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2020 Trends in Digital Marketing

Twenty-twenty. It sounds futuristic. In this industry, we see trends and technologies evolving at rapid speed. And with our commitment to education and creating “conversations that change minds,” Symposia has been eager to share with you some of the top digital marketing trends to watch as your organization launches rapid-fire into 2020.
February 10, 2020

Twenty-twenty. It sounds futuristic.

In this industry, we see trends and technologies evolving at rapid speed. And with our commitment to education and creating “conversations that change minds,” Symposia has been eager to share with you some of the top digital marketing trends to watch as your organization launches rapid-fire into 2020.

  • Influencer Marketing
  • SEO and Content Marketing
  • Omnichannel Marketing
  • Multichannel Conversion Model and Advanced A/B Testing
  • Marketing Automation and Personalization

Influencer Marketing

What is it?
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from influencers, people and organizations who have a purported expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field. [Source]

In basic terms: an influencer shares endorsed content via their social media. This can be hugely effective considering the context is often cushioned with an established trust in the influencer.

Where it’s at:
Despite predictions by some, content sponsored by influencers actually increased by 150% (!) in 2019, with the number of instances of the hashtag #ad to identify paid content more than doubled. [Source]

What’s ahead:
We all understand that users, particularly in e-commerce, often look for reviews from trusted sources before making a decision about a purchase. Pertinent brands should consider partnerships with influencers and micro-influencers who create authentic connections with audiences, building that trust. “Expect them to increase their investment in 2020, helping to make influencer marketing a $10 billion industry this year.” [Source]

How to implement:
Utilize your customers as advocates, share audio/video content of real people, repurpose your reviews/testimonials, and connect with influencers and micro-influencers to build brand trust. [Source]

SEO and Content Marketing

What is it?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of increasing quality traffic to a website. Content marketing is focused on using valuable and relevant content to drive profitable customer or client action. [Source]

Where it’s at:
In the first quarter of 2019, 49% of Google searches resulted in no clicks; this means nearly half of all Google searches left websites in the dust, missing the chance of gaining traffic. [Source]

Food for thought:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates 3x as many leads.
  • Content marketing has lower up-front costs and deeper long-term benefits than paid search.
  • 615 million devices now use ad blockers, which means your ads are not being seen by as many people.
  • Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without blogs.
  • Content marketing rakes in conversion rates 6x higher than other methods. [Source]

What’s ahead:
In November 2019, Google rolled out some major updates to its search algorithm. The updates included the new BERT system, which is designed to aid Google in its efforts to understand the natural language that people use in their search queries.

Google’s efforts to present users with data in rich snippets will drive more informed click-through and will decrease bounce rates dramatically. (Users ages 13-18 consume their content in 40% rich snippets. If this is your audience, take note!) [Source]

How to implement:
Most B2B content marketers would advise you to create content that makes your audience view your organization as a credible and trusted resource. Google’s own webmaster trends analyst John Mueller suggests that “rather than chase the latest SEO trends, it’s more important to ensure a site has fast speeds, useful links, and well-written content.”

Omnichannel Marketing

What is it?
Plainly speaking, omnichannel marketing is the process of utilizing multiple channels (such as email, social media, etc.) to connect with users at various touchpoints. When done well, this allows you to share a cohesive brand message across many platforms and provide an enhanced user experience, driving users to take a desired action.

Where it’s at:
Omnichannel marketing was huge in 2019 and while it might seem like a trend that could get left in the past, it’s actually more relevant than ever. Organizations are learning where their leads are, how those leads use particular channels, and how they to trust and respond to a solid message.

Statistics show that brands using three or more channels in an automation workflow can generate great results:

  • Engagement rate: 18.96% on omnichannel vs. 5.4% on single-channel
  • Purchase frequency: 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single-channel
  • Average order value: 13% more per order on omnichannel vs. single-channel
  • Customer retention rates: 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single-channel

What’s ahead:
Agencies and SaaS companies are providing handy tools to manage multiple channels more efficiently. Although it is becoming easier to manage an omnichannel strategy, it can still be a challenge without the right strategy or management system.

How to implement:
So use a consistent voice that is seamless across channels, even physical channels, and ensure your strategy is cohesive across those channels. Strategy will save you.

Multichannel Conversion Model and Advanced A/B Testing

What is it?
Multi-touch attribution is a method of measuring your marketing success which evaluates the impact of each touchpoint in driving a conversion, thereby determining the value of that specific touchpoint.

Where it’s at:
Today’s buyer journeys span many devices and touchpoints before resulting in a conversion. In order to optimize campaigns and create more customized consumer experiences, marketers need to understand which touchpoints and messages a consumer came in contact with that resulted in a positive action. The goal is to understand where to devote spend, devoting funds to similar campaigns and diverting funds from those that were ineffective.

What’s ahead:
Multi-touch attribution models have become important for marketers, especially those looking to measure the impact of digital campaigns. This is because they provide a more granular, person-level view than traditional aggregate methods such as media mix modeling.

One of the top benefits of multi-touch attribution is that it provides visibility into the success of touchpoints across the entire buyer’s journey. This is critical, as consumers are becoming increasingly adept at avoiding marketing messages.

How to implement:
Marketers must take steps to customize their messaging to meet consumers on the right channel at the right time. The granular data offered by multi-touch attribution enables this, helping marketers to identify audiences across channels and determine those users’ specific marketing desires. In addition to helping marketers improve the consumer experience, multi-touch attribution also helps marketers to achieve higher ROI for their marketing investments, illuminating where spend is most and least effective. This can also help to shorten sales cycles by engaging consumers with fewer but more impactful marketing messages.

Marketing Automation and Personalization

What is it?
Marketing automation is the use of software and technologies designed to more effectively market on multiple channels online and automate tasks, saving time and, when paired with a killer strategy, presenting the right message to the right person at the right point in their journey.

Where it’s at:
An increasing number of marketers are beginning to realize the enormous value and potential of marketing automation. More than 51% of companies are now implementing some type of marketing automation, with 58% of organizations planning to in the near future. [Source]

What’s ahead:
The market for marketing automation software is expected to continue growing at 8.55%, unlocking a market capitalization of US $6.4 billion by 2024. [Source

Consumers are demanding relevant experiences from the brands they interact with. They expect brands to know their likes and preferences, and come up with intelligent product recommendations that are worth their while.

How to implement:
Personalize, track, remarket! Know your potential customer.

For example, e-commerce users demand personalization and want to be able to browse a physical store, view products on social media, and purchase online. Use tracking to learn what they want, use remarketing ads to remind them you have what they were looking for.

If you’re not keeping up with their demands, someone else will.


Here’s to diving into all the exciting things for 2020.