It’s a new year, and while everything might not seem different right now, the 2020s mark a new era. So why not start the decade off by revitalizing your digital marketing efforts? To help you, we’ve compiled some of the trends we predict will rule the digital marketing landscape this year:
Digital Marketing Trends 2020
AI is everywhere (and thankfully not in the Terminator sense). In just a few years, the accessibility of AI has revolutionized the industry with the ability to capitalize on social media and deliver targeted, personalized campaigns. It can create content, personalize automated emails, forecast sales, and handle e-commerce transactions, increasing your potential reach and freeing you to tackle projects that require a human touch. Skafos, for example, claims its retail AI can “unlock value that’s currently trapped in your data.” There are a couple of other specific ways we will likely see AI continue to evolve, including…
Chances are you see the effects of marketing AI every time you look at your phone, as it’s behind the eerily specific product recommendations found on Facebook, Instagram, and other sites. This is called programmatic advertising, and in 2018 eMarketer predicted that this year it will dominate 86 percent of digital ad sales. One example of programmatic advertising is real-time bidding: When someone visits a website, the publisher of that page puts the ad impression up for auction in a marketplace. Using AI, advertisers compete in an auction for that impression. The highest bidder displays their ad, which is then delivered to the customer and potentially converted into a sale. All of this happens in milliseconds as the customer scrolls through the page.
Another function AI can serve for your business is as a chatbot. When set up properly, these can give prompt greetings and personal service to customers visiting your site at any time. But they can be even more diverse than just site-based helpers; here are some examples of excellent chatbot implementation from brands like Lyft, Spotify, and Whole Foods. These chatbots can be accessed through Facebook Messenger and Slack, and some can even talk to you through voice chat. Mark, co-founder of Punch Bug Marketing, has written about how chatbots can help or harm your business before.
Breaking away from AI, trust has always been an important part of shopping. With more competition and customers who do their research, it’s harder than ever for companies to build and maintain the trust of their customers. We live in the age of brand controversies and of receiving subpar products that looked good online. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, produced by the world’s largest PR firm, revealed that 81 percent of consumers consider trust an important part of their purchasing behavior, but only a third of people said they trust the brands they buy. However, consumers tended to buy more from brands they trust, meaning that building trust can pay off. We will likely see the effect brand trust has on purchasing behavior continue to grow.
Is the age of celebrity endorsements ending? That’s hard to say. What is clear is that consumers respond to endorsements by their favorite influencers on Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, or elsewhere. The Edelman report found these consumers prefer relatability twice as much as popularity. In other words, they like to see brands endorsed by influencers they consider their peers rather than well-known celebrities. Influencers are also key to building brand trust with consumers: the report also found that 63 percent of consumers put “much more” trust in influencers’ opinions of products than in the brand’s marketing. Nearly the same percentage made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation. As follower counts grow, it’s safe to say influencers will be an important part of marketing this year.
Video marketing has been around since the earliest television commercial, but as it gets easier to both create and watch, it’s only going to become more relevant. In a previous Punch Bug post, Mark asked, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many does video earn you?” At least these three: Return On Investment. Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2020 survey found that a video convinced 84 percent of people to buy a product or service and 74 percent to download an app. 89 percent of video marketers think video gives them a good return on their investment. You don’t need a Hollywood production team to shoot one, either. In this post, Mark walks you through ways to create quality video marketing on a budget.
This year both AI and the human touch will make an impact in the digital marketing industry. For more on topics like these, stay tuned to the Punch Bug blog.