Digital marketing is on the rise and will continue to grow in 2020. Going into the second decade of the 2000’s, not having an effective digital marketing strategy means your business is behind. However, if you’re new to digital marketing or still working on optimizing your strategy, it’s never too late. Get on board with these 5 digital marketing trends in 2020 and you’ll turn a lackluster internet strategy into a cutting-edge one.
The Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2020
1. Longer, Well-Researched Content Will Win Top Spots
The best result for content creation is winning a top spot on a Google query or keyword. The coveted first or even “zero” spot on a search engine results page (SERP) wins the most traffic, which means the highest chances for conversions to customers and sales. Uncovering the best methods for reaching these spots is the biggest challenge in content marketing, since Google’s algorithm is kept secret and changes constantly. However, research allows SEO experts to guess at digital marketing trends in 2020 we can expect. One of these is changes in content length and character.
The average length of top-performing content is now around 1,900 words. This means that Google looks for content that covers topics in-depth. It also means using reliable information, and including informative outbound links. It does not mean including extra words for the sake of meeting a recommended word count. Content marketing in 2020 is more competitive than ever, and you’ll need to incorporate all possible strategies to get noticed. That includes in-depth content as well as SEO best practices and effective content distribution.
2. Video is Growing
Over the past two years in particular, video content has exploded. Just as short, shareable snippets and pictures reshaped the World Wide Web with the rise of social media, video will reshape it again in 2020 as more platforms prioritize video and more users have access to high-quality recording devices.
Video is set to become a major digital marketing trend in 2020. Video tends to generate more shares and more engagement, and it can also win top SERP spots in video carousels. If you’re not sure about your ability to compete on written content, but you can create exciting, engaging videos, play to your strengths.
All types of video can go viral in a matter of hours, from tense protest videos to funny animal videos to controversial advertisements to leaked footage and more. If you’re getting started with video in 2020, make sure you know who you’re intending to reach, with what, and why. Tread very carefully; the right video can elevate your brand, but the wrong one can create a public relations debacle.
3. Live Video Presents Big Opportunities
In the world of social media, the rule is keep up with the trends or fall into the background. Social media platforms thereby provide a good gauge of what’s coming next. Every social platform has now created a space for live streaming, with others, like Twitch.tv, dedicating themselves to live streaming exclusively. This is proving to be a valuable marketing medium and a potentially huge marketing trend in 2020, if you have the right digital marketing strategy to complement it.
Live videos are particularly impactful for younger audiences and the brands that target them. Live streams tend to be watched longer and more often than pre-recorded videos. In 2020, some predictions put live streaming at a whopping 82% of all internet traffic, rising to a 124 billion dollar industry by 2025. If this digital marketing trend makes sense for your audience and strategy, getting on board this year can mean getting ahead of your competitors and creating real connections with your audience.
4. More Optimization for Voice Search
Hey, Siri! Okay, Google! Hey, Cortana! Hey, Alexa!
A number of virtual assistants are now ready to answer your questions and provide results based on voice searches alone. Users can search from their smartphones, laptops, smart speakers, even smart tvs and watches. The number of smart devices that do not use a keyboard is growing, making voice search the optimal way to get answers from these devices. This is an important digital marketing trend in 2020 that will become more important as use of this technology increases.
As the number of voice searches and smart devices grows, content optimized for voice search will become more popular. Optimizing for voice search is similar to regular SEO, except with a few extra layers. It’s important to keep in mind how people use voice search. While text searches may use single words or sentence fragments, voice searches are generally more specific, using entire questions. Most voice search results also appear as featured snippets, which we’ll discuss more in the next section.
When optimizing for voice search, it is important to consider context. How might someone use a voice search to find your content? Since voice searches generally utilize entire questions—usually containing who, what, when, where, why or how—informational and instructional content is ideal. For example, a post from a landscaping company about how to transplant a tree might appear in a voice search that’s useful for gardeners in the midst of planting. A more detailed post about ideal soil, water, and sun conditions for particular trees might be too in-depth to arise in a voice search. This content may still be valuable, and may even attract more conversions since it indicates deeper interest, but it simply isn’t right for a voice search query.
5. More Featured Snippets
Featured snippets—the boxes that appear at the top of a SERP which attempt to directly answer a user’s query without the need to select a page—first began on Google in 2014. These began by answering the most simple and direct questions—what’s the capital of Thailand? How many ounces in a pound?—and have since become much more sophisticated.
Since they appear before the actual search results on a page, the featured snippet box is considered SERP spot zero. As previously mentioned, many featured snippets answer voice search queries. However, they’re valuable for traditional searches as well. This spot means maximum visibility and clicks.
From 2016 to 2019, the number of featured snippets increased 165%, with almost one fourth of all SERPs now containing a featured snippet. This is one digital marketing trend in 2020 that’s likely to continue growing. Google has expanded featured snippets to include different types of snippets, multiple snippets, video results and more. This sometimes pushes the other results well down the page. If a valuable keyword in your industry showcases a weak or inaccurate featured snippet, usurping the position can mean big traffic growth.
Keep in mind, though many featured snippets come from the first organic result, this is not always the case. This means it’s possible to occupy SERP spot zero and improve your Google rank even if you’re second, third, or even fourth or fifth down the page. To win this spot, your content and overall site must be excellent, and it’s also helpful to restate the question with your answer, and use bulleted or numbered lists where appropriate.
These five digital marketing trends in 2020 won’t result in a dramatic shift from current best practices, but they do present an opportunity for first adopters to get ahead of their competition. Those that adapt to changes in digital marketing, consumer preferences and media consumption can continually improve their overall strategy, while those that do not will steadily fall behind.