Digital marketing predictions tend to reach a fever pitch each time a new year rolls around. And while they make for interesting reading, the frustrating part is they also leave a gaping hole when it comes to implementation.
There are many, many digital marketing predictions to choose from for 2020. The opportunities are enormous if you’re ready to back yourself.
The secret is to be selective. To keep things actionable, let’s look at the three big areas that are potential game-changers in your business in the new year, and over the course of the new decade.
1. Advocacy Is Everything
If you’re familiar with the steps in the customer journey, advocacy is typically the last step in most models.
But while it’s the last thing on the list, it should be front of mind in any strategy development. Why? Well, it’s all well and good to tell people you’re an expert but when other people start saying you’re the expert, that’s when the magic happens.
Advocacy is far from a new concept. But in 2020 it’s going to be more important than ever because with so much content and so many experts, people are looking to their own trusted peers and friends to help guide them in the decision process.
And that’s backed up by the data. According to the Edelman 2019 Trust Barometer report, nearly 80% of consumers surveyed state peer reviews can be a deciding factor or deal-breakers in their brand-buying decisions.
So advocacy is more important than ever, but how do you get it happening? Actions:
- If you want reviews, you need to ask for them and show people how to provide them. Let your audience and customers know how much you value their feedback and embed that clearly across your owned, earned and paid channels.
- Not all advocates will be customers. Build relationships with your audience on different levels. An advocate can be just as valuable as a customer, often more valuable. Identify your advocates. They are the people who are liking and commenting. Engage with them, reciprocate and show them they are valued.
- Build advocacy through user-generated content. Share it via Instagram and Facebook stories and watch as more people promote you to their own audiences to get a shout out.
2. The End Of The Low Barrier To Entry For Digital Advertising
For a long time, marketers have talked about how digital advertising lowered the barrier for entry for a lot of businesses. In the old days, advertising meant TV ads, radio ads, print ads, outdoor billboards and very deep pockets to pay for it. You had to be really scrappy if you were a small business to get into the advertising game because the price was high for both ad space and production.
Digital advertising changed that. Anyone could quickly and easily run an ad. And in most cases, it didn’t have to cost a lot.
But that is changing. With organic reach way down on most social platforms, businesses large and small are turning to ads and the inventory available is feeling the impact. This means pricings are going up, return on investment is going down and the process of setting up, testing and executing successful campaigns is getting much more complicated.
- It’s time to accept that if you want to get great results, you are going to have to either outsource or learn. You can start with the free courses offered by Facebook Blueprint and go from there.
- Every aspect of a campaign must be tested and optimised. You want to test the creative – so headline, copy, image or video. You need to test your audience targeting. You need to test your budget. You need to test your landing page. There are no more shortcuts because you’re competing against agencies big and small that have made this their area of expertise. And you can compete, if you’re willing do the same hard work they do.
- Set yourself an advertising budget for the year. That may sound strange, but one of the scariest parts of digital advertising is spending the money, particularly the first time. But you need to take the leap, and by creating a budget you’re allocating the investment over time. The reality is, you may not get the results you want the first time out of the gate, so you can get financially spooked if you don’t have the budget allocated longer term.
3. More People Will Start Looping And Stop Funneling
The funnel was based on a brand’s ability to control the customer messaging and push it towards a conversion.
New models, like the consumer engagement engine, or the audience engagement loop more accurately depict the two-way interaction that occurs and that must be maintained to build and deepen a relationship where an audience member converts to a customer and is retained in the loop with loyalty and advocacy.
While the funnel has a time and place, it’s time to stop thinking in terms of pushing your audience in one direction and letting most of them fall by the wayside.
Instead, it’s time to start figuring out how to keep them on the journey with you all the time, looping around you.
- There’s no need to throw the funnel out with the bathwater. Use funnels for specific promotions – when you are making an offer that is time-specific and has a specific path for a potential customer.
- When it comes to your content marketing, develop your plan using the looping concept. You want to look for ways to generate awareness, create engagement and trigger action, while keeping your audience in the loop so they are in the right place when the time is right for them to become customers.
- Make sure you are giving your audience opportunities to become customers. There’s a lot to be said for scarcity, but creating easy to access, no-brainer offers that are available at all times can be a great way to trigger conversion. One of the biggest risks in the high-value environment content marketing is creating is an audience will only ever see you as a free source of information, making it increasingly harder to communicate why they should also pay for your products and services.
To bring this back to being actionable and selective – a bonus prediction! Focus on creating quality, over quantity, can mean you win the digital marketing race for the year and beyond.
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- Three Actionable Digital Marketing Predictions For 2020 - February 28, 2020