The nationwide lockdowns and global financial recession caused by COVID-19 makes it difficult for businesses from various industries generate revenue. But the businesses cannot acquire customers and boost sales without running digital marketing campaigns. Many experts believe that the disruptions caused by the Corona virus pandemic will contribute towards boosting digital marketing in 2020.
“The coronavirus crisis may seem like a huge threat to businesses and jobs as well as health, but digital marketing may in fact take a great leap forward as a result of Covid 19.”DigitalAgencyNetwork.com
But the COVID-19 recession will make many existing digital marketing trends obsolete and create many digital marketing trends. The businesses need to adopt emerging digital marketing trends to remain competitive and profitable during and after the COVID-19 recession.
23 Digital Marketing Trends in 2020 [The Year of COVID-19 Recession]
While making digital marketing strategies, businesses often focus on creating content which is both relevant and engaging. But the digital marketers need to focus now to keeping the content interactive. In addition to providing information to the consumers, the contents must be extremely shareable. The content writers have to focus on creating informative content that acts like click-to-actions. However, the content needs to target customers from varying age groups – generation X, generation Z and boomers.
The nationwide lockdowns make consumers spend more digital media time of social networking platforms. Hence, the popular social networks create these days act as source of information and place for commerce. The digital marketers can easily boost digital sales by posting shoppable social media posts and ads. The shoppable content will enable customers to conduct pre-purchase research and place orders without visiting a website. However, the businesses need to post shoppable ads and posts on multiple social networking platforms.
Alternative Social Networks
The latest social media statistics suggest that Facebook is still more popular than Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. But more and more people are spending more digital time on social networks like Facebook. Hence, a business can no longer promote social commerce by focusing extensively on Facebook. Hence, niche and alternative social networking platforms become one of the hottest digital marketing trends in 2020. The digital marketers have to focus on both popular and alternative social networks to enhance customer reach and boost sales conversion in future.
Social Media Stories
Unlike social media posts, social media stories normally disappear after 24 hours. But social media stories are more effective than social media posts in catching attention of consumers. The digital marketers will leverage social media stories as a robust digital marketing tool in 2020 to accomplish a variety of goals – increasing brand awareness, diverting more traffic to websites, and reach a wider audience. The social media stories further help them to curtail social media advertising cost significantly.
The search engine algorithm changes make digital marketers to change their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy frequently. But the professionals now have to adopt new SEO techniques to improve a website’s search engine visibility and ranking. In addition to posting long form content, the SEO professional must focus on implementing rich snippets. The rich snippets will help search engines to understand the information conveyed by a web page clearly. Also, the searchers can access the rich snippet to collect relevant information without visiting the website.
Voice Search Optimization
While using a search engine, many searchers these days prefer saying the search queries aloud instead of typing the search queries. Hence, digital marketers cannot improve website conversion rate without complementing search engine optimization with voice search optimization. In addition to optimizing the website content for voice search, they need to focus on building voice search optimized market places. The next generation digital marketplace will enable searchers to gather product information and place orders by giving voice commands.
Visual Search Optimization
Like voice search, visual search is gaining popularity among new age searchers. Many searchers these days collect precise information by uploading images instead of typing search queries. Also, Pinterest has already launched visual search tools. Likewise, Google facilitated visual search by launching a visual search engine like Google Lens. These visual search tools enable searchers to collect information by uploading photos and images. The brands must focus on visual search optimization in 2020 along with search engine optimization and voice search optimization.
Local Search Engine Marketing
The nationwide lockdowns caused by COVID-19 compels consumers to opt for local businesses and service providers. But they still search engine to gather information about the local businesses and service providers. Hence, it becomes essential for digital marketers to focus extensively on local search engine marketing. While developing content and optimizing websites, they will promote products and services by targeting local customers. They will use SEO techniques to make the website rank higher on local search engine results.
Real Time Ad Bidding
The financial recession caused by COVID-19 compels enterprises to curtail digital marketing budget. Hence, the digital marketers need to focus on targeting more specific audience while bidding for ads. They can leverage artificial intelligence to automate the process of buying ads by targeting more specific audience. AI technologies further help digital marketers to reduce customer acquisition cost and increase conversion rate by implementing real-time ad bidding or programmatic ad buying.
Many enterprises have already started experimenting with immersive technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality (VR). With consumers using AR and VR on a regular basis, the digital marketers have to focus on leveraging these immersive technologies to promote three-dimensional thinking. Many marketers believe that AR is more effective than VR in driving sales and improving consumer experience. But digital marketers need to use AR to create real-time ads and VR to make social media more interactive.
Many customers these days prefer interacting with chatbots to get relevant information by asking many questions. In addition to facilitating customer service automation, chatbots will become an integral part of next generation digital marketing campaigns. The digital marketers will use AI-powered chatbots as a marketing tool to convey real-time and personalized information to consumers and website visitors. They will further leverage chatbots to run digital marketing campaigns 24 hours a day.
