Top 10 Biggest Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

If you’re out of date with digital marketing trends, it’s noticeable in terms of your reach as well as your brand’s recognition value. You may not know new marketing trends, but your target group – and your competitors – already have strategies to leverage them. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 10 digital marketing trends for you.

In 2021, we will see many new marketing trends. However, there are also a few older ones that are still effective and will remain:

Chatbots 

Personal help without staff; In 2020, the technology will breathe new “life” into chatbots, making them even more compelling – and more popular – than in previous years.

Voice search 

As more and more people use digital assistants like Alexa or Siri, SEO places more emphasis on voice searches based on how people talk, not how they write.

Video Marketing 

As hosting videos becomes easier and easier, we see successful and ambitious branded videos on the web year after year (including vlogs, see #9 below).

But here are the latest digital marketing trends for 2021.

1. Shoppable Posts (Social Commerce)

For a long time, companies have been thinking about how to get their social media followers to visit their online stores. That has now come to an end.

Social commerce means buying products directly through social media posts or ads. You don’t have to leave the page or app. These “shoppable posts” on social media aren’t directly new, but they’ve been getting more and more attention since the launch of Instagram Checkout in 2019.

Why not? Shoppable posts simply make sense. At least 54% of people on social media use it to research product purchases. The goal is that your customers have to take fewer steps to buy, so direct sales on social media reduce the likelihood of the purchase being cancelled.

You don’t even have to be an e-commerce brand. As long as you’re selling products, even if you’re just a few promotional items, you can get better results by making transactions on social media possible.

If you have a Shopify Store, you only need to link the accounts (Instagram) or install a plugin (Snapchat). Otherwise, you’ll need to create stores in the right places, for example on Facebook. You should also watch Pinterest – one of the first channels to offer Shoppable Posts.

2. Direct messages 

In an attempt to build a more personal bond with customers, brands are now relying on direct messages. To make customer service more efficient and drive sales, direct messaging is becoming one of the hottest marketing trends in 2021.

Through messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook Messenger, or through private messages on social media such as Twitter or Instagram, brands build stronger connections with their customers. These forums offer the benefits of written communication and the directness of a phone call, all in an environment with which the user is already familiar through conversations with friends.

Brands recognize that direct messages from customers are effective in building relationships, whether it’s complaints, orders, or just stupidity. The great prerequisite for this is that the customer agrees to this. A customer who writes to you is very different from a customer you write to.

This method works best when you encourage users to write to you by prescribing your alias or username and perhaps rewarding them with an exclusive offer or coupon code.

3. Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing has been a digital marketing trend for several years now. However, it is so successful that the big influencers set the rules. It is no longer enough to send them a free sample in the hope that they will evaluate it. There are now price lists. “Influence” on social media is now a commodity and an expensive one.

Instead of competing with large companies for the hottest influencers, small and medium-sized enterprises choose to work with less to moderately known influencers.

Micro-influencer is a term that we have been seeing more and more frequently lately. It refers to mediocre influencers who serve a smaller niche – who are popular enough to be influential, still have contact with their followers and are not overloaded with sponsors. Micro-influencers are not only cheaper, but often have a better engagement rate than more well-known influencers. Just think about it; because they have fewer followers, they can devote more time to each individual. In addition, micro-influencers make it easier to specialize in a niche, as they often represent niches themselves.

A study by Adweek has shown how effective micro-influencers are. In the category of approximately 30,000 followers, micro-influencers had a 60% higher exposure and were 6.7 times more cost-effective than influencers with more followers.

4. Sophisticated and interactive e-mails

Emails are worth as much as ever. The ROI of email marketing was 3,200 % as of February 2019. However, other experts observe that the figures are declining or stagnating. Instead of turning their backs on this rich channel, digital marketers are reviving it with a new coat of paint.

Recently, we have seen a sharp decline in emails and newsletters that consist only of text. In their place are stunning, perfect emails that look like they came directly from a designer’s portfolio. Email marketing now and throughout 2021 uses emails that look and work like websites, including clickable buttons and other interactions.

These extremely sophisticated designs not only impress, but also improve conversions. Readers are more likely to click on stylized buttons with accompanying images than on plain text links.

But nowadays, even a website-based e-mail template is not enough; you’ll have to go one step further, with stunning images and designs that focus on the UX. Given the ROI mentioned above, it’s worth making sure your emails are as engaging and beautiful as possible.

5. Sentiment analysis 

Most of human communication is to find out what the hell the other thinks. And while hundreds of thousands of years of biological development haven’t been particularly helpful in understanding each other, after just a few years of machine learning, we’re already making progress.

Sentiment analysis, also called social listening, is the analysis of user reactions to a product or service, usually on social media or on the Internet. Online reviews and posts are not always black and white in the sense of “I don’t like this/I don’t like this”. There is a large grey area with different gradations. A user may like the product as a whole, but a certain feature bothers them. Maybe the product is fine, but just not what the user expected.

Sentiment analytics typically require tools to collect data and algorithms to find out what reactions your brand generates online and evaluate them. As I said, this is not a new marketing trend, but new technologies are making it more popular than ever before. Advances in the processing of natural language allow computers to understand the meaning behind what people say on the Internet, including slang and emojis.

