Marketing trends come and go as quickly as you can say “another Google algorithm update?” New technologies and platforms are always exploding onto the scene.
Thats why it’s so important to stay on top of marketing trends. If you don’t keep up, you get left behind.
And what better way to stay on top of the trends than by asking some of the best marketers in the biz for their thoughts and what we should pay attention to in 2020.
- Peer marketing persists
- Content is still king
- Video killed the blog-only star
- Voice search becomes standard
- Customer first marketing
- Send an SMS to the world
- Technology gets harder better faster stronger
- Unique marketing to stand out
- SEO Updates change the game again
- Data drives the way
1. Peer marketing persists
“In 2014, the Google Pigeon updated brought forth of large change in local SEO, leading to reviews from sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp to gain visibility. That same year, Yelp went public.
Since then, reviews have taken over the world. Reviews have fully integrated themselves into the marketing world with brands spending millions of dollars a year on brand reputation. And it works, as 95% of online shoppers read online reviews before making a buying decision, as does 92% of B2B buyers.”
Levi Olmstead, 2ndKitchen
Referral marketing is likely to reign big in 2020 because it works. In fact, in a survey of Consultants and Freelancers, 78.5 percent said that referrals were key to getting new business.
2. Content is still king
“The future of digital marketing is short-lived content. Why? The attention span is getting shorter, so people don’t have much time or desire to consume too much information. The numbers speak for themselves: Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and WhatsApp Status have 500M users each. Since short-lived content is available for a limited period of time, it creates a fear of missing out and therefore it encourages users to take a desired action faster. “
Hugh Beaulac, MC2 Bid4Papers
Infographics are one of the best types of content you can create. They are highly shareable, easy to understand, and people love them. Luckily, we here at Venngage are infographics experts.
Want to learn more about infographics? Check out…
- What are the 9 Types of Infographics?
- Statistical Infographics to Help you Visualize Your Data
- Process Infographics to Help You Visualize Your Processes
- Creative Infographic Templates
“From a content marketer perspective: I believe in the next decade valuable content will take over the digital marketing scene. What I mean by that is: you need to offer your audience more than just “A list of X tips”, “How to do Y” articles. Us, marketers, we will have to run our own research and gather unique data we can present in our channels.”
Paulina Golab, CallPage
Content will continue to such a big part of marketing in 2020 that it’s worth getting right. Especially for visual content, image optimization will play a huge part of your content strategy. As SEO expert Ann Smarty says “use images on every page”.
“More marketers are moving away from sales and into educational content. Not just content about a brand or service, but informative content that is bringing research to the consumer. They are providing them with comparison posts, reviews, white papers, etc. not necessarily in relations to a service. The goal is to save them time and give them solutions all while remaining on your website during this research period.“
Savannah McIntosh, Purplepass Ticketing
“One of the biggest changes we will see in digital marketing is in content creation and consumption. There’s millions of blog posts written each day. And millions of them are skimmed for 15 seconds or ignored completely. Most content is dry. It’s boring. Stale. Nearly impossible to read without falling asleep.
In 2020 and beyond, content marketing will begin to shift more dramatically from being optimized for search engines towards optimized for actual readers who are thinking whether or not to trust and buy from you. Content says a lot about your brand as a whole. It shows your brand personality, your mission, and helps readers decide if those align with their own purpose.”
Jeremy Moser, userp.io
Venngage are huge fans of content. It’s how we grew our business! Here are some excellent resources on how to effectively use content in your marketing:
- How to scale up your content using visuals [3 free ebooks]
- Everything you need to repurpose content visually
- How to increase blog traffic with content
3. Video killed the blog-only star
The pivot to video will continue in 2020, but this should come as no surprise. In fact, in a recent survey Venngage found that 7.1% of marketers cite video as their most frequently used medium. An incredible statistic once you think about how much time and effort goes into creating video, as opposed to graphics or copy!
And this is just marketers who make video the most. These days, you’ll be hard pressed to find any company that isn’t using video on at least one of their channels. Read this ultimate guide to video marketing to get started. And to find out why so many marketers are taking a video first approach, check out our full blog post:
“I think we’re going to see more integration of video marketing, particularly in the B2B space. Augmented and virtual reality will also make their imprint on the B2B marketing strategy. SMS marketing will become more prevalent, not as a replacement to email, but as a serious complement. Consumers will continue to demand a unified and personalized marketing experience, and AI and machine learning will help us (marketers) deliver.”
Ruthie Bowles, Defy The Status Quo
“Over the next few years, we can expect an even higher density of video content on the web. It’s been proven that people react much better to visuals, which leaves less space for written text. In terms of SEO, websites will rank much better if they contain a certain percentage of videos. I predict these percentages will continue to rise in the future, putting the main focus on videos and images.”
