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Written by Sam Yadegar on May 8 , 2020

Expand the reach of your business with the latest and most effective digital marketing trends of 2020.

Here, you’ll find:

  • A breakdown of 5 digital marketing trends of 2020
  • How you can implement these trends into your current strategy
  • Data showing which trends are on the rise
  • How staying in the loop can give you an edge over competitors

Rarely does a month go by without a search engine or social media platform (or both!) announcing a major change or update for advertisers. The effects can be slight or sweeping, and they often come without much of a heads up. 

The pros know change is the name of the game when it comes to today’s digital marketing landscape. Trends come and go, but more and more they’re leaning towards things like personalized ads and content written with an authentic, natural voice.

Keywords and audience targeting remain at the core of many search and social ads. But businesses can now make use of new visual marketing tactics to stand out from the competition.

hawksem: digi marketing 2020

Marketing teams and agencies must account for the ever-changing ways customers access information, communicate, and shop. (Image via Unsplash)

Digital marketing trends and the latest technology

Most online marketing agencies already use insights gathered from analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning to precisely target ads and deliver personalized promotions. Experts recommend combining these strategies with conventional search engine optimization (SEO) methods for best results.

An innovative digital marketing plan might unite a paid search campaign with pay-per-view Facebook video advertising or cross-platform social ads. Especially in today’s precarious business climate, marketing teams and agencies must account for the ever-changing ways customers access information, communicate, and shop. Here are five trends we’ve got our eyes on.

1. Create content beyond blogs

As we’ve said before, it’s natural to think “blogs” when you think about content. But while publishing high-quality articles should be a key component of your content and SEO strategies, content can be many things outside of just blogs.

Creating longer content such as guides, e-books, and infographics, for example, can be more than just educational content for your audience. You can repurpose this content into multiple blog posts, a webinar, or a gated download to capture leads. 

Lately, more brands are experimenting with interactive content like quizzes and social media polls as well. As Forbes reports, this is a great way to bolster your email list for future campaigns and helps your audience remember your brand.

HawkSEM: Digital marketing trends 2020

While micro-influencers don’t have the follower counts of more big-time influencers, there are plenty of perks when it comes to working with them. (Image via Unsplash)

2. Look into micro-influencers

You’ve probably heard the term “micro-influencer,” since influencers have remained one of the biggest digital marketing trends of the last few years. If not, here’s the 411.

Micro-influencers are social media influencers with 10,000 or fewer followers (though some consider accounts of up to 30,000 as micro-influencers). They can generally be found on Instagram. Brands can partner with influencers for sponsored posts, where the influencer somehow features your product or service in a post (that’s marked as an ad) in exchange for payment, a free product, et cetera. 

While micro-influencers don’t have the follower counts of more big-time influencers, there are plenty of perks when it comes to working with them. They’re often more affordable than those with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. And they often have more engaged audiences, too. They also tend to focus on more niche industries than broad lifestyle influencers. 

A Social Media Today survey found that 60% of consumers (and 70% of millennials) said social content from friends and family impact their purchasing decisions. Moreover, 54% of people on social media use it to research product purchases, according to Global Web Index. Depending on your industry, micro-influencers could be key to getting your brand added exposure and a bigger reach without breaking the bank.

3. Take note of the m-commerce rise

Speaking of phone apps and Instagram, let’s talk about m-commerce. As you can probably guess, m-commerce stands for mobile commerce (AKA shopping on your smartphone), and it’s a growing trend. So much so that Business Insider predicts it’ll reach $284 billion, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market, this year.

Some brands are jumping on the bandwagon through shoppable social media posts. A new Instagram integration with platforms like Shopify allows e-commerce stores to publish posts with links connected to the items shown in the image. Viewers can simply tap the image and be led straight to a product page to purchase right from their phones.

BigCommerce highlights just some of the benefits m-commerce offers, including:

  • an omni-channel experience
  • huge growth potential
  • better customer experience
  • a variety of payment options

However, they add that there are also common pitfalls to avoid, such as a wide range of regulations, price competition, and a constant need for optimization. 

Pro tip: Instagram Checkout, launched in 2019, allows users to purchase from Instagram without even leaving the app, making the transaction more seamless than ever. 

HawkSEM: digital marketing trends 2020

YouTube’s bumper machine generates brief ads from videos shorter than 90 seconds. (Image via Unsplash)

4. Explore video ads

Video marketing has become one of the most effective ways to reach customers and achieve brand recognition. But those that want to use video ads should be aware of the possibilities and limitations of various platforms, from Google and YouTube to Facebook and other social networks.

YouTube bumper ads are timed at six seconds and air before video content. These ads are particularly popular and effective for clients with limited video ad production budgets. Depending on available editing resources, you may want to consider using YouTube’s bumper machine. This tool generates brief ads from videos shorter than 90 seconds and has a few simple editing features.

Pay-per-view is available to video advertisers on Facebook. These placements resemble pay-per-click search advertisements. Advertisers don’t pay for views of sponsored results or other search ads that don’t get clicked. A fee is only charged when a viewer watches more than 10 seconds of a video promotion.

This digital marketing tactic encourages brands to craft content that prospective customers consider more compelling, engaging and interactive. 

5. Consider chatbots

As a digital marketing trend, chatbots have come a long way — particularly when it comes to AI and personalization. Not only can chatbots provide 24-hour customer support, but they can help answer common customer Qs, freeing up your human employees for other tasks.

As Digital Marketing Institute reports, chatbots have carved out a regular role on Facebook, by the tens of thousands, for different tasks in the last few years. And, with advancing AI technology, chatbots can become “smarter” as they gather more data. 

Depending on the chatbot software you go with, you can create a variety of scenarios that may help prospects and clients find what they’re looking for, from contact information to knowledge-base articles.

The takeaway

Much like Google beta releases, some digital marketing trends fall by the wayside while others prove to have staying power.

By staying in the loop and testing out the latest marketing trends (which they make sense for your business, industry, and budget), you can show your audience that you’re paying attention to what’s on the horizon.  

This post has been updated and was originally published in August 2019.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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