Marketing in the digital age can be very challenging. With so many avenues to explore, it can be hard to determine which marketing tactics are best suited to your brand and your growth strategy. This is made harder by the emerging technologies and trends that are unveiled or announced as being the next big thing in marketing.

However, among the latest buzzwords there are a number of high impact marketing trends that all brands need to integrate into their ongoing marketing strategy. While some of these are new trends, others are so consistently reliable and impactful that they cannot be dismissed.

If you want your marketing to take off in 2020, then here are the high impact methods that you need to be using.

The Rise of Voice Search

Sales of smart speakers are on the rise. From Google to Alexa to Siri, more people have home hubs than ever before and that number is only rising. Then there’s the voice assistant on smartphones, which are also being increasingly used to find answers to the questions that consumers have. We are reaching the point where as many as half of all internet searches are done by voice, and that means it needs to be a key consideration in your marketing. Optimizing your content for voice search means:

  • Using long-tail keywords
  • Ensuring that your business listings are complete
  • Improving your website loading speed
  • Answering the specific questions that your target audience have

If you ignore voice search, then there’s a good chance that you will start to chip away at the hard work that you’ve already put into your SEO development.

Social Shopping with Shoppable Posts

Social media is, of course, one of the most valuable channels for brands to market on, but the shift to shoppable posts has changed the value potential of those social platforms. When so many consumers find new products directly from the social media accounts that they follow, it makes sense that you should make it as easy as possible for them to buy those products. Now that Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have made it easy to tag and sell your products directly within the confines of their platforms, social media has transformed.

The Demand for Personalization

Generic adverts that are aimed at everyone are no longer tolerable, if they ever were. Now, if your marketing messages are not personalized then they can damage your brand rather than improve your marketing. That’s because when people keep seeing an advert that has no relevance to them, they will become far less likely to buy from you in the future.

Personalization is about more than simply putting a customer’s name at the top of an email. It’s about segmenting your audience and tailoring your marketing messages to resonate with the needs and demands of those demographics.

This can take time to do right, which is why it’s increasingly common to use an agency consultant to help break down your market research and improve your personalization efforts.

Immersive Digital Technologies

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) are more than just fun for gamers. They are being increasingly used as a marketing tool, and as the technology continues to advance, it will only become more essential for brands to use. That’s because both VR and AR can be used to improve the customer experience both online and offline.

One of the fastest adopters of AR is Swedish brand Ikea, who have an app that lets their customers more easily see what a specific item of furniture will look like in their home.

In the digital age, those customers don’t even have to leave home to browse, trial furniture, and then buy it. From clothing that can be tried on virtually to realtors allowing for VR guided property tours, brands of all sectors need to start thinking creatively about the integration of AR and VR.

AI and Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a lot of potential in marketing, but it is most visible in the creation of customer service chatbots. Now, chatbots are everywhere, and they are common to see on almost every branded website that you stumble across. If you’re not using chatbots then you’re falling behind.

Conversational commerce might sound like a buzzword, but it is increasingly used to sell more, and that means it cannot be ignored in terms of potential. Chatbots can help you to:

  • Generate leads
  • Have more successful product launches
  • Gather essential data that will help fine-tune your other marketing strategies
  • Improve brand loyalty and trust by reducing customer effort and stress

Never underestimate the value of quick, effective customer service as a key branch of your marketing. When your marketing messages will be reliant on your brand reputation, chatbots can be the key to improved brand awareness.

Next-Gen SEO

Search Engine Optimization is increasingly difficult to keep up with, and more changes are coming that could change everything even more. The introduction of ‘featured snippets’ (also known as Position Zero) as the first result on a Google search results page, is causing many marketers to rethink the effectiveness of their existing SEO strategies. Featured snippets are one of the reasons why outsourcing SEO to a digital agency is now so highly recommended. Brands are now going to have to focus far more on getting that high-value real estate at the top of a SERP.

  • See what type of content your competitors are using to be featured snippets
  • Do more customer research to understand more fully what your audiences are looking for from you
  • Answer brand relevant questions based on the how, what, when, where, why, and who format
  • Know your keywords
  • Know the snippet word count and stay within it (between 40 and 50 words is optimal)

You may choose to focus on video as your snippet, and that can be very valuable as well. No matter how you choose to appear on that top position, the fact is that being number one on Google’s front page is no longer enough. Aim for position zero or you risk being harder to find.

Next week could bring a new trend or technology that disrupts everything we know about marketing, so it’s critical to stay ahead of those emerging changes. Keep up to date with your marketing strategies and your brand will only grow stronger as a result.