It’s a new year and a new decade, which means that people are maximizing their New Year’s resolutions — marketing professionals included. We looked into a few trends for 2020 that you should include in your digital marketing strategy now, if you haven’t already. These are our five favorites, based on our expertise and interaction with our own clients.
Embrace the Value of Voice
While video gets a lot of attention for how popular it is, its little sister audio is poised to take center stage soon. This is no surprise, considering how convenient voice search and audio programming is for people to use. Think about it: how often do you listen to the radio, podcasts, or audiobooks? All these forms of digital interaction offer the benefit of allowing you to engage with them passively in ways that would be downright dangerous with video, like when you’re driving to work, grocery shopping, or on a stationary bike at the gym. Producing voice content can be very lucrative for brands who want to engage with customers in new ways, especially as part of a larger strategy.
And let’s not forget how popular voice commands and voice search have become. Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are all ready to help at any time, and are combing the web for results that fit vocal commands. In fact, ComScore, a leading research agency, predicted in 2018 that by this year, 50 percent of all searches would be voice searches. It’s time to start thinking about your voice search engine optimization in order to make sure you’re easy to find when an artificial intelligence looks you up on behalf of a person.
Leverage AI to Get More Personal
Speaking of artificial intelligence, AI has been a booming trend in marketing of late, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In spite of fears from certain top level technology executives about dark AI fiction scenarios becoming reality, current usage of AI in marketing probably isn’t going to lead us to the apocalyptic worlds of The Terminator or The Matrix. In fact, AI is incredibly helpful in personalizing digital experiences for your potential customers, guiding them to products or services that they’ll find useful and making their lives easier overall.
You’ve seen AI in action if you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, with predictive analytics guessing what you’ll want to look at next. It’s gotten better over recent years, thanks to all the data Amazon has been collecting, and now the Chrome extension Amazon Assistant offers immediate recommendations for you while you shop online. You may not be able to create something as big as Amazon, but there are other ways to leverage AI to increase personalization for your visitors, without getting too creepy about it or infringing on customer privacy.
Mobilize Your Brand with Mobile Friendliness
This is actually a throwback trend, because mobile has been a growing trend since at least 2013, growing 222 percent between 2013 and 2018, and it continues to be building strong. We are constantly surprised at how few brands have realized that 67 percent of all traffic to the internet comes from mobile phones or other hand held devices. This means if your site doesn’t perform well for small screens, there’s a good chance you’re losing a good chunk of potential customers.
Moving to mobile can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Even a quick reorganization of pages to make information easy-to-find while increasing the size of buttons and fonts can help immensely. Most website themes are already responsive nowadays, and website building tools offer ways to view how your website looks on a mobile device while you’re building it. But it’s also 2020, and if you haven’t redesigned your site in the past decade, it may be time to look into it now.
Improve Your Site Performance — or Else
Losing visitors isn’t just a problem for companies that haven’t adopted mobile-friendly techniques. Site speed is a major indicator of a brand’s success. According to Small SEO Tools and Strangeloop, a one-second delay in the time it takes for a page on your site to load can lead to a drop in conversions of seven percent. And if your site takes five seconds to load, more than a third of visitors will leave it altogether. This means that if your competitor has a slightly faster site, you’re probably losing business to them for that reason alone.
Luckily, improving site performance isn’t rocket science. There are many simple ways to improve your site performance, like reducing image sizes, enabling caching, or finding a better web host. Actually, finding a better web host should probably be on your marketing resolutions list for 2020, especially if you set your website up in 2012 and forgot about it. And even more especially if you have no idea who your host is. Changing hosts can speed your site up exponentially. And since only 15 percent of websites were loading at an acceptable speed in 2018, you have a good chance of being the best site on the block just by speeding up slightly.
Rethink Your Target Demographic
Newsflash: Kids born in the year 2000 are turning 20 years old this year. They’re full blown adults with credit cards and opinions on what they want. If you’re not marketing to them and their generational cohort, aka Gen Z, you’re missing out on $143 billion in buying power globally, and about 25 percent of the U.S. population.
Knowing what Gen Z wants isn’t hard, thanks to their willingness to provide data online. But you’ve got to earn their trust and entertain them rather than pushing them with a hard sell. Work on being relevant and interesting through the right platforms, and Gen Z will come to you. (Easier said than done, of course.)
At LuckyTamm, we’re committed to providing guidance and expertise for our clients in digital marketing across a spectrum of needs. If you need help implementing any (or all!) of the top five we’ve listed here, get in touch today and let’s get you and your brand moving for 2020.