We are at the very start of a brand new decade for digital marketing and it is shaping to be a spectacular one. However, as always, there are mistakes to avoid in the pursuit of excellence.
Read on to find out exactly how to do that and how to make 2020 your best year yet in digital marketing.
Micro-influencers on the rise
The influencer marketing niche has been experiencing somewhat of a downturn, for a number of reasons.
For one, a growing number of businesses started reporting less-than-stellar ROI on their investments in this type of marketing. This also coincided with the growing costs of influencer marketing, with bigger influencers charging more and more for the exposure. We must also not forget the whole controversy with fake and/or exaggerated influencers whose reach was nowhere near as dramatic as advertised.
In 2020, we will definitely see more and more of micro and even nano-influencers whose follower numbers (usually under 30,000) may not be as spectacular as those flaunted by the more “traditional” influencers, but who boast some other characteristics attractive to marketers.
A 2017 study by HelloSociety reported in AdWeek, for example, found out that micro-influencers engagement rates are 60% higher than those of traditional influencers and that they are almost 7 times more effective per engagement. In short, you may not reach as many people, but you will get more engagement for your buck.
These micro-influencers are also more “specialized”, meaning that you can find people that will hold the most sway in exactly the industry/niche you are looking for. For instance, as a small business that sells patio furniture, instead of a home decor influencer, you can go for a patio design influencer who will know more about the industry and whose followers are more likely to buy from you.
Finally, it should be pointed out that micro-influencers still have some of that ‘they’re the same as us’ feel about them which traditional influencers simply do not anymore, becoming celebrities in their own right.
Mistakes to avoid
When we are talking about mistakes to avoid with micro-influencer campaigns, they are pretty much the same as with traditional influencers. You need to make sure the influencers and their followers are real, that they have the numbers to back their engagement claims and that their followers are actually your target market.
AI in email marketing
Email marketing has been a staple of every half-concrete digital marketing campaign and department since the earliest days. Even today, it is seen as an integral channel which is often the very last piece of the puzzle which leads to the buyers’ action.
In 2020, we will continue to experience the evolution of email marketing which was brought about by the introduction of machine learning and AI algorithms that make email campaigns smarter and more effective.
Most marketers have been aware of the fact that smarter, personalized emails are at least three times more likely to be opened and acted upon for a while now. That is exactly what AI enables you to do – it enables you to sift through copious amounts of data and come up with more personalized email marketing.
Among other things, AI can help you tailor your email campaigns according to where in the sales funnel the recipient is, when they are most likely to open emails, what exactly they are interested in on your website and their interests in general.
Another way for AI to boost your email marketing campaigns is by helping you craft product recommendation email campaigns (perfect for B2C, eCommerce businesses). If Amazon gets 75% of its revenue from AI-power recommendations, why wouldn’t you tap this source of sales?
There is no shortage of AI email tools on the market, with new ones coming out all the time. Analyze your email marketing pain points and find a tool that can help you with that.
Mistakes to avoid
It is easy to get caught up in the numbers, algorithms and A/B testing for the sake of it, forgetting the most important part of email marketing and marketing, in general – creativity. The most spectacularly optimized email campaigns will be in vain if your copy and visuals are lame and if they are missing the point. Email marketing can be fantastically imaginative and you should never forget this.
So much new SEO to do
Every year, at least a handful of “experts” will tell you that SEO is all but dead and that it is a waste of time and money. What those experts fail to understand is that SEO changes with the times and that it is often all about trying out new things that will help companies place their product/service in front of the people who are looking for them.
Go to Google and type in a search that starts with ‘how to…’. What’s the first result? Is it a video? If it’s not the first result, you will get a video carousel in the second or third place. And it’s not just how-to stuff.
Google is serving video results more and more commonly and for a good reason – people like video content, especially if they are on mobile devices where it can get cumbersome reading 2,000-word blog posts. Also, it’s a natural move for a company who is the owner of YouTube, the biggest video search engine.
This is why it is a good idea to do some video SEO and make sure your videos are easy to find, that they respond to searchers’ intent and that it is a part of an overarching SEO strategy.
Voice SEO and featured snippets
The numbers speak for themselves on the subject of voice search. With voice assistants becoming more and more ubiquitous with each month that passes, ignoring voice search as part of your SEO strategy is tantamount to inviting trouble. This is especially true for local businesses and B2C companies, but it’s not like B2B companies can ignore voice search either.
There are a few things to understand about voice search. For one, when people use it, they are served only one result – the one that Google deems the best answer to their question. As a result, this will reduce the traffic of everyone but that first result. In other words – you need to become that one result, the featured snippet.
There is a whole science to making this happen, but at the core of it is predicting the search intent and serving what people want to learn. In other news:
- Keep the content conversational (no keyword stuffing or elaborate, ornate sentences (avoid words like ornate))
- Keep the content short (around 30 words)
- Consider the importance of the location (mention where your business is, make sure to register with local directories, etc.)
Even if you are not looking to attract voice search traffic (e.g. if you run a B2B business with complex products/services), you should still do your best to get the featured snippets. In most cases, they will take up the entire above-the-fold real estate, meaning that for all intents and purposes, they are the ONLY result that Google will serve.
Like with voice-oriented featured snippets, analyze what is behind people’s search for a specific subject and try to serve the best answer to this.
Mistakes to avoid
While video and voice SEO is rapidly gaining in popularity, you must not forget the tried and true SEO basics which will still play the most essential role in getting organic traffic to your website such as optimizing for loading speed, producing high-quality content and doing a bit of quality link building.
Social media marketing has been around as long as social media. However, in most cases, it depended on sending customers to other channels and serving almost exclusively as primary steps in the sales funnel.
All of this changes with social commerce.
In essence, social commerce entails purchasing straight from social media posts (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest posts).
This ensures a few things:
- You are selling to your customers where they’re at
- You are selling to customers at the very peak of their purchasing intent
- You are not sending them to other channels and complicating the sale
Mistakes to avoid
The most common mistake to avoid with social commerce is trying to sell premium, expensive products this way. People still prefer to do research and comparison before spending large amounts of money. Social commerce is more suitable for cheaper, impulse purchases. Use social commerce to make small purchases that will get you customer emails and then use email marketing to nurture the relationship for that major sale.
Before you leave, please keep in mind that these new digital marketing trends should not be seen as silver bullets for your marketing efforts. They will work best in combination with good old-fashioned marketing strategy and tested tactics.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.