Marketing tips and trends in the coming year to help grow your business.
Don’t look now, but a new year — and a new decade! — is on the horizon. When it comes to marketing, some things don’t change. Your audience will always come first, you always want to be clear on your marketing goals, and you should always be listening to your customers to deliver products and services they need.
However, the tools with which you go about making marketing magic happen do change, and they change quickly. Don’t let your marketing strategy go unchecked for too long or you’ll miss opportunities to grow your business.
If your business new year’s resolution is to make the most of your digital marketing efforts, read on! We’re breaking down 10 top trends in digital marketing to watch for in 2020.
1/ Position Zero
What is it?
Position zero is the featured search result at the very top of an increasing amount of Google searches. It’s the results box that displays a snippet of information even before the standard 10 listings of search results.
Position zero search results usually display for what are called “zero-click” searches — searches such as “how to,” “where is,” “definition of,” and “when is” queries that require a simple answer, not a long read of a web page. Interestingly, more than 34% of desktop searches and 62.5% of mobile searches are zero-click searches.
As web users are increasingly bombarded with information, the web pages that can serve up relevant content that is highly targeted to specific search queries will vie for the coveted position zero.
How to do it
Position zero will continue to gain traction, so it’s good practice to target those specific questions your customers might have. Create an FAQ page rich with zero-click questions and answers, or create information-rich pages about subjects specific to your customers’ questions. This will require some research up front to ensure the content you write is actually what people are searching for.
2/ Live Chat and Chatbots
The data around having a live chat or chatbot option for service and support is compelling:
- By the new decade, about 85% of customer interaction will be handled without a human agent
- Live chat has a 92% customer satisfaction average
- 41% of consumers prefer live chat for support
- 40% of bookings/appointment requests are after business hours
Live chat and chatbots are excellent for converting website traffic into qualified leads because they can proactively engage with your visitors. According to research, 44% of consumers say having someone available to answer questions is one of the most important features a website can offer. Imagine being able to influence nearly half of your website traffic to book or buy your services!
How to do it
There are many popular live chat and chatbot options available, offering both staffed and AI-powered support options. We recommend having a live chat on your website when you have a full-time sales team that can monitor your queries. Chat features also work well in certain industries like doctor’s offices and medical fields, or when you get asked common questions about your services. Pricing generally depends on website traffic and number of chats received for a managed live chat service. Chatbots can run the gamut from basic but free, to robust but more expensive.
3/ All-in-one Marketing Software
Customer service, search engine marketing, website traffic, email lists, blog content, social media . . . How does a business keep all of these digital channels organized? Enter all-in-one marketing software, where business owners can manage everything from customer relationships to ecommerce and content in one place.
When it comes to these all-in-one platforms, your mileage will vary! The learning curve can be steep for some users and many people find that there’s no one single software that does it all perfectly for their needs.
How to do it
Here at Integritive, we offer an incredibly powerful, yet easy-to-use all-in-one platform that manages and reports on nearly anything you need to grow your business: landing pages, email campaigns, CRM and sales automation, a quick-setup blog builder, website analytics, and dynamic forms all geared toward growing your business, just to name a few features! If you’re ready to upgrade or streamline your digital marketing management, give us a shout!
4/ Voice-powered Search
We don’t believe that voice search has quite found its full capabilities. Nonetheless, voice-powered search is a continuing digital marketing trend in 2020 and should be of particular interest to local businesses.
Optimizing your website for voice search will grow in importance as mobile devices become even more powerful and hands-free (have you seen the Echo Auto?). For local businesses, voice search is especially promising because 46% of smart speaker users look for information on local businesses daily.
How to do it
Similar to optimizing for position zero, optimizing your site for voice search means focusing on natural search queries. Common voice search strings include questions about definitions, weather, locations, and general knowledge. For locally owned businesses, users are looking for contact information and location. Make sure your website has this information as structured data and clearly labeled and available on every page – reach out to our support team if you need help with this. This is prime voice search information that can easily attract ready-to-buy visitors.
5/ Privacy and Security
It seems there a new major data breach every week. In 2019, we saw data breaches at Houzz, Dunkin’ Donuts, Advent Health, Sprint, Quest Diagnostics, and just about all social media platforms including Facebook (multiple times), Instagram, and Pinterest.
Don’t think that just because you’re not Facebook doesn’t mean website security isn’t important. Chances are, your customers have been part of one or more security breaches from other companies they regularly interact with. It’s good business to provide a trustworthy online experience.
How to do it
If you have a DIY site from a service like SquareSpace or Wix, an outdated site, unreliable hosting, a site with many insecure plugins, and/or a site without an SSL certificate, you’re especially at risk of hacking and potential exposure of your customers’ data (not to mention your own sensitive information). Your best bet is to work with a professional digital marketing agency, hands down.
