10 Hot Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2020

10 Hot Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2020

By Karen TaylorJun 25 /2020

Every year in the marketing world different trends rise to the surface, creating with them terms and strategies that dominate the conversations. Sometimes they are new ideas and sometimes they are existing ones that are getting renewed attention. Here are 10 trends marketers are talking about right now — including insights on adopting each trending topic.

Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends of 2020

1. 5G: Prepare for Growth

5G is the fifth-generation mobile network and a new global wireless standard that delivers a faster and more powerful connection than its predecessors. It enables a network that is designed to connect everyone and everything, including devices, machines and objects.

There are over 17.7 million 5G connections globally as of Q4 2019, a 329% growth over Q3 2019. A faster, more powerful connection will fuel more creative marketing projects and unlock new marketing opportunities.

Here are ways to leverage the power of 5G:

  • Embrace the opportunity to create more frictionless and immersive experiences
  • Look for ways to create deeper engagement between your brand and consumers
  • Prepare to collect more data to fuel marketing campaigns

2. Alternative Social Platforms: Poised for Domination

Alternative social media platforms are any successful platform beyond the “big three” — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The big three have been nudged off their thrones by a few spunky social media up-and-comers: WhatsApp, TikTok and Facebook Messenger, along with the rising popularity of Reddit and Quora.

Due to the sheer volume of active users, newer platforms represent uncharted waters that are ready for early adopters to dominate in 2020. TikTok’s user base will surpass 50 million by 2021. WhatsApp and Messenger actually have more monthly active users than Instagram and Twitter.

Each alternative platform has unique benefits and ways that companies can promote on them, including:

  • TikTok allows users to create and edit 60-second videos, and add music and special effects
  • WhatsApp and Messenger let users share images, photos, videos and documents without mobile data charges
  • Reddit and Quora attract users who crave more niched and detailed topics

Alternative Social

3. Assignment Selling: Educate Prospects

Assignment selling is the process of intentionally using the educational content you have already created about your products and services to resolve major concerns and answer prospects’ questions during the sales process. The theory behind assignment selling is that the more educated the prospect is, the faster the sales process and the higher the close rate will be. Sales conversations become more efficient because prospects better understand your offering.

Assignment selling is important in 2020 because it both leverages all of the content that organizations have already created and supports the sales teams. It also overcomes a major challenge: prospects asking the same, high-level questions over-and-over in every call — questions that are already answered in content.

How to boost the power of assignment selling:

  • Qualify leads for fit and commitment in short calls
  • If they’re qualified, give them an assignment to read specific pieces of content before your next call
  • Postpone the next sales call if they didn’t complete the reading assignment

4. Brand Affinity: Giving Customers More to Love

Brand affinity is brand marketing that focuses on attracting existing customers instead of new customers, turning them into enthusiastic promoters of a brand they love. Messaging and positioning in 2020 should revolve around creating brand advocates who are big fans of what you do.

Most brand marketing is focused on attracting new consumers to a company. But there’s a new school of thought that says achieving brand affinity requires having a personality and purpose that inspires customers to share. This builds up emotional connections around shared values between your existing customers.

Here are ideas for developing brand affinity:

  • Listen to your community online
  • Understand how your brand is unique
  • Keep customers in the loop

5. Digital Charisma: Brand Marketing with Attitude

Digital charisma is a new concept, but with a legacy purpose: to inspire users to seek you out because they want to do business with you based on how and what you communicate, and the “vibe” of your brand. Think of it as brand personality, but with attitude.

Displaying charisma online is more important than ever. It gives you the ability to connect with more people and to have national or global influence. You know you’ve got it when you get glowing reviews for your products, services, user experiences, customer service and social posts that sound more like love letters.

Here are ways to build your digital charisma:

  • Improve your ability to communicate online
  • Answer users’ questions with minimal friction
  • Think about not just what you say, but also how you say it

6. Online Communities: Promoting In-Depth Engagement

An online community is a virtual group with a specific focus and members who share a common interest, passion or purpose. In communities, they can learn more and interact with other members. Communities offer today’s marketers a rich opportunity to bring consumers together and achieve their business goals. In particular, they provide a more in-depth level of content and engagement that isn’t found with social media or short-lived promotional events.

Companies that want to engage with today’s hyper-connected consumers should consider investing in online communities, according to research. While 59% of marketers believe customers are using community-generated content to guide their purchasing decisions and 77% agree that this content accelerates the buying process, only 40% are using online communities to further their brand messages.

