The 2020 Digital Marketing Guide

THE 2020 DIGITAL MARKETING GUIDE

The 2020 Digital Marketing Guide

Although it is hard to believe, 2020 is already here.

2020 has frequently been used as a point for people making predictions about what is to come in marketing, in both the digital / social world and off-line real world.

Throughout this post, we will look to cover ideas which are on the horizon for marketers and more importantly discuss what should be a part of your your 2020 marketing strategy and why.

We will try to cover not just online marketing, but the whole marketing landscape, from TV and Billboards to AI.

What We Will Cover:

  • Online marketing in 2020:
    • Personalisations rise
    • Content marketing is king
    • More & more video
    • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
    • Consider media buys

  • Search Engine trends in 2020:
    • Zero-click search results
    • Click Through Rates
    • Voice search
    • Smart Speaker ads
    • Smart Bidding in Google Ads

  • Social media in 2020:
    • Local social media
    • Influencer marketing
    • Organic reach is declining
    • Tik Tok
    • Snapchat ads

  • Traditional Marketing such as:
    • TV
    • Radio
    • Sponsorships

Digital Marketing – 2020 Marketing Strategy

Personalisation Keeps Growing

Personalised marketing used to be a competitive advantage; now however, it is more a requirement.

One-size-fits-all ads and marketing efforts do not resonate with anyone and therefore just won’t work, as your potential customers are constantly seeing a flurry of adverts and emails which don’t have anything to do with them.

However your customers want to have a more personal shopping experience, products and services they are interested in, a bespoke message and something that entices them to take action.

Furthermore, the more personalised emails that you send out will massively outperform your generic emails.

Now, personalisation isn’t exactly a new trend, however it is becoming easier and cheaper to access tools which allow you to segment and automate your messages.

Platforms such as MailChimp, Pardot, Hubspot, and many others make it easy to deliver custom content which are still accessible to small to medium sized companies.

Keep in mind when setting up your 2020 marketing strategy, personalisation has to span the entire customer journey.

  • Some points that you should consider are:
    • Personalised retargeting ads
    • Interest-based personalisation
    • Location-based personalisation
    • Account-based personalisation
    • Dynamic content
    • Multi-channel personalisation

Content marketing is king (Still)

So, Is content still king in 2020?

Yes, it certainly is.

So it looks like, content marketing has some real good staying power.

However it is still worth pointing out and that is that it is hard.

Content marketing success requires more skill than it did in previous years and therefore there is either a lot of time or cost associated with this.

In 2020, content marketing is one of the best ways to demonstrate yours or your companies expertise and build more credibility.

The other area it helps with is with Google as it will help to improve your trust, credibility and therefore ranking with Google and Bing.

The content will display not only your expertise and knowledge to your potential customers who are reading your pages or articles, however will also be ready by search engines and then used for what they put in their search results.

For your 2020 marketing strategy, make sure you revisit your content strategy.

Keep in mind that many of the top brands are creating more than 800-word blog posts, alongside  deep dive, long-form posts, videos and visuals, Q&As, and engaging with users.

More & more video

Looking at the stats, social videos continue to grow in importance and usage. About 56% of users spend time watching videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat.

Some other video related thoughts on what we expect to continue or grow in 2020 are:

  • Live Video—In 2020, I would expect to see a further rise in live videos, as more companies incorporate this into their strategy. These can be used to share Q&As, demos, interviews, and behind-the-scenes content.
  • 1:1 Video—This is the process of creating personalised videos which aims to replace emails and/or phone calls.
    The idea being that you can record a small clip using your phone (or webcam) and send it to customers and prospects.
  • Shoppable Video—These videos will allow brands to purchase products directly from your videos. So when a user hovers over a featured item, a “shop now” button would appear on the screen.
  • Alternative Channels—Some other places you can look to share videos are:

– LinkedIn video
– SlideShare
– Coursera
– E-learning platforms like Udemy.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have moved from future ideas put into stories into the real world and now are marketing options.

Big corporations such as IKEA have already been using the power of augmented reality for a while. They use it to allow their customers to preview how their furniture would look in their own homes.

Although AR has been playing second fiddle to its cooler, more immersive counterpart – virtual reality, it is seemingly looking to outpace VR in the coming years, thanks to a number of successful (and practical) case studies such as PokemonGo and Snapchat filters.

Should Media Buying Be Given A Chance in 2020?

Companies can purchase media based on categories, so rather than simply choosing one channel such as Bing Ads or Facebook.

You can instead choose to use tools such as SEMRush or SimilarWeb which will identify opportunities where you can get publishers for your campaign.

However, the overall agreement is that you will more likely want to break your strategy up into the following steps:

  • Defining your target audience – as we have mentioned previously this is the ideal customer, the person that you are trying to reach.
  • So before you go jumping in, make sure that you take time learning more about your audience.

Use questions like:
– What do they like?
– How old are they?
– How much money do they make?
– Where do they hang out?
– Where do they go online?
– Would they prefer text or video?

  • Research the competition – Tools such as SEMRush can again help here as they can recommend where to look for backlinks that your competitors have, who they are and where they are currently advertising.
  • Channel research – It is important to know which types of advertising best match up with your campaign and business goals?

