From being a top trend in business to having trends of its own, Digital Marketing has come a long way. It’s not just a secluded department in an organization anymore, it’s an industry in itself; and a speeding one at that.
Trends are hard to predict. But once picked up at an early stage, they can help you stay one step ahead of the competition every time. They can help you be prepared for the unknown. They can help you become a quality Digital Marketer. As we step into the new decade with 2020, the digital realm is evolving to meet the demands of a fast-moving world.
A quality Digital Marketer won’t just preach and show his/her expertise in the field to the clients, but a true Digital Marketer will practice, get great results, and implement the same in the strategies he does for others. So risk-taking is a major part of making a hunch about what new trends can work in the future. The job market is also emphasizing the importance of contemporary skills. So follow your instincts and see what works.
So, here’s a quick glance of the major predictions that we think will rock the year and be a gamechanger for digital marketing careers in many ways. Keeping a close eye on these trends and gaining expertise in them can go a long way in furthering your career.
1. WhatsApp for Business
WhatsApp at the time of its launch stormed the Indian market. It is one of the few apps that got addicted to people of every age group. After almost a decade, it is slowly being known for its business application, and in 2020, this will start getting more prominence.
One of the major Pros of WhatsApp is that it allows you to give a personalized experience to your customers who are interacting with your business. And with its features, it can allow you to respond to your customers 24/7.
After changing your normal WhatsApp account to a business account, one can unlock many other features like:
- Setting up a Greeting Message — This will allow your account to send an automatic greeting message to any new user interacting with you, or an old user interacting with you after a long time.
- Setting up an away Message — Business owners have a life too, and this is often overlooked by the general public. They expect the business owners to be at their disposal every time they have a use for it. WhatsApp for Business allows you to draft a message that you can set whenever you are away and can’t access your phone. In such a case, whenever someone sends a message, they get an automatic reply.
- Chatbot Integration — Integrate the Chatbot with your blog/website and drive the visitors from your website to your WhatsApp. This eases the communication flow.
- With many other automatic options, WhatsApp for business basically reduces the communication gap and makes sure the information is transferred effectively. And with personalization being the next big thing, WhatsApp for Business can be a game-changer.
After texts, images, and videos, Podcast is said to be the next platform to consume content. This is deemed by many content creators as the future platform of story-telling. Oral storytelling is one of the most basic and earliest forms of storytelling. It is easy to use, connect, and create content with.
With many new platforms supporting podcasts coming up, people are slowly moving to those platforms for storytelling. People are starting their podcast channel and also integrating the same in their blogs and websites.
One of the major reasons podcasts are being popular is because of its ability to be more flexibly accessible than other forms of long content. While podcasts can be listened to by just plugging in earphones and going about the day to day activities, it is not possible to the same with blogs or vlogs. This is a major edge this form has over others, and this is why it is said to grow in the coming times.
3. Rise of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the oldest Social Media networks that still exist. It was founded 2 years before Facebook, and is titled by many as, ‘Facebook for the professional world’. While LinkedIn hasn’t been much in the limelight, it is slowly following the footsteps of the 2008’s version of Facebook.
One of the most organically rich versions of Facebook was seen in 2008, where the posts reached a good amount of audience without paying for it. And after almost 2 decades, LinkedIn is working to be the next organically rich Facebook for professionals. Soon, you will see brands take a serious route to focus on their LinkedIn strategies.
LinkedIn is now updating its ads, reach for videos, PDF-based scrolls, and many more features that will make it stand out of the rest. Job search, personnel search, background check, everything will be seen happening on LinkedIn.
4. Voice Search
2020 is the year of voice. Need proof of its proficiency? Go look at how a 5-year-old is using the search engine, and you will have a fair idea as to how serious this trend can be.
Seeing this trend, people have started implementing voice SEO for their brands according to the way people search for a website with voice. And with Artificial Intelligence gaining popularity, voice search can be taken to a whole new level.
People can just go about their business and talk to their phones to make calls, book appointments, set reminders, search for anything they want, and not even use their phone. So let’s wait and watch how much Noise this new trend can make in this field
There’s already a lot of Chatter going on in the market about the ability of TikTok to influence a large number of population to take up digital platforms. It has proven it time and again, and most of the Digital Giants from Gary Vee to Neil Patel, everyone is talking about its immense potential in the Digital World. Started as Musical.ly, the app has garnered immense popularity among the rural and vernacular language online users.
The platform has not just grown, it has overgrown. It is a hub of entertainment with its many challenges, ads, lip-sync battles and many other things that are giving millions of people a platform to shine. The coming year will see an increase in TikTok used for educational and infotainment purposes.
Some of the best ways that TikTok is being leveraged as a marketing tool is:
- In-feed local ads.
- Hashtag ads.
- Hashtag challenges.
- User involvement and participation.
- User-Generated Content.
- Diverse form of content in terms of vernacular languages.
Having said all this, TikTok is definitely in the arsenal of Digital Marketers in their strategies the upcoming year.
6. Vernacular Growth
The myth has been busted, and the vernacular section in the Digital Marketing world is up and growing. Creating content only in English is no longer the sole criterion of market products and services or to earn money. People have been seen go viral and famous in their vernacular language itself.
With a little push from TikTok, all the other platforms have started taking the vernacular route by promoting more and more local content. Facebook and Google ads can now be used in many local languages to target a specific audience. It helps boost hyper-targeting, and it lowers the overall ads cost per lead (CPL).
