Marketing technology moves fast, and businesses need to keep on top of the latest industry trends and consumer behaviours to avoid losing out to more savvy competitors. Here are some of the likely digital marketing developments in 2020.
Short form video content
Video has established itself as the dominant mode of communication on social media platforms, with 40% of marketers ranking it as the type of content that gets the best return on investment. Tests have shown that including video content can increase organic traffic from search engines by around 157% and double conversion rates, making it an invaluable tool for marketers and content creators. Most of the larger B2B companies are likely to focus on creating video for LinkedIn and start paying more attention to IGTV this year, which makes them more prominent on users’ explore pages, generating more leads. With the tremendous growth of 15-second video-sharing app TikTok over the past couple of years, short form video content is likely to dominate in 2020, taking advantage of ever-shortening attention spans and a preference for snackable content.
Typing keywords into a search bar is so 2015. Savvy internet users now prefer to upload images to take their search experience to a whole new level. Google Lens recognises objects and landmarks, enabling users to find similar products online, store contact details from a business card, read book reviews, add an event to their calendar, or find out more about a landmark, painting, plant, or animal. Pinterest has also launched a Lens function, which can recognise more than 2.5 billion home and fashion items, enabling users to find and compare products they find while out shopping or looking through a magazine. Visual search capabilities will only improve over the next decade, and marketers would be remiss not to capitalise on the trend.
With climate change, single plastic usage, and sustainability gaining worldwide attention, consumers are increasingly choosing to support brands that take a socially responsible position. Among Generation Z (those born between 1995-2005), 90% say they would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit. Engaging in ‘woke marketing’ can be a risky strategy (note the fall-out from Kendall Jenner’s 2017 Pepsi ad), however when brands wholeheartedly embrace their corporate social responsibility, the payoff can be huge. In 2016, outdoor clothing company Patagonia gave away all its Black Friday profits to environmental groups, earning $10 million in sales – a 300% increase over the previous year. With consumers unconcerned if 77% of brands disappeared tomorrow, differentiating itself as a socially responsible brand can set a company up for success over the upcoming decade, during which Gen Z will become the primary target market.
Machine learning has been improving steadily over the last few years and many companies now use chatbots to optimise their customer service experience. Cutting operational costs by up to 30% and available round the clock, AI has given early adopters an edge over their competitors. One of the big upcoming changes is the ability for machines to grasp the nuances of human speech. As natural language processing capabilities develop, chatbots will be able to decipher more complex scenarios, remember past dialogue, and understand human sentiments, making it increasingly difficult to differentiate them from live customer service assistants.
Need help with your digital marketing strategy in 2020? Contact HookedOnMedia for a free no obligation call with one of our consultants.