2020 has been a breakthrough year. Whatever ideas we had regarding how life would be have now been proven to be outdated. Similarly, in the sphere of Digital Marketing, you can never bet on the same old horse you always have been doing. To succeed in this business, you have to adapt to the latest trends. That’s the only way you’ll overcome the competition. And we digital marketers know how tough it is to get our websites indexed at the top of the search engine or grab the eyeballs of online customers and convert them into sales. There’s a term for the phenomenon we see around us where technology and society are evolving faster than businesses can keep up. It’s called Digital Darwinism. Earlier you went to a restaurant, got seated and received a physical copy from the waiter. Now if you do go to a restaurant, you don’t receive a physical copy of the menu but scan a QR Code with your mobile to access the latest selections. Most restaurant businesses don’t have this. But then, most restaurant businesses won’t survive either. Those which do adopt the latest changes go on to prosper.
So it’s no different in Digital Marketing. Here we look at the top trends of this year that you must stay abreast of. Let’s get started!
1) Voice Search
It is estimated that by the end of this year, half of all searches will be voice searches. And it’s not difficult to see why. More than a quarter of all Americans own a smart speaker such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa. In addition, 31% of users worldwide use a voice activated search at least once a week. There are certain SEO tips that a digital marketer can keep in mind when it comes to this digital marketing trend:Give a specific answer: People ask specific questions when seeking answers through a voice activated search. For eg. if someone asks “How many weeks are there in a leap year?” The answer must come as “There are 53 weeks in a leap year.”
- Answer Local Questions: Voice activated searches through mobile phones are more likely to be questions raised about local subjects. For eg. what the weather forecast is in their area or how far the nearest gym is to their place. As a digital marketer, you have to answer five questions namely, “Who”, “What”, “Why”, Where” and “When.”
- Use language as it’s spoken: A person will speak into Alexa or Siri in the manner that they normally speak. For eg. they’re bound to ask “What’s the recipe to XYZ?” rather than say “recipe of XYZ.” Therefore, you have to use long-tail keywords that are 3-5 words long into your content.
2) Shoppable Posts
Businesses are already heavily advertising on social media. But in order to make a purchase you have to go to the website of the brand or an ecommerce website like Amazon. Now, one can click on a social media post and immediately go to the online store of the brand in question. One can even see the prices of various items that are advertised without having to leave the site at all. You cannot afford to miss out on this type of online marketing!
3) Interactive Content
This not only includes shoppable posts, but also AR/VR trends, polls, quizzes, 360 degree videos, etc. They make your content stand out from the crowd! Moreover people are more likely to spend more time looking through your content as they are immersed in it. Quizzes are also shareable through social media channels.
Advertisements are tailored to a person’s specific interests. These depend on the person’s previous searches, subscriptions, views, locations visited, etc. As a result, not only are the relevant advertisements shown to the person but the ads of newer products or related products can be displayed as well. Numerous brands such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Facebook and LinkedIn have already been doing it. Some of the ways in which it’s done are:
- Weather personalization.
- Related products being displayed.
- Search Results Personalization.
- Email advertisements.
- Geolocation tagging.
- Discounts on previously searched products or related products.
5) Messaging Apps
Businesses are increasingly looking towards social messaging apps to reach out to businesses instead of the traditional email. Facebook Messenger alone has over 10 billion messages exchanged between businesses and customers or potential customers within a single month. The direct marketing from business to consumer leads to personalization. New products or services can be promoted, people can be invited to new events and customer support can be provided as well. It is much easier for people to text and get their problems resolved than do so through a phone call.
When it comes to marketing, this is the brand new frontier. In Lenskart one can take a picture of oneself and then see how each pair of glasses one is searching for looks on them. Various businesses that specialize in house paints will allow you to take a picture of your room and see how different paints would look on the walls. The same is being done with some business in the furniture industry as they allow you to see how each piece of furniture would look in your house without you having to actually lift a finger!
These are a part of Artificial Intelligence which is becoming increasingly used in Digital Marketing as well as all spheres of life. Chatbots can be used in direct messaging between business to customer including when it comes to customer support.
8) The Zero Position in Search Engine Ranking Positions
This is the most coveted spot. There are various ways to attain this that deserve a separate article. They usually answer a question and provide a link to the source material.
These Internet Celebrities are unlikely to go anywhere especially in this time of pandemic where people are logging into social media far more than they would have. Besides the typical influencer, a new trend of micro influencing has also become popular. For medium and small sized businesses, having a popular celebrity as an influencer (especially on Instagram) to market your product is prohibitively expensive. Instead, businesses can get social media influencers with a mid range following (for eg. 30,000 on Instagram) to promote their products especially if those influencers deal with very specific areas such as cycling or outdoor sports.
The use of streaming services to Vlog on social media has become prevalent. Due to the highly personal nature of interactions, vloggers get a highly engaged and enthusiastic audience. Vlogging can be a great way to market a product. The vlogger can showcase a product or promote it while livestreaming. People while hence be actually paying attention to what you’re promoting. In fact the Washington Post has predicted that by the end of 2020 video content would make up 80% of all online content.
Automation is becoming ubiquitous. Especially in the form of AI. Digital marketing as an industry is all set to further adopt automation as well as Artificial Intelligence. The more a business delays in automating its processes, the greater a disadvantage will it be at in the future. The world’s GDP expected to grow by 14% by 2030 due to automation. For eg. in:
- Welcome emails that one gets upon subscribing.
- Reminder emails.
- Birthday/anniversary messages.
- Messages for VIP customers and subscribers.
- Feedback and surveys.
- Advertisements and updates.
12) Programmatic Advertising
Real time bidding for Google Ads or anything else in general through use of AI is programmatic advertising. According to eMarketer, an estimated 86.2% of all digital ads in America this year will be examples of this trend of programmatic advertising.
13) Visual Search
Examples of this include Pinterest Lens and Google Lens. A user is capable of taking a photo of any object and searching it on Google to see where said object can be purchased. Thus, the phone camera is used as a search bar. The top categories for which people use such visual searches are:
- Home Decor
- Makeup and Beauty Products
In digital marketing as in life, the only constant is change. It is imperative that you stay abreast of them and read up more on it to survive Digital Darwinism and market top quality content to your target audience. To read up more, do check out the following links:
By:- Pranav Grover