Is it TV? Radio? Websites? Facebook ads? Quite simply you can advertise just about anywhere, but it is important to work out what is best for you and that your choice aligns with your 2020 marketing objectives.

Search Engine Trends in 2020

Now that we are into 2020, the line between SEO and PPC is getting blurrier.

Whether you consider it a negative or a positive,  organic search has grown and changed a lot since the start of search engine optimisation. Now, marketers have to continually compete for every improved ranking.

Zero-Click Search

So even if your current marketing company hasn’t mentioned zero click search then you have definitely seen them.

So it refers to a snippet result which is providing users with all of the required information that they need from the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) most importantly with no click required.

It is important that your 2020 marketing strategy accounts for zero-click searches.

Zero-click search will be and already is changing the game for marketers. Because around 60% of search results are now no-click results, this leads to keywords losing their value, because there are less clicks on them words.

Without the click, online marketers are having to consider the impact on traffic and find other new ways to measure success of campaigns both with SEO + PPC.

Click Through Rates

Click Through Rates

My personal prediction is that Click Through Rates and on-page dwell times will be even more important metrics throughout 2020.

Why?

Well, as organic visibility continues to decline on both search and social, these metrics will offer a better insight into how your content connects with your audience and it’s effectiveness.

If you can learn more and more about which of your emails drive the most clicks or which website pages  that people spend the most time on. If you are continually monitoring this then you will start to pick up on patterns which will show you if you are on the right track.

Voice Search

This is an area in which there is definitely an area for growth, if you website is not currently set-up and ready for voice search, then it is now time to make it a priority for your 2020 marketing strategy.

To optimise your website for voice search, there are a few key components that you should know.

To start with, you will need to make sure that you are creating content which sounds more conversational rather than just instructive.

What I mean by this is rather than creating content based solely on short keywords that you might type into Google or Bing, you will instead want to optimise for long-tail keywords.

Example:

Restaurant – Short Tail Keyword

Vegan Indian Restaurants in Liverpool – Long Tail Keyword

Another important factor to consider is understanding intent. So by paying attention to the questions that searchers are asking, it can help you to develop content which speaks to what the users are *actually* looking for, not just what you think.

Common searches include:

  • Direct questions.
  • Descriptions of a problem.
  • Descriptions of a symptom of a problem.
  • Brand name
  • Specific features

So moving forward content marketers have to consider the type of content which they are creating for their audience based on where they are in their buying cycle.

So as an example, top of the funnel content could just be introducing your product or service alongside entertaining or educational elements.

product or service

Then as you filter down towards the bottom of your funnel, you will want to get more specific and to make your content more about particular solutions and how you can help.

Smart Speaker Ads

This is another growing market and a field where companies are looking to invest time in their 2020 marketing plans. Over 50 million smart speakers were sold in 2018 alone so it is a huge market to tap into.

So obviously smart speakers don’t quite match some of the biggest changes in search such as mobile, however many of those shifts have had a bigger impact on search engine optimisation than pay per click.

However the fact that there are not so many opportunities for marketers to take advantage of Alexa or Google Assistant just yet to promote their products, I do expect that speaker ads are on the horizon.

If you follow marketing news you may remember that in 2017, Google ran a promo ad for the live-action Beauty and The Beast film

Though the ads were relatively infrequent, users were still upset with the development, because it was going from their otherwise perfect experience.

In 2020, I would guess that smart speaker advertising will become much better less-invasive.

Some brands such as Domino’s Pizza are currently working on voice ordering systems which maybe showed some promise.

Smart Bidding in Goods

As you will know, automation is definitely not something new in the marketing world, however given that Google Ads seems to keep rolling out more AI-driven features, we can expect smart bidding to become more and more prominent and effective for PPC marketers in 2020.

Some existing Smart Bidding Strategies, which can help with your Cost-Per-Aquisition (CPA) and Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), and Enhanced CPC are the following:

  • Seasonality adjustments
  • Maximise conversion value
  • Ability to set conversions at the campaign level
  • Conversion value rules

It is important to keep in mind that while smart bidding updates are being designed to help you increase conversions on these marketing platforms, those who stand to benefit most are still those who have a history of running successful PPC campaigns rather than someone who specialises in a different field.

Consider using Smart Bidding in your 2020 marketing strategy

Amazon Paid Ads

Google and Facebook remain as the standout go-to sources for online adverts, Amazon is now angling to catch up.

Currently, Amazon is the third-largest and fastest-growing digital advertiser who are offering a range of options such as sponsored listings.

Amazon adverts can be shown both on and off their platform and capitalise from buyers intent the same way Google Shopping Ads do.

You will have to have an Amazon seller account to use their platform, this newer option will stand to help e-commerce brands to drive more sales and also to increase visibility with Amazons 300 million users.

2020 Marketing Strategy: Social Media

Local Social Media

Local Social Media

As more customers are using social media platforms to connect with the brands that they use, it has become apparent that national social media pages aren’t designed for retention.

To counteract these issue, some brands are creating localised pages which can serve up more location-specific promotions, support, news and supply tailored content for their local crowd.

