To say that digital marketing is rapidly evolving would be a gross understatement. The swift development of new technology, the growth of new marketing channels and shifting consumer behaviors has irreversibly changed the way that businesses promote and market their products to prospective customers. You can check the comprehensive digital marketing guide here.
Until recently, all you needed was an active social media presence and modest marketing spend in order to grow your following. In 2019, retaining attention and luring prospective customers towards your business and away from a competitor comes at a premium. Businesses who fail to connect and interact with the customers on a personal level risk falling behind in a highly competitive marketplace.
Businesses at the forefront of the latest marketing trends and leveraging them to generate meaningful interactions with customers. While those playing ‘catch-up’ are struggling to adapt and keep up with the latest marketing trends fall by the wayside. Consumers are becoming savvier and more demanding; it is the responsibility of businesses to recognize and adapt to changing consumer behavior — or risk losing them for good.
For businesses that feel like they are still stuck in 2017, here are four of the most important digital marketing trends to stay on top of in 2020.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is a technology buzzword that seems to have been on the lips of marketers for the best part of a decade. In 2019, artificial intelligence is moving away from its place in science fiction films and into the day-to-day lives of consumers everywhere.
The implication of artificial intelligence marketing means leveraging consumer information and data to predict the next move in your customer’s buying journey. The growth of big data and advanced consumer analytics have made it easier for marketers to define the purchasing behaviors of the customers and create strategies that anticipate their next move.
Utilizing big data insight found through dedicated AI programs can greatly improve the performance and ROI of a marketing campaign. AI can be used to automate and optimize campaigns for faster incremental revenue growth and targeted marketing activity.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the fastest-growing segment of digital marketing. A 2018 report found that companies with a marketing spend of more than $1,000 per month devoted more than 50% of their marketing budget to search engine optimization.
To appear at the top of the search engine results pages in Google, Bing and other search engines, it’s critical to understand the upcoming trends and how they affect your SEO strategy. This year, Google has changed the way that websites appear in search engines by updating its algorithm to favor mobile-first indexing and fast-loading pages.
In addition to changes made to the Google search algorithm, the way that users search and interact with search results has changed. Geographical data from mobile devices and local SEO algorithm updates have leveled the playing field for small to medium businesses and provided unprecedented opportunities for smaller companies to compete for local customers.
According to SEO Sydney agency Safari Digital, updates to Google’s local search algorithm in 2019 have made it easier than ever for small businesses to dominate the local market. Liam Ridings from Safari Digital notes that “More than 31% of all searches from a mobile-devices include a location in that search query. Customers are looking for local solutions to efficiently solve problems.”
Some of the most important things to consider when optimizing your website for search engine visibility in 2019 include the following:
- Prioritize a seamless user experience
- Integrate multiple types of media on each page (video, audio, images)
- Optimize each page of your website for load speed
- Create pages that users want, not just search engines
- Create long-form content that solves user problems
- Optimize your website for local search
Chatbots are one of the hottest digital marketing trends of 2019. From business websites to apps and social media platforms, chatbots are changing the way that customers interact with businesses. From simple questions to troubleshooting and walkthroughs, businesses are using chatbots to supplement their customer support team and cut overheads.
According to the latest research, 65.1% of companies that are utilizing chatbot technology are in the web software industry, with 58% of companies using chatbots in the B2B space. Some customers are already using chatbots for an end-to-end shopping experience with smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa assisting buyers through the purchase.
Some of the ways that savvy businesses are already using chatbots in their marketing efforts include:
- Shopping assistants
- Answering simple or frequently asked questions
- Helping users to navigate their website or platform
- General accessibility
- Lead generation
Chatbots are a long way from replacing the human touch of a customer service department. However, for simple tasks, frequently asked questions, and lead generation, chatbots are a smart way to diversify the way that customers interact with websites and applications.
For businesses that have worked with a marketing company or have an in-house marketing department that has been tasked with creating a ‘buyer persona’, they will likely be familiar with the idea of personalized experiences. In essence, personalized experiences are a way to segment your audience to create marketing content that appeals to a specific portion of your target customers.
Numerous studies have found that customers are more likely to buy from companies that create marketing campaigns that resonate with them on a personal level. Personalized shopping experiences continue to redefine the way that businesses interact and target their customers. Some of the benefits of personalization include:
- Improved relationship with customers
- Greater brand loyalty
- Increased customer retention
- Enhanced marketing funnels
- Consistent messaging and customer behavior
Single ad campaigns blasted out to thousands (or even millions) of potential customers is no longer an effective way to build a brand or business. Customers expect from their purchasing experience and it is the responsibility of businesses to create meaningful campaigns that foster relationships that make customers want to be loyal.
Whether you feel as though you are lagging behind the competition or simply looking to stay ahead of the curve, these four digital marketing trends should inspire you to make changes to your marketing behavior.
Competition is stiffer than ever. Using data and advanced marketing tools to create more effective and efficient marketing campaigns is the only way to ensure your businesses remains relevant and competitive in your industry.
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