Technology is evolving at a ridiculously fast rate and with it, social media and the content marketing campaigns that come along with it.
As someone who spends a lot of time researching, writing, and implementing online marketing strategies, I’ve realized one major thing. Rather than digging your heels in and resisting the inevitable, the best way to succeed as a business is to use change to your advantage.
So what digital marketing trends are likely to skyrocket in 2020?
After much deliberation and an excruciating amount of research, I’ve narrowed it down to these 5 digital marketing trends that every business owner should keep their eye on.
#1: Increase in Video Content
According to Hubspot, 54% of all people want marketers to put out more video content.
Humans are visual creatures. We can’t help it. And visuals that move? Even better. I myself enjoy a good gif from time to time.
So it’s no shock that video content will soon (if not already) dominate social media. And online marketers and content creators should be paying attention.
91% of buyers prefer visual and interactive content while shopping. It makes sense, people want to see what they’re considering spending their hard-earned money on.
Many small business owners are intimidated by creating their own video content and I can understand why. In 2015, it was reported that B2B companies lost $950 million to ineffective marketing due to the cost of resources for video production with low ROI.
It’s true, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. But grabbing your phone and brushing up on your videographer skills is a great way to throw an egg in the video content marketing basket.
Advancements in technology make creating video content more possible than ever.
Stories are perfect outlets for more in-depth, behind-the-scenes content and Q and As.
You’re also able to share content posted by others. Someone posts about your restaurant? Share it on your story and thank them for coming. It promotes more user-generated content and makes them feel super special. Two eggs, one basket.
Live video content can humanize and promote authenticity within a brand. Instagram released live videos in 2016 with Facebook right on its heels in 2017. You can also broadcast live feeds through Twitter, using Periscope.
I get that live video can be a little intimidating but try not to overthink it. Record live entertainment or a busy night. If you’re feeling really crazy you can do a little open forum with your followers. Get to know them and let them get to know you.
Keep it short, sweet, and have fun! An analysis of 2,011 videos showed that funny videos tend to be the most positively received. We like to laugh, go figure.
TikTok is growing at a faster rate than Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. From 2017 to 2018 alone, there was a 407% increase in the number of users. Many marketing analysts consider it to be one of the leading social media platforms for younger generations.
Some businesses are taking advantage of this marketing outlet, but it’s still very much an untapped market. My theory is it won’t be for much longer.
#2: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Mobilization is sooo 2019.
As of February 2019, 48% of webpage views were from a mobile device. Now that businesses are finally getting comfortable with creating mobile-friendly content, get ready for the age of AI chatbots and predictive analytics.
There’s a lot of hype about AI technology like chatbots and for good reason.
An Oracle study found,
“More than one in three brands say customers and prospects prefer to complete a purchase or resolve service issues without speaking to a human associate, if possible.”
While some might prefer speaking to an actual human when their order is lost in the mail, the majority of consumers continue to prefer self-service over social interaction.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, said on Twitter that, “in the long run, I think we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first to an AI-first world.”
#3: Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Software
Even if you’re not exactly sure what AR is, chances are you’ve used it numerous times. If you’ve ever snapped a selfie with a Snapchat filter, you’ve experienced AR. It’s digital content combined with real life.
Advancements in AR are creating more marketing opportunities for brands and will likely continue to do so. Brands can buy customized filters through Snapchat. Companies like Sephora incorporate AR into consumer’s digital shopping experience by allowing them to “try on” makeup before purchasing.
In 2018, Shopify partnered with my favorite fixer-uppers, Chip and Joanna Gaines, to create an AR experience for E-commerce customers visiting their furniture and home decor show, Magnolia Market.
But it doesn’t stop there.
VR is a complete immersion into a digital reality. The word is big companies like Amazon and Walmart have been testing out VR shopping experiences for consumers for a couple of years.
My prediction is that 2020 will be the year altered digital realities begin to take off. This software will become less exclusive and more the social commerce norm.
#4: Authentic Branding
Successful content marketing is evolving into a more authentic space. Social media is headed into a community-driven space and businesses are, too (at least the smart ones).
Because of this, social media marketing is going to become highly personalized. Messenger and live videos open a line of two-way communication that consumers value.
Companies with high engagement, response rates, and who take advantage of features like Facebook groups create a community rather than simply selling a product.
A study done by Oracle found that 85% of British consumers “believe brands must play a bigger role in improving their quality of life”.
With endless information at their fingertips, consumers are becoming more aware of the companies they’re supporting with their purchases. They’re using social media to hold businesses accountable. Don’t let this intimidate you, but rather inspire!
How are YOU improving the lives of others?
#5: Rise of Social Commerce
54% of social media users research products through their chosen platforms. Whether it’s product reviews through Youtube or Instagram stories, people are paying attention to what other people are saying about your brand.
Brands are paying closer attention, too. Social media analytics will become even more beneficial for businesses trying to up their content marketing game.
With the rise of social commerce, we will see a spike in user-generated content (UGC) and the use of local influencers.
If you’re not even sure if you have a content marketing strategy in place, maybe it’s about time you started thinking about creating one.