What’s the best thing about this time of year? That’s right: Christmas. Rather that than looking at the usual ‘top trends’ reports in B2B-land that promise to serve up the ‘hot trends’ and various innovations heading our way in 2020.
The vast majority of course being generic nonsense that fails to pass the ‘no sh*t Sherlock’ test. But is 2020 set for more of the same?
Well maybe not when you consider the latest tools and options available to the forward-looking marketer: Concepts and actions that although not always ‘new’, will see their entry into the mainstream next year.
The question of course is: “what are these tools and options you speak of?” Well, to save you reading through endless expert opinion, we’ve collated details of 6 areas that are set to go intergalactic in 2020 – and present them to you as an early festive offering:
#1 Voice Search Optimisation
Did you know that ComScore expects more than 50% of online searches in 2020 to be voice searches? Whether it's Siri, Alexa or Google Home, people are using voice search more and more to find what they're looking for, and even for buying products they use every day.
While voice search itself is not new, businesses are going to have to focus on optimising their sites for voice search to capture this market.
Sites such as Jetson.ai is one solution for businesses to capitalise on voice search. Jetson allows site visitors to do voice searches (no matter the device they use). Most importantly, Jetson allows visitors to buy from your site with their voice.
#2 Google Ad Lead Form Extensions
Paid advertising, such as Google Ads, is not new but Google is rolling out something that can change lead generation in an epic way.
Lead Form Extensions allows a business to generate a lead directly from an ad. This is HUGE for businesses that offer free quotes or want customers to "apply now" directly from their ad.
Here's how it works.
A customer clicks on the "Get a free quote now" offer in a Google ad. A lead form pops up that is pre-populated with the customer's information (if they are signed into their Google account). The customer does a quick look and then hits the submit button.
A customer can connect with your business in just a few seconds.
#3 Chatbots and Push Notifications
In 2020, marketers, businesses, and companies are going to have to find additional marketing channels to reach and convert prospects into customers.
Enter chatbots and push notifications.
Chatbots are a type of automated software that can do anything from setting appointments and sending money to a friend to checking in for a flight.
It's not just any chatbots either, but those that leverage Facebook Messenger and connect with Instagram, are going to see a huge rise in popularity in 2020.
Push notifications help a business to stay front of mind with a customer. A push notification brings your business to their phone screen and gets them to click on a link instead of them having to open and read an email, and then click on a link.
#4 SEO for Intent Over Keywords
Google made a huge algorithm change recently but it is really for the better. Better, that is, if you have epic and quality content on your website/blog.
SEO (the affectionate name for search engine optimisation) is a major player in search engine rankings, which tends to relate to clicks and website traffic. In previous times, if you had your keyword(s) in your content and in the right places, you could rank -- and rank high in the search engines.
Now, Google is considering searcher intent when ranking pages.
For example, there is apparently a fish called a cow. Before the algorithm change, if someone searched "how to catch a cow," the links showing up were about how to catch a cow -- the farm animal cow.
Now, Google understands that if someone is searching for this term, they want to find information about how to catch a cowfish, so these are the pages that are showing up in the rankings.
This is great news for content creators that produce quality, epic content that still includes keywords because if you're providing the information the searcher is seeking, you have a chance to rank in the search engines for it.
Even if you have a really clear idea of who your ideal customer is, when someone that falls into your audience lands on your website, it is not truly personalised for that individual. Amazon has already caught onto this and other businesses are going to have to catch on, too.
Personalised marketing is the wave of the future (It's really the wave you should be riding right now.)
Amazon learns and memorises what you shop for, what you search for, and what you ultimately buy. You may have noticed, when you go to Amazon, it shows you all sorts of products (and sometimes even services) that relate to what you shop, search for, and buy.
Businesses that use software to personalise the marketing experience of ideal customers are going to win the Internet. First, they'll win customers, though.
#6 Multichannel Marketing
Gone are the days where you find one means of marketing and have a landslide win. The truth is as soon as one marketing channel takes off, everybody figures it out, and then it putters out.
In 2020, businesses have to find a way to use multichannel marketing without spreading resources too thin. While some companies may have seen great success by focusing all its efforts on SEO, SEO alone is no longer enough.
Experiment until you find the right mix of marketing channels for your business and avoid focusing all of your efforts in one place.
A new decade and a new year bring new marketing trends. You have to find the right balance between testing out the new trends with modifying existing trends until you create a successful marketing mix for your business.