In today’s digital age, more people are spending their time online, from streaming music and movies to staying updated through social media and even ordering food and groceries through an app. 

Given that, businesses must prioritize their online presence if they want to reach their target markets directly. Yet these days, it is simply not enough to have a digital marketing plan. In essence, you have to go the extra mile by studying the market and keeping up with the latest marketing strategies to outrun the competition.

As an ever-evolving industry, digital marketing always offers new trends. Here are the top ten ones you should watch out for this year:

1. Shoppable Posts

The shoppable post feature was rolled out on Instagram a few years ago, but brands are only beginning to pick up the momentum and taking advantage of this function. Shoppable posts are characterized by tagged products with their price tags, which are visible when someone taps on the photo.

To use Instagram Shopping, you must have a business account on both your Instagram and Facebook and link them together. Once you’ve completed this setup, you can go to Settings in the app and turn on the Shopping feature.

Advertising your posts on Instagram will also generate a small banner at the bottom of each post, which serves as links. Utilize these to direct potential customers to your website where they can shop for your products.

2. Streaming Video Ads

In an era of instant gratification, most content is consumed in the form of videos. It’s no wonder that video is the most popular medium these days, which is a trend that will continue well into 2020. So if you haven’t started mapping out your video campaigns, you’re missing out on conversions.

Focus on making the first few seconds count—it’s crucial to capture the attention of your target audience. Get to know them and study what they like, especially the content that they engage with. Do some A/B testing with different video styles, tones, methods, and scripts for each consumer level in the sales funnel. However, keep them short and straight to the point. 

blur image of YouTube website

3. Polls and Quizzes

Polls and quizzes have always been fun activities to do online, and now businesses have seen the potential of interactive content. Expect to see more of that in 2020.

Ideal for getting new leads from target markets, polls, and quizzes make consuming content fun and dynamic. They also allow businesses to inform in more creative ways than a more traditional ad. To be truly useful, it’s crucial to make sure that these polls and quizzes are engaging and easily shareable, to increase the chances of them going viral.

illustrated girl with yes or no on both hands

4. Instagram Interactive Filters

By now, you must be familiar with augmented reality (AR) filters since these are popular in social media. Most notable types you can use in your Stories with eight-ball type questions such as, “What product are you?” or, “What food best suits your mood?” and showing an answer randomly selected from a preset list.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, recently launched a platform named Spark AR Studio. This program allows users to create their AR filters, which have since been utilized by brands around the world. Another form of interactive content, this gets people to hop on a trend—the important thing is you make it one.

instagram logo on the floor with rainbow colors

5. Direct Messaging

As one of the most popular social media platforms across the globe, Facebook is one of the best places to get potential customers. Brands capitalize on this with a simple yet handy automatic messaging feature, in which a chat box pops up whenever a potential customer visits their pages.

While a lot of companies rely on chatbots to send automated replies, the best way to truly maximize direct messaging is to make conversations more personal with the use of machine learning or even just assigning someone to reply to any inquiries personally. 

a person using a laptop and smart phone

6. Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets, also known as Rich Results, were first introduced by Google a few years back. They are standard Google results with extra data displayed, which can be in the form of images, carousels, addresses, ratings, prices, and more. With these, customers can quickly get information from your site right on the search engine itself.

For instance, if you’re brand caters to dog owners, you can create a listicle about how to take care of their pets. Putting a structured data markup for this page can boost the chances that your content shows up at the top of the search engine results. If you’re more into direct selling, you can show prices and whether the product is available.

7. Micro-Influencers

Social media influencers have become a whole new profession in the modern age. They are earning their living promoting products online because of the sheer number of their followers. Some of them also sell their merchandise.

However, these self-made celebrities now charge a substantial amount for your brand’s exposure on their timelines. Fortunately, you can turn to micro-influencers who may not necessarily have the same number of subscribers, but often have higher engagement rates from their followers since they’re in more specific niches and more accessible to a particular market.

8. Interactive Emails

While email continues to be a valuable tool in communicating with prospects and your current client base, it evolves in 2020 with a focus on dynamic content. 

You’re going to need more than just text and images to capture your recipients’ attention. Get creative with an eye-catching layout and incorporate clickable buttons and other forms of interactive content to engage your target market.

smart phone with apps

9. Sentiment Analysis

Reviews will also see a change this year with sentiment analysis. The traditional way of collecting feedback used to be very linear: You can either give a product a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. While this was easier for a lot of people, it rarely resulted in constructive criticism for the brands.

These days, people are a little more insightful when it comes to leaving reviews. They leave comments that show that while they may not like everything about the product, they also acknowledge its merits. The quantity in studies may be fewer, but it generates critical information and gives you an idea of what your customers are thinking. Sentiment analysis entails data collection and algorithms to collect consumers’ reactions to your products online.

10. Alternative Social Media Platforms

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have dominated the digital marketing sphere for so long that consumers are now used to viewing sponsored ads in these platforms, which makes capturing their attention trickier.

There’s nothing wrong with continuing to utilize these, but if you have the time and resources for it, experiment with developing content for more niche and trending platforms such as Pinterest and even TikTok. These may allow you to reach a previously-untapped market or generate further interest for those who already know who you are.

 a hand holding a smartphone

Final Thoughts

Digital marketing, as an industry, will continue to evolve throughout the year and in the foreseeable future. Brands and companies need to maintain an engaging online presence for brand recall, as well as not to be left behind by their competitors.

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