Adriana Moskovska, Small Biz Genius
Interested in maximizing your video potential? Check out these resources:
- YouTube banner maker
- How to optimize thumbnails for search
- 5 useful tips for growing your YouTube channel
..and of course the Venngage YouTube channel!
4. Voice search becomes standard
“I’m really excited about the ongoing developments in voice search software. I think this will become an even bigger trend in 2020 as more and more people become acquainted with it and the technology improves. That’s why I’m planning to work with my team on optimizing our website for voice search, and I’d recommend others do so as well to get ahead of the curve. I’d also say that SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) position zero will be the main goal for any SEO specialist in 2020.”
“Within the next years, the Marketing field will be greatly affected by three terms: machine learning, omnichannel & visual. In general, the Traditional Marketer will be replaced by Technical Marketer who will be armed with plenty of technical skills like coding in python, understanding and writing scripts and implementing API integrations, in order to achieve great results.”
Joyce Qian, ContactPigeon
5. Customer first marketing
“We’ll see a shift towards more focus on building “real” businesses with strong unique selling points and building stronger relationships with your customers. The time in which you could just start a generic website without a “soul” are behind us!”
Steven van Vessum, ContentKing
“Conversational marketing is undoubtedly going to grow in 2020. Nowadays, customers are overwhelmed by a vast number of ads. The solution to so-called “marketing clutter” can be personalization combine with automation in order to create a conversational experience and increase conversion rate.
That is why the usage of chatbots for brands gain popularity continuously. A real-time conversation can be an excellent opportunity for customers to express their actual needs, interact with the brand, and get personalized recommendations. That customer-centric approach can result in over 30% CTRs and more than 90% open rate.”
Maja Schaefer, Chatbotize
“Most of the websites we see deliver numerous features that describe the firms’ services, business practices, pricing, and other relevant information. What is missing is how all of these features benefit potential clients that are visiting the website. It is up to these visitors to connect the dots – how all of the features actually benefit them. Many visitors do not make the connections and they exit the site never to return. A far better strategy is to describe features and benefits and make the connections for the visitors.”
Jack Waymire Paladin Digital Marketing
6. Send an SMS to the world
“RCS Messaging is the long awaiting replacement to the outdated and clunky SMS message. It’s been waiting in the wings now for over a decade but at last it looks likely that in 2020, marketers will be able to get their hands on it.
The rollout of the new messaging platform, which will allow group messaging, images, video, audio and read receipts has been accelerated in recent months and consumers in most countries now have the ability to send and receive RCS. Early business case studies have been hugely impressive. Subway sent promotions by RCS with detailed images and as a result, saw an astonishing 144% increase in redemption rate compared to the same promotion using SMS.”
Henry Cazalet, The SMS Works
“We are seeing marketing trending back to an old school technique. It’s sms marketing and more companies are using text messages to reach their existing client base. It has a 98% open rate and messages are read in the first 3 minutes upon arrival.”
Chris Prasad, JookSMS
7. Technology gets harder better faster stronger
“Natural language processing (NLP) will change content marketing. News companies like The New York Times or Washington Post are already using NLP tools to let “computers” write parts of their content. Normally, when it comes to writing content, there’s always a time restriction. I can only write a limited amount of words within a given time frame. If NLP tools manage to override this restriction, content becomes a commodity and everybody with access to these tools can as much high-quality content as they want.”
Max Benz, Suitapp
“Gartner expects we will be talking about AI for marketing for the next 20 years, which even longer than fits in their hypecycle. Dont get overexcited though, the squeeze on 3rd party data and cookies (from legal, GDPR and rising marketplaces) will at the same time create a renewed focus on first party data and owned channels. So marketers get your email marketing, automation and customer profiles in order.”
Jordie Van Rijn, Email Vendor Selection
The increase of AI and automation feels like a much deserved “break” in the marketing world. With the sheer amount of content and conversations marketers are expected to create for brands, the idea of automatic some or all of these processes is incredible. In our annual survey, 34.8% of marketers said it was being able to produce content consistently was their biggest struggle.
“Once conversations became automated, customer service and marketing changed forever. Nowadays, businesses, especially online stores, can benefit from automation when it comes to immediate, yet valuable response.
