At Tree Ring Digital, we take our role as Denver’s top digital marketing agency seriously – we know our clients rely on us to keep up with the latest and greatest ways to keep their names in front of people. That’s why we’ve put together our list of this year’s top 10 digital marketing trends. If your business needs help putting any (or all) of these trends to work, give us a call. We live for this stuff.
If you ask your smartphone right now how many American adults own a smart speaker, it (she?) will tell you – over 25% of them do. That’s over 64 million potential consumers. And those speakers aren’t just sitting idle. It’s estimated that by the end of this year, 50% of internet searches will be “screenless.” That means they’ll be voice searches. According to Digital Marketing Institute, “There are many reasons why it’s becoming necessary for brands to adopt voice strategies. Voice search is a hugely popular emergent technology that will only keep getting bigger, and as it does it will change the way SEO is done, can help you improve the customer experience and drive more traffic to your site, and help you stay ahead of the competition.”
How will it change the way SEO is done? Thee Digital recommends using long tail keywords rather than short ones to optimize voice technology. Don’t know what that means? Tree Ring Digital can help.
Social media platforms are nothing if not savvy, and 2020 is the year that they’re ramping up the ability of merchants to use Instagram, Facebook, and the like to sell products. Here’s an example of a shoppable post from Free People’s Instagram feed:
See the little shopping bag in the bottom left corner? That means it’s a “shoppable post.” When you tap the photo, the name of the products shown and their prices appear. If you tap the price, you’ll be taken to a screen with more information and the option to view the items on the Free People website. Given the fact that 60% of Instagram’s 800 million users say they discover new products there, shoppable posts are a trend that ecommerce can’t afford to ignore.
Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) the friendly “operator” who pops up and offers you help while you’re browsing a website is actually a robot – or, more accurately, a “chatbot.” While that may sound a little creepy, these AI technology-based helpers actually have a lot to offer. They’re available in real time, 24 hours a day, and they never lose patience with customers. G2 Learning Hub offers these statistics:
“Surveys show that:
- Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020
- Top benefits of chatbots are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%), and answers to simple questions (55%)”
In 2019, Google earned almost $104 billion in ad sales, and you can bet they’re trying to improve on that this year. One way they, and other tech giants like Facebook, are doing that is with smarter ad bidding options.
An article in Business 2 Community says, “Google recently announced during Google Marketing Live 2019 a smarter automated bidding which uses machine learning to optimize towards selected performance targets in each and every auction—a feature known as ‘auction-time bidding.’”
It’s one of those over-used words, right? Maybe, but branding is not going anywhere. According to Sprout Social, it’s still super important to consumers. They say that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 66% of consumers say they feel connected to a brand when they trust it.
- Expertise: the page needs to have quality content written by an expert writer
- Authority: the site itself needs to have some authority on the subject
- Trustworthiness: the site needs to have other authoritative links pointing to it from trusted sites”
SERP Position Zero
While this one sounds complicated, it’s actually not. But it does require a little background knowledge to get your head around it. First, you need to know that SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. That’s the page(s) that comes up on, say, Google, when you search for anything online. As you know, most everything you could possibly think of has tons of results – often millions. And if you sell something or offer a service, etc, you want your product to come up as #1, right? Well…not so much, anymore. What you want now is to be in “position zero.” You want to be a Featured Snippet – the text that appears in a box before the search results, like this:
To learn more about the coveted zero position, check out this article by Dr. Peter J. Meyers.
User Generated Content (UGC)
You could also call this one “extreme word of mouth” or even “let your customers do the work for you.” UGC happens when one of your “users” (consumers or clients) generates social media buzz for you by posting about how great your product or service is.
A recent survey found that 90% of shoppers report that “UGC influenced their decision to purchase more than any other form of advertising, with a whopping 97% of 18-29 year olds saying that it had an ‘extreme influence.’”
Single Grain says, “UGC can be as basic as blog comments and testimonials or it can take the form of blog posts, images and videos created by users. GoPro’s entire YouTube channel is dedicated to UGC, showing high-quality videos produced by its customers using its hardy, portable cameras. The channel is currently pushing 8 million subscribers.”
Have you ever taken an online quiz or poll? Those are examples of interactive content. So are the shoppable posts we mentioned above. Thee Digital explains why this kind of content is so popular, saying primarily that “1. It gives visitors a reason to stay on the page 2. It’s extremely shareable (almost everyone has seen someone share results of a silly quiz like “What kind of cheese are you?”) 3. The shareability increases your brand awareness.”
Have you ever seen something, maybe a tree or a bird while you were on a hike, and thought, “what is that called?” Well, if you have your smartphone with you, visual search has the answer. Forbes.com explains why visual search is about to be the next big thing in digital marketing. “It helps consumers address questions that are hard to put into text-based searches, such as, ‘What item pairs best with these shoes?’ or ‘Where can I find a similar jacket?’ It’s growing in popularity: Data shows that 62% of Millennials want the ability to use visual search over any other technology, while Gartner research predicts that 30% of all searches will be ‘queryless’ by as soon as 2020. As consumer habits shift around online product discovery, retailers are taking note. The visual search market is expected to exceed $25 billion this year—and by 2021, data indicates retailers that are early adopters of visual search are projected to increase their digital commerce revenue by 30%.”
And last, but by no means least, is good old content marketing. As Thee Digital says, “Is content still king in 2020? You better believe it! Not only does content demonstrate knowledge and expertise to potential customers reading your articles or pages, it’s what search engines put in their search results. In short, content fuels the fire that is your search engine optimization, so it’s best to never stop creating content. In 2020, focus on creating interactive content and videos.”
And if it’s stats you want, check out this one from Content Marketing Institute: “Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog.”
We know, it’s a lot! Check back for future blogs, where we’ll take a deep dive into each of these trends and explain how we can help.
And in the meantime, call Tree Ring Digital to find out how your business can be on the cutting edge of digital marketing.
- On January 30, 2020