“5 Digital Marketing Trends for Small Businesses in 2020”
It seems like it was just yesterday that Y2K was all the rage. What happened in these past 20 years has completely reshaped the way we market our businesses online. From the early days of Google’s relatively easy pay-per-click ads to the birth of social media. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in twenty years, it’s that marketing changes quickly.
Nowadays, digital marketing demands much more than just pay-per-click ads:
Search Engine Marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Pay-per-click ads in Google and Bing
- Lead generation
- List building
- Broadcast emails
- Email autoresponders
Social Media Marketing
Social media is the toddler of the digital marketing landscape. It’s young, it’s loud, it’s all over the place, and it has demanded almost all of small business owners’ time. Over the past 10 years, it has taken over in full force, combining content strategy with social media paid ads.
What’s to Come in 2020
Trying to manage all of these digital marketing mediums can be incredibly challenging. In twenty years, the rules of marketing have evolved and only demand more from small business owners. But what’s to come is a wave of technology-driven changes that will yet again, quickly change the way we manage digital marketing.
Voice Optimized Marketing
In 2019, we’re already seeing the power of voice with the influx of smart speakers and Siri searches. People are speaking rather than typing because it’s much more convenient. According to ComScore, half of all searches will be done by voice in 2020.
The interesting part is, when someone searches by voice, there is usually only 1 suggestion. Smart speakers aren’t listing off pages of search results. They pick one. As a small business owner, this is a golden opportunity for you to capitalize on that top spot.
One quick tip to claim that #1 spot is to optimize your title tags and meta descriptions so they sound more conversational.
Chatbots: The Sales Team of the Future
If you’ve ever interacted with a bot, you know how fun (and also, how creepy) they can be. Nowadays, with advancements in artificial intelligence, chatbots have become more than an entertainment piece. They’re transforming into full-fledged sales machines.
People want quick answers to their questions and a chatbot is the perfect tool to answer them and optimize sales automatically. 60% of people surveyed in a 2018 bot study said they used a chatbot in the past 12 months, according to Convince and Convert.
As a small business owner, you should be taking advantage of this 24/7, part-customer service rep, part-sales rep to automate your communication and sales going into 2020.
Social Commerce: Shoppable Social Media Posts
If you have a Facebook or Instagram account already, you know how tough it can be to get your followers to actually click through to your site. Thankfully, the game is changing with social media shopping.
Social commerce is a new branch of social media marketing that lets customers make a purchase directly through a social media post or ad. This isn’t a new tactic, but it is rapidly growing in popularity since Instagram launched Instagram Checkout in 2019.
This new marketing tactic is most ideal for eCommerce brands. However, you can still use it if you don’t run an eCommerce store. Even if you sell a few pieces of merchandise, an ebook, or some other type of product, you can benefit from this new form of social media marketing.
The harder it is for a prospect to buy, the less likely they’ll buy. By eliminating one step in the sales process, it’s allowing for an easier buying experience for the customer, which leads to more sales.
Augmented Reality (AR) Marketing
Augmented reality, or AR, has been rapidly taking over the internet. You may remember the Pokemon Go craze from a few years back. As strange as it was to see kids (and adults alike) walking down the street like packs of zombies hunting for flesh, it was a reality check for a new age of marketing.
One type of AR is when digital images are overlaid on top of real images on a computer or smartphone. IKEA is a prime example of a business using AR in their marketing. IKEA created an augmented reality tool on its app that allows customers to see what a piece of furniture will look like in their home.
Virtual Reality (VR) Marketing
Virtual reality, or VR, offers an even more sophisticated marketing experience than augmented reality. VR has become very popular with video games over the past few years. You might have seen the headsets in the mall at the Microsoft store or other video game stores. You can instantly enter a whole new world when you put on the headset.
So how are small business owners able to use this technology in their marketing? Well, VR digital showrooms are already helping real estate agents. Virtual reality makes it possible for real estate agents to put a headset on a potential buyer to do a walk-through in a potential home. The best part is, the prospect doesn’t even have to leave their home. The real estate agent can now bring the home right to them.
Emarketer estimates that 42.9 million Americans will use VR while 68.7 million Americans will use AR, on a monthly basis, heading into 2020.
Consumers want a more interactive experience. Allowing your customers to visualize the product in motion is one of the most effective sales tactics. This type of technology will only get more advanced in the coming years.
2020: Prepare for the New Y2K
The digital marketing game is about to change, yet again.
As a small business owner, you need to be willing to keep up with the changing demands of digital marketing. Voice is the new means of communication for the consumer. Chatbots are the new dependable customer service and sales agent. Social commerce creates a faster buying experience. VR and AR make it possible for the customer to engage with a product regardless of geographical location.
By taking the time to learn the ins and outs of these new digital marketing methods, rather than being left behind, you’ll be able to lead the pack going into 2020.