Traditional marketing and advertising methods that used to be effective in the past could serve the needs of any business and increase the demand for the product or service they offer. But times have changed, and while the need for marketing is still necessary, the channels  which are most effective for marketing process have changed. We are all witnessing a great digital transformation which is imperative for all businesses, from the small to the enterprise. Whether B2B or B2C, all companies now have to keep up with this digital transformation using digital marketing tools and strategies in order to survive.

Digital marketing is the complete marketing process of a company or brand which encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. In today’s digital era, companies leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers. Digital marketing is a wide concept which include different marketing terms such as SEO,  Email Marketing, App marketing, Content Marketing, and Affiliate Marketing. In other words, while traditional marketing have communication tools such as print ads, direct mail or personal sales, digital marketing can occur electronically and online.This means that there are a number of endless possibilities for brands including email, video, social media, or website-based marketing opportunities. Today, we all live in a digital age and experience a period when people trade through social media channels, where the millennials study their lessons through Youtube and a new technology enters our lives every second.

In this case, companies should change their perspective. Instead of waiting for their target audience to come to them, they should be active in the digital world and reach the right target audience through the right medium. The most logical way of doing this is to follow the changes and trends in the digital world closely and determine the digital strategies that will make them successful.

Since digital marketing trends have been changing drastically every year, companies need to stay up-to-date on the upcoming trends so that they can manage all business processes effectively.

Let’s have a look what are the digital trends for 2020.

1. AI

Artificial intelligence will take over the world! Or at least the world’s simpler jobs. We saw this coming, and we will continue to see it. We are at the beginning of a period in which artificial intelligence is in place and human labor is reduced and turned into more quality oriented works. For instance, we will proceed directly with artificial intelligence for deficiencies in advertisements on a marketplace site, but maybe we will leave customer satisfaction to people again.

As another example, Microsoft and Uber are two companies – in addition to malls, sports arenas and campuses – that are using Knightscope K5 robots to “patrol parking lots and large outdoor areas to predict and prevent crime. The robots can read license plates, report suspicious activity and collect data to report to their owners.” You can rent these R2-D2-like robots for $7 an hour — which is less expensive than a human security guard’s wage. Moreover, this year, Google’s transition from AdWords to Ads and the use of artificial intelligence more extensively in campaign bidding strategies is enough to highlight the importance of artificial intelligence technologies for 2020.

2. Voice Search

Voice Search uses the power of speech recognition to search the web. Instead of typing use voice input to quickly and easily search for the things you care about. Although it seems like a brand-new concept, voice search technology has been around for a while. Programs such as speech-to-text and voice dialing are great examples of voice search. Over 25% of adults in the US own a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

A new generation search type is now familiar with us and it is more common hearing these voices around.

“Alexa, how many Americans own a smart speaker?”

66.4 million, or over ¼ of adults in the US.”

or

“Hey Google, How far away is the Moon?

“The Moon is 238,900 miles from Earth”

In addition, 31% of smartphone users worldwide use voice-activated search, like Siri, at least once a week. It is estimated that in 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. That makes voice search one of the biggest online marketing trends of 2020.

More and more people continue to use Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant.

Voice search is different from typical desktop or mobile search. When you open Google in your browser and type your question, you’ll see hundreds of pages of search results. It’s not that hard for you to be one of them. But when you ask Siri a question, it will only give you a few specific results. Often only one, yes 1. If your website is one of them, you are lucky and you should adapt your SEO strategy for voice search. It may sound like a fantastic forecast right now, but by 2020, half of all search queries are predicted to be voice-based. Understanding the subtleties of voice search and adding them to your digital marketing strategy is definitely worthwhile.

 3. Personalization

Consumers want brands to deliver personalized products and services without any effort in exchange for their shared personal data. Companies that meet this expectation can achieve increased customer satisfaction, better basket amount and turnover as well as higher brand value. It’s no coincidence that giant brands like Apple and Amazon are the best companies in personalization. Personalization continues to advance as a successful way of influencing the future of the digital world.

