By Bernard May
CEO, National Positions
As 2020 looms ever closer, brands everywhere are looking upon the new decade with optimism when it comes to taking their brands to the next level. However, when it comes to marketing, trends seem to change faster than ever before. So, where do you focus? What can you do? While every brand holds its own unique set of challenges, there are some trends where the opportunity shines a bit brighter than others. The following a just a few (definitely not all) of the areas that you should keep an eye on during 2020.
AI and Machine Learning Impact
Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to have the biggest impact on digital marketing in the coming year. So, the question is how can you harness the power of such technology? Well, machine learning can only work if you feed it data. Some examples of this kind of data includes demographic, geographic, and buyer preferences. With this kind of data, machine learning will identify trends and optimize advertising (programmatically) at speeds that humans could simply never match. Machine learning learns from all your clients’ actions so it can serve up ads that align with their preferences. For instance, if one of your clients clicks on video ads more often than carousel ads, the ML will keep serving up video ads to that user. This kind of learning will mean that in 2020 we see even more personalized advertising and better return on investment from your marketing efforts.
Search Gets Visual
We live in a world of choice. Choice in product and service, but also choice in how we search for the information or product we want. Google (and other tech giants) continues to look for better solutions to give those searching more accurate results faster. Over the past decades we have moved searching from desktops to smartphones to voice – and now visual search has opened a new door. Using our cameras or other images, visual search gives us a more efficient step to finding a product that we simply can’t describe with text. We expect to spend a great deal of time optimizing ecommerce sites to take advantage of image search growth in 2020 and beyond.
ADA Compliance in 2020
One subject that holds both online and offline implications is making sure your site is complying with Americans With Disabilities Association (ADA) standards. Websites need to be accessible for all persons regardless of ability or disability – including areas such as motor function limitation, auditory impairment, or visual impairment. Brands that have failed to implement or update this type of accessibility have been hit with both lawsuits and substantial fines. While businesses may simply not be aware of this extended level of access, as we move into 2020, we expect to see a rise in awareness, and in turn, efforts being taken to comply with ADA website standards.
Beyond Social in Social Media
The sleeping giant for years now – in terms of digital advertising – has been social media. While more traditional marketers have pushed back against this reality, savvier brands have embraced this new level of audience access. By providing brands higher levels of flexibility with their advertising, especially regarding the visual creative aspects, as well as a competitive pricing, advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram have (and will continue) to gain ground. With the ability to target audiences in extremely powerful ways and even offer purchasing options right from their social feed – we expect the last holdouts to finally embrace the growth that social media advertising can provide in 2020.
Context Is (the New) King
What used to be in the passenger seat is now in the driver’s seat. Context is the new king when it comes to content’s value. The core message, the why, everything surrounding the context behind your content will continue to show its dominance when it comes to content marketing. Any brand can write about their clothing store in Los Angeles; however, content that positions your brand sourcing fabric from ethical, sustainable sources with a mission to protect the environment – this is valuable context. As more people want to do business with brands that align with not only their needs, location, and lifestyle, but also personal values, your content’s context needs to fill this gap. All of this – and with the latest updates from Google showing huge strides in applying context to search – is why we are going to see true-value context be a major focus in 2020.
National Positions (www.nationalpositions.com) is a fully-integrated digital marketing powerhouse, delivering customized programs for clients that encompass SEO, Pay-Per-Click management, content marketing, web design, video marketing, social media, conversion rate optimization and online reputation management. Founded in 2004, National Positions is a 5-time Inc 500 company and a Google Premier Partner. A pioneering force in the SEO industry, National Positions offers end-to-end digital marketing services to SMB’s and white label services to numerous agencies throughout the United States.