Watch and Learn – Digital Marketing Industry Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2020

Many blogs detail trends in the digital marketing industry that have been in motion for years if not decades.

These can include everything from content and media marketing to the use of artificial intelligence in marketing today.

However, the savvy business owner knows that the landscape of digital marketing in 2019 and beyond is changing more rapidly than ever before.

Here are just a few of the trends you can’t afford to ignore as they quietly take over the digital marketing industry:

The Insta-Celebrity and the “Influencer”

Word-of-mouth has always been a great way to market. Consumers largely trust their peers. The “Influencer” trend takes that a step further.

Lead others by example by employing popular people with desirable traits or skills. Influencers show them products or services that they should try.

These professional advertisers do their product pushing casually. They demonstrate how products and services are helping them live the glamorous lives they show off on social media.

This influences consumers to want these products and services themselves.

Messaging and Social Media Apps

A few years ago, it might have seemed “unprofessional” to offer customer support via a social media messaging app. However, today’s consumers are much more likely to respond positively to this option.

Companies are using popular chat applications  to provide service and support where consumers are already having most of their conversations.

These include WhatsApp and Facebook messenger.  More of their customers are on social messaging apps than YouTube or Facebook!

Social commerce is also on the rise with no signs of slowing. In March of 2019, Instagram – one of the most popular social media platforms in use today – introduced Instagram Checkout.

This feature allows consumers to click on images of products and purchase them directly through the app. Brands can increase their conversions easier than ever before.

Raising the Voice of the Consumer

Families can now go through an entire day talking to the virtual assistants and voice recognition technology and devices in their homes, vehicles, and offices.

They can get everything done that they need to without touching the devices they are interacting with or picking up a phone.

Voice searches now account for nearly half of all searches. That includes searches for products and services. Companies are now creating digital marketing approaches specifically for voice-driven technology.

This may include recipes that suggest specific branded products. Or it could be instructions for repairs that offer deals for local home and auto shops.

Regardless of how it’s used, voice will play an essential role in both everyday technological life and digital marketing in the years to come.

Visual Search and Digital Inspiration Collections

Pinterest has been in use now for nearly ten years since its launch in January of 2010. Users have been visually searching the web for things they love and organizing them categorically on Pinterest.

This is a trend that goes beyond the DIY and craft communities that most people think of when they hear the word “Pinterest.”

This site and those like it started a digital trend that has been making increasing waves in the marketing world.

Even when people take breaks from traditional social media like Facebook or Twitter, they often continue to use Pinterest – and see the ads therein.

Today, many companies know the power of visual search and providing inspiration rather than just advertisements to their consumers.

In fact, around 90 percent of weekly Pinterest users make purchasing decisions based on advertisements they see on the site.

Pinterest has an average of 250 million users each month; that adds up to a lot of potential money to be made!

Telling Stories Instead of Sharing Posts

Unless you haven’t used social media of any kind in the last five years, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that nearly every platform now boasts some sort of “stories” feature.

These features are a way of sharing brief, temporary content with followers. Casual creators use them to share exiting networking events and their daily activities.

For businesses and brands, these storytelling features can create significant advertising opportunities when appropriately used. The trick is simply knowing how and when to utilize the feature.

Since stories on most platforms offer a photo or video that is viewable only for a set amount of hours or days, this is a perfect way to provide information or promotions with a short expiry date.

This may include:

  • coupons
  • promotion codes
  • sale information
  • inside info that only customers savvy enough to follow your company’s stories will see

Stories combine exclusivity, excitement, and FOMO – the fear of missing out – into one perfect package that was tailor-made for advertising purposes!

Interactive Content Creation – Getting Your Consumers Involved

Because so many of today’s consumers are looking for an experience when shopping or browsing online, they are more likely to be positively influenced by user-generated content.

User-generated content – or UGC – is content that companies have accepted or even sought out from consumers that cast their products or services in a positive light.

This may include media, text, or any other type of content, and always uses more subtle marketing techniques than traditional advertisements.

Consider successful commercials. They often show people that consumers can relate to in settings that look familiar. These people are enjoying the products or benefiting from the services being advertised.

When you use that same concept with media or other content that comes from actual consumers or users themselves, it adds another layer of trustworthiness to your marketing.

Consumers are more likely to believe their peers when they see them loving something. And that content is one of the best digital marketing tools available to brands today.

Whatever approach you take, it is important to remember that the digital marketing industry is like a living thing – always changing and adapting.

The best and only way to keep up with the trends it thrives on is to stay informed and keep an open mind. Everything else is as simple as watch and learn!

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