For marketing professionals, a new year is the perfect time to regroup and take stock of what new transformations will define marketing in 2020 and beyond. Marketing is constantly in flux, and success in this field depends on keeping your ear to the ground for what’s up next.
Marketing has ballooned in prominence—there are so many more opportunities to market to customers, to the point that marketing now overlaps with many other fields. Content marketing involves elements of educational outreach and journalism, while social media marketing and customer service are heavily intertwined since the cornerstone of a successful social strategy is building strong, communicative relationships with your audience.
SERP's are changing, so is your SEO strategy
The vast majority of web traffic goes through search engines, so SEO is a make-or-break optimization for all companies. Up until very recently, the top three results were the most valuable positions in a search engine results page (SERP). You may have noticed that Google will now include a small block of text in response to common questions, this often includes a link or a citation. The idea is that many people will make a search and not even click a URL—they’ll simply look at what information Google has determined is the most valuable and make a decision accordingly. A successful SEO strategy in 2020 will be one that allows companies to target that highly-coveted information panel.
Content will remain king
Not all content is created equal. In the past few years, we’ve seen companies invest millions of dollars into video marketing. In 2020, marketing experts are advocating for more visually-driven content, rather than text-only posts. They’re also excited about interactive content, like quizzes. This burgeoning category will become more prominent in 2020, as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) gain more traction and give users new opportunities to interact and immerse themselves in the digital space. We have to look no further than Instagram’s face filters to see how AR tech has gone from marginal to mainstream in only a couple of years. Forward-thinking marketers are keeping a close eye on these technologies.
Social media and e-commerce will merge
Social media companies are signaling that they want to accommodate the entire sales pipeline on their platform. Shoppable posts will become much more prominent, and instead of sending prospective customers to an off-site landing page, you’ll be able to close sales within the news feed.
Companies are excited about AI
AI is being deployed by marketers in the form of chatbots, voice search, and smart assistants. Meanwhile, customer data from social media platforms means even more personalization. As these technologies continue to become more sophisticated, mainstream, and cost-effective, expect to see AI-based marketing tools available for businesses of all kinds and sizes.
Change doesn’t always take place through sudden, disruptive, radical shifts. Expert marketers look to the recent past, read the writing on the wall, and make educated projections based on what changes the industry is already experiencing, and where we think they might go. The best marketers are able to recognize the key difference between real structural shifts and empty hype.
These trends are not out of left field. They’re the logical continuation of already-existing marketing trends. There’s always a possibility for a surprise, but for now, a successful marketing strategy in 2020 will be the product of careful decision-making in terms of how you pursue SEO, decide which kinds of content to produce, and how you integrate cutting-edge technologies.