Thanks to bots that can be implemented in live chats on the websites or Messenger, brands can not only solve customer’s issues faster but also distribute relevant content, engage with consumers, distribute promotional codes or recommend right products. Therefore, automation improves the customer experience by increasing personalization – and will continue doing so in 2020. “
Pawel Ogonowski, Growcode
“Chatbots are quickly emerging as a great tool for personalized content marketing for online businesses. For example, if a customer subscribes to a Messenger chatbot on a cooking blog, they will get a fresh portion of recipes and other personalized content regularly. This works to attract more website traffic with content sharing + you can use this opportunity to engage them with personalized offers directly.
By distributing content through Messenger chatbots consistently, you can also take a subscriber down the funnel quicker, as they allow you to collect customer data and preferences and then deliver relevant content based on them. Who wouldn’t like to have a direct communication channel with customers for getting feedback and improving content marketing personalization, right?
That’s why I think that in 2020, the use of chatbots in content marketing will definitely increase, as more businesses will continue to focus their efforts on delivering personalized content directly to customers.”
Tytus Golas, Tidio Live Chat
8. Unique marketing to stand out
“With technology moving faster and faster, it gets easier for you to copy your competition. But, of course, this also means that for your competitors, it gets easier to copy you. If you want to maintain and strengthen your market position, you’ll have to find a way to differentiate your company from all the other similar businesses out there.
It’s not about your product features anymore, it’s about your brand. Invest in building a reliable and remarkable brand (your customers love) will yield most benefits in the 2020s because it will be harder and harder to stand out from the market.”
William Cannon, UpLead
“I believe the year 2020 is for discovering more and more types of content. With the abundance of opportunities out there, marketers need to become even more creative, and agile to deliver better marketing results. In 2020, I see marketers trying out all the marketing activities out there – content reports, TikTok videos, podcast episodes, Whatsapp newsletter are all new opportunities that are yet to be discovered.”
“Brands are going to start using giveaways to attract highly targeted leads by creating extremely niche giveaways that only potential customers will take part in. We have already seen a significant shift in marketing, with brands being more focused on high-quality leads as opposed to targeting everyone.
VR streaming allows multiple people from different locations to interact with each other in a single virtual room. This technology can be used to host virtual contests, similar to the live contests we see on TV. Instead of getting contestants to fly over to a studio, the contest will be held online using VR technology and streamed on social media. Such a scenario will assist brands in collecting accurate data related to the contest while growing their social media and email lists.”
Jack Paxton, VYPER
Finding a unique angle for your marketing can feel difficult in an over saturated market. The internet has given us the ability to find more examples and sources of inspiration, but it’s also meant that our competitors have more examples and sources of inspiration too.
Easy ways to differentiate yourself can come in the form of your branding and the design of your content. We rounded up some of 2020s hottest graphic design trends to help give your marketing a boost.
9. SEO Updates change the game again
“With the rise of voice search, the recent BERT update and increasing complexity of the Google algorithm, I believe there will be more weight given to naturally written content and highly contextual, relevant links. Thus the nature of SEO will be more about what looks human and ‘natural’ and moving away from more manipulative methods.”
Amit Raj, Amit Digital Marketing
“When we talk about SEO, we ultimately should be talking about conversions and creating great experiences for users. Many companies are still talking about getting a website ranked #1, which, when that links sends a user to a poorly designed website or experience, means very little towards conversion. This is also why, unfortunately, when people try to boil SEO down to keywords or rankings, it doesn’t always work.”
Bill Ross, Linchpin SEO Chicago
10. Data drives the way
“The biggest marketing trend that I can predict in 2020 is the scarcity of data. With GDPR in place, marketers are severely limited in what kind of data they can collect. This makes it much more difficult to create personalized campaigns. 2020 will be all about doing more with less.”
“We will see a dramatic shift towards better integration of data and platforms. At the moment data is getting richer, but it’s still too segmented and there is a lot of money being left on the table. What this means in real terms is an insight from one channel has to be manually identified and the findings transferred to other channels.
Once digital marketers find a universal way to easily aggregate data, let systems talk to each other and build AI software to make informed decisions ROIs will increase dramatically.”
Pete McAllister, Outreach Pete
“A continuation of the trend towards more personalization, interactivity or a combination of the two. The so-called “1:1 marketing”. A lot of companies gather or already have a ton of data about their users, consumers and leads. Companies will explore new, creative ways to actually put that data to use.”
Nigel Lindemann, Survey Anyplace
Data is often thought about as information about your customers. But data is an incredible resource to help build your brand as well. In fact, 48% of marketers say they measure metrics related to their brand.
The possibilities of combining data surrounding your brand with the information you already have about your customers can help you create truly effective, personalized customer experiences.
Now that you’ve seen into the future of marketing trends, why not have a look back at how digital marketing evolved over the last decade with our blog post The Evolution of Marketing