries.
Social media trends
2020 is seeing the rise of TikTok and IGTV and the increasing dominance of Twitter. Stories are still a major social trend. For brands, long-term engagement gains more weight than short-term Likes. These are two of the biggest trends we’ll see evolving on social media in 2020.
Employee advocacy on social media builds trust and generates real results. Surveys show that posts shared by employees reach 561% further than the ones shared by corporate social media profiles. With this in mind, an increasing number of companies turn their employees into active brand ambassadors.
Here is an example of how employees miss their office during lockdown. Not everyone misses their office and job, right? So, this workplace must be an awesome place.
To get good results, employee advocacy must be done right. There is a subtle line between employee spamming and employee empowerment. Note that employee advocacy means employee-generated content. Do not ask your employees to share the same post or message created by the digital team. This is spamming. Instead, motivate them to share any brand-related content they are really interested in and add their personal comment to the content like their employee productivity during the lockdown.
Social commerce (shoppable posts)
Social commerce is all about selling products directly through social media posts/ads without leaving the site or app. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest have been successfully exploiting the opportunity of shoppable social media posts for years. This is nothing new, but it continues to be a trend that can deliver results in 2020.
Instagram is the leading social media platform when it comes to social commerce. It has a feature allowing brands to make Stories shoppable by tagging products or using the “swipe up” experience. Pinterest grows in leaps and bounds and can compete with Instagram for social commerce opportunities. Lately, Pinterest added new shopping tools to make it easier to shop from pins.
In the last 4 years, digital marketing is evolving at light speed. Customers are becoming more demanding and technologies are getting smarter. So, digital marketers have to face new challenges every year. It is not an easy feat to keep up with the ever-evolving digital marketing industry. To stay competitive, marketers have to keep up-to-date with the latest trends of digital marketing.