From 2015 to 2017, mobile searches with the qualifier “for me” have grown over 60%.
People aren’t searching for solutions to general problems, they need specific solutions to personalized problems.
Instead of having one path that all website visitors go down, you have the power to let them choose their own adventure.
Consider building interactive website tools such as pricing calculators, design and build configurators, and customer onboarding tools. (In our experience, they are the three most effective types of self-configuration tools.)
Users crave personalized web experiences, as we mentioned earlier. Using self-configuration tools helps inform prospects about the solutions best suited for them.
This allows for more productive sales conversations because buyers have already done the research and know what they need.
15. Ultra minimalist website navigation menu experience
You have around 15 seconds to get new website visitors interested in what you have to offer.
Website design that’s heavily text centric and difficult to navigate is likely to overwhelm and confuse in that short time span. That means a high bounce rate and lost opportunities.
Less really is more here. Simplifying website navigation makes your website easier to use.
Extremely minimalist navigation boils down to having less options, but clearer paths to choose between. When your website visitor can focus on fewer elements, they will spend more time on your site because it’s a simple and enjoyable experience.
Content marketing trends
If you’ve seen a drop in your landing page conversions, you’re not alone. Companies often promote landing pages without providing much value upfront.
Forms generate leads, but not often leads that are well-educated and that understanding your company. Pillar pages are free to read, deep dives into a subject that your buyers are interested in.
They tell a prospect everything they need to know in order to make a sound buying decision.
Think about the last website that you went to where you were asked to download something right away. I won’t even ask you what you did because we all know that you left.
How different of an experience would you have had if the website was truly focused on helping you learn about what you wanted to know? You didn’t have to fill out a form to learn, but it was all out in the open.
Pillar pages help drive value for your buyers and answer all the questions they have about that thing that you sell.
Because your content is extensive and informative, you’re creating well-informed buyers. Because you’re the one who taught them, they’ve learned to trust you and are therefore more willing to buy.
Additionally, pillar pages are the core of what are called topic clusters — a relatively new type of content architecture that helps you better organize your website content, increases search engine visibility of your content, and improving your search engine rankings.
Here’s a great video to explain where this new type of content strategy architecture came from and why it’s so important:
17. User-generated content
Ninety-two percent of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.
Empowering your consumers to provide content also saves your marketing team time and money.
The faces and voices of your customers embody what your brand is all about. They’ll also be promoting your brand which increases visibility and builds community.
A popular example that you may remember was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that encouraged people to record videos and post them with a branded hashtag.
User-generated content can take many forms such as branded hashtags, photo and video contests, or creating a challenge.
The biggest hurdle to embracing UGC is giving up control from marketing teams and to users. Creating the ability for your users to create content and promote your company online has many benefits if leverage properly.
18. Bringing content creation in-house
Google has given us all a good idea of what type of content will rank well.
Continual algorithm updates continually prioritize pieces with E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness).
References to E.A.T. by Google are specifically tied to content authors, not just companies or brands.
If authors of your content don’t have expertise or authority, or if Google can’t prove that they do, your rankings will suffer. Companies that have relied on outsourced writers that aren’t industry experts with company bios that prove authority will suffer.
The best way that you can increase your E.A.T. score is by having content transition to an in-house effort.
Written content needs to be tied directly to an author that knows your business and industry well. Building the personal brands of content creators will be as important as the company brand when it comes to being found online.
The amount of people listening to podcasts has steadily increased in the last decade. When looking at 2019 compared to 2009, the number is almost tripled.
Clearly, they are quickly becoming a preferred method for learning and consuming content.
In a world where all marketers are trying to capture attention, the engagement rates with podcasts are worth noting.
Ninety-three percent of podcast fans listen to most of an episode, which means a deep level of engagement and interest.
There are a couple of ways that you can leverage this growing popularity. You can create your own podcast, be a guest on one, or advertise on another.
Because podcasts are often highly targeted, all of these options are cost-effective ways to reach an engaged and interested audience.
Social media trends
20. Nontraditional social platforms
Long gone are the days of effectively promoting your company on traditional social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
WhatsApp, TikTok, and Facebook Messenger have nudged their way into being well-known. In fact, WhatsApp and Messenger actually have more monthly active users than Instagram and Twitter.
Each platform has unique benefits and ways that companies can promote on them. TikTok, for instance, allows users to create and edit 60-second videos and add music and special effects.
WhatApp and Messenger have functionality that allows businesses to provide customer support, share updates, and promote content.
Due to the sheer volume of active users, these newer platforms are uncharted waters that are ready for early adopters.
21. Livestream video
80% of respondents to a recent survey said they’d rather watch live video than read a blog post.
Couple this with the fact that almost half of users surveyed said that they watch a livestream video at least once a week and a quarter of those same respondents watch livestream video once a day and you’ve got an impressive case for the medium.
Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all make creating live video quick and easy. Truly the only thing you need to start a livestream video is your smartphone and an active social media account.
Livestream video promotes real-time interaction with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way.
Viewers aren’t consuming your content on their time; instead they are choosing to join in your content on your schedule, so they are naturally engaged.
Here are some ways your business can utilize livestream videos successfully.
22. Social media stories
A great way to continue featuring your livestream video for those who couldn’t tune in at the time is to show the video on your story afterwards.
With 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses, they are also a great way to feature products, events, or links.
There are simple built-in tools proven to make stories more engaging, such as polls, geotags, and mentions.
It’s also very easy to take user-generated content that you’re tagged in and repost in your story.
More than half of Instagram’s users have discovered new products on the app.
They’ve also indicated that they are open to learning more and even purchasing.
23. Social listening analytics
Social listening is the practice of looking into brand mentions to get a pulse on what users, promoters and detractors are saying.
Social listening has largely been used to this point as a reactive marketing tactic for communicating with customers.
As AI technology becomes stronger and is applied to social listening analytics, the way in which this tactic is used will change dramatically.
Social listening analytics can begin to be used in a proactive way to identify trends and help inform marketing strategy.
Instead of sending a feedback form or paying for market research, customer panels or focus groups – you can quickly receive feedback. AI can help businesses spot trends as they are emerging or get quick feedback that can help companies quickly pivot.
Forty percent of marketers use online communities even though 50% are actively trying to connect with customers in a quicker fashion.
Think about the way that buyers make decisions online: they look for feedback from current users, read reviews and search for helpful content to aid in their decision.
Marketers ignoring online communities and groups are missing an opportunity to help your voice be a part of that conversation as it’s happening.
Building an online community isn’t a tool that you can sit and forget, so if that’s the plan keep moving on. Online communities rely on immediate feedback and interaction to keep them valuable and thriving.
Here at IMPACT, we have IMPACT Elite as an online community. It’s a place where inbound marketing professionals can solicit advice, share ideas and learn together.
Creating communities like this allow us to regularly see what our clients and inbound marketing professionals are talking about.
25. Social commerce
Social media titans like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have made it easier to shop and buy all without leaving their apps.
On these apps, businesses can now make online stores, customize product catalogs for the social store and sell directly on these social media platforms.
You can open an entirely new audience and provide a seamless transaction without customers needing to have ever heard of your company or go to your website.
If you sell products that cater to a younger demographic, social commerce is worth exploring. It’s worth mentioning that this is still a relatively new and therefore untested digital sales opportunity.
Paid advertising trends
26. Expect to see rising cost-per-click (CPC)
The total amount of searches being performed online isn’t growing by large margins like it used to.
Pair that with the massive numbers of companies focusing on creating a greater volume and better quality content, and you’ve got two colliding forces creating a more competitive landscape for ranking well in search results — both organic and paid.
Which, of course, means a rising cost-per-click (CPC) costs for paid media advertisers.
It’s important to understand this trend, even though it isn’t an easy pill to swallow. Anticipate an increase in paid media advertising budgets (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on) to accommodate more competitive search and CPCs.
Focusing your big strategy to maximize conversions can be an automated strategy to lower CPCs vs. relying on a manual CPC strategy.
27. Paid media advertising beyond Facebook and Google
What’s most important for paid advertising in 2020 and beyond is to meet your customers where they already are. Using social media analytics and engagement rates you can quickly determine potential paths for paid advertising.
Facebook continues to lead the way with monthly active users, but are they your users?
If your users spend time interacting with short videos and stories, sites like TikTok and Snapchat could be worth investing in.
Do your users crave written content and detailed answers to questions? Reddit, Quora and Medium all have tailored areas where conversations are actively happening.
Allocate a small portion of your paid advertising budget to explore and test alternative sources that could help meet you where your buyers spend time.
What digital marketing trends will impact your business in 2020?
I can only imagine how you’re feeling after reading through almost 4,000 words on the digital marketing trends for 2020.
It’s probably similar to how I felt after researching and writing this. (Excited by all of the possibilities, but overwhelmed and… well, a little exhausted.)
The most important takeaway from this article will be your answer to a simple question:
What emerging opportunities and trends could best help elevate your company to hit your goals this year, based on your current strengths, weaknesses, and industry position?
The world of digital sales and marketing moves at a dizzying speed. The companies that innovate and capitalize on emerging trends will outgrow their competitors and find new customers. Those aren’t going to be the people who read this article and say, “That was really insightful,” and then move onto something else.
It will be the minority of people who see the urgency what I’ve discussed here and understand the immediate need for change who will take action.
They will begin experimenting and testing in new digital areas, so that they are the ones who, ultimately, achieve the growth they’re looking for.
As a digital marketer, you must immerse yourself in the needs of your customers and the technology available to them. That’s the common theme among all of the digital marketing trends for 2020:
Find creative solutions that allow you to create a connection with your ideal buyers.