Influencer Marketings

People may disagree here, but influencers are still big, though admittedly, they have certainly lost some of their credibility with the amount that they have sponsored so many products.

As a company / brand it is important to consider when partnering up with influencers is who have they already have teamed up with, how frequently they do sponsored posts and how they align with your audience.

However influencer marketing in general is now a regular strategy for many brands, and one which appears to be continuing into 2020 and likely beyond.

Another thing to consider is that the influencer market is undergoing some large changes.

Facebook and Instagram have recently changed their algorithms, and over the course of 2019, organic engagement has been on the decline for almost every brand.

Then you have the likes of Instagram who are testing the idea of hiding “Likes,” on both companies and individuals accounts which could make measuring your posts effectiveness more difficult.

Some of the benefits from working alongside influencers are:

  • Access to new markets
  • Increased brand visibility
  • Boosted credibility

Organic reach is declining

Although social media continues to take up a huge chunk of our lives, around 30% of people’s time is not consuming social media – crazy I know.

Interestingly though, we have started to see some new behaviours emerging over the past year or 2.

Other than business posts, this is likely something I fall under and it is being called ‘Passive networking’ and these are users who are consuming a lot of content but are not posting frequently themselves.

Whether the individual has concerns with privacy, oversharing or for whatever reason many more people are posting less often across social media and instead are watching more videos and connecting with friends.

As we touched on earlier throughout 2019 and into 2020 Instagram and Facebook’s engagement rate has dropped.

This has hit both influencers and brands hard, making it harder to be found and harder to stay in your followers eyes and mind.

Because of this 2020 is demanding a new approach.

So although not much can be for certain with online algorithms, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2020 and probably beyond.

So the main point here is that there is no point in chasing the algorithms and delivering lower quality content, the main priority now and forever should be to deliver authentic, high-quality content.

The way that your companies and brands will now be trusted and used will be based on the quality of your posts and not just the amount of likes. Push out quality content and the rest will follow.

TikTok & Snapchat

TikTok & Snapchat

These are two platforms that you will likely hear me talk about this year if you follow me.

TikTok has blown up big time amongst the younger generation since about 2018, however in the last maybe month or 2 of 2019 we even started to see some of the older generation getting involved.

The audience base is currently mainly kids and teens however that is how many of the social platforms start so TikTok will be hoping to continue to excel.

Even as a new-is platform TikTok is just about starting their own biddable ads

*we will be offering this to our customers for a discounted rate*

This could be a platform to consider especially if you are looking to sell products designed for kids or teens.

Snapchat  have also brought out a bunch of new features over the past 12 to 18 months.

From personal experience we have found this to be an underused platform and you can get website visitors for a much reduced rate in comparison to Facebook or Google.

Traditional Marketing Channels Have Become More Functional

Over the past few years investment in paid digital marketing methods such as social media and search ads have been outperforming more traditional methods of advertising like TV and radio.

To push back on this they have improved how they work and given a buyer more ways to track the return on investment (ROI) of outdoor or analog marketing efforts, this means that multichannel marketing is now about merging digital and analog tactics for a more unified customer experience.

TV

Yes, that’s right, even as a digital marketing company we would (completely) not put people against the idea of TV adverts, even in the age of streaming platforms.

As the marketing landscape is continuing to become increasingly fragmented, companies are spending less money on TV ads. But combined with other marketing efforts and used with smart technology to target your target audience base.

Radio

This can also still be a cost-effective way to reach more people as part of your advertising strategy which still allows you to target your ideal demographics based on the radio station that you select.

However arguably the main issue with radio advertising, is that marketers are still having problems with measuring its effectiveness.

To counteract this if you decide to give radio a try, make sure to create a custom web link or page so that you can track what website traffic is coming from listeners.

Alongside this you can make use of Google Trends by tracking a specific region to see the impact radio is having in your area.

This is something you should be using alongside any of your traditional marketing efforts in 2020.

You can also use Google Trends to identify popular regions of the country (or world) for your company.

If you are interested in going into audio advertising, the newer audio channels could also be worth considering such as sponsoring podcasts as they continue to grow in popularity.

Sponsoring a podcast is also a relatively affordable and very targeted method however keep in mind that it doesn’t come with the local audience you get with using your area’s top radio station.

Sponsorship Marketing

From adverts on buses to sports teams, sponsorship marketing can still deliver some good ROI for marketers investing in the strategy in 2020.

I think the best way to decide if you’re going to use this is to start by working out who your customers are and where they spend their time, so what they watch, where they go, what they consume, etc.

Sponsorship marketing can be a great way to expand your reach and provide you with a strong, positive brand image by clearly aligning yourself with your audience’s interests.

Also, alongside these opportunities it also allows you to share stories across new channels which can open up access to a wider, new audience.

Your 2020 Marketing Strategy

Your 2020 Marketing Strategy

I know we have just given a load of information across a broad variety of places, but the main takeaway is that a successful 2020 marketing strategy depends on creating a connected, multi-channel experience for your users and that providing real quality content is still key.

As marketing continues to change and develop, both online and offline, we are also getting smarter about combining these strategies together and focusing on the big picture.

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