Sentiment analysis tools like Critical Mention, Repustate or Lexalytics reveal what people really think about your brand. You can use the data not only to improve your products, but also your sales strategies, your marketing, your social media presence and your content.

6. Alternative and niche channels in social media 

Despite the confidence of Facebook’s recent revenue, steadily declining user numbers and a declining public image have cast doubt on the platform’s dominance. Similarly, we see a stagnation in growth on Twitter, resulting in a shift in power.

To be clear, Twitter and Facebook will continue to be useful marketing tools in 2021 and beyond. But the exodus has already begun.

Alternative social media channels are already experiencing new interest and show promising growth figures. If you start developing your presence on these “secondary” sites now, it will most likely pay off in the years to come as they continue to grow. Snapchat, Pinterest, Medium and Reddit in particular have recently become the favourites of marketers. Facebook has been losing young users and brands targeting those under the age of 30 for years are flocking to platforms that focus more on youth.

New and smaller social media platforms may not have the reach of the big ones, but that’s not a bad thing. If you’re a niche brand, specialized platforms are better suited to reach your audience. Check out these alternatives to Facebook, divided by industry or interest, so you can find the social media platform that fits your niche perfectly.

7. Programmatic Advertising 

Just like sentiment analysis, you shouldn’t engage a human being with the work of a robot. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning Algorithms are designed to make your work easier, and that includes optimizing your online advertising campaigns.

Advertising placement, media purchasing, performance tracking, and customer targeting can be handled using software. Not only are the results usually better, but the “outsourcing” of these tasks also creates space in your schedule to take care of more important tasks. This is automation at its best.

Software like Adobe Marketing Cloud or SmartyAds take care of the world of online advertising for you. Real Time Bidding can be extremely stressful and time-consuming, as well as finding out where to place ads best. Giving these tasks to an automated system can be best for you and your business.

8. Optimization of Featured Snippets 

One of the reasons digital marketing trends are changing so quickly is because the platforms on which they depend are changing rapidly. Just look at Google updating their algorithm a thousand times a year…

But as search engines evolve and become smarter, marketers need to adapt. More and more searches contain featured snippets, which are given a lot of space on the first page and get much more clicks than the other search results. That’s why it’s critical to keep them in mind when you create digital marketing content, and optimize any content for featured snippets by delivering clear and well-structured content.

Google is trying to get better at delivering content to people, so we need to take these changes into account and adapt our SEO techniques accordingly. This means taking all your audiences into account, especially critical if your serve multilingual content. International marketing can be a challenge to get right at the best of times, and this illustrates the point that all your subsidiary pages need to be optimised for featured snippets in order to gain maximum exposure on non-English SERPS.

For marketers, 2021 is more important than ever to create ultra-high-quality content that addresses topics thoroughly yet clearly, while being both well-structured and easy to understand. We need to write for people and search engines alike and make sure we don’t neglect anyone.

9. Branded Vlogs: Curse or Blessing?

With the continued success of YouTube, Instagram Stories and Snapchat, video blogs are also becoming more popular. Unlike other types of video, such as explainer videos or short films, vlogs are more personal and direct. Vloggers address the viewer directly (like PewDiePie) to create a more personal and direct connection – which is, of course, a big advantage for marketers trying to build a stronger bond with their customers.

Vlogs aren’t just about complaining about how the barista messed up your coffee. They can also be practical and strategically advantageous. You can broadcast live special events that not everyone has access to, such as a corporate conference or concert. You can also post other home-made content that your customers would like to see, such as interviews with celebrities or a behind-the-scenes look.

As video marketing continues to grow, we’ll most likely see more subcategories like vlogs emerge. Learning how to design your video content to be different from others will help you adapt to future trends. 

10. Speak to Generation Z in its language 

Last but not least, 2020 welcomed the youngest consumer group, Generation Z. Those born shortly after the turn of the millennium are now 18 and enter the labour market in drogues. Some sources even claim that Generation Z 2021 will account for up to 40% of all consumers.

Marketing for Generation Z means, among other things, that you have to take completely different paths in designing your content. The latest market is also the weirdest, with preferences that can seem weird if you’ve been used to aligning your marketing with Boomers or Generation X.

If Generation Z is one of your top markets, here’s a short list of values to consider:

Authenticity 

Growing up in the online era of misinformation, Generation Z is very sensitive to authenticity and can smell swindlers ten metres away – avoid excessive advertising and opt for transparency instead.

Privacy 

Generation Z is very concerned about their privacy, so it will be more useful for you to respect their data than to use it against them.

Diversity 

The most diverse generation to date appreciates the fact that diversity is reflected in the videos and images they see online.

Sense of humour 

The humour of Generation Z is titled “absurd” and other less nice euphemisms. So if you don’t understand him personally, engage someone who does it.

Marketers notice similarities between Generation Z and millennials, but as the Generation Z market matures in the next few years (in more than one way), you can expect controversial differences to emerge.

Ready for digital marketing in 2021?

The coming digital marketing trends for 2021 are, paradoxically, both human and machine – It seems that digital marketing is basically moving toward more personal relationships with more advertised niches, but the means to build those relationships are based on automation and new technology. The heart of digital marketing remains the same – giving people what they want, when and where they want it – and in 2021, technology will open up completely new doors.

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