Marketing trends for 2020

By Dominique Sandwith, Co-founder, Yellow Door Collective

marketing trends
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With so many new developments every day, it seems that there is little that surprises or amazes us. We’re becoming used to the idea that technology will change, and we’ll adapt to the next big thing overnight.

That being said, some trends seem to stick more than others, and get integrated into our lives without us realising it. The trends for marketing in 2020 are no different. They’re all things we have already been using without putting a name to them. Nevertheless, they are exciting when you start to unpack the possibilities that they bring and what the future holds.

Whatever you decide to do to market your business in 2020, make sure you do it with these trends in mind and try something new to reach your target audience. The key in marketing your brand is to make your content valuable and appealing to the people who are actually going to buy your product or service. So find out what that is and who those people are, and you’ll be set for the next year of opportunities.

Voice search

Voice searchWhen Apple announced that Siri would be the voice function on all new iPhones, there was a buzz around the world. However, for most countries (apart from the USA) this was just a gimmick for a long time (no doubt you too have asked Siri to recite a poem or told her you love her). The reason for this is that most websites were not ready to be indexed for voice search.

Now with Google Home or Alexa, the Amazon Echo’s voice-activated smart speaker, there’s a shift to ensure that all content is able to be searched via voice command and read back to us. This allows us to shift from sitting behind phones and computer screens and rather to continue living our lives with a smart companion close by.

According to Editor’s Choice, that’s already the case for over 25% of adults in the US who own a smart speaker. In 2019 31% of smartphone users worldwide used voice-activated search, like Siri, at least once a week and it is estimated that in 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.

TIP: Start to optimise your website for voice search by using long-tail keywords such as ‘how to make vegetarian lasagne’ instead of short keywords such as ‘veg lasagne’.

Podcasts for business

podcasts for businessSpeaking of the move to reduce screen time, podcasts are also a tool enabling us to gather information or be entertained by voices. According to a study by Edison Research and Triton Digital, in the USA people over the age of 12 spend on average 17 hours per week tuning into their favourite podcasts, online radio shows, and audiobooks.

Podcasts are no new trend, they’ve been around for over 15 years in some form. However, the quality of the podcasts is increasing and with that, an uptake in businesses using podcasts to tell their story. In 2020 we’ll see an increase in this kind of podcast with an emphasis on creating brand stories through audio, especially as more specialised agencies form around this medium.

Having had some experience with it this year when creating our own podcast, Life Behind the Yellow Door, we found that it was easier than expected when working with professional podcast creators. The trick was to have a strategy for each episode and then to relax into it. We also brought in guests to keep it interesting, and explore different perspectives around topical discussion points.

Shoppable posts

Shoppable postsFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest all have ways to integrate e-commerce into posts and pages, allowing brands to tag their products in posts and customers to be able to go directly to the product from social media. Once again, the concept of being able to buy a product via a social media post is nothing new, however, we do believe this will take off exponentially in 2020.

Already over 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on Instagram and in a survey of over 4 000 Pinterest users, 70% said Pinterest helps them find new products. Social commerce not only allows brands to reach new customers and audiences, but also shortens the sales funnel dramatically as people can buy on impulse directly from their feed.

Tip: In order to have shoppable posts, you need to have an e-commerce website, but it is easier than you think to create a web-shop, and can be a new source of income if done correctly. We recommend a WordPress website with Woocommerce that will integrate seamlessly with any payment or shipping system you would like to use.

Social proof and ‘like’ visibility

LikesA new trend for 2020 (and something that no one seemed to see coming) is that Facebook and Instagram are trialling the removal of the number of ‘likes’ a social media post has received. This social proof has for a long time been a metric for businesses and influencers alike to measure their popularity and status. In addition, it’s created a culture of “like for like” where the importance of a post is placed on how many likes it received. With this new era comes a change in perception and hopefully a more responsible way of using social media, to share good content and brand stories rather than just ‘likeable’ posts.

Mobile first responsiveness

Device-responsive websites are definitely not a new trend for 2020, but the number of devices continues to rise and the importance of building sites for mobile first is more important than ever.

According to HubSpot “48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine, and the first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% click-through rate.”
Which means, if you’re up at number one on Google for your chosen keywords, you’re going to get a lot of leads. However, if your website is not device responsive and user-friendly, you’ll likely lose out on these customers. Building for mobile first means that you’ll have more succinct copy, bigger buttons and calls to action, and more pertinent imagery since the screen space is so limited.

Ephemeral media

It all started with Snapchat which allowed users to send content that would disappear once watched. This kind of media took off with Instagram Stories which last just 24 hours, and Facebook and WhatsApp following suit. The appeal of ephemeral content is that its limited lifespan creates a sense of urgency to react and share it with others.

The benefit of this kind of media for your business is to humanise your story and strengthen brand identity, reach a wider audience and maintain consistency with your brand voice and tone.

This article first appeared in the Dec/Jan issue of Your Business Magazine. Read the free digital issue here.

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