Now that we’re firmly in the new decade, we can’t help but consider the future of marketing, especially after a jam-packed year of developments and dramas in 2019. With the digital space changing by the second, we’re both excited and dubious to see the new things heading our way, and we couldn’t help but cast a few predictions of our own. 

Keep reading to find out our top ten predictions for the future of digital marketing in 2020. 

  • VR Advertising 

Facebook™ have found that 63% of customers would be interested in trying a product in VR rather than having to travel to a physical shop, and as accessible and affordable VR tech like the Oculus Go and others develop rapidly, VR advertising is looking like it’s coming sooner rather than later. 

This could prove a great opportunity for creating a truly immersive online shopping experience, and would be particularly fantastic for the gaming and travel industries- e.g. visiting a beautiful country via VR before you jet off would be incredible! 

 

  • Ethical Consumerism 

This year, ethical spending reached an all-time high, with more consumers than ever being concerned with the impact of fast fashion and waste on our environment. 

Shoppers are becoming more socially conscious than ever, which is great news if you’re a brand making something that’s earth-friendly like reusable water bottles and metal straws. However, this means if you’re a dropshipper who’s importing cheapo plastic goods from certain third party websites, it’s not looking good for you! (and not just because Facebook™ is on a mission to shut your page down anyway.)

If you’re a brand owner and you haven’t yet transitioned to more ethically friendly practices- now is the time! Make sure you’re using sustainable materials if you can afford it (don’t go broke trying to buy only the best- consider your margins!), and your packaging includes minimal plastic and can be recycled. 

  • Personalisation 

Facebook™ already hosts by far the most intuitive and intelligent ads platform- and it’s only getting smarter. Last year they released even more tools for personalising ads including the option for dynamic creative, copy and ad formats, and there’s even more in the pipeline. 

The goal of the platform’s recent algorithm changes were to make the user’s experience more immersive and individual, so having the ability to tailor ads exactly to your audience fits in with this ethos perfectly- and will make it even easier for advertisers to get their products in front of the right people. 

With Zuckerberg and Co. boasting an incredible 5,000 data points on each user, being able to leverage these even more effectively in your marketing strategy could be a huge boon in the new decade. 

  • Voice Search 

Forbes wrote that in 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without the use of a screen, meaning that this year, optimising your marketing strategy for voice search is more important than ever. 

With the growing popularity of Alexa, Siri and the Echo, many consumers are finding products without ever pressing a button, so if your SEO efforts aren’t focused on making your site voice searchable, you could be leaving some serious money on the table. 

But how do you optimise for voice search? It’s fairly simple. Much like with traditional SEO, you need to make sure your site loads quickly as voice search favours this, includes featured content blocks that can be read back to the consumer in an accessible snippets by Google, and is written in a conversational style that will align with the way people use voice search. 

  • Multi-channel marketing 

In 2020, CPMs and CPAs are shooting up, the marketplace is saturated, and without spending big money it’s harder than ever to generate a big return on Facebook. Facebook ads are no longer a silver bullet- it’s time to diversify. 

Last year, TikTok, Pinterest and Youtube really came into their own as lucrative advertising platforms, and although their capabilities are limited in comparison to Facebook, they’re a great way to drive cold traffic to your page that you can retarget later with your Facebook campaigns. 

In 2020, it’s about creating a holistic marketing strategy across many different platforms to assure success- in the words of Gary Vee, you need to make your brand ‘omnipresent’. Stop putting all of your eggs in one basket, and make the most of the many tools at your disposal, and this is the way you will see sustainable and scalable growth for your brand. 

  • Authenticity and Brand Transparency 

2019 has been a huge year…for business scandals. Facebook’s™ Cambridge Analytica trial, WeWork’s shady business ethics, and Tesla’s brush with security fraud have all shown us that transparency is going to be absolutely non-negotiable this year. 

Consumers will no longer stand for big brands brushing their unethical business practices under the carpet, and are demanding accountability and openness from the brands they choose to buy from.

It might be time to take a long, hard look at the way you run your brand if you know that you have some dirty laundry you don’t want exposed, because it’s easier than ever to find! 

  • Chatbots

Chatbots have been around for a while now, but we’re predicting that 2020 will be the year they blow up. Advancements in AI tech have made it even easier for you automate your customer service process smoothly and efficiently, so if you haven’t yet built a chatbot into your brand strategy, you need to get on this, like, now. This can be done natively within Facebook™’s messenger interface, or you can use ours and many other marketer’s preferred platform, Manychat, with makes it simple to create your tailored triggers and responses.

Not only do they free up your team and allow you more time to focus on other elements of your marketing, they’re also a great way to upsell to your customers through smart and strategically built flows. 

It’s 2020, and robots really are taking over.

  • Security Conscious Marketing 

In 2019, addressing privacy concerns was top of Facebook’s list, as a result of the many scandals involving the handling of user data that they had been involved in. They made it harder for advertisers to use customer data by allowing customers to wipe their ad history, as well as opt out of ad targeting, and view in greater detail why they were being targeted for specific ads. 

Alongside this, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance were sued for allowing advertisers to use children’s data, which brought about the new COPPA law starting this month, which was created to prevent advertising on profiles aimed at children. This will have a huge effect on the livelihood of Youtube and TikTok stars, and means that the landscape of digital marketing could be drastically different this year, especially with the CCPA law which has also been put in place to protect customer data

So, what does this all mean? In 2020, being transparent with customer data and targeting is absolutely essential, so if you’re not doing your research about the best way to protect the privacy of your consumers, you’re putting your brand seriously at risk. With the massive epidemic of banned and disabled ad accounts on Facebook, all of our practices are now under scrutiny, so it’s time to get our ducks in a row.

  • Interactive Marketing 

Sometimes it seems like every man and their dog are advertising, so how do we make our campaigns stand out? This year, it’s all about engaging the customer with interactive marketing. 

Last year, Facebookintroduced playable game ads, video poll ads and augmented reality ads, and this move towards more immersive marketing is sure to continue throughout 2020, with brands looking for even more ways to hook their customers while they’re scrolling through their increasingly busy feeds. For those who shied away from creating interactive ads because they seemed like a gimmick- it’s time to get on board. Not only has it been shown that interactive ads are more effective in grabbing the viewer, they also enable you to retarget your engaged audience with your middle of funnel campaigns, meaning you can bag that low hanging fruit before it’s gone.

  • Even MORE Influencer Marketing 

Using influencer marketing is showing no signs of slowing down, with spend up by 83% in 2019. With Instagram now testing their own brand and influencer management platform, and Facebook debuting their paid content ad integration, we can guarantee influencer marketing is going nowhere in 2020. 

However, with an estimated $58m in the second quarter of last year spent advertising to fake followers, we predict big influencers will be under the microscope like never before, with much tighter restrictions on the way they advertise products, present themselves and their worth, and work with brands.

So, that was a roundup of our predictions for the biggest trends in digital marketing this year- do you agree? Will you be implementing any of these this year? Let us know!

If you’re looking to diversity your marketing efforts and implement any of these, but you’re not sure where to start, we can also be of assistance. We’re offering bespoke consultancy calls for FREE this month to SMBs who are looking to up their marketing efforts and supercharge their business this year. Click here to book your own call now.