Every year I tend to update this article and add some new marketing trends and marketing insights into how marketing is improving or changing. This year is no exception. In fact, this year brings marketing ideas that some may consider to be fundamental shifts in marketing and consumer behaviour.
Ways consumers pay
One of the biggest shifts is the way consumers are paying and going to pay for goods and services. Your customers will expect to see payment options such as cryptocurrency, Venmo and multi-pay financing options. As a business you should factor these into the development of your website and point of sale. Accepting Bitcoin for instance could be a great start. And then marketing that fact on your website and social media accounts could pique the interest of your core audience.
Building authority in the Metaverse
Metaverse is here and with Facebook changing its name to Meta, you can rest assured that businesses will rapidly start moving into the metaverse ecosystem. You need to plan our a strategy for building authority in the metaverse.
For instance, if your primary method of marketing in the past was email marketing, then you need to figure out a way to pivot this into the metaverse through engagement touch points that people are most drawn to. Digital marketing tips will continue to evolve and morph into the metaverse and you need to keep your finger on the pulse.
Social Media Marketing 3.0
Social media channels are going to evolve and change in 2022. Cutting through the noise through content is getting extremely difficult. Simply sharing posts or some images with quotes is not going to cut it. In fact, simply adding to the noise would be a waste of your time.
You need to start thinking of guerrilla marketing strategies within your market segment and create content that will have the potential to go viral. Instead of spending time posting 500 meaningless and noisy updates, spend that time, effort and money on creating one or two high value pieces that can go viral.
Artificial Intelligence Marketing
A lot of big brands are already using AI in their marketing and the trend will gain momentum as medium to small business will start looking at leveraging AI to push their marketing forward. Machine learning can help tremendously with profiling your buyer personas and help map our their core archetypes so that you can effectively insert your brand into your audience’s journey.
Marketing tactics will need to go from being manipulative to being genuine and transparent and AI can help with that.
Voice Search Marketing
Voice based search and shopping is going to gain momentum in 2022 with more and more people asking their Alexa or Siri to search for something and then even place an order. If you are selling products, you need to figure how to get into the voice search engine ecosystem.
Even if you are selling services, you can utilize voice search to your advantage by building authority that will bear fruit when some one voice searches your topics.
Content marketing has taken the world by storm. More and more brands are figuring out that the marketing content produced is just as important as the product or service you deliver. And in 2020, content marketing is showing a real return on investment for those brands who have really invested in it in years past. Utilizing the power of social media, the intricacies of video marketing, and the usefulness of a company blog really do work.
However, as you know with the world of marketing, the landscape is ever changing. When you think about the strategies that worked for your brand in 2019, you shouldn’t be using the same exact strategies this year. And the same goes for your brand’s marketing strategies and business trends in 2020. Make sure that you get up to speed on the top marketing trends that are right around the corner in the New Year.
New and Improved Content is Needed.
Oh wait? You thought that your blog pieces were enough to engage your audience and bring them to buy your product? Well, we’re here to tell you that your 2019 marketing strategy needs an update if that’s what you’re thinking. In the past, a brand might decide to create content by just hiring a new team of writers. They would write as many unique blog posts as possible and throw them out there on the company blog, just waiting for customers to potentially read them.
However, that strategy just isn’t going to cut it in 2019. As the number of digital marketing avenues has diversified, so does your content marketing strategy. Every brand should be developing content ideas well beyond simple blog posts. Think about other types of content you can start creating – videos, graphics, illustrations, podcasts, emails, social media influencer content.
The Way Content is Consumed is Shifting.
Not only should brands start thinking about the type of content they are creating but also must get on-board with content moving away from the computer screen to the mobile screen via a mobile app. Sure, right now, a large majority of content still needs to be read or watched on screens. However, the Internet of Things (IOT) is rapidly changing that. Let’s rewind to just two years ago. The idea of a “smart home” where all appliances are connected to the Internet was still a futuristic lover’s fantasy. The idea that you could do your grocery shopping right from your kitchen seemed far away in the future.
However, what do we have today? Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Home have taken the world by storm. You can have Alexa set up in your home and connected to your other gadgets to make your life that much easier. As you could imagine, these advancements in the IOT mean that your marketing strategies need to take them into consideration. For example, look at Purina, which developed an Alexa skill that can teach owners about various dog-related questions. All owners have to do is ask Alexa to ask Purina to get answers to these questions.
What can your brand do with this new technology?
You Need to be Documenting Your Strategies.
Yeah, OK, this might sound like the more boring part of this article but don’t skip down just yet. Your content marketing strategy in 2018 might be the absolute best in the world, but if you aren’t documenting that strategy, writing down your goals, and tracking progress – then how could you possibly expect to make it into a reality and achieve success? That’s why another big trend in 2018 is going to be documenting your strategies.
Take one study, undertaken by a professor at the Dominican University of California. She wanted to figure out the difference between those students who didn’t write down their goals, those students who wrote down their goals but didn’t share them with anyone, and those students who both wrote down their goals and had other friends hold them accountable. And what do you think she found?
She discovered that those students who documented their goals and shared them with friends were drastically more successful in achieving those goals in the end. This study has shown a strong light on the importance of documentation, no matter what goals you’re aiming to achieve. The same applies to your content marketing strategies in 2019. If you work with your marketing team to develop them, document them, and track their progress, you’re going to have a much higher success rate than you otherwise might have.
