We’re Watching You: Digital marketing strategies to keep an eye on in 2020

2020 digital marketing predictions

If there’s one constant in digital marketing, it’s forward-thinking strategies. Since digital trends are always changing, marketers and business owners must constantly prepare for what’s to come by keeping tabs on big brands and key players in the digital sphere. If you don’t keep up, you’ll miss out. 

Digital technologies and social media placed the world at consumers’ fingertips. If you don’t speak their language and meet them where they want to be met, they’ll click away, never to be seen again. Want to drive more foot and web traffic, generate more sales, and grow brand loyalty in 2020? Listen up. Here are the top trends in digital marketing we’ll be watching this year.

  • Facebook Advertising isn’t going anywhere, but expect to pay more.

    Facebook and Instagram—its not-so-little sibling—will continue to make billions in ad revenue as the go-to social advertising platform in 2020. The cost to advertise on Facebook has been gradually rising for several years and we don’t expect a deviation thanks to supply and demand. In 2020, consider evaluating your Facebook/Instagram ad budget. The same budget likely won’t reach the same amount of people as it did a year ago, but you can count on better-optimized ads with improvements in ad placement and delivery capabilities. Facebook and Instagram ad developments we’ll be watching:

    • Mobile-First Advertising:

      In 2020, Facebook plans to roll out a new desktop experience which is designed to look a lot like what we experience on mobile devices. And with 94% of Facebook’s ad revenue coming from mobile advertising, we can expect Facebook and its advertisers to prioritize paid content that is optimized for mobile devices.

    • Machine Learning:

      Facebook is leveraging its own data and algorithms to automatically improve ad placements and messaging. It’s rolling out “multiple text optimization,” which acts as an elevated method of a/b testing by choosing the best-performing ad copy and headlines (from options the advertiser creates) to display with your ad. Facebook has already implemented similar features to determine the best placement for your ad based on performance and user engagement. We expect these machine learning features to improve ad performance and make your advertising dollar more valuable. 

  • Automated Marketing Tools remove some of the legwork of marketing.

    There are numerous automation tools available (and I mean, a lot) to help scale marketing processes that otherwise would be manual time-suckers. And we all know time is money. The key here is to make sure that your messaging remains personalized. Marketing automation tools we’ll be watching:

    • WiFi Marketing Tools:

      For brick and mortar businesses like family entertainment centers, retail stores, and restaurants, a WiFi marketing device is a valuable tool for better understanding customer profiles and tracking customer visit behaviors. Additionally, it serves as a vehicle for delivering automated marketing campaigns based on customer location and visit frequency. We’ve recently partnered with Bloom Intelligence to bring this technology to our clients and we’re excited to see how it helps increase repeat foot traffic and provide additional insights into our clients’ businesses.

    • Review Solicitation Tools:

      Online customer reviews remain a frontrunner in influencing customer decisions, web presence, and overall brand reputation. It’s important for a local business to be in control (as much as it can control other people’s opinions) of monitoring and collecting these reviews. Automated review solicitation tools can reach out to customers at ideal moments—such as right after they leave your store or facility—to ask for feedback. A really good review tool will also have an automated process in place for following up with customers who didn’t respond the first time. This increases a business’ likelihood of gaining positive reviews and ensures that any negative feedback receives immediate attention. (If you’re interested in automating this process for your business, contact us to learn more about our reputation management services.)  

  • Google keeps stealing our attention.

    As Big Brother continues to watch us, we’re keeping a close eye on how they make changes to their search algorithm and user-experience. Google changes we’ll be watching:

    • BERT:

      Google rolled out the BERT algorithm in Q4 of 2019 which promises a focus on voice search and improvements in how Google interprets real, human language. BERT will slowly but surely impact how Google interprets search queries and shows search results. As more information about BERT’s impact unfolds, marketers will need to adjust their SEO strategies. 

    • Rich Results and Structured Data:

      Google continues to transform its user interface, providing robust information on its search result pages and eliminating the need for users seeking quick tidbits of information to actually click through to a web result. (Zero-click searches hit an all-time high last June.) These key pieces of information that are previewed on a search result page (such as FAQs and how-tos) are called rich results. Marketers will need to incorporate structured data into their SEO strategy for their web content to appear as a rich result and provide more relevant search results for users. 

  • Authentic Customer Experiences, or what marketers call experiential marketing.

    Today’s consumers seek brands and businesses that know how to harness authenticity. Live Today’s consumers seek brands and businesses that know how to harness authenticity. Live events and experiences have larger impacts on brand loyalty for Gen Zers and Millennials than traditional advertising. Luckily, for many of our FEC clients, “experience” is the name of their game. If you operate a family entertainment center—or any other kind of business—brainstorming ways to take your customer experience to the next level will ensure customers build lasting memories of your brand in 2020. You don’t have to develop your own VR app to be relevant. Start small with pop-up events, for example, to bring your product or service to your local community. Experiential marketing trends we’ll be watching:

    • Innovation in AR and VR technologies:

      We loved watching big brands like Coca-Cola and Starbucks integrate augmented reality into their mobile-experiences in 2019 (thanks to AR photo filters on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat). We anticipate even more creative integrations in 2020 as both AR and VR technologies continue to develop. We also anticipate smaller brands will make use of these technologies as they become more available (and affordable). 

    • Meetups:

      You may have noticed that Facebook redesigned its interface to focus more on Groups in 2019. This emphasis on niche online communities did not start with Facebook (sites like Reddit, which was founded in 2005, and Meetup exist for this sole purpose), but they are propelling the idea. And with more and more people connecting with like-minded communities online, we’re seeing a desire to take these relationships offline, too. Larger brands and companies have hosted branded event gatherings for a while now; but if they’re smart, they’ll partner up with these smaller, user-created communities to give members the opportunity to connect in a real-life setting (while also setting the stage for brand loyalty). 

If you’re a business owner, you understand the importance of ensuring that your product or service resonates with your target audience. Well, the same thing can be said about your marketing strategy. If your marketing tactics are missing the mark, your business is missing out on customers. TrustWorkz offers a variety of digital marketing services for small- to medium-sized businesses that help them stay relevant within their online communities. Contact us today and discover how we can keep your business one step ahead of the competition in 2020. 

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