What’s your marketing strategy for 2020? What do your customers want to see from you this year? Keeping up to speed with digital marketing trends can sometimes feel like herding cats, so we’ve put together a few of the most important, useful and insightful tools, trends and techniques to help you reach more customers in creative, meaningful ways this year and for years to come.

The arrival of the new decade represents a goldmine of digital marketing potential. Customer attitudes and buying habits have changed, and with that shift comes new challenges and opportunities for any business looking to reach – and maintain – its audience online. According to new research conducted by ad agency Xandr, audiences are consuming more digital content than ever. They’re also savvier than ever to sales messages, meaning that your marketing strategy has to work harder to reach and keep your customers’ attention as they engage with your brand online – all whilst on a tight budget.

In this blog, we’ve outlined a few ways in which you can make digital marketing trends work for your small business.

#1 Create meaningful experiences with personalisation

The way that audiences consume media – how they find products, seek out services and interact with brands across different devices – has changed considerably. That means that your customers are more likely to demand authentic, personalised content from you – the more relevant and original the better.

In our post-GDPR climate, acting with integrity and honesty when marketing your products and services is the best way to maintain a good relationship with potential customers. After all, we’re all turned off by obvious sales tactics and remarketing efforts, finding them intrusive and off-putting (here’s looking at you, Alexa). Focus instead on building trust and providing high quality, relevant content across your messaging and customer touchpoints.

How can you apply this?

The best way to get to know your customers is to find out where they shop and browse online and what kind of content they like to consume whilst there. Conducting surveys, using capture forms or installing web tracking software onto your website are all good ways of harvesting data to grasp what your customers are most receptive to and what works.

One to watch: Chatbots

Yes, chatbots are making a comeback in 2020. With new AI capabilities making communication smoother and more intuitive, chatbots are a worthy investment for your ecommerce website. Not only do they speed up simple buying decisions and improve customer communication, they are also incredibly valuable as a tool to gather leads and greet potential customers as soon as they land on your page. This means that you’ll be able to filter out qualified prospects (and what they need support with) in a more time-efficient manner than manually gathering the information yourself.

#2 Get creative with email

Email still remains a cost- and time-effective method of reaching your customers with key messages over the year. However, getting around inbox fatigue and delivering original content into the laps of customers is still a tricky thing to get right.

More often nowadays, effective emails must look the part as well as work hard to drive up click and open rates. That means fewer newsletters and more thoughtful, designed content with interactive features like playful animations, buttons, and personalisation throughout. And don’t forget optimising your emails for mobiles and tablets, either.

How can you apply this?

Optimising your emails for different devices is a good way to strip your content back to just its essentials and create stylish, streamlined designs with punchy headlines and copy. Think about what you’d like to receive as a consumer. Effective emails, full of interactive elements and personalised additions, are more likely to attract the attention of your busy customers and might even win you a share or two.

One to watch: Automation

We’ve been harping on about personalised customer journeys for what seems like years now, and it’s no more relevant than in 2020. Instead of sending blanket campaigns to large lists of data (which is becoming less and less fruitful), focus instead of creating a series of considered automated campaigns to help usher customers along the different levels of your sales funnel. Remember, if you need help designing perfectly pitched campaigns or making use of the advanced tools like segmentation, personalisation and automation, we can help.

#3 Produce for search engines as well as your customers

Trying to win at Google is a never-ending task for businesses looking to grow their customer base and compete within their markets and industries. In 2020, it’s crucial to keep in mind the importance of creating high quality, well-structured and easy-to-digest content not just for your customers, but also for Google’s algorithm.

Google changes its algorithm hundreds of times a year to help businesses deliver quality content to audiences, so it follows that your marketing and SEO strategy should accommodate these changes. Happy Google, happy business.

How can you apply this?

Improving your rank on Google isn’t a one-time job, but a bit like conducting an orchestra. Every element has a tiny part to play in helping you climb the ladder and foster a good reputation for your brand, products and services online. Google wants to see that your website is relevant to your customers, and creating good quality content that is continually optimised and refreshed (think blogs, video, and product listings) are a good way to get more visitors to your site and more customers through the door.

One to watch: featured snippets

If you’re familiar with Google Search, you’ll also be familiar with featured snippets. If not, they’re selected search results that are featured on the top of Google’s organic results (below the ads). They’re designed to connect the search query with the desired answer as quickly as possible, leading to more brand exposure for your business. As things like voice search become more prevalent, spend time researching the keywords and content that will align with your marketing strategy and – most importantly here – resonate best with your audience.

What digital marketing tricks will you focus on this year? If you’d like to get together for a chat and discuss your content, design and digital plans for 2020 and beyond, feel free to contact the KascAid team.