Marketing Your Business Online
The big mistake rookies in the world of online business make is confusing marketing and Sales. These are two distinct activities. In the most basic form sales is persuading a potential customer to buy your product or service. Marketing is creating awareness about your company and its products or services. Marketing is the first step, especially in online business. If people do not know about you and come to your site, how can you sell to them?
The best form of internet marketing is to have search engines find your site. But a search for say, “lawnmowers” will open up at least a few thousand sites. People tend to stop searching after going through the first 2 or 3 pages of results. Let’s see what you can do to get your business high up in the results list.
- Using keywords in a title tag is a key component of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Look at the title of this article. It is clear and concise for the reader, but if someone is searching for tips on how to market their online businesses, this will show up in the search. Having a different, but always relevant, title tag for each page of your website will increase the chances of search engines finding it since the more title tag options you have, the more chances of it matching the search criteria.
- Links placed on other websites are a valuable search tool. When contacting websites for promoting your business, tell them you preferred anchor text. Anchor text is the words that comprise the hyperlink that connects to your site. For example, if you are selling a new type of lawnmower, the anchor text should be something like “latest lawnmower technology”.” Other sites may not agree to the exact wording you want, but try to persuade them. If you are paying for a mention on the site, you have the power to negotiate.
- Relevance matters! Rather than trying to place links to your website wherever you can, it is better to focus on placing the links in sites that relate to yours. Your lawnmower link in a gardening site will be more likely to attract interest than a link on a site about farming.
- You need to be patient. The longer your site has been up, the more valid you and your products appear. Look at it this way, if you had two choices in buying a car, based on name only, would you buy from Honda or from the Kalamazoo Car company? Search engines also give value to the age of sites when ranking them. Remember the hard work you put into your site may start producing real results after 6 months to a year.
- Use keywords in the body of your text. The more often the keywords appear in the text, the more you’re the chances of a search engine finding your site relevant. Just be careful not to force the use of keywords in such a way that the text looks awkward and unnatural. Keep in mind that many search engines penalize sites stuffed with an excess of keywords that have been designed only to improve search rankings.
Customer Experience Is The King!
Going into 2020, the most important thing to keep in mind for any brand is that customer experience should be at the forefront of any marketing campaign. It is about caring for the customer and what they think.
Emotional marketing is the key. Not manipulation – that would kill off your brand quicker than you can say “Hey Alexa”!
Customers are expecting smooth interactions with brands. Quality of products or services they receieve comes later. So, your marketing strategies should be focused on connecting emotionally with your audience by providing a great experience during your initial communication.
It’s all visual baby!
Even at Spellbrand and on this blog we are starting to see decline in the time people spent reading blog posts. To counter this, we are investing heavily into visualization and 2020 for us would be the year of visual pieces and video.
The attention span of people is so low now – not just due to the shorter videos (TikTok) and images based stories (Instagram) but also due to the way the web is heavily visual.
The first thing you need to do in 2020 is come up with a visualization strategy based on your target audience and your market segment. With out a plan you would be marketing blindly and throwing good money after bad. Set aside a decent portion of your marketing budget for strategy and planning.
Read more about video and image storytelling below.
Work on Your Live Video.
By now, you have got to be aware of how big of an impact video streaming is having. More and more brands are looking to videos as their content of choice. And there’s good reason for that! When you put up either live or non-live video on Facebook, for example, you are going to see over 100% more of organic reach than if you choose other forms of content, like photos. And if you think about it, this is pretty common sense. Videos naturally pull in more people as they scroll through their Facebook and Instagram feeds. They’re just more naturally engaging than still photos or status updates.
Even better than uploaded videos are live videos. It’s been shown that live videos receive way more engagement and organic reach than videos simply uploaded onto a feed. And consumers are much more likely to watch a live video than spending their time reading through a long blog post. Live videos can capture the attention of your potential customers much more than other types of content.
However, live videos are not just about attracting attention. They can also showcase your brand as authentic and real. If you bring out your CMO or other senior managers to speak on a live video to your audience members, this helps consumers trust your brand much more.
Become Your Brand Ambassador.
2020 is the year you really have to pull through for your brand. If you are a stakeholder of your brand – founder, CEO or anyone who is in charge of taking your brand to the next level, then it is time to shed your anonymity and come into the spotlight.
I had written about the importance of having a brand ambassador for your brand. Even though that was a few years ago, it is now more relevant than ever. You have to become vocal and visible. You need to become the face of your brand. You need to connect emotionally with your audience.
Every successful brand in 2020 would have an ambassador that represents the core values and mission of the brand. They would tell the brand story and drive audience engagement. If you feel that you are not ready or comfortable going on video or live streams then think again. Your competitors will do it.
Once you have a brand ambassador, it is time to create conversations. Marketing is not about selling anymore. It is about creating conversations and engaging your audience.
But to have great conversations, your brand really needs to nail down its brand story framework. Once you have the core messaging, the secondary message blocks and the brand story blocks, you can create a ton of microstory blocks which then become the conversations you spark.
With out a brand story framework, your brand voice would not be authentic and create the brand recall you need.
You’ve got some work to do.
When 2020 rolls around, you had better be ready for the shift in your marketing strategy. Be ready for the rise of live video, integration into the Internet of Things, and the more complex types of content you should be producing.