In the modern digital world, every business whether big or small needs digital marketing. Without it, there would be no growth, no customers, and no brand image. However, having adequate knowledge of digital marketing is not enough. Marketers need to re-evaluate and recalibrate the perfectness of their strategies regularly. That is why they need to stay abreast of the latest trends and happenings in digital marketing to set up their ‘A’ game and stay ahead of the competition. And for 2020, the main focus of marketers went on reaching customers digitally and presenting them with the best-personalized offerings.
While many predictions for the year 2020 failed to materialize due to the pandemic, it significantly forced people to move more towards digital services. The shift to work-from-home, advancements in virtual sessions, online deliveries, consumption of video-based content, amongst others generated so much data that it worked as a fuel for powering Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. For marketers, this new shift brought a test of their agility, adaptability, and transformation. They were even more keen to take advantage of technology in the face of disruption. Hence, they relied on the following trends to keep up with the changing dynamics of the new normal and deliver the best of services to their customers.
While this method was first introduced on Instagram last year, it certainly brought products directly to the customers in the pandemic. Shoppable ads changed people’s habits of viewing the service/product and created a closed ecosystem where users don’t even have to leave the platform to make a purchase. Businesses linked products directly into their posts and redirected their customers to their websites. Instagram also recorded a 76% increase in engagement in posts tagged with #AD. It also saw a 22% increase in Instagram campaign impressions from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020.
Personalization has become the cornerstone of digital marketing. Studies reveal that 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal, 70% are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails, and 74% feel frustrated when the website content is not personalized. With the influx of a large amount of data, businesses took advantage of data-driven analytics to engage and offer personalized offerings. Through tracking customer behavior, user purchase history, cookies on the websites, they built strong product and service recommendations to customers. They were also able to build rapport and gain the trust of the customers.
Keeping personalization and conversational marketing in mind, businesses kept direct contact with their customers through the medium they already know and use every day. They sent personalized DM messages and used everything from Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. to reach out to many customers as possible. They were able to solve queries, complaints, took orders, and understood their customers better.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media continues to evolve and gives marketers new ways to engage, get in touch, and reach more prospects in 2020. Studies have given the following statistics among the popular social media platforms:
- 89% of marketers use Facebook in their brand marketing efforts.
- 90% of users follow a business on the platform
- Instagram continues to be the most popular influencer marketing 89% of marketers
- 79% of Twitter users like to discover what’s new, making it the top platform for discovery.
- 98% report trying new things they find on Pinterest
- 95% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn for organic content marketing, making it the top-rated social media platform
With such high rates of engagement, social media has crossed boundaries providing different ways to reach customers across demographics in reach and visibility. It opened the arenas of diversified markets, higher revenue streams, expanded visibility, and opening novel channels for marketing.
92% of marketers contest that video has become an important part of their marketing strategy. While 88% of marketers believe that video marketing provides them with positive ROI. This growth has grown from 78% in 2015. While 92% of consumers say that would rely on their family, friends, or referrals instead of believing in the words of the company
Video content provides the benefit of being shared easily by the customers, reaching more customers, enhancing conversion rate, displaying the brand image, and inspiring trust among customers. On social media, silent videos and videos under the 1-minute mark also dominated the marketing landscape. Additionally, user-generated content further strengthened the image of a brand and laid the foundation of trust among potential customers.
IDC reports that the year 2020 will mount the AR/VR investment up to $18.8 billion. It will also see a 77% annual growth rate. With this rise, businesses favored AR to stay competitive and provide better engagement. AR has also become a boon for diverse industries including medical, military, gaming, and research-based product/service marketing. A particular instance of AR is in eCommerce where users can see a 360° view of the product and can even try it on using a smartphone’s AR camera features.
AI-powered chatbots have assisted businesses to turn downtime when it comes to solving customers’ quick questions and queries. IDG research states that 44 percent of companies have started implementing a digital-first approach to customer engagement from 2018. It also reported that 73 percent of customers are annoyed by long hold times and 70 percent when transferred to a new agent. These virtual assistants have been able to answer questions, register complaints, offer relevant information, engage prospects or site visitors, and cite quotations promptly to customers.
Chatbots have also been helpful where the attention span of customers is the bare minimum. Studies have shown that more than 80% of customers want a prompt response to the questions regarding the product/service. Businesses combined personalization, DMs, AI-powered Chatbots to attain success in conversational marketing.
It goes without saying that for businesses, it has become imperative to stay in line with the trends to attain success and stay ahead of the competition. While these were some of the top trends for 2020, the next year is cited to have more subscription-based models, hyper-personalization, cookieless marketing, mobile apps, customer-centric automation, short-form videos, and much more.