As a marketing team who primarily focuses on digital marketing efforts, it’s kind of our job to predict the future for our clients. I know, right. You didn’t realize that a crystal ball was part of our scope, did you? 🔮
In some instances, we truly can see the trends and predict the direction digital marketing is headed. However – thanks to platforms like the almighty Facebook – digital marketing can also be a minefield of algorithm updates, API changes, and a never-ending list of new features… or discarded features. You just never know. Digital marketing changes daily and the whole world is continuously waiting to see what’s next.
Let’s Let the Team Weigh In
Now that the holidays are over and we’ve woken up from our ginger snap haze, let’s jump straight into our team’s 2020 vision.
… We can’t wait to dig these up and review in January 2021.
Terri Hoffman, Founder & CEO
I predict continued growth in the importance of voice search — not just for B2C clients, but also for B2B. I would expect that all companies need to focus on search optimization strategies that include this important source of traffic as people (whether they’re in a consumer or business mindset) continue to rely on the convenience of voice search tools like Siri, Alexa, Google, and others. In addition, companies will need to learn how to properly source and track that traffic in Google Analytics so that they can align the proper content strategy with the types of products and services being searched on this platform.
Aaron Eaves, Director of Digital Marketing
We will continue to see growth in AI, specifically in the digital marketing space where there will be new ways to automate Ads and even SEO. AI and machine learning has made great strides, and will continue to do so even faster in the future.
There are a couple of tools that you can use that utilize machine learning to write Facebook and Instagram copy for ads. Essentially you’ll be able to use a tool to analyze all channels and write the ads for you, so that they are optimized for clicks and conversions based on the AI’s ability to predict and crunch massive amounts of data.
Katy Katz, Director of Account Strategy
Social media platforms are going to continue to try and have more of a stake in the e-commerce market. We’ve already seen them add the ability to integrate your product catalog within the platform. Just as publishers have slowly lost organic reach without combining paid efforts, I think Instagram and Facebook will make reach more difficult for brands that aren’t set up the way they want — keeping the bulk of the user experience within their platforms.
Gary Griffin, Art Director
In terms of graphic design, a few new trends will emerge. As more of what we see lives on screens, design will continue to take full advantage of that medium. More things like 3D graphics, metallic surfaces, etc. There might be some new approaches to old design styles, such as mixing line art and photography, or animation with still images.
James Caldwell, Content Manager & Senior Copywriter
It will snow at least one day in Houston in 2020. ☃️
[😂 Here’s hoping, James!]
In addition to that, Google continues to revise their algorithm for deciding which content ranks highest in search results. One trend I predict will continue is the role of authority and credibility being factored into the algorithm. Google wants to clean up search results after years of folks gaming the system to rank higher. Now, it’s about well-written, authoritative, and credible content that provides readers with the information they need. I look forward to continuing to produce great content for our clients in 2020 that aligns with this trend!
Dean Peckenpaugh, Digital Marketing Manager
Shopify is going to further establish itself as a good alternative to Amazon for some sellers. To be sure, there’s no beating the traffic and exposure generated by the Amazon marketplace, but I know of several store owners who have moved the bulk of their inventory off Amazon to avoid the company’s increasingly buyer-friendly policies and take advantage of new features offered by other ecommerce providers.
In 2019 Shopify announced they’ll be rolling out an order-editing feature in late Q4 or early 2020. This will be a great tool for store owners who have the capacity and desire to provide that added value to their customers – a service that not even Amazon supports. The feature will integrate seamlessly with Shopify Payments to automate the process of issuing credits or taking additional payments to cover the order changes. Shopify is also going to be worth a look for dropshippers that don’t have a physical inventory, as the company announced plans to launch their own solution for managing store owners’ inventory through a network of Shopify-owned warehouses.
Tiffany McArthur, Account Manager
I believe that regulations currently governing social media platforms will become more strict and set in place. Which means that areas that possibly didn’t have any regulation before will end up being more highly regulated with a clear set of laws abiding the way social media and digital ad platforms do business.
While it will make marketing more expensive and challenging, it will also give other institutions clear guidelines and standard procedures that will allow them to step into the game whereas before there was too much risk involved to try something new.
Think telemarketers. Think collections. Instant messaging is the modern day version of a phone call, friends. You can now send money on Facebook, which means theoretically you can also pay bills in that world as well, right? Yeah, I know… Can’t. Wait. While you can push ignore and send them straight to voicemail on your iPhone, think of how annoying those messaging notifications will be if left unanswered. Sorry to rain on your parade.
On a slightly different, less annoying note. I also think that brands will take on a more humanized, personified voice. The competition is getting steep out there in the social media wild, wild west.
When you think of a brand, it will make you feel like you know a person. Not just the warm, fuzzy feelings you get when you walk into Starbucks. You’ll feel like you’re watching a friend or relative present you ads on Facebook. Think Wendy’s on Twitter, but everywhere.
Christian Merenu, Digital Marketing Coordinator
With 2020 being an election year, Facebook and Google are going to make it *a lot* more difficult to run ads, as they continue to crack down on ad targeting and creative through more regulation. These regulations/limitations will force marketers – as they’ve already begun to – to change their perspective on paid ads, both in targeting strategy and in regards to the content (creative) that they run in their ads.
Amanda Huse, Account Coordinator
In 2020, we will see growth in micro-influencers. Now that many big influencers such as celebrities or well-known fashion bloggers have 300,000 + followers, people don’t deem their recommendations as authentic and genuine as advice from a micro-influencer.
So… How Will These Digital Marketing Changes Affect Your Business?
Well, if you combine our predictions with an analysis of the past decade of digital marketing history, not only is it becoming more of a necessity to be known on the internet, it’s also becoming increasingly more complicated to understand how to be known on the internet.
That’s where we come in. By partnering with our agency, you can get on track with a proper marketing strategy that is customized just for your business while also leveraging our team’s many years of digital marketing experience — with proven results — to work your way to that front page in Google.
Check out our portfolio now and give us a call. We can’t wait to help you grow your online presence!