In the world of marketing, standards and trends are ever-changing – and moving into 2020 is no different. While marketing as a discipline definitely won’t be flipped on its head, for companies on the forefront, there is work to be done when it comes to maintaining and optimizing the hard work that’s been started over the past few years. Organizations that put less of an emphasis on progressive marketing, on the other hand, might have a little more work to do.
Here are a few important trends to consider when delving into the new year.
Four Trends that May Impact Your 2020 Marketing Strategy
- Optimizing Your Content
Over the past several years, content marketing has proven itself as a viable and increasingly valuable marketing strategy. In fact, it’s no longer an experimental tactic; it’s now a prerequisite. Great, original content has the ability to transform unknown brands into thought-leadership powerhouses. So how will content marketing evolve in 2020?
Well, if you’ve mastered the written word, it’s time to start exploring more advanced forms of content. Pushing images and visual storytelling to the forefront of your content marketing strategy is a great place to start. White papers and blogs will certainly maintain an influential position, but visual formats, including infographics, videos, GIFs and even more advanced technology like augmented reality filters, will continue to seize the attention of larger portions of your audience.
In fact, according to a HubSpot survey of over 3,000 consumers, 56% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 54% of 35- to 44-year-olds want to see more video content from brands they support.1 So if you’re ready to take your content from great to supreme, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and start really focusing on the visual elements. Your agency partner can help, should you run into any bumps along the way.
- Optimizing Your Digital Marketing
Much like content marketing, digital marketing has grown in significance and esteem over the past several years. And, in many cases, it’s moved from being a complementary piece of a company’s marketing budget to a dominating share. As consumers continue to spend more and more of their time and resources researching – and ultimately purchasing – goods and services via the web, digital marketing will continue to climb in importance. You’ve probably been hearing this for years, so how will digital marketing change in 2020?
Well, the basics associated with digital marketing probably won’t. You’ll still need to make sure your website, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), email strategy, social content and other content marketing pieces are on point, but there may be at least one additional element to consider in the upcoming year.
For instance, did you know, according to Google, 20% of all Google search queries now take place through voice search, and 71% of all mobile users between the ages of 18 and 29 use voice assistants on their smartphones, according to Thrive Analytics.2 Given this information, it may be time to optimize your content for voice search. The best place to start? Make your content more conversational.
- Maintaining a Customer-First Mentality
Perhaps now more than ever, consumers are actively building relationships with the brands they love. However, these relationships are no longer a one-way street. Consumers have expectations from the brands they value and see interactions with such entities as both give and take. In fact, according to Deloitte’s “Driving Brand Loyalty with Emotion” study, nearly 75% of consumers say they expect two-way relationships with organizations they do business with.3
These expectations aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as an increased investment from consumers can build loyalty over time and help companies maintain a competitive advantage with their most valuable customers. Nonetheless, two-way relationships do require more work from a brand. Luckily, technology can help – providing opportunities to seek out feedback and then provide solutions.
This is great news for companies who have developed a customer-first mentality – those who view consumer experiences from the outside in. For organizations who have not yet shifted from simply selling products and services to crafting meaningful, personalized solutions for their customers, however, 2020 might prove even more difficult than previous years.
- Maximizing Employee Engagement
Lastly, in 2020, there will be a continued emphasis on employee engagement. Valuing and growing the talent of your most important asset will become more important than ever. This is especially true, given that the jobless rate has dropped to 3.5% in recent months, matching a level it last saw in December 1969.4 Finding the right talent will become even more difficult, and keeping your top performers won’t be easy either, if you’re not investing in the right internal initiatives.
Today’s workforce is diverse and ever-changing, and, as such, will require an approach that values each individual’s unique experiences and enables them to develop new skills and relationships. Nurturing your talent pool’s love for your brand will require investments at the organizational, departmental and individual levels. But the resources invested will certainly be worth it, as companies with the best workforces enjoy 12% greater profitability than other organizations, and their three-year revenue growth rate is 2.25 times greater.5
Closing Out Your 2019 Marketing
There are certainly some important initiatives to consider for 2020, but before rushing into next year, let’s make the most of your fourth quarter with a few key pointers.
- Pair Charitable Donations With a Sale
It’s the holiday season and people are eager to do good. Take advantage of this by adding a charitable element to your holiday promotions. It might just give consumers the extra nudge they need to buy from you instead of the competition.
- Optimize for Local Search
If your organization relies on foot traffic, this is the best time of year to optimize your local search presence. Make sure your business is properly listed on all local search sites. Defining your presence can get the right people to your establishment at the right time of year.
- Personalize Your Emails
Email is still a core pillar of digital marketing. But it’s growing and evolving every day, so generic marketing emails won’t work as well as they may have in the past. Consider combining automated emails and nurturing programs with personalization to make consumers feel like you value them as individuals.
If any of these trends sound overwhelming or daunting for your organization, it’s important to remember that there are experts in these fields who are ready and willing to lend a hand, regardless of where you might be in the process. Check with your agency partners, or start developing relationships with professionals in these industries. Their expertise can push your organization to the next level.