12 Digital Marketing Trends to Follow

Reviewed by Melina Theodorou

Digital Marketing Trends

Digital marketing, like anything else on the internet, is developing fast.

With new trends emerging left, right and centre, it’s often hard to identify what’s ‘in’ and what should be left in 2019! Should you still be focusing on ranking first in Google or are there other important trends to incorporate into your marketing plan?

As we enter a new digital decade, you’ll need to discover the best methods to promote your business. To help you identify the top trends, we’ve put together this list of marketing tricks to look out for.

Without further ado, here are the most popular digital marketing trends.

1. Personalisation

Email, sponsored ads and online shopping have all undergone a makeover in 2020 with personalisation at the forefront of every customer experience.

If you’re not tailoring your content to every user’s needs, then you need to start now!

According to marketing guru Neil Patel, around 60% of Amazon’s sales are converted via personalised suggestions, proving just how vital it is to place personalisation at the head of any marketing plan.

2. Micro-influencer marketing

While influencer marketing was on the rise in 2020, companies have now started honing in on micro-influencers. Consumers are no longer trusting famous faces like Kim Kardashian to buy a product as they know she’s just been paid big bucks to promote it.

What’s now delivering a higher ROI are micro-influencers who already have an established and, most importantly, engaged audience that trusts what they are promoting. It’s estimated that micro-influencers engage with 8.8% of their audience compared to influencers with over 10,000 followers that only engage with 3.6%.

3. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

The importance of SEO has been hammered over and over again – and, lucky for you, it’s here to stay!

Optimising your content for search engines is key, but over the years it’s become a lot harder to master. For this reason, you need to keep tailoring your SEO strategy to place your website in an advantageous position that will attract an audience with the right intent. In fact, 61% of marketers say that improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

That said, there’s been talk that platforms such as Ubersuggest will use AI to automate SEO in the future so that marketers have more time to spend on other important marketing aspects. Let’s hope that it’s developed sooner rather than later!

4. Chatbots

Over the last five years, we’ve seen chatbots rise in popularity – and in 2020, they have become even more sophisticated thanks to artificial intelligence.

Consumers no longer want to wait to talk to a customer service agent; instead, they expect an immediate answer which can be provided to them through chatbots. This augmented software can meet the growing demand for the type of high-level customer service expected on any website and can often be more helpful than actual human beings (if their algorithm is correct).

So, if you don’t already have an online customer service team, consider investing in a technologically advanced chatbot.

5. Facebook ads

Advertising on Facebook is at its peak in 2020. While the social media platform is no longer at the top of the chain in terms of popularity, it’s become a multipurpose channel that reaches a wide demographic.

For this reason, to be seen on Facebook, you must promote your content via ad campaigns and push them to your targeted audience. When done correctly, however, you’ll see fruitful results and a great return on investment.

That said, if you’re targeting a teenage audience, platforms such as TikTok and Instagram would be ideal to reach the right consumers!

6. Interactive content

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of marketers (PDF) agree that interactive content online is more effective when it comes to grabbing consumer’s attention, . With such a high-rate, it’s undeniable that this should be a trend to look out for in 2020!

Depending on your industry, you could create polls, live videos, quizzes or even contests to engage with your audience and build your brand awareness.

By creating user-friendly and interesting interactive content, users are more likely to stay on your page and also share it with their friends and connections.

7. Omnichannel marketing

Marketing via one channel may have worked for many businesses in the early noughties, but to have an effective marketing strategy in 2020, companies need to have an omnichannel marketing plan.

This means that you should incorporate several different marketing channels into your strategy. Customers tend to hop between platforms to interact with your brand, so as a marketer, you need to be copying their behaviour and doing the same.

To carry out this trend, you’ll need to analyse which platforms are ideal for you and focus on building your audience and engagement rate. If one of your omnichannel marketing efforts is not working, don’t be scared to drop it and place your efforts elsewhere!

8. Augmented reality 

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have grown in popularity in the last few years and are quickly becoming a common marketing trend. With many stores and e-commerce sites invested in AI, it’s necessary that you do too!

With most professionals leading such busy lives, it’s hard for them to pop into their favourite store. So, instead, they rely on AR and VR to look around their favourite shops.

Big chain stores like IKEA aren’t the only business to nail this trend. Indeed, entertainment studios like Harry Potter World are also offering virtual tours to reach customers that aren’t able to visit their grounds in person.

9. Voice search

With the likes of Google, Alexa and Siri – voice search has become an integrated part of our lives and should be taken into account when forming your marketing strategy.

As voice search becomes more intelligent, we are relying on our devices to read us the news, to text our contacts or find a specific website and read snippets of information from it.

So, to boost your website’s SEO, you need to ensure that your pages are user-friendly and optimised for voice search.

10. Video marketing

With the enormous growth of YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, it’s only natural that the rise of audiovisual content has become even more popular.

In the US, 85% of people are now watching video content across all platforms, rather than reading. So, if this isn’t proof to show why you should be creating your own video content, then I don’t know what is!

It’s not good enough however to just create a few videos – you’ll need to optimise them correctly, add subtitles on all of them and engage in live video marketing to stand out from the crowd.

11. Featured snippets 

Ranking first in Google used to be all the rave, but in 2020, reaching SERP position zero, otherwise known as a featured snippet, is where the real marketing value is at. This top spot on the Google search page allows users to read your most important content without having to click on your page.

It’s unclear exactly how Google selects the SERP position zero, but if you want to gain this spot, you’ll have to keep an eye on what your competitors are featured for, answer popular questions in less than 50 words and optimise your content.

12. Shoppable posts

Shoppable posts were hot in 2019 and continue to rise in popularity in 2020. Most millennials now discover products on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook and expect direct links to the products featured in the image to make their shopping experience more comfortable.

So, if you’re an e-commerce seller, there’s no easier way to drive traffic to your site and products than advertising on social media platforms with shoppable posts!

There is no one-size-fits-all best practice when it comes to digital marketing. Many of the types listed above interlink with each other and will work together in optimising your online appearance.

But if you can strategically select the right types of marketing to focus your efforts, you’ll be able to expand your reach and bring in a more targeted customer base. And once your users trust you as a source of information, they can be converted into lifelong customers and users of your brand.

Which methods do you use within your marketing strategy? Let us know by commenting in the comments section below.

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 22 August 2017.