Digital marketing trends of 2020
By: Leamon Crooms
Marketing in 2020 is peppered with the advances in technology but faces the additional challenge of thriving in the middle of a pandemic. Marketing has less “wiggle room” than in previous years, and a wider – even captive – audience to dazzle. So how does the average company stand out, two decades into the millennium? Easy: through an assortment of thoughtful engagement, visually-focused ads, and plenty of personalization to woo the jaded at-home customer.
The concept of window shopping is nothing new, but digital marketing trends today are closer to home staging than simply adding frills. The idea of a brand as part of a “lifestyle” requires envisioning that lifestyle – which is easier to do when it’s prepackaged. Shoppable posts bring together a review-like discussion of products and fleshed-out “room” or “active” images with clickable products. Love the coffee table in this room scene? Click it to be whisked to checkout. Need those beautiful earrings in this fashion spread? Here’s a direct link to the store. An extension of breaking down barriers-to-purchase, shoppable posts on social media channels make the pitch process less artificial on both sides, leading to better conversion rates.
Better Website Design
A perpetual work in progress, website design by itself isn’t anything new. The focus, however, is cutting edge: no longer content to aim strictly for SERPS pages, sites are branching out. Could a potential customer, for example, ask their smart home speaker for business hours for your store and get a clear response? Is your local restaurant in the running for a mention if a driver requests “Indian food near me” by talking to their smartphone GPS? This information needs to be clearly indexable by not only search engine bots for SEO purposes but an ever-growing list of need-based site crawlers and lists. Additionally, if your website isn’t able to dynamically display on both mobile devices and traditional desktops, you’re at risk of losing half – or more! – of your potential customers in 2020. For brands looking to get on top and achieve growth, website development needs to remain at the top of the to-do list.
Interactive / Personalized Content
We’ve seen the rise (and subsequent plateau) of social media quizzes. The moment-in-the-sun of location-based mobile reward systems for physical stores. The frenzy around brand-specific photo filters on mobile phones. While each of these has cooled off from their heyday, the thread they share is as hot as ever: personalized, interactive content. In 2020, that trend can be found in specialized apps, AR/VR technology, or even as value-added digital enhancements after purchase. For example, a cosmetic company offering a live photo filter that lets users “try on” lipstick in various shades, or an app that turns the graphic on a purchased t-shirt into a moving image on a mobile phone. If it gets your customer’s phone out and the app store up, you’ve already finessed them into valuable engagement.
In short, 2020’s unique marketing-in-quarantine challenges have served as a reminder that customers don’t want to be “sold to” in the age of COVID-19. They want brands to be a seamless part of their lives and lifestyles, which means staying focused on three very important “i” trends: interfaces, interactivity, and indexing.