The digital space is constantly evolving with chunks of content and it is a must for every digital marketer and organization to stay up to date about the latest trends and news to reach their customers and take the lead to outplay their competitors. After conducting our research and considering the opinions & predictions of industry experts, here are 7 digital marketing trends that will boom in the coming year and will help you to strategize your Digital Marketing plan for 2020.

More and More AI / Maximizing the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) 
Undoubtedly, AI is transforming the future of Digital Marketing with its exceptional ability to analyze data and learn from it. AI is revolutionizing many aspects of human life in the form of smart devices, voice-powered searches, chatbots, online maps, GPS trackers and home automation systems. The best part is that AI can analyze the emotions of a customer.

Emphasis will be placed on the use of artificial intelligence in Digital Marketing. Using AI to automate Digital Marketing strategies will transform the way you engage with your audience. It can help you drive relevant traffic, acquire new customers, increase sales, and retain your existing customers. Brands and marketers are leveraging on AI in digital marketing strategies to deliver improved customer experiences, save time, resources and money. 2020 can be named as an AI year for Digital Marketers.

Chatbots are currently acting as virtual assistants for consumers. Alexa, Siri and Google Voice Assistant (OK Google or Hey Google)  are very popular chatbots that perform a range of functions from playing your favourite song to setting an alarm and many more. There are several other AI chatbot programs which are designed to engage with customers in a better way. Chatbots can be added to your websites, emails, apps, and text messages. They have all the ability to answer the most common queries that customers will have and they can add a human-like feel to conversations which enhance the customer experience.

Today, about 70% of websites already have integrated chatbots, but their quality is not very high. Some major issues with current chatbots are they give a random response which does not correspond to the question and some respond very slowly. Web designers and developers will continue to perfect the current chatbots and increase conversion with chatbots to make it easier to work with them in 2020.

Voice search
At one side of the coin, experts believe that in 2020 the usage of voice devices will be spiked and at least half of the requests will be made by voice search and they are busy in perfecting the voice searches.

On the other side, some serious discussion is going on.

From the past few years, there has been much talk about the increase in voice searches, and the need to adopt SEO strategies to this type of search. But how to adapt to this new behaviour? The general consideration is to create content around semantic phrases instead of the typical keywords and use a conversational tone, relying on “long tail” keywords.

In general, searches performed on devices such as Echo or Google Home are not transactional for now. People do not use smart speakers to buy, but for other functions such as playing music or talking about the weather. This does not mean that they do not offer opportunities for marketing, quite the opposite!

More and more brands are working on creating the content of value for the user adapted to smart speakers, such as Alexa skills.

Personalized or Customer-Centric Marketing 
Gone are the years in which brands launched their messages to consumers, from their unidirectional platforms such as television or radio. Today things have changed a lot. Users demand personalized treatment and communicate with the brand face to face. Connectivity allows the user direct contact with the brand, and the user does not hesitate to use this possibility. For communication between brand and user to flow, marketing must be fully customized.

This new trend generates two interesting changes, that  must be contemplated by brands in their strategies for 2020:
  1. Messaging channels that used to be reserved for communication between individuals are becoming increasingly important for brands. We talk about the use of Messenger or WhatsApp for companies, increasingly commonly these days.
  2. As we discussed previously, chatbots are frequently used and are more evolved. Chatbots are one of the many applications of artificial intelligence, and allow companies to have personalized conversations in real-time with their customers.
One of the most popular ways to personalize your online marketing efforts is using segmented email lists. 3X better performance is seen in personalized email blasts than through generic emails. Let 2020 be the year that you make marketing personal if you haven’t done it yet.

Interactive Content Marketing
Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI), traditional interactive content is changing its image. The challenge is to be able to develop content that extracts the potential of new technologies, providing users with better and more personalized experiences.

For example, interactive videos, virtual reality and augmented reality arrived years ago and are rapidly evolving, although most brands still do not take advantage of their possibilities.

Features like Shoppable posts, 360-degree video, quizzes, and polls make innovation and creativity available to brands allowing them to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Undoubtedly, interactive content will be one of the 2020’s top marketing trends.

Social Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for ages and has evolved a lot over time. It has become more personalized and authentic now. Leveraging influencers on social media allows your brand to reach your audience through a voice they trust. Brands that rely on influencers see an 11X higher ROI than the brands that depend on other digital marketing methods. Statistics suggest that 92% of people trust recommendations from other consumers over regular corporate ads. This is the reason why new brands are adopting Influencer Marketing and influencers are migrating to every possible platform to launch their campaigns and reach their target audience. It is predicted that influencer marketing could reach $10 billion in revenue by 2020. It’s evident that influencer marketing will continue its reign in the coming decade.

Videos and Podcasts
Did you know that every day humans see more than 100 million hours of video on Facebook? And that YouTube has more than one billion active users? The importance of video does not stop increasing, and more and more brands use this format to advertise.

Currently, all major platforms support streaming video, which suggests that live video will continue to dominate as a content format throughout 2020. Facebook or Instagram are ideal platforms to show users more about your brand through live videos. These types of videos transmit confidence and closeness, helping your brand to attain popularity and engagement.

According to Forbes, 90% of customers say that videos help them make purchasing decisions, and online shoppers who watch demo videos are almost twice as likely to buy a product.

Podcast content, on the other hand, offers the advantage of being consumed while doing activities that do not allow us to look at a screen, such as driving, walking or cooking. The creation of branded content in this format will help the company to differentiate itself and retain the audience, who perceive this type of content to be “friendlier”. Media companies like Spotify are making heavy investments in the podcast industry, in close connection with the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants.

Special Mentions: A few other trends for 2020

shoppable posts
 – The numbers of purchases through social channels are increasing. It is an upward trend and a good strategy for 2020 to create shoppable posts. Instagram and Pinterest are current trending platforms  for shoppable posts where images work very well, but short videos get even better results.

Social Messaging Apps
 – Social Media apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp are not just for messaging friends anymore. These apps are becoming popular ways for businesses to communicate with their customers. Think about how your business can use social messaging apps in 2020!

Smart Bidding in Google Ads – 
Automation is nothing new in the digital marketing world, but thanks to recent Google Ads updates, we expect automation and smart bidding to become the norm for many PPC account managers helping maximize conversions.

Position “Zero” in Search Engine Results Page & Next-Gen SEO –
The featured snippet of text that appears on top of the search results which is also known as “0” position or Zero Position, is now the top spot and it’s highly desired. Position 1 is no longer considered as the top spot in search results. In 2020, SEO will continue to get more advanced as search engine algorithms are getting updated at regular intervals so that  Google can counter the smart tricks and black hat SEO techniques of SEO specialists.

Final Thoughts:
Digital marketing is constantly changing at a rapid pace and it will continue to do the same in 2020. We believe that the above trends will be huge game-changers led at the forefront by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Stay up-to-date on the upcoming trends so that all of your digital campaigns will be more productive. We (ThoughtFolks Digital) will help you and your organization to master all these trends and maximize your ROI.