Video marketing is one of the digital marketing trends that will not be impacted by COVID-19 lockdown and recession hugely. A large percentage of customers will access product videos while conducting pre-purchase research and share the videos of popular brands. Hence, businesses will continue to share information and boost sales conversion by distributing video clips. However, they need to create 3600 video content and broadcast live videos, while optimizing the videos for popular search engines.
At present, many customers prefer video blogs to short films and explainer videos to access information in a direct and personal way. Unlike product and explainer videos, vlogs form a more direct and personal connection with the audience. The massive popularity of vlogs makes them a popular digital marketing tool to form and sustain customer relationship. More and more businesses will post vlogs in 2020 to engage customers and convey the desired message in a personalized way. Many businesses will form relationship with customers by live streaming events and showing behind-the-scene aspects.
Personalized and Interactive Emails
As an effective digital marketing channel, emails have been helping businesses to drive sales conversions. But the businesses can no longer boost sales by sending newsletters and plain-text emails to customers. They need to focus on keeping recipients interested and engaged by sending personalized emails. Also, they need to persuade recipients to click on a link or take the desired action by replacing plain-text links with stylish buttons and stunning visuals.
With consumers using instant messaging apps to access information and resolve issues, it is time for digital marketers to increase conversion rate by sending direct messages (DM). They further needs to leverage the options provided by popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook to enable customers to switch from direct messages to telephoning conversations. They can further persuade customers to place orders using DM as a channel for sending coupon codes and exclusive deals to customers.
A significant percentage of consumers trust influencers’ opinions and messages more than the content distributed by brands. Hence, businesses will promote their brands and products through the word-of-mouth of influencers. They will collaborate with bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, and social media celebrities instead of running ads featuring movie stars. Many digital marketers will leverage AI to find and collaborate with the right influencer with genuine followers across social networks.
In addition to reducing digital marketing cost, content marketing helps businesses to generate more leads. Hence, content marketing will remain one of the top digital marketing trends in 2020. The small businesses and startups will include blogs in their websites to generate more leads. They will need to have a content strategy and content calendar as per their budget. Here are some interesting ways to generate interesting blog post ideas for creating a great content calendar. Likewise, the established businesses will focus on creating well-researched content and update their existing blogs to attract new customers and build customer relationship. The high quality content will help businesses to drive both search engine and social media conversions.
Long Form Content
While creating and publishing content, the business have to target both search engines and their audiences. Major search engines these days encourage digital marketers and content creators to generate long-form content. A business can divert search engine traffic to its website and generate more back links only by posting blogs or articles that are over 3000 words long. While creating content, the bloggers or content writers must explain various concepts and topics elaborately. Likewise, they will spend more time on creating content that attracts search engine traffic, increases social media sharing, and reduced website bounce rate.
User Generated Content
The businesses cannot attract millennials and next generation consumers without leveraging user generated content (UGC). They will persuade existing customers to create and share content by offering discounts and incentives. The digital marketers can easily create brand awareness and influence consumers’ buying decisions by including relevant hashtags in the UGC. However, the digital marketers will focus on persuading users or consumers to create content in a variety of formats – images, videos, blog posts, testimonials, reviews and blog comments.
Streaming Video Ads
“Netflix has seen subscriber numbers surge this year, as lockdowns around the world keep people at home where they want to be entertained.”BBC.com
The surge in demand for streaming creates opportunities for digital marketers to engage consumers through streaming video ads. But they cannot keep the consumers engaged without creating innovative video ads. The digital marketers will find it challenging to create video ads for popular streaming platforms. They have to experiment with various scripts, styles, and tones to create streaming video ads that persuade customers to take the desired action.
“Seventy-six percent of consumers would share their information to receive personalized offers based on location, like discounts from retailers.”BusinessInsider.com
But consumers focus extensively on the security of their personal data while sharing the information with businesses and service providers. Often data breaches and security attacks make businesses pay hefty penalties and lose trust of customers. In addition to addressing privacy and data security concerns of consumers, the digital marketers will focus on earning the trust of customers.
Empathy Based Marketing
Many brands already leverage empathy based marketing or empathetic marketing to boost campaign conversion rate by connecting with and engaging customers in an authentic way. The approach makes digital marketing empathetic in a number of ways – understanding the customers, listening to the customers and creating relevant offers. It does not require decision makers to focus on specific marketing channels. Instead, the approach requires them customize the campaigns by understanding needs, expectations and pain points of customers.
Seamless Omni-channel Marketing
No business can survive COVID-19 recession without integrating multiple digital marketing channels – apps, blogs, social media, search engine and emails. They need to focus on connecting and communication with customers on many touch points. But the digital marketers cannot keep consumer experience consistent across multiple marketing channels without delivering the desired message seamlessly. The businesses will leverage AI technologies and invest in sophisticated SaaS tools integrate multiple digital marketing channels seamlessly.
Digital marketing trends change from time to time. But the global financial recession caused by COVID-19 will create new digital marketing trends in 2020. Entrepreneurs and digital marketers cannot survive the recession without adopting emerging digital marketing trends proactively. However, they must keep their digital marketing strategies dynamic to experiment with the top digital marketing trends in 2020.