2020 isn’t just darn good vision (get it?), but a vision to garner success at the turn of the decade. With a few months left of 2019, digital marketers who want to stay ahead of the game must anticipate what 2020 will bring and how best to adapt to it. The uncertainty of digital marketing is that none of us really know what works until we try it. Just like we don’t know the exact science behind how Google ranks on a SERP, we have to dive off the deep end with just one eye open.
With Google updates shaking our traffic rates (we’re talking about the new Core Update), their whole no-follow debacle or even the whole GDPR data regulations in place, mapping out what 2020 will bring can help us ride the wave and continue to see conversions coming through.
Amidst all the anticipation we can do, one thing is for certain: user experience continues to remain as the true north star in all digital endeavours. With Google moving from a search engine to an answer engine and Amazon Alexa becoming your new BFF, it’s all about making your user’s life significantly easier. With that in mind, what’s 2020 looking like and what can we expect?
Here are the top five major trends to adopt in 2020 that will definitely pay off.
Position Zero SERP
Position zero isn’t a novel concept – it was introduced by Goole in 2014. The unfortunate reality is that although it has been six years since the introduction, businesses are only now starting to optimise for it. As you may be aware, there is no position #1 on a Google SERP any more. Rather, a no-click answer appears in its stead – also known as #0. This change was geared towards the user to limit the number of clicks he/she would have to do in order to get the answer they were after. Position Zero includes featured snippets, YouTube videos, charts and images. Optimising for position zero requires content structure changes and there are best practices in place. The most common formats of position zero results come in the form of an answer to the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why). How-to’s and instruction (listicle) type answers are also common to see in position zero answers. Whether that be a recipe, how to put together some piece of tech or a simple how-to answer, these are common to see in featured snippets. Definitions are quite common, as well.
Voice search is slowly becoming more commercial and businesses, although still new to the concept, must start planning ahead and incorporating best-practice strategies to leverage this technological wave. Certainly, there needs to be a cultural shift before voice search becomes as widespread as text-based search, but the future is voice-activated. As users, we have been trained to use text and shifting to voice search will take time but businesses shouldn’t be late to jump on the bandwagon. What does voice search currently look like? Voice-based searches currently take place in private spaces given the technology that affords it (i.e. OK, Google and Amazon Alexa). Research currently shows location-based queries as being the top category of trending voice searches and optimising your Google My Business will be ++ in our books. Check out our guide on 5 ways to optimise your content for voice search to know more.
Bots will keep making an appearance in 2020 as they have done in the previous years. This isn’t a new trend, but one that we will continue to see into 2020 given the rise of AI. Chatbots began as insta-responses to basic queries but they’re now becoming more capable in handling complex questions. AI is becoming the biggest commercial opportunity for businesses. AI goes beyond chatbots. Artificial intelligence will soon be the driving force across many digital strategies. From email personalisation and customisation to strategic content creation, product and e-commerce recommendations including natural language processing for voice search!
More Data Regulations
This might not seem as exciting as the rise of more advanced AI and voice search, but data regulation is definitely something that cannot go amiss. With all the faux-pas Facebook, Google and other tech giants have made with information leaks, data privacy is going to be even more stringent as we roll in 2020. Although you may be wondering why this would concern the marketing division when it seems like a problem for the IT or financial teams, the digital strategies you implement must be carefully thought through. In order to mitigate any data breaches and reassure customers in a very data-centric age, your digital marketing strategies need to consider how data will be collected, stored and used. The GDPR that was passed in 2018 is just the tip of the iceberg – we can expect many more regulations to crop up as we head into a new decade. 2020 will see a rise in giving the consumer on how they want their data on the interwebs. Although this may be difficult to determine things like ROI (that previously relied on cookies), digital marketers can expect to see a rise in consumer lifetime value. Why? Data protection plays into the larger role of how you take care of your customer and a loyal one will keep coming back if you play the game right (and honestly!).
Social Commerce (shoppable tags)
E-commerce will no longer sit in their own silos as independent websites. Rather, 2020 will see a growth in e-commerce endeavours embedded within social media platforms. Instagram is already spearheading this turn of events with shoppable tags and the Shop tab on the explore page. But social media platforms aren’t the only enabler for social commerce. Instant messenger platforms are also rising to the opportunity. In fact, social media messenger platforms (think Facebook Messenger) are topping ROI than its email marketing counterpart. Social commerce is vastly different from social media marketing (SMM). The end goal of a social media campaign is to redirect users to the brand’s website to make a purchase or convert. On the other hand, social commerce is the process wherein the user goes through checkout without ever leaving the social platform. This is an incredibly efficient way to see your users (new or returning) see through the entire purchase funnel. Think about it: if your users are already hanging out on a social media platform, why add in an unnecessary step of asking them to leave the site to purchase your product? Social commerce significantly reduces the length of the purchase journey. In other words, you’re practising the Amazon-coined one-click purchase. All of this boils down to a reduction in abandoned cart rates because you’re constantly removing incumbents.
2020, it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? With the turn of the decade coming just a mere few months away, don’t fall behind. Snowball your success into 2020 and beyond by keeping a watch for the trends that’ll take precedence. If you want professional consultation on how you can prepare for 2020 to make it your best year yet, contact the team at Digital Squad. With years of experience in helping a plethora of clients reach the top of their A-game with honest and sustainable white hat marketing techniques, we can help you reach scalable growth. No matter your conversion goal, we can help you achieve it. Get in touch with Digital Squad, a leading digital marketing agency Auckland today to learn more!