6/ Medium Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has blown up in the past five years or so, and the trend isn’t going anywhere. What we do predict is a rise in small and medium influencer marketing — not the influencers with 1M+ followers, but the influencers who have a smaller but highly engaged audience. We love this trend and if you are a business owner with a product in the beauty, travel, packaged goods, or clothing sphere (for example), influencer marketing can bring big visibility to your brand.
How to do it
Influencer marketing isn’t for everyone, but it can be highly effective in many industries. First, identify what it is you want to get out of your marketing efforts. Then, use a tool such as Alexa or BuzzSumo to research social media influencers who have a highly engaged audience with lots of meaningful comments, reactions, and content shares. This is best done with an experienced marketing team, as influencer marketing can be expensive and ineffective if not expertly handled.
7/ Interactive Content
The word “interactive” may sound out of reach, but we’re here to tell it’s not! By interactive content, we mean visual and written content that involves the user in some way. That can be with a 360-degree virtual tour, a votable list or quiz, augmented reality (such as Amazon’s “view this in my room” feature), and shoppable posts on social media. As technology becomes more robust, responsive, and portable, offering an interactive experience will become more important.
How to do it
The sky's the limit when you talk about interactive content. For small businesses with limited resources, a 360-degree virtual tour can be created on many smart phones and tablets quite easily. Shoppable posts are a boon for ecommerce businesses. According to Instagram’s stats, 60% of their users discover new products via the platform while an astounding 90% of weekly Pinterest users use the platform to make purchase decisions. These sites allow you to tag products in your posts, which keeps your feed fresh while marketing your wares.
8/ Responsive Search Ads
Paid search engine marketing (SEM) is a double-edged sword for many businesses. When expertly executed, an SEM campaign can bring in qualified traffic and increase sales. They also require a lot of attention and monitoring, and can get expensive. Google’s solution is responsive search ads. Rather than each ad having only one headline and descriptive text with a link, a responsive ad allows you to create multiple options for each element. Google then automatically tests different combinations to see what performs best.
How to do it
Read through Google’s documentation to understand the process, including their helpful hints for creating effective ads. However, it’s very easy to blow your advertising budget without expert guidance. We recommend partnering with an experienced digital marketing team to guide you through this approach. Let us know if you want to set up a meeting to talk about the details.
9/ Live Video
Video marketing can be incredibly powerful when done well. The audience is certainly there. More than half a billion people watch Facebook videos every single day, and 82% of Twitter users watch video on the site.
Producing quality video content is pricey, though, and the slickness of a polished video can turn some users off. Thankfully, live video streaming on social media is essentially free and if you have the followers, they will most likely watch and engage. In fact, a survey with Livestream and New York Magazine showed that 80% of consumers would rather watch a video from a brand than read a blog!
How to do it
The trick for most businesses is simply finding someone on the team who is comfortable and articulate on camera. Hosting an interview can be one way to ease stage fright. Another option is to put in minimal face time and instead film your surroundings (such as your shop or office). Other people find that having someone film them while working (rather than trying to narrate solo) cuts the camera pressure, too.
10/ Personalized Marketing Messages
Let’s face it — advertising is a normal part of everyday life. While it can be intrusive, most consumers take it as a given. What is annoying is being shown irrelevant ads, whether in the form of banner ads or email marketing. In fact, Constant Contact reported that 56% of email unsubscribes were due to irrelevant content.
Luckily, personalizing your marketing messages based on your customer personas is getting easier than ever. Nearly any digital marketing tool available has powerful data gathering built in that can help you understand your customers and their behavior. This makes is easier to tailor ads that are meaningful, not mundane.
How to do it
Personalization begins with understanding your audience, so the first step is to make sure you’ve delved deeply into your customer avatars.
From there, the simplest way to get started with personalized marketing is by segmenting your email list and personalizing an email subject line. Consider this: Campaign Monitor found a 26% increase in open rates with a personalized subject line, and a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns. As part of your email opt-in form, present a simple question — such as “What services are you interested in?” or “Where do you live?” — that can help you identify different audiences.
Other personalization techniques to try: create a custom audience for your Facebook ads, hold an event for a particular segment of your customers (rather than an open house), and make landing pages tailored for each avatar and run personalized ads to drive traffic to those custom pages.
Get a Head Start on Digital Marketing in 2020
Let 2020 be the year you take control of your digital marketing! If you or your in-house marketing team aren’t sure where to start, drop us a line. Integritive’s team is passionate about digital marketing, from building beautiful websites to SEO and strategic ad campaigns for businesses of all sizes and budgets.