9 Hot Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

2019 has been a big year for digital marketing, and 2020 promises to be just as important.
Changing technology and consumer habits mean digital marketers must adapt their efforts, embracing new platforms and trying new strategies.

While it’s impossible to know all the new directions the digital world will take in 2020, several projections can be made with a high degree of confidence. Many of the trends that have gained popularity over the past few months are likely to continue to grow throughout the new year. Other forecasts are based on extensions of existing consumer behavior.

Following is a list of 9 likely digital marketing trends for 2020.

1. Mobile — For several years, consumers increasingly have been accessing the Internet on their phones, leading brands, marketers and search engines to adjust their strategies. This trend is not new to 2020, but it likely will continue to be a growing factor throughout the new year. Mobile phones and tablets are getting faster and more capable. Cell phone companies are working to roll out 5G technology, which will make the Internet much faster and accessible to all sorts of devices, including refrigerators and toasters (any old-timers out there remember the flying toasters?) The new technology promises many new marketing opportunities.

2. Stories — Storytelling is one of the oldest ways of sharing information. But it’s gaining new attention in our modern digital space, especially on various social media platforms. Snapchat initially focused on stories. Then Instagram, Facebook and now YouTube began allowing brands and individuals to detail their stories. Consider adding interaction to your social media stories. Add links, location tags and mentions for other brands. Use polls within your posts and on your website. Make the experience interactive and engaging.

3. Conversational marketing — Closely related to stories, conversational marketing involves engaging customers in real time, at the moment they have questions or want to discuss an issue. It means noting their needs and connecting them with solutions. According to the 2019 State of Conversational Marketing, 42% of people expect an immediate response (within 5 seconds) and 36% expect a response within 5 minutes.

4. Chatbots — improving algorithms and computer processing capabilities have allowed chatbots to be more accurate and useful. A chatbot uses artificial intelligence to allow a computer to answer questions asked by your viewers. They can be used along with FAQs and other parts of the webpage and can be programmed to answer common or simple questions. Although chatbots are useful for simple products or services, here at AdEdge, we have found live chat to perform better for more complex, higher ticket items …and better in general as long as there is a product/service expert available to field chat sessions.

5. Personalization — Consumers want personalized content products and emails. 63% of consumers say they are “highly annoyed” with generic advertising blasts. 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. 90% say they find personalization appealing. Netflix and Amazon have mastered personalized content with tailed recommended products and movie titles. Chatbots can help by answering personalized questions. A basic way to personalize communication is to include your recipient names in newsletters and email blasts. Tailoring messages to your various stakeholders also can help. Don’t send existing customers or partners the same message or language you send to people who don’t yet have a relationship with you.

6. Interactive content — Consumers like interactive, engaging content. Look for ways in your social media and other interactions to provide opportunities for feedback. Quizzes and polls can allow your viewers to share their thoughts and interact with your brand while also allowing you to better understand your customers and potential customers.

7. Video — 70% of consumers say they have shared a brand’s video. 72% of businesses report video has improved their conversion rate. 52% of consumers say watching product videos makes them more confident in online decisions. Sites that include video are 50 times more likely to drive organic search results.

8. Voice search and smart speakers — The rise of smart speakers and interactive portals has created a new way for consumers to interact with search engines. About 55% of all American homes are expected to have a smart speaker by 2022. 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say their devices are used as part of their daily routine.

9. Browser push notifications — Here’s an example of mobile technology changing desktop interactions. Apps for several years have reached consumers to push notifications, alerting them news and updates. Updated web browsers now offer that same opportunity to websites. Studies have shown that at least twice as many people sign up for web push notifications as newsletters. The average newsletter recipient waits 6.4 hours before opening the newsletter, but with a web push, the viewer sees the message immediately. These push notifications can be used to alert viewers to new newsletters, sales and any other message you want to communicate.