7. Instagram Organic
Buying Instagram, in its initial stage, was one of the best purchase decisions made by Facebook. It is now the go-to platform for all brands, businesses, and personal brand developers. With such a huge population on board, and a potential to grow manifolds, Instagram is all set to beat some of the top giants in Social Media. There is no brand that will prepare their Digital Marketing plans without Instagram.
Instagram is seen going aggressive, and people are getting organic traffic very effectively. Having said this, people will automatically invest more time, effort, and money here as it brings it will start bringing a great amount of engagement and reach without spending a penny on it.
Apart from just being able to make a brand name, and increase brand awareness, e-selling has been boosted really well through this platform.
8. Integration of Video and Audio Files in Blogs
Writing blogs is one of the essential tasks for any business. It is to develop the right web presence. It drives traffic and provides high visibility. Blogs have evolved in the way it gets presented on a webpage.
But many popular websites have been seen taking a new route blogging. And the reason? Well, people are not always interested in reading blocks of texts. And hence, they have started integrated videos and podcasts in their blogs.
So in addition to the text, they have the option to listen to the article in the form of a podcast and watch the article in the form of videos. So they have visual, audio, and audio-visual input.
The introduction of Podcasts has taken blogs to a whole new level. It helps in a more straightforward understanding of the content. Video files make the content interested as visuals tend to retain in memory more than written words. Similarly, Podcasts or audio files are convenient tools for readers. They can now listen to the posts via audio even while they are traveling, thus saving their time.
One extra factor that plays a role while integrating videos and podcasts in blogs is that Google’s ranking algorithm now gives priority to articles with media in them. So be ready to read articles, listen to articles, and even watch articles.
9. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality creates computer-generated visuals that show the user a real-world image providing a composite view. Advanced AR is designed such that at times it becomes difficult to differentiate between reality and the virtual model.
AR is used for entertainment, military training, and robotics. It adds visual elements to give an effect to create an illusion. Bloggers use it to make their webpage interactive. It enhances the real-time experience for the visitors on your page.
The popularity of your page depends on the user experience you provide to your people. AR is the new trend, and it is definitely sure to make your visual presence exceptional and unusual.
Other uses of AR is already being seen in Instagram filters. Brands have started making their own AI filters to increase brand personalization, and few creators have also integrated AI for people to share stories with.
Just one month in, and it AR is already a hit on Instagram, let’s see what 2020 has in store for us.
10. Digital Detox
With so much Digital Influence being spread by everyone around, it is about time people stand up for themselves and decide to take q break. Not everyone uses Digital for a purpose, where some are digital workers, some are digital addicts. And this is where Detox comes in.
In a recent survey done by Sorav Jain, one of the leading Digital Marketers in India, it was discovered that more than half of the population is addicted to their mobile phones in one way or the other. It later leads to mental health issues that include anxiety, depression, jealousy, restlessness, and so many other things.
More than 70% of people admitted that the first thing in the morning and the last thing in the night was checking their phone. This has slowly started to become an issue and has triggered many influencers and celebrities to create awareness and help people out of it.
Digital Detox will be the talk of the year with realizing the use of Digital more responsibly and get out of the addiction that is holding them down.
11. Digital Public Relations (PR)
Backlinks and keywords have become a fundamental part of the SEO practice that is implemented by almost everyone trying to rank on Google’s search. So it is hard to stand out just because of these. A new trend that was seen growing slowly growing in 2019 was Digital PR and is bound to grow in 2020.
It is a practice that helps brands create a quality online presence. These agencies or networks work closely with top journalists, influencers, bloggers, institutes, etc. to grow their brand value in relevant places and among relevant people.
It helps the brand get high quality and relevant backlinks and also get genuine and honest reviews for the brand.
12. Rise of Messenger and WhatsApp Sequence
Email marketing has always been the go-to way to hit a large number of subscriber groups or to be used for automation messages in case of inquiries and leads. But with the popularity of emails going down, the substitutes are all set to hit the market and gain popularity.
Messenger and WhatsApp sequences are instant, quick, and effective when it comes to maintaining databases and replying to leads as and when they come.
While in emails, there are high chances for them to be ending up in spam, these messages can go right in the platforms they use the most. They can also help ensure personalization, give better insights, and interact in a more conversational and natural way.
With the help of bots, which can be integrated with blogs and websites, these message sequences can be triggered, and conversations can be started with anyone who interacts with them. And these interactions can help get a database of the customers, which can be valuable for targeting in the future.
13. Google My Business
It is challenging for small and local businesses to bear the top players in their industry. But one thing that they have an edge on is that where a large business has its presence globally, small ones can flourish locally.
But the issue faced is that they may or may not have a working website, their SEO may not be on point, and their presence may not be that prominent on the World Wide Web. And hence, Google My Business is the perfect solution for local popularity.
A brand’s Google My Business page can be made visible when people are searching for them on Google search engine, Google Maps, and any other database. The brand can upload relevant pictures, give the full address, contact information, and deep insights about the brands. This acts as a mini-website for the business and helps drive a lot of local traffic and footfalls for the business.
The Page acts as a great local SEO boost, as it can be made into a keyword-rich snippet about the business. Yet another main feature is that it will allow people to leave feedback about the business post-interaction. This will help people who are searching for the business to read the reviews and then take a calculated decision.
Digital Marketing is a highly dynamic field. Trends can appear out of thin air and change the entire ball game. So making your content strategy to be dynamic and ready for change is the way to go forward to boost your career.
These are the trends that have already been tried and tested by many and have seen the taste of success and have great potential to grow immensely in the coming year. So be prepared and gear up, let us see how the year 2020 turns out to be! Make the most of these trends to build a solid career.
Let us know your thoughts as to what can be the biggest trends that will be the voice of 2020.