Here are ways to create thriving communities:

  • Mine your community for user-generated content
  • Enhance engagement with customers via discussion boards, Q&A sessions and open dialogue opportunities
  • Make the virtual community easy to navigate and follow conversations

7. Podcast Advertising: The New Promotional Frontier

Podcast advertising is the new kid on the block. The audio ads contain information about products and services, where listeners can order, access coupon codes and more. Some impressive stats are making podcasts the new “hot media” for advertising in 2020, including the fact that the audience for podcasts nearly tripled from 2009 to 2019.

Almost 90 million Americans listen to podcasts at least monthly and habitual fans listen to seven podcasts every week. Nearly 93% of podcast fans listen to a whole episode. When it comes to promotions, 54% of listeners say that hearing about a product or service on an episode makes them much more or somewhat more likely to consider purchasing it.

Here are a few tips to make the most of this new advertising frontier:

  • Understand the listeners in the niche and speak directly to them
  • Let hosts read your ads because host-read ads perform better than scripted, third-party ads
  • Make your ad more about brand awareness than a hard sell

Podcast advertising

8. Mobile SEO: Optimize for Growth

Mobile SEO is a process of implementing search engine optimization techniques to make it function properly and look great on mobile devices. It’s another way to give web users what they want, which is exactly what Google, the dominant search engine, has in mind.

Optimizing for mobile doesn’t seem like it should be a trend in 2020. After all, it’s not new. But optimizing websites for mobile SEO is as relevant as ever due to the continued steady growth of digital use. Even now organizations tend to de-prioritize the mobile version of their website, even though it’s proven that mobile pages are vital to success.

Here are tried-and-true ways to optimize mobile SEO:

  • Make sure mobile responsiveness is optimized across multiple devices
  • Focus on UX initiatives, like page speed, responsiveness and proper image sizing
  • Prepare for voice search by using conversational, question-based and long-tail keywords

Mobile SEO

9. Social Media Stories: Engaging Sub-Experiences

Social media stories are mobile, full-screen, vertical videos and images that appear outside of the regular feed and live for only 24 hours. They operate as sub-experiences within the standard Instagram app and can be organized into collections for viewing later. By 2019, stories were drawing over 500 million daily users — making them a perfect vehicle for marketing in 2020.

Thanks to their success, Instagram stories have become a sort of secret weapon for many B2B marketers. In fact, one-third of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses. Nearly 50% of businesses on Instagram worldwide have created at least one story during a typical month. And 96% of U.S. marketers plan to continue using stories.

Here are tips to make the most of Instagram stories:

  • Create serialized, episodic content to work within the short life span
  • Build a mini-funnel to guide viewers toward conversion through episodes
  • Leverage the exclusivity factor to engage an audience through thought leadership

Social Media Stories

10. Trustworthiness: The Antidote to “Fake News”

In 2020, trustworthiness is all about having a strong focus on quality content and fighting against “fake news.” A survey of marketing leaders illustrated that an overwhelming majority recognize the need to establish trust with consumers.

There’s nothing new about trustworthiness being important for acquiring and retaining loyal customers. However, trustworthiness is more important than ever because people are more aware of the risks associated with untrustworthy organizations. It’s one reason why Google has worked to better understand the sources of news stories.

Here are ways that organizations can exhibit their trustworthiness to consumers:

  • Focus on the trust value of your contributors by verifying their authority to talk about particular subjects
  • Allow consumers to ask any questions and give them honest answers
  • Keep the promises you made when selling your products and services


Reaching Goals with the Latest Trends

Marketers depend on tried-and-true strategies and tactics to reach out to new prospects and guide them through the buyer’s journey. But they also like to try the latest and greatest marketing tactics to stay current. Every year new trends arise that open new doors of opportunity to reach more potential customers. This year offers a rich array of tactics that marketers can test drive as they explore new strategies and tactics — from 5G to trustworthiness. See which ones help your organization reach your marketing goals.

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Karen Taylor
The Author

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is a professional content marketing writer with experience writing for over 100 companies and publications. Her experience includes the full range of content marketing projects — from blogs, to white papers, to ebooks. She has a particular knack for creating content that clarifies and strengthens a company’s marketing message, and delivers optimum impact and maximum results. Learn more at karentaylorwrites.com.