Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends Essential for 2020

By: Dahlia Farhat

With both the offline and online worlds colliding, digital marketing has solidified itself as being the future of marketing. Digital marketing is so powerful, it has the ability to create both brand and product awareness online. Thus, it is always necessary to stay ahead of the game with digital marketing trends. It can be challenging to keep up to date with the fast-paced and constantly evolving digital marketing trends that can be utilized to achieve our marketing objectives. That’s why we have come to the rescue! Here is our list of the top 5 digital marketing trends that are essential for survival in 2020.

1. Shoppable Social Media Content

Ever wondered how you can get tons of active social media users to visit your website or online store? The simple answer is: get involved with social media shoppable content! We all know that social media can play a vital role in your marketing world. Consumers are constantly browsing, exploring, and engaging with different forms of content. Therefore, high-quality content that is shoppable is required to successfully execute the user experience for your new and existing consumers. Shoppable social media content refers to buying a product or service straight from the content, in this case, it would be a social media post or ad, where the users don’t have to leave the social platform to make a purchase. In one of our previous blog posts, we went into more detail about how to use Instagram to boost your business. The whole purpose behind social media shoppable content is to connect the point of inspiration phase to the point of sale phase, through the content. These features enable social media users to instantly purchase a product or service displayed in an image or video that caught their attention. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Pinterest have been exercising these methods for a while now. Snapchat and Tik Tok have also jumped on board and recently added shoppable content features that enable a faster and easier way for users to buy directly from their app. This eases the buyer’s journey and results are more immediate.

Even though shoppable social media content is not a new concept, ever since Instagram launched Checkout in 2019, it has been rapidly growing and gaining even more attention. Both Instagram shoppable posts and Pinterest buyable pins are key examples of social media shoppable content that you could implement in your digital marketing strategies this year. This is the right way to go as 54% of social media users use social platforms to research products. Shoppable content is changing e-commerce and the internet as a whole. Traditional forms of digital content marketing just won’t cut it anymore. Targeting millennial and Gen Z consumers who are equipped with phones and smart technology requires brands to be where they are. Therefore, shoppable social media content fulfills their expectations of how products should be presented and how fast they should be made accessible.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for years, but 2020 might be the year that marks people's awakening to the concept and realizing its power and dominance. The artificial intelligence global market is expected to reach $190 billion by 2025. Artificial intelligence will continue to solve our problems and become more powerful in doing everything that needs to be done, as well as, help businesses lead the competition. It's time for you to hop on the AI train and introduce it into your product strategy before it’s too late. A recent report from PwC suggests that the use of AI will increase global GDP up to 14% between now and 2030. This prediction suggests that all AI latecomers will find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage within the next several years.

Powerful AI can analyze consumer behaviours and search patterns. In addition, it can use data from social media platforms to understand how consumers found a certain product or service. One form of AI, chatbots, are continuing to be more interactive with instant messaging to chat with consumers. Chatbots will continue to be an important part of digital marketing in 2020. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, 85% of customer service will be powered by chatbots. In addition, chatbots are continually helping businesses save money. It is predicted that by 2022 chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum. Currently, AI engages in basic communication, product recommendations, content creation, personalization of emails, and e-commerce transactions. Soon AI will be the power behind many services. There you have it, we have laid down the importance of AI in your business. So what are you waiting for? Start implementing artificial intelligence in your digital marketing strategy today. For more information on how to get started with artificial intelligence read this comprehensive article: Want to get started with Artificial Intelligence? 7 easy steps.

3. Conversational Marketing

Direct messaging is one of the hottest digital marketing trends of 2020. Modern marketing requires brands to get on a more personal level with their customers. This is what people are demanding. Direct messaging enables brands to create stronger relationships and connections with their customers. This can be done through both messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, or private social media messages through the likes of Instagram and Twitter. Unlike traditional strategies, this form of marketing allows brands and customers to meet at the time, platform, and device that suits their needs. Likewise, the customer gets placed in an environment where they feel as if they are talking to their friend rather than a marketer, which in turn facilitates trust and loyalty. Rather than getting countless rejections, customers reaching out to your business first creates an environment where the customer feels more in control and committed to doing business with you. Therefore, make sure you are encouraging customers to reach out first by providing your (platform) username. The popularity of this method has emerged due to the convenience and efficiency it brings in implementing customer service, addressing complaints, and assisting in sales. The main goal of conversational marketing is to enhance the user experience, and by engaging in a feedback driven model, you would be doing just that.

4. Interactive Emails

If you’ve heard that email marketing is dying, DON’T BELIEVE IT! Email marketing is still an essential tool for attracting and retaining customers. Marketo estimates that checking email is the #1 activity on the internet with 94% of internet users getting online for this reason alone. However, it is indeed slowing down, relatively speaking. Therefore, as we move into 2020, email marketing appears to be taking on a new twist. Email marketing in 2020 and beyond will be focused on more functional ways to promote engagement and complete goals you have set for your website (such as filling out a form or checking out items left in carts). Emails will now look and function more like websites. These newer interactive emails will have even better and responsive imagery, better Calls-to-action (clickable buttons), and more interactive elements.

Here is a list of some of the most popular interactive email elements for 2020:
  • Product carousels, interactive images and menus
  • Rollover effects for products or services
  • Animated buttons and calls to action
  • Accordion features to make long emails look smaller
  • User generated content (surveys,polls, clickable ratings, and comments)
Interactive emails don't only impress consumers, they improve conversion rates too. As of 2019, more than 70% of people read their emails in a mobile app. Thus, we can predict as we progress into 2020 and beyond, more people will continue using mobile devices to check emails. Therefore, make sure your emails are optimized and well designed for that purpose.

5. Vlogs and Video Ads

Video blogs and video ads have become popular in part due to YouTube, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat. They may even be more popular than blogs nowadays. If you ask yourself why vlogs are rapidly increasing in popularity, it’s because they are personal and direct. Vloggers speak directly to the viewer, sharing more authentic and relatable content. Vlogs can also be strategic, as special events and specific content can be live-streamed. Another thing that people really love seeing is the “realness” of your business. Therefore, sharing behind the scenes and day in the life through videos could really increase engagement and interaction with your audience, as well as, share your business’s culture. With the rise of video marketing in the future, we will likely see more subcategories emerge. So, start creating video content now, to prep you for any future changes in the video marketing world.

So, there you have it - a definitive list of 5 important digital marketing trends you can’t ignore in 2020. The digital marketing world is constantly changing, so you must always strive to keep up with all the new trends, technologies, tools, and strategies, before you end up as the last runner in the race. Keep in mind the main idea of digital marketing - giving the people what they want, in the way they want it - and the trends and technologies in 2020 are just giving us more ways to do that.