It doesn’t matter what your industry is, or what products and services you offer – digital marketing trends cannot be ignored. Not so long ago, companies needed little more than a website and a Facebook page, but now, the digital landscape is evolving so quickly that it’s hard to keep up.
1. Facebook May Be Peaking. Really.
Facebook is no longer the kingpin in the social media world. According to Forbes, 41% of its users are over the age of 65. While it is by no means struggling, it’s clear that Facebook is losing ground with the younger demographics, who tend to prefer the more visual, interactive experiences offered by Instagram, Snapchat, and the rising star, TikTok.
After the data breach scandal in 2018, Facebook has lost significant credibility, with many people growing frustrated and resentful with the platform’s proliferation of fake news, political propaganda, and cyberbullying. The once-dominant force is continuing to drop in popularity with younger demographics, with TechCrunch speculating that Facebook may be dead to Gen Z.
2. Instagram is a Hit with the Kids
Instagram’s meteoric rise has already seen it pass one billion users, an impressive achievement. That means it’s one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms and, perhaps more importantly, much of its user base is the coveted younger demographic, especially under 30. Facebook is losing much of that cohort, due to its reputation as the social media platform for “old people.”
One potential problem that marketers should keep in mind is that Instagram recently decided to remove the likes feature from the platform. Many influencers have voiced concerns about this move, and therefore, companies should keep a close eye on the impact this will have in 2020. While it could lead to an uptick in content quality, many users may drift away from the platform in search of vanity metrics elsewhere.
3. Chatbots Will Dominate Customer Service
Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) software that acts as a virtual “concierge,” communicating with users and assisting them in completing their goals. Chatbots interact with humans in a natural way, primarily through the use of text chat windows, but verbal interactions are also possible. Over time, as the system collects more data insights, the AI learns more about the customers, making it possible to offer a continuously-improving service.
Throughout 2018 and 2019, chatbots carved out a regular role on Facebook, by the tens of thousands, for different tasks. Everything from providing weather reports to automating some basic customer support functions can be easily handled by sophisticated software. Bots allow users to get personalized, focused interactions without pulling too much from limited human resources.
4. Video is No Longer an Option
If your business isn’t already using video marketing, you should get on board this year. Text-based content simply can’t compete with the power of video, especially when it comes to trying to sell products and services online.
In a mobile-mad world, people are watching more video than ever before, using smartphones to watch and share videos about everything, learning more about brands, and what they have to offer. Think about these stats from ImpactBND:
- 70% of consumers have shared a brand’s video.
- 52% of consumers claim that watching product videos makes them more confident and guides their online purchasing decisions.
- 72% of businesses believe video content has improved their conversion rates.
Twitch has over 15 million daily active users, most of whom tune in just to watch live streaming videos from influencers like Ninja. Arguably the world’s most popular gaming influencer, Ninja, recently signed an exclusive deal with Mixer, which was a power play by the Microsoft-company in recognition of the expected value of live video streaming in the year ahead.
5. Good Content Still Matters (and Now Context Matters More!)
Content marketing continues to be an essential component of digital marketing, although there’s an increasing emphasis on nuance in content. The quality is always going to matter, but now there’s more emphasis on the context and targeting. Google is developing a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of online content, and so, marketers must think carefully about their target market and how they can tailor content more precisely in 2020.
Much of this boils down to the BERT update, released on Google in November 2019. The new algorithm helps the search engine giant get a better understanding of the natural language in user search queries. Advice from Google is 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.”