The field of digital marketing is constantly evolving and with so much online competition between brands, it is crucial for businesses to keep ahead of the curve with developments and trends within the industry. 

So as 2019 draws to a close, we’re looking ahead to the New Year and making our predictions for 6 trends that will dominate the field of digital marketing and how you can incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy.

Voice Search

‘Hey Google – What percentage of searches will be via voice by 2020?’

Turns out, over 50%… With a large proportion of households now owning an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or some other smart speaker, the popularity of voice search doesn’t seem to be reaching its peak any time soon. While it presents a challenge to businesses, it is something that will shape and influence how brands create content and market themselves. Examples include Patron Tequila offering spoken cocktail recipes, Domino’s voice ordering and PayPal offering voice-activated transfers. 

If your marketing budget doesn’t quite match up, don’t worry. It’s enough to ensure your content is optimised for voice. Adopting a conversational tone, using longer keywords and providing detailed answers to common questions will help make your content more visible to voice searches.

Personalisation

We live in a day and age where consumers are more willing to interact with and share their details with a brand if they are offering a personalised experience and a true value to them. Because of this businesses have been forced to turn to personalisation as a technique – take Netflix and Amazon Prime’s tailored recommendations as an example.

However, for marketers, this presents the unique challenge of providing these personalised experiences instead of generic advertising. Whether through the medium of email or social media, adding an element or several elements of personalisation will ensure brands are able to keep up with competitors and increase the level of interaction from consumers. 

Removal of ‘Likes’

Influencer marketing has become so popular over recent years, that brands are slowly moving away from traditional forms of marketing and incorporating influencers into their strategies. When Instagram announced that it was removing the likes feature on posts, social media marketers and influencers alike were quick to reject the change. While the change came from a logic of shedding the need for validation from others, brands that utilise influencer marketing will be hit hard by the update.

Going into the new year, businesses will have to find alternative methods of measuring the impact, engagement rates and ROI of their social campaigns. This could involve incorporating paid Instagram Ads into their marketing strategy. What’s more, if the change is implemented permanently by Instagram, it may also encourage other social networks to make similar changes, affecting digital marketers on a much larger scale.

Direct Messaging

Where there were chatbots, now we have DM’s. With social media dominating most of our lives, it has become easier than ever to communicate with people instantly. In short, as consumers, we are becoming more demanding and want faster responses from brands.

In order to help streamline and build personal relationships with clients, businesses have turned to direct messaging as a form of customer service. This can be seen more and more in small and independent businesses, organising appointments in a medium that best suits the client. Going into 2020, this will become more important and brands will have to make sure they’re communicating in the best way for their client base in order to create new business.

AI

Don’t panic, the robots aren’t coming to take over the world, but the advancements in AI over the last few years is forecasted to continue into 2020. In particular, we are likely to see an increase in the number of businesses that use AI in their marketing efforts. It’s the driving technology behind voice search, smart speakers and chatbots that are ever-growing in popularity.

The purpose of AI is not to replace humans entirely and as an inherently social industry, it’s vital for the field of digital marketing to keep the human touch. We can expect brands to turn to automation in order to streamline their processes, learn about their audience and focus more human attention on creating meaningful customer experiences and relationships.

Social Commerce

When research states that over half of social media users carry out product research before purchasing, it was only a matter of time before social platforms incorporated a function. This allows users to buy products directly from social media posts and ads. The aim is to simplify the buying process and increase conversions by cutting down the amount of steps to purchasing a product and discouraging cart abandonment.

Instagram paved the way with Social Commerce by introducing Instagram Checkout back in March. Although it is only currently available in the US, we can expect other social platforms to follow suit and start introducing similar features as soon as next year.

2019, That’s a Wrap!

While these trends are what we expect to dominate the field of digital marketing throughout 2020, a fully formed strategy is key to success in the new year.

If you haven’t yet started planning your 2020 digital marketing strategy or are looking for someone to lend a hand, feel free to contact the Colewood team.

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