According to research conducted by the digital marketing technology company Signal in the USA, a 60% increase is observed in the conversion rates obtained through personalized advertising. 53% of online consumers are more satisfied than retailers who offer a personalized shopping experience. The fact that 45% of users prefer websites that offer personalized product recommendations indicates that this ratio will increase as more recommendations are offered with more accurate personalization.

With hyper-personalization, which is one step ahead of personalization, it is possible to offer personalized products, promotions, discounts and advertisements to the user automatically. In hyper customization, the algorithms are used to determine what the customer needs before  provide detailed insights and enable person-based targeting.

4. Interactive Content

A recent research has shown striking results on the success and reliability of interactive content applications. According to the study;

o   two-thirds (66%) of the respondents stated that with the introduction of interactive content tactics, user participation increased,

o   four out of five content markers (79%) say that combining traditional content marketing tactics with interactive content makes the message catchy, and

o   two-thirds (67%) of the participants agreed that interactive content provided new ways of reformatting passive content.

Netflix, which is one of the world’s largest content producers has introduced interactive titles over the past few years and it first started with the Bandersnatch series.the way Netflix does it is to offer users choices which refer to specific timestamps.The way you can see Netflix doing this is on devices like PS4 which allow you to debug your watching. In the top right, you can see a time bar. When important decisions come around, the title can jump to other points in time. This type of content really impresses the audience deeply because the audience decide the course of the story.

                       An interactive screen example from Bandersnatch

Also, YouTube has set up a new team for interactive content and live features and is planning to offer brand new content to its audience.

5. Shoppable Posts

Instagram shoppable posts are changing the way people shop. Up until recently, adding a link to an Instagram bio was the only organic way for e-commerce stores to drive traffic from Instagram to their landing pages.

However, with shoppable links, suddenly brands have been given the opportunity to turn their Instagram accounts into visual stores, adding product tags and information to their images and linking to product web pages.

On Instagram when you tap a post, you may notice that a little shopping bag comes up in the lower left corner as does a price tag over the object.

From here users clicks on the tag  and reach a page that contains a product description, similar items featured on the same post and other shoppable posts from the brand. Then, if the consumer taps the “Shop Now”, they’ll go directly to the product page. For online retailers, this is a great way to drive traffic to product pages.

Retailers have been using shoppable for a few years, whereas it is believed that they will become one of the rising trends in 2020.

6. Video Ads by Influencers

The video advertising market continues its growth trend every year in 2020. In 2020, the most popular advertising model will be video ads. Users who encounter a lot of advertisements are bored and give importance to quality content in advertisements. The increase in the use of ad blocker applications is the most concrete indicator of this. Therefore, it is expected that there will be a trend towards Influencer Marketing.

7. Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR) 

In 2020, the number of Augmented Reality (AR) users is expected to exceed 1 billion. Moreover, it is possible to think that AR will be used four times more than its brother Virtual Reality (VR). AR technology is currently being used successfully by several brands. For example, IKEA, the world’s largest furniture and home decoration store chain, offers users the chance to see how furniture from their homes will look in their homes by it “Place” app. As an affordable application example; Estée Lauder, an American makeup and body care product manufacturer, uses Facebook Messenger chat bots to let users experience makeup products instantly. This technology is very expensive to make similar applications of IKEA. Therefore, you should consider the cost aspect and try more affordable solutions like Estée Lauder. Video content is one of the most common uses of AR. YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook watch more than 22 million videos daily and this number is increasing every day. With regular video content, users will only be able to draw attention for a few seconds, while AR technology can bring attention to 50 seconds. Similarly, you can use this technology to strengthen your brand communication on social media platforms.

Consumers who only need a little motivation to buy can be more easily convinced with AR. Many brands do well behind-the-scenes communication. “We are transparent, our production process is very transparent, come and observe us from production to delivery”. This transparency and sincerity also turns to them as a plus. AR can help such companies to show their experience from miles away, for example to a restaurant, customers before they step into the restaurant.

8. Email Marketing

Email is still one of the best channels you can utilize to nurture leads and get the sale, but it would only work if you study the data and have the right strategies for your business. It also helps to have an open mind about any upcoming trends, including artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and content intelligence. Email marketing is expected to be used more in 2020, due to increasing advertising costs and lower reach rates.

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