— August 12, 2019
Digital strategies are all about innovating and improving existing tactics.
When a trend is adopted by the masses, it eventually stops helping marketers stand out – forcing them to move on to other avenues to outpace the competition.
Take long-form content, for example. Over the past few years, it was hailed as one of the keys to content marketing and SEO success.
However, now that almost everyone is producing long-form content, these assets alone won’t help you rank.
Therefore, it’s important to innovate and improve upon existing trends and strategies.
The 5 Potentially Powerful Digital Marketing Trends for 2020
From web design trends to the incorporation of “micro-moments”, 2019 has seen many changes in the realm of digital marketing.
Looking beyond 2019, here are 5 potential digital marketing trends of 2020 that may change the game as we know it, forever.
The War Against Search Engine Monopolies
With 63,000+ Google searches per second resulting in massive potential for traffic, websites need to abide by search engine rules or accept the consequences.
However, that could all change.
Genius, a company that uploads song lyrics, found out in 2016 that Google was copying lyrics from their website and displaying them on knowledge panels – without attributing Genius as the source.
After being consistently ignored by Google, Genius came up with a (genius) solution to catch them in the act:
They began watermarking Morse code in curled and straight quotation marks that spelled “Red Handed,” in their lyrics.
As phenomenal as that was, it didn’t do much in terms of getting a reaction out of Google.
That is, until June 2019, when The Wall Street Journal published an article shedding light on the situation.
In response, Google blamed anonymous licensing partners and vowed to attribute the actual sources of lyrics in the future.
However, by this time, they had already faced a lot of backlash as industry leaders (such as Rand Fishkin and Barry Schwartz) sided with Genius.
Realistically, content creators themselves have little influence against search giants, so publications will play a crucial role moving forward.
Could such incidents put an end to search engine monopolies?
This may entail:
- Google updating its search engine features (especially the knowledge panels), encouraging marketers to optimize their content for search features.
- Content creators (who feel that their content is being exploited) to raise their voices and seek help from publications.
Mobile OS Optimization
Due to Google recently prioritizing mobile-first indexing, marketers now have to emphasize more on making their content mobile-friendly across both iOS and Android.
However, considering a recent political scandal involving a major tech player, a new mobile OS is expected to hit the market.
This may entail:
- Marketers looking beyond popular mobile browsers and familiarizing themselves with new ones.
- Google announcing a major algorithm update to implement significant changes that would start taking new platforms into account.
- Apart from mobile optimization, marketers may also have to consider an entirely new mobile ads network for in-app advertisements.
AR & VR Marketing
Companies such as AMC Theaters are already leveraging AR and VR marketing.
By 2020, even more brands are expected to jump on the bandwagon.
In order to keep up ecommerce businesses will have to create interactive shopping channels, further optimize user experience, and add new levels of personalization to the customer journey.
If this trend finally kicks off and the VR and AR technologies become the norm, it could usher a new era of consumer marketing.
And of course if businesses are to leverage this technology they will need need to optimize their content and funnel for AR and VR devices.
This may entail:
- Businesses revising their strategies and experimenting with entirely new channels to sell the new experience (instead of just the product).
- Businesses optimizing the web experience for AR and VR devices, such as smart glasses.
Greater Emphasis on Psychological Variables
Understanding your consumer’s psychological drivers will help you optimize your marketing campaigns.
Platforms such as Facebook have been offering demographic and ad copy A/B tests for some time now (allowing marketers to run experiments on the fly).
This lets them:
- See which approach works best.
- Target individuals instead of a broad audience.
- Access a plethora of demographic profiling and behavioral attributes.
Smart marketers go one step further and layer in analytics tools (such as heat maps) to better understand audience behavior for visitors on their website.
With platforms accessing this website data, algorithms have a better understanding of user intent with every update. This may force psychological variables to become the norm in 2020.
Here are the implications for marketers:
- Marketers may have to focus more on creating “feel good” content, while respecting existing variables to rank higher in the SERPs.
- In-house marketing teams and agencies will have to use data to back all decisions – even those as small as publishing a tweet – with hard data.
Starlink to Give Rise to Untapped Markets
SpaceX’s satellite constellation, Starlink, is set to provide fast and affordable internet connectivity worldwide – giving rise to billions of new internet users.
In May 2019, the first 60 of 12,000 satellites were launched into orbit.
Needless to say, Starlink has been a hot topic in the global science community, but the general public doesn’t realize its true magnitude.
Here are the implications for digital marketers if all goes to plan:
- Companies may have to change their global strategies to incorporate new markets by introducing unique offerings based on additional cultures, political landscapes and economic conditions.
- Local search engine optimization may be impacted the most and new local keywords might pop up.
- Wide-scale access to uninterrupted internet connectivity will grow the global workforce. You may one day be outsourcing to an award-winning agency based in a North African desert.
- On the other hand, more skilled professionals would mean more competition and noise. This may prompt search engines and social networks to tweak their algorithms to ensure that the quality of online content remains unaffected.
What It All Means
With such momentous potential changes over the horizon, digital marketers should begin considering how they can build upon current strategies to align with future possibilities.
For starters, here are a few quick ideas:
- Competitive Intelligence: Create a report of brands like Genius that are turning the tide against search engine giants. Be sure to take detailed notes of what their marketing strategy.
- Advertising: Utilize the full demographic targeting capabilities of platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Additionally, leverage their split testing capabilities.
- New Demographics: Be on the lookout for new geo-targeting capabilities on platforms like Google as more and more people from around the world gain access to the internet.
By conceptualizing and executing plans based on tomorrow’s landscape – today – we can capitalize on the entire life cycle of a digital marketing trend.
What other digital marketing trends can you think of that will have a noticeable impact on 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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