A new year (and a new decade!) are upon us. Marketers everywhere are reflecting back on data and insights from recent years and making predictions about what to expect and focus on in the new year.
We decided to take a look at these insights ourselves and share some thoughts about what marketing practices and tools will—and won’t—be on the rise in 2020.
1. Personalization is a top priority.
If there’s one thing every 2020 marketing prediction article has in common, it’s the importance of personalization. Whether they’re driving down the street or scrolling through their social media feeds, consumers are constantly bombarded with ads. And they’ve become very good at ignoring the generic ones.
The key to catching people’s attention (and driving sales) is personalizing your marketing efforts. Advancements in technology, algorithm changes, and increased consumer data collection have made true personalization easier to achieve.
FACT: 80% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a brand that offered them a personalized experience.
2. Digital dominates, but content is still king.
No matter how you choose to implement your personalized marketing approach, one thing is clear—traditional marketing is losing its effectiveness. 2019 marked the first time digital ad spend surpassed traditional ad spend on outlets such as television, radio, and newspaper, and that trend is expected to continue in 2020.
Even though consumers are slowly shifting away from traditional channels, they still expect great content on the digital platforms they’re now perusing. From the text search engines generate to the posts in your social feeds, compelling content is still vital for your business’s success.
3. Automation is all-encompassing.
From chatbots to voice searches, AI-powered technology is on the rise. While nothing can replace the human aspect of marketing in agency-client relationships, automation services help take some of the grunt work out of marketing. This leaves you free to focus your time and energy on other things like creating killer content or developing an excellent customer experience.
4. Video is valuable.
This trend pops up every year and seems to become more true over time. When it comes to engagement, video continuously outperforms every other type of content. Live video is especially up-and-coming, with the live video industry expected to be worth over $70 billion by 2021.
The old writer’s adage, “Show, don’t tell,” applies here in a very literal sense. Increasingly, consumers would rather watch than read, if the rise of platforms like Tik Tok are any indication. FACT: 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand they support.
5. Interactive content is on the rise.
Whether it’s shoppable posts on Instagram, Facebook Live Q&As, or Instagram Story polls, users enjoy content that encourages them to interact. These interactions not only drive up your social media engagement numbers, but can also help drive sales.
This type of content keeps people on your page or profile longer, increasing the likelihood they will choose to purchase. When it comes down to it, people like interactive content for one very simple reason: it’s fun!
FACT: 91% of consumers prefer visual and interactive content.
6. Paid advertising will become essential—and also more expensive.
As algorithm changes make organic reach harder and harder on social media, paid advertising becomes less of a recommendation and more of a necessity.
However, as social media advertising becomes more valuable, it becomes less affordable. From Facebook to LinkedIn, social advertising experts expect CPC and CPM to rise. This comes at a time when marketing budgets are expected to grow tighter for many businesses, which means getting the most bang for your social buck will be important.
7. Instagram can’t be ignored.
While Facebook continues to be the social media platform with the most users, having a business presence on Instagram is the new thing, especially if you’re trying to reach younger audiences. As visual content becomes increasingly preferred, Instagram continues to grow and now has more than a billion active users.
The platform is also business friendly and has many features that can help brands succeed. For example, shoppable posts are great for showcasing products and driving sales, and hashtags make driving organic engagement much easier than on Facebook.
FACT: 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand or business, and 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand.
8. Being number one in search results is no longer the goal.
As Google continues to update its algorithms, optimizing your ad and website copy to appear at the top of the search results is critical. The most coveted spot is now no longer the number one result, but rather ‘position zero,’ the little snippet box of information that appears at the very top of the Google search results page, even before the organic and ad results.
Users often don’t scroll past position zero to look at other results, meaning it’s important to secure this spot if you want people to click through to your website. This is where great SEO comes in.
9. Print is not dead yet.
Despite the shift towards digital, it’s not quite time to write off print and even direct mail—as long as it’s truly personalized. Have you ever received a card in the mail from a business, only to open it and see they used a font that looks like handwriting rather than actually taking the time to write the note? The concept of personalization is there, but the execution is lacking.
To overcome this, machines now allow you to write notes in your own handwriting (with pen). This true combination of personalization and automation saves you time (and writer’s cramp) while allowing you to make your customers feel special.
10. Customer experience is the ultimate goal.
Almost all of the above trends combine to create one thing: an amazing customer experience. In a world where consumers have thousands of options available at a click, great customer experience is what keeps people coming back for more.
From video content to handwritten notes, this entire article is driven by the wants and expectations of consumers. Whatever insights you choose to incorporate into your marketing strategy for this year, they should all be centered around one thing: attracting and retaining customers.
Worried that your current marketing is outdated based on these trends? Reach out and we’d be happy to help you revamp your existing brand and marketing efforts.