If we had to name one New Year’s resolution that every marketer always longs to follow throughout the year, it’s to keep up with the most recent marketing trends and stay ahead of the competition.
The year 2020 has already begun, and with that comes new marketing challenges, surprises and place for even more innovative content and solutions. What will the new decade bring us and how can we best prepare for it?
To save you time on probably a very lengthy research, below we have compiled a list of the most visible trends you can incorporate in your marketing strategy this year.
1) Interact with Customers 24/7 Across All Marketing Channels
Imagine a crowded electronics store filled with needy customers where you have to wait for half an hour to get a sales rep answer your product questions and give you some recommendations. You would most probably end up going to a different store or even ordering online. So why do you think your clients and website visitors would not do the same to you?
Consumers are impatient, and in the age of technologies and increased convenience, they have become pampered and expect all brands to be available whenever needed. They want to feel nurtured and important, just like anyone of us.
In this regard, conversational marketing is the phrase you will hear more and more often this year when talking about building your brand and marketing strategy. No matter if you have only physical points-of-sale, online presence, or both.
Conversations are the core of inbound marketing and refer to a constant engagement with consumers on an individual level. They go beyond actual human interactions and apply to all types of customer touchpoints – blogs, ads, social media pages, etc.
With the competition becoming continuously more fierce, it is more essential than ever to closely connect with your customers, know their painpoints and serve them when and how it is needed.
Chatbots are nowadays the most common AI-powered means that help maintain a persistent and more humanized communication with your customer. A recent study published on Forbes showed that providing a 24/7 client support on website via chatbots have increased sales by 67% on average. They also stimulate visitor interest and ultimately their loyalty towards the brand.
IntelliTicks is one of the top chatbot providers for websites that has all the basic functionalities, is free, and does not require coding knowledge to be integrated into a website, but there are many more options on the market ranging from those that are meant for Facebook messenger in particular (e.g. Chatfuel) to more advanced solutions like Botsify.
2) Create a Personalized, Human Connection Using Live Videos
For the past couple of years, video marketing has been named as the top customer interest and engagement driving tool. Pre-recorded videos have been widely used by marketers to replace traditional blogs because our attention span is really not getting any longer living this fast-paced life.
We crave interactivity, movement, and getting the necessary information with limited effort.
Now, live videos are gradually taking the leading spot. Not only because they create a sense of urgency and fear of missing out on something important, but also because they show that there are real people behind the brand and create a genuine, personalized human connection that is so critical in the world overtaken by AI and VR.
Live videos likewise create a platform for people to share their opinion in real time and interact with you and your brand. It’s a faster and more effective way to collect customer feedback and show you care about them.
Source: Neil Patel
The easiest way to incorporate live stream video into your marketing communication strategy is to show behind-the-scenes footage, such as interesting meetings happening at the office, impromptu interviews with co-workers, or fun activities during the lunchtime or team events. Instagram and Facebook stories, Youtube, as well as the new social media star, TikTok, are all great channels for streaming live videos.
Some of your blog content can also be repurposed into a live webinar or Q&A video about a certain topic. And the best part is – live videos are cost-effective because you don’t need to worry about editing and you can use your existing know-how to engage with your audience talking about something you know about very well – your business and brand.
3) Enhance Customer Experience Using Voice, Virtual Reality and Augmented Realty Tools
Last year, about half of searches on Google and other search engines were conducted by voice. People are increasingly switching from typing and looking for information themselves to telling somebody else to look it up for them. Smart home speaker and mobile virtual assistant markets are therefore expected to exceed revenue of over $30 billion by 2024.
These facts speak for themselves and highlight the importance of multi-dimensional marketing that can target all the different senses. People tend to formulate their search queries differently when they speak.
They most often resemble questions that you would ask in real life, for example, “What is the best marketing agency in DMV?” instead of the short “best marketing agency DMV” phrase when typing.
The key to untap the potential of voice search is to optimize your website content, so that your blog articles and other pages would be recognized as the most relevant answers for specific search queries.
A number of SEO tools, such as Answer the Public, or Google feature “People also ask” can help you understand what questions consumers normally ask to eventually find products or services your company offers.
If you haven’t started integrating voice search into your SEO strategy, 2020 might just be the moment to jump on the train. The same goes for other multisensory marketing tools. The times when virtual reality was solely part of gaming rooms are long gone.
Now, both VR and AR (augmented reality) are emerging trends in marketing and can help enhance customer experience in physical stores through product visualisations and suggestions, virtual tours, product tests, etc.
While AR and VR technology is a comparatively large initial investment and is currently more feasible for larger corporations, it is definitely a marketing tool that can make your brand stand out. 48% of consumers have noted that they would more likely shop at a retailer that offers AR solutions while virtual reality helps them escape from the real world for a moment.
Creating a 360° tour around your office, hotel, or school on the website or building an app that lets customers visualize the real-life use of products they see in stores are some of the ways how you could bring VR and AR into your business.
The year 2020 in marketing will be all about increased customer engagement and bringing your products, services and brand closer to them. It will also be about personalization and finding alternative customer touchpoints that help build relationships and make people feel nurtured.
Live video streaming is one of the marketing tools that you can start implementing right away. Think you need help with video production or building your whole marketing strategy 2020? Get in touch with one of our experts today.
by Agnese Zimele,
Blogger and Marketing Assistant