While new apps and platforms are sure to make their way onto the world stage, the year ahead won’t be so much about firsts. In fact, it’ll be about taking the already existing strategies (the ones we’ve already been plugging for AGES, we might add) and executing them in even more meaningful and effective ways.
We know what AI is, we know that personalisation is important, but now’s the time to take it up a notch to reach more people more effectively in 2020.
Here are the trends and opportunities you can’t afford to squander.
AI has been a buzzword for quite some time, but you can expect its uses to expand to cover a plethora of practical needs that’ll not only help streamline your work but provide real value to prospects.
By using AI to analyse consumer behaviours and search queries, you can uncover a goldmine of data that’ll help you automate messages to consumers based on their already defined interests. You can even automate their whole customer journey, from initiating contact to commencing communications through chatbots. The possibilities are endless and AI should be used in every area imaginable to reap its full benefits.
Use it for:
….and use it for hundreds of different touch points along the customer journey that you’ll need to map out beforehand. One successful AI win is Mastercard’s Facebook Messenger bot, designed to make communications more personable and feel less like talking to a robot – all the while managing transactions.
With AI in mind, be prepared to invest more time in ensuring your business uses more conversational marketing. Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by this year. The 24-hour service is appealing to users who want assistance when and where they need it. For example, 82% of buyers want immediate responses to their queries, with 64% of respondents preferring to communicate with online chatbots due to speedy responses, their saved buyer history, and – in many cases now – their human tone.
However, while buyers are happy to talk to bots in order to save time, you’ll only be able to connect with them if your marketing is personalised as a whole.
This is what will set businesses apart in 2020.
63% of consumers found generic ads to be annoying, with 80% stating they’d more likely engage with a business that offered more personalised experiences.
You can see this in action for yourself, with big brands like Netflix and Jetstar pushing out emails personalised down to their minutiae. Jetstar is well-known for sending emails specific to families when they need it most, detailing discounted kid friendly trips, and consequently providing additional offers that’ll help streamline their trip (from inflight bassinet services to leeway in skipping queues prior to boarding.)
Netflix has experienced even greater allegiance to their brand with personalised film recommendations based on user viewing habits, keeping people on their streaming service for longer.
You can even see some of this personalisation on display with a job application sent out to fans of the highly successful “The Witcher” series. While the job is targeted towards a role in security, fans of the show were delighted to see the unique personal content and clicked through for a squizz. You can too…
Google recently released the BERT system, which allows Google to understand the language people use while making searches. This indicated that the vernacular used by common folk is increasingly shaping the way we search, a sign to content writers that they’ll need to shift how they do SEO.
Google’s Josh Mueller even said more emphasis needed to be placed on well-written content that sounds like and speaks to the audiences that brands want to connect with. This means it’s no longer about merely engaging with the latest and greatest in SEO hacks.
In fact 88% of B2B content marketers stated that continuously pushing out good quality content is the secret to building trust and credibility in their brand. Improved rankings will be a natural consequence of this.
This is another one we’ve been touting for quite some time. But get ready to feel its full force come 2020. In fact, 70% of customers say they’ve shared a company’s video on social (which is great for brand awareness) while 52% of marketers have sworn that video content gets them the best ROI.
It’s even successful for B2B marketers, with 65% of executives visiting a company’s site after viewing a video and 39% calling the vendor after viewing said video.
It’s also invaluable as an educational tool, with 68% of consumers more so keen to watch a video when learning about a new product or service.
Video won’t just be a viable means of marketing success on YouTube alone. Video success can come about from Instagram stories, live Facebook videos, broadcasting short web series on LinkedIn, and any other platform that can support it.
If your site hosts a video, it’s 50x more likely to improve organic search results compared to text due to how easy it is to watch and ascertain information rather than trawl through pages and pages of words.
Don’t forget to make sure that all your videos are fit for mobile (which comprises 78% of video viewing) and take advantage of each video by transcribing it for SEO, using it in blogs, on YouTube, social media, audio for a podcast, as well as EDMs. With the versatility and stronger likelihood for conversions, video will not only grant you the success you’re after but save you time when fully repurposed.
Other trending video formats making headwaves in 2020 will include:
The online world isn’t short of products and services. It is, however, short of trustworthy businesses selling products and services. Careful consumers are resorting to peer-reviewed content prior to their purchases so you’d better have an influencer marketing strategy in place if you’re a new company that doesn’t have a long term loyal fan base. You’ll need to build your reputation from the ground up.
Influencer marketing will be more important than ever in the coming year. 63% of consumers trust influencer marketing more than corporate messages while 58% of purchasers attribute their purchase to an influencer’s recommendation.
This will bleed into the area of UGC, where content created by users will be sought out prior to purchases being made.
An excellent example of this is supermarket chain Iceland’s decision to drop their celebrity endorsements and opt for content from real life mums using their products. Their collaborations featured on an online mums network that did the advertising for them, boosting their profits but most importantly, building trust in their brand.
Influencer marketing will also be affected by AI in the year ahead by connecting consumers to more appropriate content via:
AI will also be used to ensure publishing guidelines are met, and to identify fake engagement and spam.
This is where shit gets futuristic. Be prepared for more searches to happen with more than just text. AI options such as Pinterest’s “LENS” allows for visual searches of images taken with a camera. The app will then find the same or a similar item, which you can purchase online.
While Pinterest is currently dominating this space, get ready for an influx of companies to come out with this option for shoppers. Give LENS a try for yourself…
Google already offers this in a broader context, allowing users to upload an image and find the object of interest online.
Another new one sure to be making waves in 2020 is interactive content. We’re talking polls, augmented reality ads, quizzes, themed calculators, maps, travel guides, and everything of the like. 70% of marketers will be relying on interactive creative content to boost engagement and increase brand loyalty, more so than in the following years.
Interactive content that you can get inspiration from includes interactive maps like this one created by London Technology Week, allowing users to click on a tour of their choice and find out more about it prior to signing up.
Other examples include interactive blogs that Buzzfeed are nailing, like this one (no pun intended.)
While some of these results can be hilariously off the mark and may seem to make no contribution to one’s life, people LOVE them and are constantly coming back for more, as seen by the plethora of nail-related quizzes they continue to release. Think about some interesting interactive content that may work for your audience and industry, and keep testing content types till you hit a sweet spot like Buzzfeed.
Google announced in 2019 that smart bidding and automation will now be the new normal with Google ads.
Smart bidding uses AI to optimise bidding for users, allowing for better results for conversions and more freedom to specify actions such as choosing conversion actions, the ability to optimise for bids over multiple campaigns as well as the opportunity to set bids to change automatically once sales begin or stop.
2020 is going to be a year that challenges businesses to remain relevant as well as appear ahead of the curve with their content and marketing outputs. It may seem an insurmountable challenge for many businesses, but it doesn’t have to be. If you partner with marketing specialists like us, we’ll help your business succeed well in advance with a strategy that will not only help you remain relevant but also weather any unexpected changes the industry may bring your way.