Digital marketing seems to be constantly evolving, as we welcome a new year, digital marketers need to be on the lookout for trends that will shape this industry for the next 366 days. 2019 on its part saw some exciting trends like the increase of chatbots on websites as well as rich lead profiling and AI became reality as well.

No doubt we will not say goodbye to many of the trends that we saw their rise in 2019, but there is a big chance they will evolve with some of them becoming bigger than they were the year before and others are likely to combine to create powerful marketing tools in 2020. let us take a look at a few that you need to keep your eyes on.

Evolution of Word of Mouth Into Influencer Marketing

For years marketing has depended on word of mouth to gain popularity for brands and now it is evolving into something new. Social media has introduced the world to influencers and these can now play a big part in digital marketing. In 2019 many brands signed partnerships with influencers and 2020 is certainly going to see even more brands pick up this trend and milk it for all it is worth. This is really word of mouth marketing but with a stronger and more influential mouth doing the marketing.

  • Influencers have huge followings on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and with just a few words, a photograph or video, they can get thousands of people to embrace a brand.
  • Ad Week estimates that influencer marketing will be worth 10 billion dollars in 2020. This is certainly a trend that marketers need to keep a keen eye on to ensure they are not left behind.

Word of mouth remains very important in marketing today and marketers are embracing it even more in 2020 using influencers. According to statistics, a big number of consumers are signed up to at least one social media platform. This creates a huge opportunity to market using influencers. Social media is now determining what and how people buy so businesses are turning to experts in particular fields and those with considerable influence on social media to push their brands.

2020 will see more brands signing partnerships with social media influencers to carry the word about their brand and get more people to follow them.

Shared Experiences Through Live Stories

Here is another trend that we can thank social media for and look forward to seeing it grow in 2020. So many people are going live on social media and sharing their life experiences with a number of their friends and fans. It is already a trend and in 2020 it will be a huge marketing trend. The way the human mind works will be the reason this will become a big digital marketing tool.

  • Humans enjoy connecting with other humans and they like to do this in a way that they can relate. So when a friend goes live as they try out a new restaurant, you are more likely to go to that same restaurant and probably go live as well just to show that you are also part of that. This has a viral effect and we are likely to see more of these shared experiences.
  • We saw it with the “Share a Coke” videos and photos and now more brands are looking for ways to be part of everyday experiences, this will be big in 2020.

Real people sharing their experience with a service or product is a very powerful tool. Hundreds of businesses are already using this technique, hand in hand with influencers and the impact is huge. This is a trend that can only get bigger in 2020. Brands are using shared experiences from their customers and sometimes even their employees to build trust, interest as well as awareness about their brand. These brands are exploiting the human tendency to connect with other humans. When you see a person live on social media trying out a service, you will be drawn to that experience and may soon want to have the same experience.

This was confirmed as discussed above when there was a buzz about sharing a picture of a bottle with your name, now every other brand is trying to create the same buzz.

More Videos

It may be too early to predict an all-video website, but let’s face it, most people already pay more attention to video than they do to text. The impact of a quality 2-minute video is far more reaching than 1000 words of text.

  • According to statistics from 2019, over 60% of people who view videos will visit the site after and about 35 percent will call a seller after viewing a video. A huge number of people share videos of their favorite brands more often than they share articles.
  • It is estimated that 70 percent of people who watch a new video of a brand they like, share it after. So what does this all mean?
  • Video is big and is growing even bigger, we can be sure that more digital marketers will be looking for ways to utilize video in 2020. over 80% of companies are already using it for marketing.

The Rise and Rise of AI

AI is still a work in progress but has already made a big impact on digital marketing. Chatbots are making it easier to provide round the clock assistance for web visitors and now research is ongoing to add emotion to AI. This may take a while to achieve but we can be sure that 2020 will see AI make a better analysis of a person’s perception about a brand for example if it is negative or positive.

  • AI will be used to analyze text feedback and it will pick out certain keywords that can determine perception, this can help to group feedback as positive or negative and then determine a response.
  • So far, about 80 percent of company executives predict that AI will rise even higher in 2020 and will greatly influence the way they market their brands.
  • One of the ways we will see AI affect digital marketing is likely to be in email marketing.
  • AI will be used to understand respondents and to determine what messages get sent to who.
  • Email marketing will be even more personalized thanks to the ability of AI to learn more about individuals.
  • Also, with the increased focus on mobile phones and apps, there is certainly a big part for AI to play in the coming years.
  • Voice search, for example, grows in popularity every day and as the results improve, AI will most certainly be a big trend to watch.

Data-Driven Marketing

Numbers don’t lie and they are not about to change so you can expect more actions to be driven by the numbers. Every year sees the introduction of more tools to help different industries keep up with the numbers and 2020 will be no exception. With the help of different tools and research results, digital marketers will be able to make smart decisions.

  • This article in itself is driven by data that depicts certain trends in the digital marketing industry.
  • This is probably a trend that will be there every year and possibly will eventually not need to be mentioned because everyone will understand that decisions need to be supported by data and not just any data, but reliable data.

Social Media Time-out Becoming Real

This may seem a bit odd since we are predicting trends that are supported by social media like influencer marketing. But the truth is data shows that there is also a drop in the use of social media.

  • It is suggested that many people are detoxing themselves from social media after they realize it may be taking up a lot of their time, as well as the emergence of trends like fake news.
  • The excitement with which people embraced social media is starting to wear-off.
  • Although they may not completely leave social media, many people choose where they would like to be present on social media.
  • Certain platforms are gaining followers while others are losing them.
  • A survey in the UK shows that 8 percent of social media users have permanently deleted their accounts.

Marketers now need to know where they would find the target audience for their brands.

Increased Mobile Marketing and Purchase

There was no way these trends would be complete without the inclusion of what is fast becoming everyone’s favorite gadget. Mobile phone use is growing in leaps and bounds and the digital marketing world is very aware of this. In 2019, we have already seen so many brands finding new ways to reach people on their mobile phones. Most of the trends mentioned above are directly affected by mobile use.

  • Voice search on mobile phones is made possible by virtual assistants and now marketers will begin optimizing their sites for voice searches which will help them in lead generation.
  • More purchases are likely to be over mobile phones since people are around their mobile phones more often.
  • Videos that are shared are going to be done through mobile.
  • There is a long list of trends that will be made possible because of mobile phones.
  • This is probably another trend that is here to stay just like data-driven marketing.

In Conclusion

Success in digital marketing requires a keen eye to observe what is working and what is not. Thankfully there are lots of tools available today to help predict as well as confirm what is trendy. The figures point out that the mobile phone is probably the most trendy gadget and that will greatly affect digital marketing and so many other industries. This is closely followed by AI that seems to be making headway in influencing the way a lot happens within the digital world. Many of the other trends will revolve around these two trends, but of course, trends will need to be supported by figures to make them worth following, not all the trends will translate into figures that you can present to a board and defend as worth sinking money into.